Royce Clifford
Contact Information:
3350 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92161


Dr. Clifford received the Harvard School of Public Health 2013 Innovator Award for “significant and innovative contribution to the public health aspects of noise toxicity, for her decade-long work in identification and prevention of hearing loss in the US Navy. She holds a Visiting Scientist position at Harvard University School of Public Health. After board-certification in Otolaryngology in 1981, she engaged in private practice in San Diego for 16 years. She then enlisted in the US Navy, where she became a flight surgeon, received Board Certification in Aerospace Medicine and Preventive Medicine in 2008, and completed a two-year tour as Senior Medical Officer aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS GEORGE WASHINGTON(CVN-73). After multiple deployments to the Middle East, she has retired from the Navy to engage in research in the prevention and treatment of tinnitus and acoustic trauma.

Research/Clinical Interests

Dr. Clifford’s current research includes a funded magnetoencephalography study to identify the intracranial source of tinnitus generation. Tinnitus and hearing loss are the #1 and #2 disabilities in the VA system, yet tinnitus has neither an objective measure nor definitive treatment. This study is intended to direct future treatment modalities, as well.

She has spearheaded and received funding for a study in the Million Veterans’ Program (MVP) to study the genetics of tinnitus and hearing loss related to traumatic brain injury. MVP is the largest US cohort of genetic study, designed to identify genetic causes of disease in US Veterans.

Since a large number of new cases of hearing loss and tinnitus at the VA involves exposure to blast, Dr. Clifford’s interest is in identification of genetic susceptibility to explosive noise. While in the Navy, she engaged with Office of Naval Research in the Section of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and is continuing this work in order to find areas of possible intervention in prevention and treatment of blast-induced tinnitus and hearing loss in association with traumatic brain injury.

To participate in current research studies, please visit VASDHS and  VMRF.

Selected Publications

  • Clifford RE and Rogers R. Molecular Genetics and Tinnitus. (in press). A chapter in :Shulmann A, Hoffer M, ed. Tinnitus: Diagnosis and Treatment. 2nd ed. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers Inc.