Our research group investigates inner ear balance functions and its associated diseases with a strong translational approach. On the basic science level, we explore the cellular and molecular basis of fluid and tissue homeostasis in the inner ear that creates and maintains the proper “milieu” for the sense of balance.
On the clinical science level, we aim to apply this knowledge to develop new diagnostic methods and explore new treatment strategies for diseases that affect the sense of balance, such as Meniere’s disease, chronic vestibular loss, vestibular schwannoma, and genetic diseases of the endolymphatic sac.Show publications
Hearing is pivotal for human verbal communication, social interactions and general alertness to our surroundings. Hearing impairment as a consequence has a profound effect on the quality of life of the affected individuals. Specialized sensory cells located into the inner ear translate with remarkable speed and accuracy sound-induced vibrations of different loudness and pitch into chemical signals that can be interpreted by the brain as sound. Loss or damage of these sensory cells results in permanent hearing loss as the human inner ear cannot repair after damage. This is sharp contrast with the regenerative capacity observed in non-mammalian species. The long-term goal of our research is to develop novel therapeutic strategies to counteract sensorineural hearing loss by uncovering fundamental biological principles that underlay development and disease. We are making use of in vitro models known as “inner ear organoids” to gain insight into inner ear sensory organ development and to model disease. Further we exploit them as in vitro tools to validate novel therapeutics.
Inner Ear Stem Cell Lab
Dissertant, Klinik für Ohren-, Nasen-, Hals- und Gesichtschirurgie