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EARssentials: Concepts and Techniques of Contemporary Hearing Research 2020

P15 mouse inner hair cells of the organ of Corti used for immunofluorescent detection of actin filaments (shown in green, Phaloidin-488) and Eps8 (shown in red) by confocal microscopy superresolution imaging.

Source: Ivan Rebustini, Ph.D.

Hair cells in the mouse cochlea that have been immunostained and imaged via confocal microscopy.

Source: Benjamin Gersten

Zebrafish neuromast with ribbon synapses.

Source: Natalie Mosqueda

Join us for EARssentials 2020, to be held online July 20-24! EARssentials provides students with an overall conceptual view of the auditory system as well as exposure to laboratory techniques unique to research on the inner ear. In the seventh year of this free, week-long course, hosted and taught primarily by scientists at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), all lectures will be conducted virtually.

The primary audience for this course is new intramural NIDCD trainees, including postdoctoral, graduate, postbaccalaureate, and summer students. Scientists from other institutions are welcome to attend as well. The course is also useful for others who want to learn about concepts related to the auditory system.

This year, due to our inability to congregate in person, we will flip the traditional classroom lecture model. Participants will individually watch archived lectures from the 2016 EARssentials course and then come together to participate in live virtual lunchtime discussions (Eastern time) with course faculty. There will not be a hands-on laboratory component in 2020, but there will be a virtual mouse genetics lab, and the week will end with a live panel that explores current treatments for hearing loss and the careers of some of the clinician-scientists at the NIDCD.

If you would like to participate in this year’s virtual EARssentials course, please e-mail Karen Fischer(link sends e-mail) before July 10 to register.

Course Schedule

Monday, July 20
Noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern: Discussion session covering the following topics. To participate, watch the video on these topics prior to the discussion. Video source: 2016 EARssentials course.

  • Course introduction.
  • Introduction to the auditory system.
  • Auditory mechanics and the traveling wave.
  • History of auditory research.

Tuesday, July 21
Noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern: Discussion session covering the following topics. To participate, watch the video on these topics prior to the discussion. Video source: 2016 EARssentials course.

  • Introduction to the vestibular system.
  • Development of the inner ear.
  • Spiral ganglion.

Wednesday, July 22
Noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern: Discussion session covering the following topics. To participate, watch the video on these topics prior to the discussion. Video source: 2016 EARssentials course.

  • The stereocilia bundle and mechanotransduction.
  • Hair cells/hair cell death/age-related hearing loss/protection.

Thursday, July 23
Noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern: Discussion session covering the following topics. To participate, watch the video on these topics prior to the discussion. Video source: 2016 EARssentials course.

  • Hair cell regeneration.
  • The hair cell synapse/efferent regulation of auditory function.

2:00-5:30 p.m. Eastern: Live virtual laboratory session: Introduction to mouse genetics (registration required).


Friday, July 24
11:30 a.m.-noon Eastern: Discussion session covering the following topics. To participate, watch the video on these topics prior to the discussion. Video source: 2016 EARssentials course.

  • Lateral line.
  • Genetics of hearing loss.
  • Clinical treatments.
  • Introduction to gene profiling and bioinformatics.

Noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern: Live clinical panel (registration required). The discussion will be driven by audience questions, but possible topics may include: 

  • The latest advances in the treatment of hearing loss.
  • The unique rewards and challenges associated with a career as a clinician-scientist.

*Note: PDF files require a viewer such as the free Adobe Reader (link is external).

Event Location: 

Videocast (pre-recorded and live)

Event type: 
NIDCD Event
Last Updated Date: 
June 25, 2020