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Personnel

Robert F. Labadie, M.D., Ph.D., FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Associate Professor of Bioengineering

Robert Labadie received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1988, Ph.D. in 1995 and M.D. in 1996. He came to Vanderbilt in July of 2001. He also serves St. Thomas Hospital and St. Thomas Surgicare in the area of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. His clinical realm is general otolaryngology, with emphasis on surgical rehabilitation of the hearing impaired. His passion is cochlear implantation, a surgical technique where an electrode is implanted in the inner ear which, when stimulated, allows deaf individuals the ability to perceive sounds. He is a member of the AAO-HNS, AOS, ANS, and the Triological Society. His scientific presentations have been given both nationally and internationally. He has ongoing grant support to study the effects of cochlear implantation on vestibular (balance) function. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles, has presented his research nationally and internationally, and has ongoing NIH grant support to study image-guided otologic surgery, including cochlear implantation. He is married with four children.

J. Michael Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Radiology, and Neurosurgery

Mike Fitzpatrick received a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics in 1967, a Ph.D. in Physics in 1972, and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 1982. He is a fellow of both the SPIE and the IEEE. His research interests are image guidance for surgery, percutaneous cochlear implantation, and medical image registration. He is co-editor of Volume Two of the SPIE Handbook of Medical Imaging and served as co-chair of the Image Processing conference of the SPIE Medical Imaging Symposium for four years. He has one hundred ninety-five scientific publications and fifteen patents. He is married to Patricia Robinson, M.D. They have two children. In his spare time he enjoys biking and playing the piano.

Ramya Balachandran, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

Ramya Balachandran received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2001 from University of Madras. She joined Vanderbilt in 2001 as a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She received her Master’s Degree in 2003 and Ph.D. in 2008, under the guidance of Dr. Fitzpatrick. She joined Dr. Labadie’s Otology Research group as a graduate student in the summer of 2003 and continues to be part of the group since then. Her research interests include point-based rigid registration, image-guided surgery, and robotic surgery. Apart from work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Wendy W. Lipscomb, RN, BSN
Research Nurse Specialist II, Otology Research

Wendy Lipscomb graduated from Austin Peay State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has been a registered nurse since 1985 and joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Research Nurse in 2002. As a member of Dr. Labadie’s research team since June of 2007, she works primarily on his NIH grant for Percutaneous Cochlear Implantation. Outside of her work at Vanderbilt she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

Kate Von Wahlde, BA, CCRP
Manager, Clinical Research

Kate Von Wahlde graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is an officer of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA), Greater Nashville Regional Chapter and has achieved CCRP certification.  Kate is working with the research team on cochlear implantation studies, as well as with other investigators and projects within the Department of Otolaryngology.  Before joining the CAOS Lab in 2010, Kate worked with the VICC Phase I Oncology team and then created and managed a research structure within the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division. Her experience also includes Team Leader and Trainer with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research where she was responsible for various research projects and staff across the country. Outside of work, she is active in a number of community events and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Maria L. Ashby, B.S.
Laboratory Manager

Maria Ashby has been with Vanderbilt since January of 2008, coming to us from Southern California via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for one year. She has her Associate of Arts Degree in Music and her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management. She is also a Notary Public for the State of Tennessee. In her spare time she enjoys being with her family, playing the piano for her church and being musically involved in Nashville and surrounding areas. She serves as General Manager and President of the Nashville Community Choir and Historian of the Bellevue Community Chorus. She also sings with the Vanderbilt Community Chorus and South Cheatham Choral Society.

   
Grégoire Blachon, Licence Professionelle
Biomedical Engineer I

Grégoire Blachon earned his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mechanical Engineering from the University of Marseille, France in 2009. Since March of 2009, he has worked in the CAOS lab, developing and designing tools for minimally invasive cochlear implant surgery. He specializes in creating innovative solutions to meet the demands of a surgical setting. He follows the process from idea to computer draft to prototyping, and his tools are currently used in the latest surgeries.

