Research

 

Areas of Expertise

Our laboratory works on inner ear development and regeneration, as well as on the biology of sensory hair cells, the mechanosensitive cells of the inner ear.  Using molecular biological and bioinformatics-based approaches, we aim to fundamentally understand the mechanisms of inner ear cell regeneration in animals such as chickens that recover naturally from hearing loss.  We further utilize stem cell-based in vitro assays to assess suitable regenerative targets in mammals that can be activated with drugs, and exploring reprograming as well as cell transplantation strategies for treatment of hearing loss.

 
 

What We Do

There are plenty of open questions in inner ear biology and we are focusing on these main questions:

What is the phenotype of progenitor cells along the inner ear lineage and how are lineage decisions controlled?

How can pluripotent stem cells be controlled to develop along the otic lineage(s)? How can we reprogram mature inner ear supporting cells to adopt a progenitor cell identity?

What are the molecular components that contribute to the unique features of sensory hair cells of the inner ear?