According to his academic profile on Northwestern’s website, Dr. Sumit Dhar’s research can be summarized as, “studies the sounds created within the inner ear, then examines their behavior under a variety of conditions. By understanding the physiology involved, it is hoped that better diagnostic tests may be able to be designed to test for hearing loss.” This summarizes his research so well and so simply for something so complex.
Dr. Dhar’s career started with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bombay in Mumbai, India. He then moved to the United States and was awarded his master’s degree from Utah State University. His master’s thesis, “The Dependence of the 2f1 – f2 Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs) On Primary Levels in Normal-Hearing Ears,” set the stage for his career researching the complexities of cochlear mechanics and OAEs. His Ph.D. was awarded in 2001 from Purdue University with the dissertation, “A Detailed Study of Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emission Fine Structure in Normal-Hearing Adult Human Ears.”
Dr. Dhar previously was faculty at Indiana University, and during his time there he was given the honor of excellence in teaching. In 2004, he moved to Northwestern University. During the decade, he has been at Northwestern; he had advanced from assistant to full professor to department chair in 2014. He was instrumental in the designing, planning, and staffing of a new clinical facility for Northwestern, which opened in January 2015. In 2013, he was honored with the Clarence Simon Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring. He has mentored many students, both PhD and AuD, through research projects and dissertations.
Dr. Dhar’s accomplishments are many. His research has expanded the clinical possibilities and knowledge for OAEs. As Dr. Samira Anderson, Dr. Dhar’s nominator, states, “He is currently working on a project to improve detection of ototoxicity through new methods of assessing distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and an additional project to improve detection of ear disease before hearing aid use. These projects have immediate ramifications for clinical practice and for improving the hearing health of our patients.” He has 51 peer-reviewed articles, and he has given over 150 invited presentations, over 60 abstracts and posters, and even has co-authored the book, “Otoacoustic Emissions Principles, Procedures, and Protocols” with Dr. James Hall. In addition to writing and presenting, he also reviews and edits. Dr. Dhar has served as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the United States Navy Office of Research, the United States Army Office of Research, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Hearing Research Foundation. He is associate editor of Audiology Today and www.audiology.org, and he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology and Plural Publishing.
Finally, Dr. Dhar has been active in professional organizations. He was a member of the inaugural Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology Conference in 2008. He has been a member of several committees with the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Dhar has served on the board of directors and as president of the Illinois Academy of Audiology.