Development of sensory structures in the zebrafish
The lateral line is a placode-derived structure used by acquatic vertebrates to detect water flow. It consists of groups of mechanosensory hair cells clustered into neuromasts on the surface of the animal.
We are interested in how neuromasts are initially positioned in the head and body, and how new neuromasts are formed as the animal grows.
Sensory Hair Cell Death and Regeneration
Zebrafish mechanosensory hair cells are susceptible to environmental insult resulting in death, just as are those in the mammalian inner ear.
We are using the genetics of the zebrafish to identify modifiers of hair cell death. In addition, we are studying how new hair cells regenerate after damage.