Year 5

Inner ear diseases include hearing loss and balance disorders, but permanent sensory disorders lacking effective treatment. Our laboratory has identified progenitors cells located in the human and mouse inner ear balance organ utricle. Specifically they regenerate lost hair cells which are required for hearing and balance functions. We also found that modulation of signaling pathways or transcription factor can modulate the degree of regeneration. Together, these results should facilitate discovery of novel therapeutics of hearing loss and balance disorders.