Marlan Hansen, MD

CTSA Co-PI and Co-Director of ICTS

Professor, Otolaryngology

Professor, Neurosurgery

Personal Statement

I am a clinician-scientist trained in neurotology/skull base surgery and cell and molecular neurobiology. My research involves multidisciplinary approaches to basic, translational, and clinical investigations broadly related to auditory neurobiology. Most of my efforts focus on translation of bench research into clinical practice. We explore the response of the auditory nerve to injury, its regenerative capacity, and methods to ameliorate damage using in vitro and in vivo animal models and human subjects.

In the past 10 years I been an investigator on 6 drug trials (4 industry, 1 DoD, and 1 NIH sponsored) and 15 medical device trials involving cochlear implants, vagal nerve stimulators and hearing aids (9 industry, 1 DoD, and 5 NIH sponsored). Our cochlear implant research team at Iowa currently investigates the benefits of electrical stimulation via cochlear implant electrodes coupled with acoustic amplification to treat high frequency hearing loss.

In the lab, we explore the intracellular and extracellular signals that contribute to spiral ganglion neuron survival and neurite regeneration. We also evaluate the effects of combined electrical stimulation and noise on cochlear hair cells, synapses, and spiral ganglion neurons in mouse models.

Finally, we research the pathogenesis of vestibular schwannomas, including the function of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene, and identification of novel somatic driver mutations beyond NF2. In these activities I have mentored 16 postdoctoral scholars and 8 clinical fellows in the past 10 years.


  • Microbiology BS - Brigham Young University 1990
  • Medical Doctor - University of Chicago 1994
  • Department of Surgery Resident - University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 1994 - 1995
  • Neuroscience Post-Doc - University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 1995 - 1997
  • Otolaryngology-HNS Resident - University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 1997 - 2001
  • Neurotology/Skull Base Clinical Fellow - House Ear Clinic 2001 - 2003


  • Volunteer Clinical Attending, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (2001 - 2003)
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Otolaryngology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2003 - 2009)
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Otolaryngology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2009 - Present)
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2011 - Present)
  • Professor, Depts. of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2013 - Present)
  • Senior Associate Director, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Iowa (2016 - Present)

Professional Memberships

  • Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (CORLAS) (2015)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, National Temporal Bone Registry (2004 - 2015)
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Travel award committee chair (08-13) (2005 - 2013)
  • American Neurotologic Society Scientific Program Committee (2007 - 2015)
  • Research Advisory Board of the Children's Tumor Foundation (2008 - 2011)
  • American Otologic Society Scientific Program Committee (2009 - 2014)
  • Research Advisory Board-American Otologic Society (2012 - 2015)
  • Research Advisory Board, Hearing Restoration Project, Hearing Health Foundation (2013 - 2015)
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons  (2013)


  • American Otologic Society Presidential Citation
  • Marvin and Rose Lee Pomerantz Professorship in Otolaryngology 
  • Edmund Fowler Award - Triological Society - Best Basic Science Thesis
  • Best Doctors in America (2013)
  • Best ENT - American Academy of Otolaryngology
  • Diachii Clinical Scholar - American Academy of Otolaryngology
  • Barry Anson Faculty Teaching Award
  • Alpha Omega Alpha 
  • Board of Directors, American Board of Otolaryngology

Grant Review Panels

  • Centralized Otolaryngology Research Efforts (C.O.R.E.) Study Section (2004 - 2012)
  • Health Research Council of New Zealand, ad hoc reviewer (2007)
  • Deafness Research Foundation (2009 - 2010)
  • Children's Tumor Foundation (2009 - 2013)
  • Neurofibromatosis Research Program, CDMRP  (2010 - Present)
  • NIH, AUD study section, ad hoc reviewer (2011)
  • NIH, NIDCD R01/R21 Translational Review Meeting (2011)
  • Chair, Neurofibromatosis Research Program, CDMRP Clinical Research, Clinical Trial, and Clinical Consortium study sections (2011 - 2012)
  • Action on Hearing Loss (Royal National Institute for Deaf People), ad hoc reviewer (2011)
  • NIH, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/05 ZDC1 SRB-L (42) (2012)
  • American Otologic Society (2012 - 2018)
  • American Neurotology Society (2015 - 2018)
  • Hearing Health Foundation-Hearing Restoration Project (2013 - 2015)
  • NIH, AUD study section, ad hoc reviewer (2013)
  • NIH, CDRC study section, ad hoc reviewer (2014)
  • NIH, CDRC study section, ad hoc reviewer (2015)
  • NIH, AUD study section, member (2016 - 2020)
  • NIH, NIDCD (K20) ad hoc reviewer for U01 AIED Clinical Trial (2016)
  • NIH, NIDCD ZDC1 SRB-K (19) chair and ad hoc reviewer for U01 AIED Clinical Trial (2017)



