OHNS's Dr. Jeffrey Sharon Among the 2022 UCSF Catalyst Awardees

February 24, 2022
Jeffrey Sharon, MD

Congratulations to Jeffrey Sharon, MD, of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF OHNS), who was recently announced as one of the 2022 Catalyst Awardees! Dr. Sharon is an assistant professor in the Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery division and the director of the Balance and Falls Center.

The most recent Catalyst Award cycle was very competitive. The Catalyst Industry Advisor Selection Committee selected 15 projects as the 2022 Catalyst Awardees. Dr. Sharon was selected for his project, "Development and Validation of a Machine Learning Based Smartphone Application for Point of Care Vestibular Testing."

"Our vestibular team was quite excited to receive the 2022 Catalyst Award," said Dr. Sharon. "Vestibular disorders can be challenging to properly diagnose and treat due to complex physiology and the need for specialized equipment and testing. However, they are some of the most common problems experienced by patients, affecting about 10% of US adults yearly. Therefore, we are hoping to use readily available smartphone hardware and computer vision to make vestibular diagnostics easy. Our hope is that a reliable, point of care vestibular test will directly benefit patients with improved speed, accuracy and accessibility."

The Catalyst Program is UCSF's translational accelerator focused on advancing UCSF discoveries with clinical impact and commercial potential. It aims to foster academic and industry collaborations as well as enhance education in early translational research and entrepreneurship.

The awards, which are the centerpiece of the Catalyst Program, provide both industry advisor mentorship and seed funding to UCSF Principal Investigators with promising projects. The Catalyst Awards are focused on the development of therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, digital health, and bio-tools.

We are excited to follow Dr. Sharon's work on this innovative and impactful project.