The Knowles Hearing Center stimulates research on the frontiers of audiology—research aimed at helping individuals recover and protect the joy of hearing.

By promoting an interdisciplinary approach to hearing and its disorders that includes the natural sciences of audiology, neurology, medicine, physics, and engineering, as well as the social sciences and humanities, the Center garners the attention and participation of leading scholars and professionals from around the world.

The two chairs endowed by the Center foster research beyond a single discipline. The Hugh Knowles Chair in Audiology, currently held by Dr. Nina Kraus, explores the interdependencies of audiology and medicine. The Hugh Knowles Chair in Hearing Sciences, now held by Dr. Mario Ruggero, combines research in audiology and engineering.

Through the Hugh Knowles Leadership Fund, the Center allows scholars to pursue research, training and clinical opportunities that hold promise for significant advances in preventing, diagnosing and treating hearing disorders. These include fellowships for interdisciplinary research at the Center, leaves of absence to conduct research at other institutions, support for scientists from other institutions or industry to participate in research at the Center, and funding for doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows of unusual potential.

The Center recognizes excellence in the field through its Hugh Knowles Prize for Distinguished Achievement, which honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to research or clinical practice in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of hearing disorders.