Santa Maria Lab Moves to University of Pittsburgh

Almost everyone will be affected by hearing loss which is often due to age, noise exposure, ear infections and other causes. We are committed to the discovery of novel mechanisms of hearing loss and the drive to translate potential cures.


The Santa Maria Lab is a discovery and translational research lab moving to The University of Pittsburgh in Summer 2024, from Stanford University. The lab is federally funded to explore the immune mechanisms of hearing loss in chronic infectious ear disease but is undertaking large scale efforts to understand immune mechanisms in the ear, tumor biology and chronic bacterial infections and the application of nanotechnology to address these issues.


The lab is expanding and recruiting across all levels including Research Professor, Staff Scientist, Lab Technician and Post-Doctoral Fellow. We are looking for a dedicated and highly motivated researchers to join a collaborative team of scientists to discover mechanisms and potential cures for hearing loss. 

There are three cores of the lab which cover 1) immune mediated mechanisms of hearing loss (including from infection, noise, tumors, autoimmune and immune mediated inner ear disease 2) chronic bacterial infection relapse, centered around mechanisms and treatments for bacterial persisters and 3) tumor biology and immunology (with a focus around skull base tumors e.g. vestibular schwannoma). Our lab works across in vitro and in vivo models of disease to our clinic patients. We are looking for applicants with backgrounds in microbiology, immunology, neuroscience or nanomedicines.


The lab is part of the Pittsburgh Hearing Research Center and will become a central piece in the Pittsburgh Ear Institute. Along with federal funding the lab has a track record of translating its research into clinical trials, licensing technology, industry partnerships and startups. More information about our research and team can be found at: or contacting the PI at petersantamaria(at)