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Progress Toward Hair Cell Regeneration and the Restoration of Hearing

Event Date: June 28, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET
Location: Virtual
Presenter: Matthew W. Kelley, Ph.D., Chief, Section on Developmental Neuroscience, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Sensory hair cells in the inner ear.
Sensory hair cells (purple) in the inner ear function to convert sound into neural input to the brain.

Source: Helen Maunsell, NIDCD/NIH

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in a virtual lecture open to all staff and the public, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) senior investigator, Matthew W. Kelley, Ph.D., will explain how the process of hearing relies on the proper functioning of specialized cells in the inner ear, and discuss the potential for hair cell regeneration in humans.

The virtual lecture will be open to all. Live captioning will be available.

The sensory hair cells of the inner ear (they are called hair cells because of tiny bundles of hair-like stereocilia that sit on top of each one) detect sounds and send that information to the parts of our brain that interpret and respond to the sound. Over our lifetimes, these hair cells can be damaged or destroyed by exposure to loud noises or certain medications, by physical injury, or by normal aging. For years, scientists around the world have researched how to regrow and replace damaged or destroyed hair cells to restore hearing.

Dr. Kelley will discuss recent research on replacing damaged or destroyed hair cells. He leads the NIDCD Section on Developmental Neuroscience, which identifies the molecular and cellular factors that play a role in the development of the different structures within the cochlea and inner ear, including hair cells. Research from Dr. Kelley’s lab, combined with the work of other colleagues, has identified a gene that may hold the key to developing new hair cells.

This seminar is part of a series of talks led by researchers from the NIDCD, part of the National Institutes of Health, called Beyond the Lab, Understanding Communication Disorders. The speaker series is an opportunity for everyone inside and outside of the NIH—administrative staff, support staff, scientists, and the public—to learn about NIDCD research in communication disorders, conditions that significantly affect about 20 percent of U.S. adults at some point in their lives.

The live videocast will be captioned and recorded for later viewing. Individuals with disabilities who need sign language interpreting and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Lonnie Lisle (telephone: 240-464-4355) by June 21.

About the Speaker

Profile photo of Matthew Kelley

Matthew W. Kelley, Ph.D., joined the NIDCD in 2000, first as acting chief and then (since 2004) as chief of the Section on Developmental Neuroscience. Prior to coming to the NIH, he received a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Georgetown University in 1996. Dr. Kelley's laboratory currently focuses on the cellular and molecular development of the mammalian cochlea.

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