THE RESEARCH TEAM

WORLD-CLASS RESEARCHERS

Stanford has assembled an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and physicians drawing upon a broad range of expertise for the shared purpose of curing hearing loss.

By sustaining a research culture that encourages collaborative teamwork and a focus toward translational medicine – a close interrelationship between basic science investigators and the surgeons and physicians working directly with patients—Stanford continues to lay the groundwork for previously unimaginable ways to treat and prevent disease.

Dr. Nikolas Blevins, MD

Microendoscopy
Nikolas Blevins,
MD

Dr Alan Cheng, MD

Developmental and Regenerative Biology
Alan Cheng,
MD

Dr Nicolas Grillet, PhD

Mouse Genetics
Nicolas Grillet,
PhD

Dr Stephan Heller, PhD

Developmental and Regenerative Biology
Stefan Heller,
PhD

Lab Research
Lab Research
Lab Research
Lab Research
Dr Teresa Nicolson, PhD

Zebrafish Genetics
Teresa Nicolson,
PhD

Dáibhid Ó Maoiléidigh, PhD

Computational Modeling
Dáibhid Ó Maoiléidigh,
PhD

Dr Anthony Ricci, PhD

Cellular Physiology
Anthony Ricci,
PhD

Dr Peter Santa Maria, MBBS, PhD

Chronic Otitis Media
Peter Santa Maria, MBBS, PhD

Lab Research
Lab Research
Lab Research
Lab Research

The Cheng Lab

alan cheng headshot

To detect sounds and have a sense of balance, we rely on our inner ear organs, the cochlea, and vestibular organs. Within them are sensory hair cells that are mechanosensitive yet susceptible to damage and irreversibly lost. The Cheng lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the development and regeneration of these sensory hair cells.

Lab Website
cheng lab abstract

The Grillet Lab

grillet headshot

The Grillet lab focuses on understanding how sensory cells in the inner ear detect sounds, and in particular, which molecules provide force-sensitivity to the “antenna-like” structure that covers these cells. The lab uses genetics to perturb and study these molecules in the mouse, mimicking human genetics forms of hearing loss.”

Lab Website
Graphical abstract for the Grillet lab.

The Heller Lab

heller headshot

Our laboratory works on inner ear development and regeneration, as well as on the biology of sensory hair cells, the mechanosensitive cells of the inner ear. Using molecular biological and bioinformatics-based approaches, we aim to fundamentally understand the mechanisms of inner ear cell regeneration in animals such as chickens that recover naturally from hearing loss. We further utilize stem cell-based in vitro assays to assess suitable regenerative targets that can be activated with drugs, and exploring reprogramming as well as cell transplantation strategies for the treatment of hearing loss.

Lab Website
heller lab graphical abstract

The Nicolson Lab

nicolson headshot

We study how things can go wrong in the auditory/vestibular system and potential ways of fixing it. Using unbiased approaches with zebrafish as our animal model, we have identified the key players for the function of sensory hair cells and auditory/vestibular neural circuits in the brain. Our goal is to understand hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction at the molecular level.

Lab Website
nicolson lab headshot

The Ó Maoiléidigh Lab

daibhid headshot

Hearing loss arises from breakdowns in sound processing by the auditory system. Our goal is to understand sound processing mechanistically so that new strategies for treating hearing impairment can be developed. We use physics, mathematics, and computing to build models of the ear’s components that explain and predict how the auditory system works.

Lab Website
O'Maoileidigh Lab graphical abstract

The Ricci Lab

anthony ricci headshot

(1) We investigate the mechanical and molecular underpinnings of hair cell mechanoelectrical transduction with a focus upon the role of the lipid bilayer and the hair bundle mechanics. (2) We are developing nonototoxic antibiotics. (3) We investigate synaptic specializations driving information transfer from the hair cell to the CNS.

Lab Website
anthony ricci lab graphical abstract

The Santa Maria Lab

santa maria headshot

We are working towards understanding the mechanisms and potential treatments for chronic middle ear infections, the largest cause of permanent hearing loss in the developing world. We are investigating why sensory hearing loss occurs in these infections and have developed novel therapeutics aimed at clearing infections and to regenerate the tympanic membrane.

Lab Website
santa maria lab graphical abstract