Chad Ruffin, MD


Chad Ruffin, MD

Ear surgeon/Research Fellow at Indiana University, Cochlear implant recipient, CEO of RuffLab Technologies

Dr. Ruffin is the first congenitally deaf person to become a surgeon using cochlear implants. His unique combination as a person with hearing loss, an ear surgeon, and a scientist trained in both auditory cognition and neurostimulation drives his desire to improve the lives of the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing.

His undergraduate and medical education were completed at Centenary College of Louisiana and Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship at the University of Washington and an NIH postdoctoral research fellowship at Indiana University. He was recruited to the otolaryngology residency training at Indiana University by Dr. Richard Miyamoto, a pioneer in pediatric cochlear implantation.

During medical school, he taught himself electrical engineering and embedded systems design to create a hearing aid for the operating room. During residency, he created a speech processing strategy for cochlear implants, and his laboratory is currently evaluating its efficacy. His advocacy work has been published in Science. His company, RuffLab Technologies, is an atheneum of medicine, technology, and advocacy for improving the socioeconomic status of d/Deaf people. One current project uses the deaf experience to create hearing technology that benefits all people.

For fun, Dr. Ruffin enjoys flying planes, photography, and tennis. He is an avid consumer of coffee and poetry.

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