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Research in the Tempel lab uses mice to study the genes that cause hearing loss. The specializations that allow auditory transduction in the cochlea and the demand for fast and precise signaling into the brain are the likely reasons why there are such a large number of different genes, mutations in which cause hearing loss.
We currently have three major projects underway in Tempel Lab:
- Genetics of Noise Resistance
Some strains of mice are very resistant to prolonged loud noise. We are trying to identify the genes that provide protection.
- Calcium Regulation
Calcium is required for sound transduction in the ear as well as for auditory neurons to fire. Mutations in deafwaddler mice allow us to study role of calcium in both hair cells and auditory neurons.
Potassium channel genes help make action potentials be very precise. In mutant mice we can study the role of potassium channels in the sound localization pathway in the brainstem.