About The College

Robert Frisina Named Distinguished University Professor

robert frisina


University of South Florida Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox has named Robert D. Frisina, Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Communication Sciences & Disorders, and interim chair of the newly created Medical Engineering Department, a joint collaboration between the College of Engineering and Morsani College of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Acoustical Society of America, and a Scientific Fellow of the American Academy Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, a Distinguished University Professor (DUP) for 2017.

Dr. Frisina is an international leader in the sensory neuro-engineering area of multi-disciplinary research on age changes in auditory processing, a field that attempts to explain why people lose their hearing when they get old and what can be done about it. The research team he has led has uncovered the molecular and neural mechanisms of age-related hearing loss, which is a seminal achievement in the field. The National Institute of Health's (NIH) Program Project upon which he serves and has led is the largest grant award in the world on this topic—over $9 million.

Being selected as a DUP involves an intensive internal and external review of the faculty member's credentials that culminates in selection by the DUP Recommending Committee. The DUP title will be formally bestowed at the Faculty Honors & Awards ceremony to be held during the fall 2017 semester, and will make a DUP presentation to which the university community will be invited during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Frisina directs the transdisciplinary Global R&D Center for Hearing & Speech Research, which brings together students, post docs, and faculty from the Colleges of Behavioral & Community Sciences and Engineering to advance knowledge and carry out novel applications leading to new patents.

He has been leader of a large-scale Program Project (P01) research grant from the National Institute of Aging that has run consecutively for 20 years. NIH recently re-funded the grant for another five years, testifying to the rare and pioneering achievements of the project.