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Dr. Stone's major research interests focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hair cell production during development and regeneration in the avian auditory and vestibular systems. Her previous efforts have led to the identification of markers for specific cell types in hair cell epithelia and the development of in vitro tools with which to study regulation of hair cell regeneration. The goal is to extend the capacity for regeneration to the mammalian inner ear.
Currently, Stone is using immunohistochemical and molecular methods guiding embryonic and post-embryonic production of sensory hair cells in birds to identify specific molecules that are critical for cell proliferation and cell fate decisions during hair cell regeneration and to learn how the avian response to hair cell injury differs from that of mammals. Stone and colleagues use a variety of methodological approaches to address neuroscience questions, including cell and organ culture, electroporation- and viral-mediated gene transfer, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, gene expression analyses, and cell transplantation.
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