Our research focuses on a wide-ranging studies in auditory and speech, head and neck oncology, and sinus and rhinology. Areas of research include the coding of sound in the normal auditory systems of animals and humans; effects of hearing-loss and deafness on the function of the auditory nervous system; reorganization of the auditory system in development, learning, and following injury; use of electrical stimulation with cochlear implants in restoration of hearing; improvement of electronic hearing aids; treatment of tinnitus; genetic causes of hearing impairment; use of genetic methods in the treatment of hearing loss.
Auditory and Speech Research
Our goals and research focuses are to explore mechanisms by which chronic ICES promotes the survival of auditory nerve neurons in profound hearing loss, study the influence of early deafness with ICES on degradation in the selectivity of auditory nerve projections to the cochlear nucleus, examine the structural and functional changes within the central auditory system elicited by deafness and various formats of chronic ICES, and determine whether potentially negative functional changes in the central auditory system induced by chronic ICES delivered on a single broadband CI channel are reversible later in life.
In our lab, we are interested in studying the genetics and pathophysiology of hearing loss associated with mutations in Connexin 26. Using a combination of genetic techniques in animal models and electrophysiological and imaging-based physiologic methods in both in vivo and ex vivo systems.
A major focus is determining the role of auditory feedback in speaking by examining how speakers respond to real time alterations of their audio feedback. As a result of our research on auditory feedback in speaking, we have developed a computational model of the speech motor control system based on modern state-space control theory, which is also currently being investigated in the lab.
Head and Neck Oncology Research
We are interested in understanding the identity and function of the events that reprogram normal cells into tumor cells. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a morbid and frequently lethal disease.
Over the last 30 years, Head and Neck Cell Biology and Stem Cell Therapeutics Laboratory have been involved with the assessment of the biochemical, molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying the cellular responses to agents that modify genomic sequences and the subsequent changes in the expression patterns of DNA repair and replication genes.
Our ultimate goal is to understand the mechanisms of oncogenesis in order to find therapeutic options for the neoplasms of the Head and Neck. We focus on salivary gland cancers, explore biological behavior of molecular basis of ACC, and development target therapies for ACC and other head and neck cancers.
Using advanced nanoprobing systems providing new optical, electronic, and magnetic capabilities, aiming to visualize and to control dynamic motions of key biomolecules regulating important cellular processes such as development and tumorigenesis, and hence understand how the spatiotemporal dynamics of biomolecules across a cell population influence/determine the individual cells' fate and thus orchestrate ensemble behaviors of cells.
We believe that our wide range of backgrounds, cultures, subspecialties and singular visions of operative Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology are our best assets, rather than our main limitations, to advancing in minimal impact Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology.
Sinus and Rhinology Research
Human Microbiome Laboratory