Our Team

Richard Kopke, MD, FACS

Chief Executive Officer

Richard “Rick” Kopke, M.D., joined the staff of the Hough Ear Institute (HEI) and its affiliate, Otologic Medical Clinic, in 2004, having retired after serving 26 years in the U.S. Army. During that time, he built an international reputation as an expert in the field of inner ear medicine. He also received one of our country’s highest rewards, the Legion of Merit.

Dr. Kopke was board certified in otolaryngology with subspecialty certification in Neurotology. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute and retired recently from clinical practice to lead the Institute and focus on advancing the research at HEI.

Dr. Kopke earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle. He received Fellowship training in Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery and Neurobiology from the prestigious Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

During his medical practice, Dr. Kopke saw adults and children with ear, hearing, and balance problems, and as required, he provided medical and surgical treatment for these problems. He had a passion for helping adults and children with profound hearing loss through surgery and rehab for cochlear implants, as well as surgery for other implantable hearing devices. 

Dr. Kopke now devotes much of his time to research at the Hough Ear Institute. He and the HEI team are working on potential treatments for sensorineural loss and balance problems. At present, their research efforts include regeneration of hair cells in the inner ear, which could someday eliminate the need for hearing aids. They are also studying medicines to treat tinnitus and reduce hearing loss as well as new approaches for delivery of drugs to the inner ear.

Dr. Kopke was involved in leading a variety of clinical trials with the military to prevent and treat acute acoustic trauma and sudden hearing loss. Dr. Kopke participates in teaching and training of other ear surgeons in countries like Vietnam and Jordan.

Dr. Kopke is a clinical professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He has written numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals as well as book chapters. He has presented papers and taught courses at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and various national and international research meetings. He is a member of the American Neurotology Society, the American Otologic Society, and the Triological Society.  His Triological Society thesis earned the prestigious Edmund Prince Fowler Award from the AAO-HNS.