Study Principal Investigator – Dr. Albert Park
Dr. Park is the section chief for Pediatric Otolaryngology at the University of Utah. He oversees the operations for the pediatric otolaryngology group at Primary Children’s Hospital. His practice is focused on the treatment of complex pediatric ear, nose and throat conditions with emphasis on hearing loss, parotitis and cholesteatomas.
His research interests center around pediatric hearing loss, specifically the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in this condition. CMV is the most common infectious cause of pediatric sensorineural hearing loss. John Carey and he established a multidisciplinary hearing assessment clinic in 2006 to facilitate the evaluation and treatment of pediatric hearing loss. He also established a CMV working group comprising of pediatric genetics, infectious disease, otolaryngology, audiology, neurology, department of health (EDHI) and ARUP laboratories to streamline clinical and research initiatives in this field.
These collaborative efforts have resulted in the first clinically validated dry blood spot and saliva PCR assay available to test any child for congenital CMV infection. He also worked with Representative Menlove and others to introduce a bill in the Utah legislature to increase overall awareness about congenital CMV infection and to mandate early CMV testing for newborns who fail their hearing screen. This legislation was passed in July 2013, and Utah became the first state to introduce a hearing targeted screening program for early CMV diagnosis.
Dr. Park has been the principal investigator or faculty mentor on numerous research grants and research projects. He has mentored over twenty-five residents, fellows and students on a wide range of topics including mandibular distraction, atypical mycobacterium, resorbable ventilation tubes and more recently investigations into the pathophysiology of CMV induced hearing loss.
He has served on the Otolaryngology Otology study section for the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation for the past seven years, and as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH. He was the chair of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) research committee and created the ASPO network to foster pediatric multi-institutional clinical studies. He a board member of the National CMV Foundation, the only national organization established to inform and educate others on specific prevention measures to protect against the risk of CMV infection
He has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia on a wide range of pediatric otolaryngology conditions. He is the author of over 80 journal articles and book chapters.
Ashlea Wilkes, BS, CCRC
Ashlea has worked in the research field for over 5 years. Her experience includes project management, and working as a clinical research coordinator.