Benoit Dawant, Ph.D.
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Benoit M. Dawant received his MSEE degree from the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1983, and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston, TX, in 1988. Since 1988 he has been on the faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt where he is a Professor. His main research interests include medical image processing and analysis. Current areas of interest include the development of algorithms and systems to assist in the placement of deep brain stimulators used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, in the placement of cochlear implants used to treat hearing disorders, or in the creation of radiation therapy plans for the treatment of cancer.

Jason Mitchell, M.S.M.E.
Research Engineer

Jason Mitchell received a B.S.M.E. in 1999 from Tennessee Technological University, and an M.S.M.E. from Vanderbilt University in 2002. He has helped to design and validate a range of medical devices used in brain, ear, abdomen and vascular surgeries. Jason’s academic and research experience also includes design and testing of hot gas vane motor expanders, trans-femoral powered prosthetic legs and a trans-humeral prosthetic arm. His industry experience includes design of high precision fixtures used in aircraft wing assembly and design of equipment used in the assembly of large HVAC units. Current interests include design, analysis, and validation of devices used for precision placement of objects within the human body. Jason is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Tennessee.

Marc L. Bennett, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology

The Otology Group

Marc Bennett did his undergraduate studies at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, where he earned degrees in Biology and Chemistry in 1996. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, in 2000. His residency was in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Bennett completed a two-year fellowship in Otology and Neurotology at The Otology Group of Vanderbilt in 2007. Dr. Bennett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As part of the Otology Group of Vanderbilt, he sees patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Baptist Hospital, and St. Thomas Hospital. His research interests include auditory development and functional improvements in patients with vertigo. Dr. Bennett is Board certified with the American Board of Otolaryngology (2006).

Michael E. Glasscock, III, M.D., FACS
Adjunct Professor

Michael Glasscock earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1958. He completed residencies at Methodist Hospital-Dallas, Kennedy Veterans Administration Hospital-Memphis, John Gaston Hospital-University of Tennessee, and The Memphis Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital. His fellowships were at the Otology and Neurotology, The Otologic Medical Group (House Ear Clinic) and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Glasscock served as a Clinical Professor of Surgery (Otology and Neurotology) from 1981-1997, Associate Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery from 1985-1997, and Adjunct Professor/Division of Hearing & Speech from 1986-1997. He founded and served as the Editor-in-Chief The American Journal of Otology in 1979 (currently Otology & Neurotology) and the EAR Foundation-Nashville, Tennessee in 1971. Dr. Glasscock retired from the active practice of Otology-Neurotology in August of 1997 and works as a consultant to several medical related companies.

         David S. Haynes, M.D., FACS
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology/Department of Hearing and Speech SciencesDirector, Division of Otology and Neurotology

David Haynes earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee, in 1987. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1993. His fellowship was in Otology/Neurotology at The Otology Group/The EAR Foundation in Nashville, TN, under the direction of Dr. Michael Glasscock. Dr. Haynes is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt Medical Center in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. He currently serves as Director of The Otology Group of Vanderbilt/Division of Otology/Neurotology and the Adult and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program. He also serves as Medical Director of Vanderbilt Hearing and Balance Center. Dr. Haynes is the Fellowship Program Director for the Neurotology fellowship at The Otology Group of Vanderbilt. In addition to his appointment at Vanderbilt Medical Center, he has appointments at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, St. Thomas Hospital and Baptist Hospital.

George B. Wanna, M.D., FACS                                                    Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Division of Otology-Neurotology
Associate Program Director, Neurotology Fellowship Vanderbilt University Medical Center

George Wanna received his M.D. in 1998 from Lebanese University. He did his Internship and residency in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center 2003-2008. He served his Neurotology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center 2008-2010. He presently serves as Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Division of Otology-Neurotology. Additionally, he is the Associate Program Director of the Neurotology Fellowship, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His research interests include image guided surgery in skull base procedures and new implantable technologies.

 


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The Otology Group at Vanderbilt

The Otology Group was founded in 1974 by Michael E. Glasscock III, M.D. C. Gary Jackson, M.D. joined the group in 1978. In the 30-year history of The Otology Group it became one of the world’s acknowledged centers of excellence for treatment of ear disorders. Dr. Glasscock retired in 1998 and Dr. Jackson in 2008. The tradition continues with the merger with Vanderbilt in 2004, with Dr. David Haynes as Division Chief.