Hearing loss and acidosis in the cochlea

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Karina Needham Personal web page

Project Details

The auditory system is vulnerable to a number of pathological conditions (i.e. ischemia, excessive noise exposure) that cause acidification or acidosis (a drop in the extracellular pH of a cell). Exposure to extreme or prolonged acidosis is toxic to neurons. Evidence suggests that this is mediated in part by acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a family of proton-gated ion channels activated by extracellular acidosis and modulated by a range of signalling molecules, such as inflammatory mediators. The role of ASICs in the cochlea and in response to trauma is emerging as an important one in triggering hearing loss. This project will investigate how activation of ASICs by acidosis contributes to hearing pathologies such as sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.

We are using a number of experimental approaches to examine this question, including hearing assessments (electrophysiology), immunohistochemistry to characterise biochemical/neurochemical markers and synaptic proteins, tissue culture of cochlea sections, and patch-clamp recordings. This project would suit students with an interest in any of the following disciplines: physiology, neuroscience, pathology, anatomy, cell biology, pharmacology or biochemistry and molecular biology.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Group / Unit / Centre

Hearing Neurosciences

Research Node

Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

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