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Doris K. Wu, Ph.D.
Photo: Dr. Wu

Chief
Section on Sensory Cell Regeneration and Development
Laboratory of Molecular Biology

NIDCD/NIH
5 Research Ct., Rm 2B34
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 402-4214
Fax: (301) 402-5475
E-mail: wud@nidcd.nih.gov

Ph.D., UCLA

Research Statement

developmental mouse inner ear image

Morphogenesis of the mouse inner ear from embryonic day 10.75 to postnatal day 1. Mouse specimens from various ages were fixed, cleared, and the lumen of the inner ear was filled with a latex paint solution (Cantos et al. 2000; For a detailed description of this paint filling technique, see Morsli et al. 1998.) View larger image.

Humans and many animals rely on the inner ear, an intricate sensory organ, to hear and to maintain balance. Inner ear development is a complex process that is dependent on a cascade of molecular events, which occur in a precise temporal sequence. Any missteps in this process will most likely result in some degree of dysfunction affecting the abilities to hear and maintain balance.

My laboratory's goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of this complex structure. Our focus is on identifying the tissues and signaling molecules that specify the three primary cell types (neural, sensory, and nonsensory) which make up the inner ear. We are also interested in the developmental mechanisms that dictate the spatial position and orientation of each of the inner ear components with respect to the overall body axes. To address these questions, we perform in ovo manipulations of chicken embryos and generate chicken and mouse models with genetic modifications.

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