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Debara Lyn Tucci, MD

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences
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


Bettger, Janet Prvu, Rowena J. Dolor, David L. Witsell, Judy R. Dubno, Carl F. Pieper, Amy R. Walker, Mina Silberberg, et al. “Comparative implementation-effectiveness of three strategies to perform hearing screening among older adults in primary care clinics: study design and protocol.” Bmc Geriatr 20, no. 1 (May 11, 2020): 170.

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Koponen, Lari M., Stefan M. Goetz, Debara L. Tucci, and Angel V. Peterchev. “Sound comparison of seven TMS coils at matched stimulation strength.” Brain Stimul 13, no. 3 (May 2020): 873–80.

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Wolever, R. Q., R. J. Kane, A. G. Hazelton, E. M. Bechard, and D. L. Tucci. “Integrative medicine for significant dysfunction from tinnitus: Treatment rationale and protocol for a randomized clinical pilot trial.” Advances in Integrative Medicine 7, no. 1 (March 1, 2020): 39–46.

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Tucci, Debara L., and Joni K. Doherty. “Contributions of Contemporary Human Temporal Bone Histopathology to Clinical Otology.” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 161, no. 5 (November 2019): 725–33.

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Stevens, Madelyn N., Judy R. Dubno, Margaret I. Wallhagen, and Debara L. Tucci. “Communication and Healthcare: Self-Reports of People with Hearing Loss in Primary Care Settings.” Clin Gerontol 42, no. 5 (October 2019): 485–94.

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Emmett, Susan D., Chad K. Sudoko, Debara L. Tucci, Wenfeng Gong, James E. Saunders, James E. Global HEAR (Hearing Loss Evaluation, Advocacy, and Research) Collaborative:, Nasima Akhtar, et al. “Expanding Access: Cost-effectiveness of Cochlear Implantation and Deaf Education in Asia.” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 161, no. 4 (October 2019): 672–82.

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Tucci, Debara L., Edward D. McCoul, Richard M. Rosenfeld, David E. Tunkel, Pete S. Batra, Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, Susan R. Cordes, et al. “Clinical Consensus Statement: Balloon Dilation of the Eustachian Tube.” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 161, no. 1 (July 2019): 6–17.

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Teixido, M. T., R. Zaveri, D. L. Tucci, F. A. Godley, A. Monfared, E. Esmati, and D. L. Witsell. “Chronic Migraine is Highly Prevalent in General Otolaryngology; A CHEER Network Study.” In Headache, 59:165–165. WILEY, 2019.


Wilson, Blake S., Debara L. Tucci, Gerard M. O’Donoghue, Michael H. Merson, and Helen Frankish. “A Lancet Commission to address the global burden of hearing loss.” Lancet 393, no. 10186 (May 25, 2019): 2106–8.

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