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Speech Language Research

Guided By Research; Boys Town Research Initiatives in Review

Boys Town Contributor

At Boys Town Hospital, there is always something new going on from research camps and community events to international conferences. Here’s a look at the latest happenings.

G. Christopher Stecker, Ph.D. Receives Prestigious Fulbright Specialist Award

Chris Stecker, Boys Town Hospital’s senior scientist and director of the Spatial Hearing Lab in the Center for Hearing Research, was recently awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Stecker will travel to the city of Kosice in the Slovak Republic for three weeks to complete a project at the Institute of Computer Science at P.J. Safarik University.

Spring Break Research Camp

In March, Boys Town National Research Hospital hosted a free five-day research camp during Omaha Public School’s spring break. Children from underrepresented communities and special populations, such as children who are deaf or hard of hearing or have speech and language disorders, participated in interactive arts, music, theater and virtual reality workshops. The campers also participated in 85 research study sessions.

Interested in future research camps? Contact Trinity Williams, community engagement program supervisor, at

NE SciFest Science Café

Max Kurz, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Boys Town National Research Hospital Institute for Human Neuroscience, did a presentation entitled, “The Brain that Heals Itself,” at a recent Omaha Science Café event open to the community.  "I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to inform the Omaha community about the research being done at the Institute for Human Neuroscience, and techniques they can use at home to improve the brain’s performance and overall health,” Dr. Kurz said. Kurz shared how his research team is using a neuroscience- informed approach to develop new cutting-edge treatment strategies that harness the enormous capacity of a child’s brain to heal itself after an injury. Boys Town is a sponsor of the annual Nebraska Science Festival.

Boys Town Research Vehicle (BTRV) Takes Trip to Florida

The BTRV recently traveled to Florida to conduct free hearing screenings for underrepresented communities and to collect research data. Boys Town’s three Florida sites coordinated with local organizations to provide screenings for both youth and adults at locations ranging from schools to senior centers. Response to the events was stellar with large numbers of participants and offered the research team the opportunity to serve the communities, while collecting valuable data.