  1. Polyethylene Glycol Diacrylate Hydrogel Coatings for Perimodiolar Positioning of Cochlear Implants and Encapsulation of Perimodiolar Cellular Elements   US Application #62/119,093   2/20/15
  2. Controlled Position Electrode Array   US Application #62/218,359   9/14/15
  3. Cochlear Drug Delivery Device   US Application #62/332,443   5/5/16


  1. Controlled Position Electrode Array   PCT/US2016/039342   6/24/16


Active Research Support

NIDCD-R01 DC012578 (PI) Hansen/Guymon


“Photopolymerization-induced topography directs neurite and Schwann cell alignment”

Description: The aims of this study are to determine the ability of and mechanisms by which micropatterns guide spiral ganglion neurite regeneration and Schwann cell alignment in an effort to improve the neural:prosthesis interface

U54 TR001013 (PI) Winokur



“Clinical and Translational Science Award”

The goal is to catalyze innovative clinical and translational research that leads to measurable improvements in the health of Iowa and the nation.

Role: Senior Associate Director

CDMRP/NFRP NF130072 (PI) Hansen


“Contribution of p75NTR to schwannoma growth and therapeutic responses”

Description: The aims of this study are to investigate the mechanisms by which the p75NTR receptor promotes schwannoma growth and resistance to chemo and radiation-based therapies.

Defense Medical Research and Development Program (PI) Hansen


 “Hearing Preservation Electrodes in Veterans and Military Service Members with Noise-Induced Hearing Loss”

Description: The aims of the study are to determine the efficacy of short, hearing preservation cochlear implant electrodes to enhance word recognition, hearing in noise, and music appreciation in military personnel and veterans with noise induced hearing loss.

NIDCD 5T32DC000040 (PI) Gantz


“Research Training Program for Otolaryngology”

Description: The aim of this program is to provide a rigorous postdoctoral training experience for residents in Otolaryngology.

Role: Co-Director

Univ of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (PI) Hansen/Fritzsch


“Suppression of schwannoma growth by Neurod1”

Description: The aim is to establish the ability of forced expression of the proneural transcription factor, Neurod1, to suppress schwannoma formation and growth.

NIDCD 1 R44DC016246-01 (PI) Henslee


“Evaluation of a Robotic Assisted Surgical System for Hearing Loss”

Description: The aim is to test the efficacy of a robotic-assisted system device to insert and reposition cochlear implant electrode arrays.

Role: Chairman and Co-investigator, Award to iotaMotion, Inc, Coralville, IA.

University of Iowa Research Foundation (PI) Hansen


“Controlled Position Electrode Array”

Description: The aim is to develop a prototype that allows for insertion and repositioning of cochlear implant electrode arrays.

American Otologic Society (PI) Cheng


“Zwitterionic coatings for reduction of fibrosis following cochlear implantation”

The major goals of this project are to develop methods for coating implant materials with zwitterionic thin films and determine their ability to reduce fibrosis.

Role: Mentor and Co-investigator

Cochlear Corporation (PI) Hansen


“Cochlear excitotoxicty and hearing loss from noise and electrical stimulation”

Description: The aims of this study are to investigate the consequences of electrical stimulation coupled with noise exposure on hearing and cochlear structures using a mouse model for hearing preservation cochlear implantation.

P50 DC00242 (PI) Gantz



no cost extension                                           

“Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center, Project VI”                                             

The major goals of this project are to fund ongoing basic research, clinical trials and clinical outcomes research on cochlear implants in children and adults by researchers from the UI Carver College of Medicine and the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Role: Co-Investigator

FAIN 1621920, SBIR Phase I (PI) Henslee


National Science Foundation                                     

“Implantable Robotic System for Hearing Loss Treatment” 

The major goals of this project are to develop a functional prototype of an implantable robotic system to control the position of an intracochlear implant electrode and evaluate the system’s technical and surgical feasibility in a human cadaveric model.

Role: Chairman and Co-investigator, Award to iotaMotion, Inc, Coralville, IA.

Completed Research Support

NIDCD-R01 DC009801 (PI) Hansen


“Contribution of c-Jun N-terminal Kinase Signaling to Vestibular Schwannoma Growth”

Description: The aims of this study are to determine the mechanisms leading to persistent JNK activity in vestibular schwannoma (VS) cells and the consequences of persistent JNK activity on oxidative status, cell proliferation, apoptosis, tumor growth and radiosensitivity.

Role: PI

NIDCD-P30 DC010362(PI) Green


“The Iowa Center for Molecular Auditory Neurosciece”

Description: This is a Research Core Center Grant to support several NIDCD funded investigators at Iowa with three main core services: Histology and Imaging, Genomics, and Tissue Culture

Role: Co-Investigator—Director Tissue Culture Core

NIDCD-R01 DC011321 (PI) Greg Wiet (Nationwide Children’s Hospital)


“Virtual Temporal Bone Surgery, Defining and Translating Standardized Metrics”

Role: Co-Investigator

Contact Information

Marlan Hansen, MD