Lab Members

Ruth Anne Eatock, PhD  Professor of Neurobiology and the Neuroscience Institute

Ruth Anne trained in sensory neurobiology at McGill (M.Sc.), Caltech (Ph.D.) and MIT (postdoctoral fellowship), and held faculty positions at the University of Rochester, Baylor College of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, before moving to Chicago in January 2014 .  She has studied biophysical mechanisms underlying sensory analysis in several model inner ear organs, with a current focus on vestibular sensory epithelia in mammals.

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Hannah Martin, BS  PhD Candidate, Neurobiology graduate program

Hannah completed her BS in Biology and Chemistry at St. John’s University, where she studied the structure and function of TRPP channels. She is currently investigating the potassium currents that underlie differences in stimulus encoding in type I and II hair cells, with particular attention to the low-voltage-activated potassium conductance (g-KL) in type I hair cells.

Publications

Current Project

 

 

 

 

Christopher Luong, BS  PhD Student, Computational Neuroscience graduate program

Christopher completed his BS in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego. He is currently interested in the functional differences of the various utricular afferents, specifically comparing how different morphological differences between calyx, bouton, and dimorphic afferents carry unique vestibular information, as well as comparing striolar and extrastriolar afferents.

 

Olivia Lutz, B Eng  PhD Student, Computational Neuroscience graduate program

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Emily Scott, UChicago Neuroscience Major

Emily is a second year undergraduate majoring in neuroscience and double minoring in biology and chemistry. She is currently working under the mentorship of Hannah Martin on the function and properties of a potassium channel gene, Kv1.8, expressed in vestibular hair cells.  She has been comparing behavioral data from normal and Kv1.8-null mice, with the goal of understanding how Kv1.8’s effect on vestibular signals impacts the vestibular-dependent functions of locomotion and balance.  She is also learning how to test the sensitivity of Kv1.8 currents to specific chemical agents, as part of the characterization of its properties in hair cells relative to other cell types.

 

 

Incoming!  Marina Kabirova, PhD  postdoctoral fellow

 

 

Recent Alumni

Selina Baeza Loya, PhD, Neurobiology graduate program 

Selina completed her BA in Cognitive Science at Rice University. She is currently investigating the role of diverse voltage gated sodium currents in the formation of different firing patterns and variable spike timing regularity in mouse vestibular ganglion neurons. Using isolated neurons, she has showed that sodium currents come resurgent and persistent forms in addition to the traditional transient one. We hypothesize that these currents increase firing and spike timing regularity, and likely have strong implication for sensory encoding in the vestibular inner ear.

Selina successfully defended her thesis in May 2022 and in September will start a postdoc in Dave Raible’s group at University of Washington, where she will learn the zebrafish model of inner ear and lateral line systems – congratulations on both counts to Selina!

Publications

Current project

 

Antonia (Toni) González Garrido, PhD   Senior Research Associate

Toni obtained her PhD at the Instituto de Fisiología, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, México, where she studied acid-sensing ion channels in auditory afferent neurons in the group of Dr. Enrique Soto. She was a Catedratica Conacyt fellow at the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico City, where she studied punctual mutations in the KCNQ1 channel which causes cardiac arrhythmias.

Toni has just moved to a research position at the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico City – Congratulations, Toni!

Publications

Current Projects

 

Omar López-Ramírez, PhD   Senior Research Associate

Omar obtained his PhD at the Instituto de Fisiología, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, México, where he characterized the influence of several toxins on  ion channels in the group of Dr. Enrique Soto.  Recently, Omar was a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Dr. Ricardo Felix, where he  studied cell biological aspects of voltage-gated calcium channels and their modulation by small GTPases.

Omar has recently moved to a research position at Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación de Asistencia Privada Conde de Valenciana in Mexico City.  Congratulations, Omar!

Publications

Current Projects

 

Kazuya Ono, PhD Senior Research Associate

Kazuya obtained his PhD at Kyoto University, Japan, where he found a role for Fgfr1-Frs2/3 signaling in cochlear hair cell development, and also found that post-mitotic supporting cells are capable of re-entering cell cycle via manipulation of p27kip1. Kazuya then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at NIDCD (Bethesda, MD, USA), where he expanded his research interest to the vestibular system and found that differential retinoic signaling mediated by Cyp26b1 expression provides a critical cue for zonal patterning of vestibular sensory organs. His goal is to understand the physiology of vestibular organs, which ultimately affects many brain functions such as reflexes, spatial orientation, and self-motion, which requires multimodal processing.

Kazuya has recently moved (summer 2022) to an assistant professor position in Otolaryngology at Osaka University, where he will continue his research on inner ear development and function.  Congratulations, Kazuya!

Publications

 

Active Collaborations

Anna Lysakowski (University of Illinois, Chicago)

Rob Raphael (Rice University)

Jennifer Stone (University of Washington, Seattle)

Basile Tarchini (Jackson Labs), Kathy Cullen (Johns Hopkins), Katie Kindt (NIDCD)

Alumni

Selina Baeza-Loya, PhD Postdoctoral fellow in the Raible Lab at University of Washington

Antonia (Toni) González Garrido, PhD Researcher in Medical Sciences, National Institute of Genomic Medicine, Mexico City, Mexico

Omar López-Ramírez, PhD  Researcher, Unidad de Investigación, Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación de Asistencia Privada Conde de Valenciana, I.A.P. ®, Mexico City, Mexico

Karolina Simcic, BS  M.S. program in Applied Mathematics, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Sonya J. Malavez Cajigas, BS  Medical school, Ponce Health Sciences University, Puerto Rico 

Vicente Lumbreras Cruz, PhD  Global Market Access & Pricing Lead, 

Florian Christov, MD  Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany

Koh Koizumi, MD PhD  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Akita University, Japan

Will J. McLean, PhD  Co-founder and Vice-President, Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. 

Gang Q. Li, PhD  Scientist at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Boston

Jocelyn Songer, PhD Chief Scientific Officer at ANACAPA CLINICAL RESEARCH, INC

Xiao-Ping Liu, PhD  Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Xiaoquin Wang, Johns Hopkins University

Michaela Meyer, PhD  Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Alexander Rotenberg, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard

Radha Kalluri, PhDAssistant Professor, Otolaryngology, USC, Los Angeles CA

Jingbing Xue, B Med, PhD,  Associate Professor, Dept. of Imaging Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center

Karen M. Hurley, PhDAssistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Julian Wooltorton, PhDAssociate Director, Reaction Biology, Philadelphia

Hong Bao, MDResearch Fellow, Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Melissa A. Vollrath, PhD  Assistant Professor, Neurology, McGill University

Weng-Hoe (Erich) Wong, MD, PhD  Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Akita University, Japan

Anne Aubert, PhD  Maître de Conférences, Biology, University of La Rochelle, France

Alfons Rüsch, PhD  [Assistant Professor, Sensory Biophysics, University of Tübingen, Deceased, 2002]

James Way-Young Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurology, VAGLAHS/UCLA\

Jeffrey R. Holt, PhD, Professor, Otolaryngology and Neuroscience, Children’s Hospital, Boston

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