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Turner in his laboratory
Portrait of Turner

July 24, 2009

SIU Med School Receives National Grant to Study Tinnitus

A research scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a three-year national grant from Tinnitus Research Consortium to study noise exposure and the development of tinnitus.  The total budget for the grant is $291,606.

Jeremy G. Turner, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery, is the principal investigator for the project.  The research will study the effects of aging and noise exposure on the development of tinnitus, a continuous ringing in the ears, which affects nearly 10 percent of the population.  Co-investigators for the project are Donald M. Caspary, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and SIUC distinguished scholar, and Thomas J. Brozoski, Ph.D., professor of surgery.

His research goal is to determine why some people, exposed to tinnitus causing factors such as trauma or old age, develop tinnitus and some do not.  Turner is using his previous research and development of a tinnitus measuring system to study how ages in rats correlates to tinnitus development in a controlled environment. The results of this research project may lead to a better understanding of why tinnitus often emerges in middle to old age.  This could lead to the development of post-trauma treatment or prevention of tinnitus.  Turner’s research, which now totals $872,500, includes previous funding by the National Institutes of Health.

Turner is a full-time associate professor of psychology at Illinois College (IC) in Jacksonville and a part-time faculty member at SIU.  He earned his doctoral and master's degrees at Northern Illinois University (1999, 1997) and his bachelor's at IC (1995).  He was named IC's Young Alumnus of the Year in 2002.