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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


Perry, B. P., R. L. Scher, L. Gray, E. H. Bossen, and D. L. Tucci. “Pathologic quiz case 1. Salivary gland choristoma of the middle ear.” Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, June 1998.


Clendaniel, R. A., and D. L. Tucci. “Vestibular rehabilitation strategies in Meniere's disease.” Otolaryngol Clin North Am 30, no. 6 (December 1997): 1145–58.


Lawson, D. T., B. S. Wilson, C. C. Finley, M. Zerbi, L. A. Cartee, P. A. Roush, J. C. Farmer, and D. L. Tucci. “Cochlear implant studies at Research Triangle Institute and Duke University Medical Center.” Scand Audiol Suppl 46 (1997): 50–64.


Heller, J. W., D. E. Brackmann, D. L. Tucci, J. A. Nyenhuis, and C. K. Chou. “Evaluation of MRI compatibility of the modified nucleus multichannel auditory brainstem and cochlear implants.” Am J Otol 17, no. 5 (September 1996): 724–29.


Tucci, D. L., S. A. Telian, P. R. Kileny, J. T. Hoff, and J. L. Kemink. “Stability of hearing preservation following acoustic neuroma surgery.” Am J Otol 15, no. 2 (March 1994): 183–88.


Gebarski, S. S., D. L. Tucci, and S. A. Telian. “The cochlear nuclear complex: MR location and abnormalities.” Ajnr Am J Neuroradiol 14, no. 6 (November 1993): 1311–18.