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- Senior Lecturer
- The Ear Institute
- Faculty of Brain Sciences
I am primarily a physiologist, and my main interest is in the homeostasis of sensory “hair cells” in the cochlea.
I collaborate with a number of people across UCL and in other UK institutions.
At the Ear Institute I work closely with Andy Forge and Barbara Cadge.
In my lab at the moment are Regina Nickel (post-doc) and John Kelly (DRUK-funded PhD student).
I’m interested in the proteins that make cochlear cells work, particularly those in supporting cells that look after cochlear hair cells and neurons. Hair cells can’t regenerate; if you damage them they’re gone
forever. They have to be kept in great condition for a lifetime. The supporting cells remove any nasty substances from the environment around hair cells to keep them happy. By understanding how supporting cells do their job, we can begin to develop therapies that could help all of us to keep our hair cells for longer.
In other research, I have a growing interest in the hearing impairment observed in certain “ciliopathies”, such as Alström syndrome. It is not currently obvious how mutations in proteins involved in the function of the cilium can cause loss of hair cells.
Areas currently under investigation:
- The characteristics of gap junctions in the inner ear
- The effects of connexin mutations on cochlear physiology
- The development of afferent neurons in the cochlea
- The contribution of cilia proteins to cochlear development
|1996||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy||University of Bristol|
|1993||BSc Hons||Bachelor of Science (Honours)||University of Newcastle upon Tyne|