Britta Swedenborg, Au.D., CCC-A

Meet Dr. Britta Swedenborg!

Dr. Britta Swedenborg is an audiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. She works with patients of all ages and has a variety of responsibilities including diagnostic hearing evaluations, rehabilitation including hearing aids and cochlear implants, fitting patients with hearing protection for preventative care, and intraoperative monitoring primarily during neurosurgery. Britta became interested in audiology through her desire to combine her passions for music and biology. She is constantly challenged in the quickly growing and changing field of hearing health. 

Britta has played flute and piccolo with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra for nearly four years. She started playing flute in the fourth grade and has been playing in orchestras since the seventh grade. She was drawn to playing with the LSO because of its unique mission of combining music with medicine – much like her decision to make audiology her career. In addition to playing in the orchestra, Britta enjoys participating in LSO On Call concerts with her woodwind quintet, the Accidental Quintet. In her words, "being able to connect to people through music has always been inspiring to me and has allowed for some of my most meaningful relationships, whether they are personal or professional."


Fun Facts:

Hometown:

- St. Paul, MN

Instruments:

- My main instrument is the flute, but I started on piano. I also play accordion (I played in a tango band in college) and rudimentary ukulele. Recently I started taking Scottish fiddle lessons for something new!

Favorite Current Musician:

- Chris Thile, the mandolin player and composer. I am not the first to say he is a musical genius (he has received a MacArthur Genius Grant). I was very excited when he recently took over as host of A Prairie Home Companion.

Favorite Vacation Spot:

- Definitely my family's cabin in northern Minnesota near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Getting out of the car and smelling the fresh air at the end of the 6-hour drive immediately relaxes me.

If you could play with any musician (dead or alive) who would it be?

- Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst. He can really play anything, and just happens to dance at the same time! I recommend looking him up on YouTube if you haven't seen him perform.

What did you want to do for a living when you were a child?

- I think I used to want to grow up to be Gene Kelly (totally realistic) because I loved his dancing in all his movies, especially "Singin’ in the Rain".

 

Heidi Greulich, Ph.D

Meet Heidi Greulich!

Dr. Heidi Greulich is a cancer biologist, and her work focuses on using cancer genomics data and small molecule screening to identify and experimentally validate therapeutic targets in cancer. Biology became an early passion thanks to a high school biology class, where she learned that one could describe life in the language of chemistry. She says, “that was a huge revelation to me at the time, and continues to fascinate me as a professional biologist.”

Heidi has played cello with the LSO for 22 seasons, and last year celebrated her 100th concert!  One of the highlights of being part of the LSO for Heidi is the partnerships she has developed through the years. She says, “I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my work with a different set of colleagues. But I appreciate even more the good friends with diverse interests whom I have met through the orchestra.”

In addition to her biomedical work, Heidi is also an avid biker. She counts her biggest non-professional accomplishment as biking the Alpe d’Huez and Mount Ventoux in France. Closer to home, she enjoys biking the Minuteman Trail with her husband, Chris, and 9-year old son, Matthias.

Thomas A. Sheldon, M.D.

Meet Dr. Tom Sheldon!

Dr. Tom Sheldon is a radiation oncologist in Concord, New Hampshire. Dr. Sheldon stays continually busy, splitting his time between taking care of his four children, making oboe reeds, and working as the President of a radiation oncology practice with multiple departments across New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He sees about 250 new patients and their families each year, often treating them with a two to nine week course of external radiation, using a linear accelerator.

Treating prostate cancer is his specialty, and he has even performed over 1,000 prostate seed Implants, a very effective yet uncommon and underutilized treatment. While Sheldon enjoys the physics and constantly changing technical aspects of treatment, he really loves getting to know each patient personally. Despite the short amount of time, he makes an effort to get to know the patients and tries to help with any other health issues. He and his team at the cancer center use all of their services to help out patients who are homeless, have addiction, or any other social issues. As he works for a community cancer center rather than an academic center, assistance like this is much more possible. Helping others in his community is important to he and his team, and they take that role very much to heart.

Fun Facts

Favorite current musician?

My favorite oboist is a German woman named Clara Dent.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I'd predict the future and adjust my cancer treatment for the maximum benefit of my patients. I would avoid learning about my own mortality.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would travel to Moscow for a tour of KGB headquarters, and have a candid discussion of their Cold War activities. In particular, I would want to know if our CIA misled the public, overstating the Soviets capabilities to forward their defense and intelligence goals. It’s such a fascinating time in our history.

What did you want to do for a living when you were a child?

I was always interested in why concert halls sound the way they do... they spent a lot of money on a poor performing arts center in Milwaukee. My dad would always complain. When I got to college, I checked out Acoustical Engineering, but it was clearly a "dark art." Best I can tell, it still is.

What three items would you bring to a deserted island?

Olive oil, oboe with accessories, and matches.