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The research programs in Rubelab endeavor to understand cellular processes underlying the development of information processing in the auditory system. Anatomical, physiological, and acoustical methods are used to examine development of cellular mechanisms underlying acoustic signal processing by the inner ear.
Our research uses a wide variety of methods and numerous preparations to better understand development, plasticity, pathology and potential repair of the inner ear and auditory pathways of the brain. We investigate both the fundamental neurobiology of hearing and translational opportunities of the present and future that are directed toward preventing and curing hearing loss and balance disorders.
Our research spans a range of programs:
- An investigation of how the cellular processes underlying the development of information processing in the auditory system.
- To understand how experience influences brain development, we study the cellular nature of signals that influence the growth, remodeling, and maintenance of neuronal and glial elements.
- The cellular and molecular events involved in hair cell death caused by environmental toxins and aging.
- In contrast to humans, birds can regenerate inner ear receptor cells (hair cells) destroyed by noise or toxins. We study the cellular and molecular events responsible for this hair cell regeneration.