Clinical Advisory Board

René H. Gifford, PhD, CCC-A

Vanderbilt University

René H. Gifford, Ph.D., CCC-A, is a Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is also Director of the Cochlear Implant Research Laboratory, Director of the Cochlear Implant Program in the Division of Audiology and Co-Director of research for the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication (NCCDFC) at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. She is a nationally certified and state-licensed audiologist.

Dr. Gifford’s research focuses on the study of auditory perception, spatial hearing and binaural development for children using combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS) via hearing aid and cochlear implant technology. Her primary professional goal is centered on improving auditory-based outcomes and ensuring that we are using data-driven recommendations for hearing and speech/language intervention for our patients.

Her work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 20 years, she has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, multiple book chapters and she authored a book, now in its second edition, entitled Cochlear Implant Patient Assessment: Evaluation of Candidacy, Performance, and Outcomes. Dr. Gifford was a featured scientist on NPR, a Science Friday broadcast entitled “Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science—Hearing a Whole New World.” Additionally, Dr. Gifford was awarded the 2015 Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the 2017 Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award for Research, as well as the 2021 Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology from the American Academy of Audiology.

Dr. Gifford received her B.S. from Arizona State University, an M.S. from Vanderbilt University and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in hearing and speech sciences.