Noel L. Cohen Award for Significant Contributions to Otology and Neurotology

Through a generous gift from our late colleague, ANS has established the Noel L. Cohen, M.D. Award for Significant Contributions to Otology and Neurotology. The establishment of the award is a fitting tribute to Dr. Cohen — a gifted physician, surgeon, academician, educator, administrator and a leader. His contributions brought distinction to Otology & Neurotology, New York University, and our society. The first recipient of this esteemed award, Dr. Thomas Balkany, was announced at the 55th Annual virtual Fall meeting on Sept 12, 2020. 

Richard T. Miyamoto, MD, MS

Want to learn a bit more about our fabulous recipient!? Read on...

Richard T. Miyamoto, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP, is the Arilla Spence DeVault Professor Emeritus at Indiana UniversityHe was Chairman of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for 27 years (1987-2014).  He is a 1966 graduate of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois with a B.S. in Chemistry and received his M.D. degree at the University of Michigan in 1970Dr. Miyamoto served a straight surgical internship and later was a resident in surgery at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1970 to 1972In 1975, he completed an otolaryngology residency at the Indiana University School Medicine.  After spending two years in the military service as a Major in the United States Air Force Medical Corps, he spent a year with the Otologic Medical Group at St. Vincent Hospital as Fellow in Otology and Neurotology under Dr. Howard House and Dr. William HouseHe received an M.S. degree in Otology at the University of Southern California in 1978He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. 

 Dr. Miyamoto was a co-investigator in the first-ever national clinical trial of cochlear implants established by his fellowship mentor, William HouseDr. Miyamoto performed his first cochlear implant in 1978This trial led to the first FDA approval of cochlear implants.  The NIH then supported Dr. Miyamoto’s research with RO1 grants and NIH continued their support of Dr. Miyamoto’s research program for the next 25 years.  Dr. Miyamoto served two separate terms on the NIDCD Advisory Council.  He presented the “NIH Director’s Sixth Astute Clinician Lecture” at the National Institutes of Health Lectureship on November 3, 2003. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cochlear Implant Alliance in 2021. 

 Dr. Miyamoto was President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, President of the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, President of the American Neurotology Society, President of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and President of the Otosclerosis Study Group.  He was Vice-President of the Triological Society and a trustee of the Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington.  He has served on the Advisory Council of the American Otological Society, Chairman of its Research Foundation , and has received the American Otological Society Award of MeritDr. Miyamoto was President of Alpha Omega Alpha of the Indiana Chapter and the Founding Advisory Board Chairman of St. Joseph Institute—IndianapolisHe had served as an Associate Editor for Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery and also for JARO as well as serving on eight additional editorial boards.  Dr. Miyamoto served as a Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology for 10 years and was certified in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery and also in NeurotologyHe served for 6 years on the Residency Review Committee.  

 Dr. Miyamoto is a member of several honorific societies:  the Cosmos Club, Alpha Omega Alpha, the Royal Society of Medicine, the Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitae Sacrum and the National Academy of Medicine. 

About Dr. Noel L. Cohen 

Dr. Cohen’s education and training was marked by distinction. He received his B.A. from the University Heights College in the Bronx in 1951.  Subsequently, in 1955, he received his M.D. from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. It was in Holland that he met his wife, Baukje.  Between 1957 to 1959, Noel served as Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve. He first joined the NYU family in 1959 as an ENT resident and, following completion, he stayed on as faculty in 1962.  

At NYU, Dr. Cohen’s career flourished as did NYU under his leadership. Little known is that early in his career, Noel was an accomplished thyroid surgeon before choosing the path that would lead him to become one of the leading cochlear implant and acoustic neuroma surgeons. A natural leader, Dr. Cohen became Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology in 1980, a position he held until 2003 – an impressive 23 years! In 1997-1998, he served as Interim Dean of NYU School of Medicine.

Under his leadership as Chair, the department grew in national and international stature. He established the NYU Cochlear Implant Center and built it into one of the largest clinical and research cochlear implant programs in the world. His landmark VA Cochlear Implant study established the superiority of multichannel cochlear implants over single-channel device. He was one the early pioneers in the clinical application of auditory brainstem implants. In addition to cochlear and brainstem implants, he built one of the largest acoustic neuroma programs on the East Coast.

A distinguished surgeon and speaker, he was highly sought after as guest, participant, and lecturer, throughout the world. In 2003, in recognition of his many contributions to medicine, he was awarded an Honorary M.D. from University of Freiberg. Though he will forever be remembered for his innumerable contributions, his friends and colleagues will fondly remember him for his kindness and humanity.  The establishment of the Noel L. Cohen Award is a wonderful tribute to our late friend and colleague and will forever associate his name to significant contributions in Otology & Neurotology.  It will serve to honor those amongst us whose contributions reflect an enduring commitment to scientific innovation and medical advancement in our field.

2020 Thomas J. Balkany, MD
2021 Robert K. Jackler, MD
2022 Bruce J. Gantz, MD
2023 Derald E. Brackmann, MD
2024 Richard T. Miyamoto, MD, MS