NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Donahue, Deputy Director of NIDCD Scientific Programs Division, Retires

Donahue stands on stage, holding award, with, Battey and Cooper in front of Award of Excellence slide
Dr. Amy Donahue (c) recently retired from NIDCD. Above, she accepts an award in 2016 from institute director Dr. James Battey and deputy director Dr. Judith Cooper.

Dr. Amy Donahue considers her 26 years spent at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders as the perfect job and attributes that to her love of research and her collaborators and colleagues at NIH, in the research community, professional organizations and numerous federal agency partnerships. 

At the end of March, Donahue retired from her dual roles as deputy director of the institute’s Division of Scientific Programs and coordinator of the Hearing and Balance/Vestibular Sciences Program.

Before coming to NIH, Donahue, who received her Ph.D. in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Tennessee, worked as a hearing conservation consultant for 5 years at the U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency. She provided guidance to the Army’s preventive medicine program in noise-induced hearing loss and hearing conservation for both active duty military personnel as well as civilians.

Donahue’s expertise has been a driving force behind the research portfolio of NIDCD’s hearing and balance extramural program. Her leadership facilitated decades of research on noise-induced and age-related hearing loss, cochlear implants, hearing aids and intervention strategies for infants and children with hearing loss.  

Donahue’s many career achievements have included her long history of supporting research efforts to improve treatment options for infants and children with hearing loss, as well as adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

In 2016, Donahue was honored with both the NIDCD Award of Excellence and the NIH Director’s Award for her many years of outstanding service. 

The Hearing Loss Association of America, a patient advocacy organization, recognized her contributions with the James B. Snow, Jr., M.D., Award in 2016 for furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss, especially in the promotion of accessible and affordable hearing health care.

Her many contributions to hearing and balance research were also recognized by the American Academy of Audiology, which awarded her the 2017 Career Award in Hearing, and by the Association for Research in Otolaryngology as well as the American Auditory Society, both of which presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her leadership.

“Her forward-thinking attitude, creativity, energy, commitment and willingness to take calculated risks to help medical advances reach the patient in a more timely fashion have been invaluable assets,” said Dr. Judith Cooper, NIDCD deputy director and director of the Division of Scientific Programs. “Moreover, Amy has always provided honest, insightful input and guidance to any and all. She will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Kelly King, an NIDCD research audiologist in the Clinical Center’s audiology unit, has assumed on an interim basis many of Donahue’s responsibilities.

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