Sensori-Motor Repair Group
Broadly, our aim is to translate discoveries about transmembrane receptor and ion channel signal transduction, into new platforms for treatment of neurological disorders. Our research program focuses on neuroprotection and repair in sensori-motor pathways. A principal area of research concerns the molecular and cellular basis of hearing loss (auditory neuroscience), where we investigate cell signalling that contributes to sensory hair cell and neuronal death due to noise and aging. Study of neural development and synaptic plasticity in the auditory system informs on gene-targets for neural repair. This research has an applied arm with respect to bionics such as the cochlear implant, and more broadly in developing neural interfaces with the brain. Within the brain, we are investigating neural plasticity associated with driven input ( e.g. via the cochlear implant) and mechanisms for protection and repair of the nervous system (such as ischaemic brain injury, a model of stroke). Hearing loss is the most prominent sensory disability in our society. Stroke is the third highest killer and the most disabling for survivors. Our work is supported by national and international collaborations and funding.
Prof. Allen Ryan (Univ. California, San Diego, USA); Prof. Peter Thorne, Dr. Srdjan Vlajkovic, Dr. Johanna Montgomery & Dr. Meagan Barclay (Univ. Auckland, NZ); Prof. Jean-Pierre Julien (Laval University, Quebec, CAD), Prof. Lutz Birnbaumer (NIEHS-NIH, USA); Prof. Graham Galloway, Dr. Nyoman Kurniawan, Dr. Gary Cowin (Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Univ. Queensland, AU); Dr. Baljit Khakh (Univ.California, Los Angeles, USA), Prof. Guy Van Camp, Dr. Jeroen Huyghe, Dr. Erik Fransen (Univ. Antwerp, Belgium); Prof. Shin-ichi Usami (Shinshu Univ., Japan); Prof. Don Robertson (Univ. Western Australia, Perth, AU).
Cochlear Ltd (Dr. Jim Patrick , Dr. Martin Svehla)
Roche Palo Alto (Dr. Deborah Cockayne)
Grants & Funding
NHMRC Project Grant 2010 - ID No. 630618
Hearing protection conferred by P2X2 receptor signaling in the cochlea
ARC Linkage Grant - LP0992098
Gene therapy to enhance auditory prothesis performance for cochlear implants
ARC Discovery Grant 2010 - DP1097202
Physiological significance of transient receptor potential (TRPC3) ion channels in the cochleapuri