Michael G. Heinz, PhD
| Michael G. Heinz is a Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and of Biomedical Engineering. Mike is a native of Baltimore, MD and grew up sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. He received an Sc.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University in 1992. He then completed a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 1994, where he performed psychoacoustical experiments measuring the ability of human listeners to detect signals in noise (with Craig Formby and Moise Goldstein). In 2000, he received a Ph.D. from the MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the area of Speech and Hearing Sciences (mentor: Laurel Carney). His dissertation involved computational and theoretical modeling to quantify the amount of information in auditory-nerve responses for psychoacoustical tasks. His post-doctoral work was in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (mentor: Eric Young), where his work evaluated possible neural correlates of loudness recruitment by comparing neurophysiological responses from single auditory-nerve fibers in animals with normal hearing and noise-induced hearing loss.
In 2005, he joined the faculty at Purdue as an Assistant Professor, where he and his lab members have been investigating the relation between neurophysiological and perceptual responses to sound with normal and impaired hearing through the coordinated use of neurophysiology, computational modeling, and psychoacoustics. He teaches courses in both SLHS and BME. In 2010, he was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and served as Chair of the ASA Technical Committee on Psychological and Physiological Acoustics from 2011-2014. In 2016, he was chosen as a University Faculty Scholar, and in 2021 he received the Career Research Award from the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue. He currently serves as the Co-Director of an NIH-funded (T32) Interdisciplinary Training Program in Auditory Neuroscience (TPAN), and serves as the Director of Graduate Programs in BME. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (JARO).
François Deloche, PhD
François is a postdoctoral fellow with a 2-year grant from the Fondation pour l’Audition. He received his engineering degree and MSc in Applied Mathematics from the Ecole polytechnique, France. In 2019, he completed his PhD in computational neuroscience at the EHESS, Paris, on the efficient coding of speech, looking for relationships between the statistics of speech and properties of cochlear signal processing. He developed an interest in understanding the role of cochlear nonlinearities, affecting in particular the frequency selectivity of the inner ear, in normal hearing. His current work focuses on the use of ECochG signals (electrocochleography) with forward masking settings to estimate fundamental properties of the inner ear in a non-invasive manner.
Andrew applies concepts found in computer science, engineering, and even music to better understand the human body. He received his B.S. in Bioengineering from the University Pittsburgh in 2018, joining the Indiana University School of Medicine and Purdue University's combined MD/PhD program. Andrew began investigating non-invasive measures of cochlear synaptopathy as a rotation student with us in 2019. Since then, he has expanded interests to incorporate multiple types of sensorineural hearing loss. He is currently using intuition and hypotheses derived from our historical work to explore pitch coding and perception deficits driven by sensorineural hearing loss in the auditory periphery. Andrew intends to apply the findings from his work to make clinically-relevant guidelines and tools. He enjoys photography, running, and playing the violin and piano.
Fernando Aguilera de Alba
Fernando was born and raised in Mexico City until the age of fifteen. In 2017, he graduated from Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona. Four years later, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) with magna cum laude distinction. Prior to graduating college, in the Summer of 2020, Fernando joined the Heinz Lab as a Pathways Scholar under the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to get a sense of what graduate school would be like. His strong passion for music, bioinstrumentation, and photography, along with previous research experiences, played a key role in choosing his research focus. As a result, he joined the Heinz Lab as a doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering in the Fall of 2021. In his free time, Fernando loves to travel, play soccer, watch documentaries, learn about other cultures, cook, and exercise.
Samantha Hauser, AuD
Samantha is from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has lived in many different corners of the US for school. After graduating with a degree in biology from the University of Chicago in 2013, she entered the world of clinical audiology. She was introduced to hearing research through an NIH T35 traineeship during her AuD program. Working with Dr. Ram Ramachandran, she studied the neural correlates of tone detection and noise and the effects of acoustic overexposure on nonhuman primates. Sam received her Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from Vanderbilt University in 2018 after completing her 4th year externship at Yale University’s Hearing and Balance Center. She stayed in Connecticut following graduation and worked for three years as a clinical audiologist at Easterseals’ Center for Better Hearing. Sam joined the Speech, Language, and Hearing Science PhD program at Purdue in the fall of 2021 and is working with both Dr. Michael Heinz and Dr. Hari Bharadwaj. She is excited to link her clinical experience to auditory neuroscience to better understand the effects of noise exposure on the auditory system and to improve diagnostic measures of hearing impairment. When not in the lab, Sam enjoys starting and never finishing new crafts, riding the Peloton bike, watching Criminal Minds, and listening to music.
Jim is a current undergraduate student in Purdue’s Biology program. Jim joined the lab in spring 2020 and uses his prior experience in coding to help with data analysis. Jim is currently reworking some of the lab code used for the collection and analysis of ABR data, and is also designing an osmotic pump for furosemide delivery to the round window as an accelerated model of aging. Once he finishes his undergraduate degree, Jim hopes to work towards a PhD and pursue a career in research. In his free time, Jim’s hobbies include chess, playing violin, and playing computer games.
Sarthak is an undergraduate student at Purdue, intending to major in Computer Science and minor in Bioinformatics. Prior to joining the Heinz Lab in fall 2022, Sarthak worked on an individualized adaptive hearing aid using deep learning. He’s currently working on a more efficient data storage system for the lab to organize experiment results, chinchilla records, and general metadata. In the future, Sarthak aims to apply his skill-set and experience in deep learning based healthcare tools to tackle problems in the auditory space. Outside of academics and research, Sarthak likes to spend his time going birding, practicing karate, or watching soccer.