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Founded by Fan-Gang Zeng in 2000, the Hearing and Speech (HESP) laboratory at UC Irvine has been conducting basic and translational research in the following areas. (1) Understand mechanisms underlying normal and pathological hearing, (2) Understand relationships between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and (3) Find safe and effective treatment (e.g., electric stimulation, nicotine) for hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis. The HESP lab is part of the UC Irvine Center for Hearing Research ( and has provided research opportunities for a diverse group from high school and community college students to medical residents and visiting scholars. The HESP lab participates in formal doctoral and post-doctoral training programs in Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, Cognitive Sciences and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. HESP lab members have also been actively involved in community service and outreach programs such as Lions Clubs International, American Tinnitus Association, the California State Summer School for Math & Science (COSMOS), and the UC Irvine Summer PreMed Program.