The Hugh Knowles Prize for Distinguished Achievement is awarded periodically to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to research or clinical practice in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of hearing disorders. Nominations for the prize may be submitted at any time to Nina Kraus, chairman of the selection committee.

The 2016 Hugh Knowles Prize for Distinguished Achievement

Christine Petit, chef de l'unité de recherche de génétique et physiologie de l'audition.


Presented to
Christine Petit, M.D., Ph.D.
College de France
Institut Pasteur
on May 10, 2016

The Knowles Hearing Center honored Dr. Petit with an award of $20,000. Dr. Petit delivered a lecture titled: Understanding hearing mechanisms: avenues opened up by deafness genes.

Christine Petit, professor of genetics at the Collège de France and the Pasteur Institute, studies genetic links to deafness. She developed a genetic approach to the study of the cochlea enabling discoveries of cochlear development and function. Her team has found more than 20 genes linked to a variety of deafness types including severe hereditary childhood deafness. Other types, such as age-related hearing loss also have predisposing genetic factors and her team is actively pursuing gene and cell therapy approaches toward prevention and cure.

Past Recipients

2013 Robert Zatorre
2008 Brian C. J. Moore
2005 Peter Dallos
2000 A. James Hudspeth
1997 David M. Green
1995 David Kemp
1992 Josef J. Zwislocki

2016 Prize Selection Committee: Nina Kraus, Northwestern University, Chairman; Jonathan Fritz, University of Maryland; Benedikt Grothe, University of Munich; M. Charles Liberman, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; David Moore, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Kathy Pichora-Fuller, University of Toronto; Neil Segil, University of Southern California and Xiaoqin Wang, Johns Hopkins University.