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Dr. Stone's research interests focus on the regeneration, homeostasis, and morphology of inner ear hair cells. Her group examines the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell development and regeneration in the auditory and vestibular systems, in both birds and mammals. They are taking advantage of the natural capabilities of birds to regenerate hair cells and restore hearing and balance function, by analyzing the genes and molecular pathways they employ after hair cell damage. The Stone lab is also investigating the innate capacities of mammals to regenerate hair cells after damage and designing strategies to promote functional recovery in rodents after damage as well as studing the morphology of type II vestibular hair cells and the cell lineage that forms type II hair cells, in normal and damaged conditions. The long term goal of the lab is to develop biological treatments for hearing and balance disorders.
Stone's lab uses a variety of methodological approaches to address neuroscience questions, including cell and organ culture, gene misexpression (using electroporation- and viral-mediated gene transfer, as well as Cre-Lox technology), immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, gene expression analyses (RNAseq, in situ hybridization), and cell fate mapping.
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