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Del Monte Institute Lecture Series

University of Rochester
School of Medicine and Dentistry
Department of Neuroscience and The Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience


Jeffrey R. Holt, Ph.D.

Professor of Otolaryngology & Neurology
Director of Research, Otolaryngology
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Identity, Structure and Function of the Sensory Transduction Channel

for Hearing and Balance

Sensory transduction in the ear begins with deflection of mechanosensitive organelles that project from the apical surface of inner ear hair cells.  The exquisite sensitivity of the auditory system can initiate signals that encode the faint pizzicato of a classical violin.  Remarkably, auditory hair cells can also detect stimuli with amplitudes over a million times greater, and thus can signal the booming cannons of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture as well. To understand the fundamental mechanism of how sensory hair cells convert mechanical information into electrical signals we have focused on the molecular components of the sensory transduction apparatus. We recently identified transmembrane channel-like proteins, TMC1 and TMC2, as critical components of the transduction machinery. The talk will focus on the recent evidence indicating that TMC1 forms the pore of mechanosensory transduction channels in inner ear hair cells of mice and humans.  In addition, I will discuss our translational work focused on development of novel therapies for restoration of auditory function in patients with genetic hearing loss.

Friday, November 30, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

School of Medicine and Dentistry, K-307 (3-6408)
415 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642

Event Type

Lectures and Talks


Faculty, Students

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