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Debara Lyn Tucci, MD

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Surgery
Office: 1559 Hosp South, Blue Zone, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 3805 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

The focus of current research efforts is in defining the effects of conductive hearing impairment on the development and function of the central auditory system. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the impact of hearing loss, such as that associated with otitis media, on the development of auditory function in children. Experiments are currently being performed in which central auditory system activity is studied using the 2-deoxyglucose method following unilateral neonatal conductive hearing loss. Future experiments will examine changes in cell structure and interneuronal connections following acute and chronic conductive hearing loss in both neonatal and adult animals.

A second research program is focused on issues related to the cochlear implant. The cochlear implant is a device which allows for electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve in profoundly deaf patients. It has previously been demonstrated in animal studies as well as in human tissue histopathology that degeneration of central auditory pathways occurs following severe damage to the inner ear. It has been suggested that the introduction of electrical stimulation via a cochlear implant may prevent or reverse some of these degenerative changes. Experiments conducted previously examined this issue in the neonatally and adult deafened rat. Tissue analysis is currently undergoing completion.

Education and Training

  • M.D., University of Virginia, 1985


Wolever, Ruth Q., Rebecca Price, A Garrett Hazelton, Natalia O. Dmitrieva, Elizabeth M. Bechard, Janet K. Shaffer, and Debara L. Tucci. “Complementary Therapies for Significant Dysfunction from Tinnitus: Treatment Review and Potential for Integrative Medicine..” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015 (2015).

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Piker, Erin G., David M. Kaylie, Douglas Garrison, and Debara L. Tucci. “Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: Factor Structure, Internal Consistency and Convergent Validity in Patients with Dizziness..” Audiol Neurootol 20, no. 6 (2015): 394–99.

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Schulz, Kristine, Liana Puscas, Debara Tucci, Charles Woodard, David Witsell, Ramon M. Esclamado, and Walter T. Lee. “Surgical Training and Education in Promoting Professionalism: a comparative assessment of virtue-based leadership development in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residents..” Med Educ Online 18 (October 29, 2013).

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Lambert, Paul R., Shaun Nguyen, Kenneth S. Maxwell, Debara L. Tucci, Lawrence R. Lustig, Malcolm Fletcher, Moraye Bear, and Carl Lebel. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to assess safety and clinical activity of OTO-104 given as a single intratympanic injection in patients with unilateral Ménière's disease..” Otol Neurotol 33, no. 7 (September 2012): 1257–65.

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Tucci, D. L., and T. M. Pilkington. “Medical and surgical aspects of cochlear implantation.” In Cochlear Implants: Principles and Practices, 161–86, 2012.


Stachler, Robert J., Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, Sanford M. Archer, Richard M. Rosenfeld, Seth R. Schwartz, David M. Barrs, Steven R. Brown, et al. “Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss..” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 146, no. 3 Suppl (March 2012): S1-35.

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Witsell, D. L., D. L. Tucci, and K. Schulz. “Response to "a call for systematic data collection in tinnitus patients," from Michael landgrebe and berthold langguth..” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, February 2012.

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