Mechanisms and treatment of noise induced hearing loss

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Dr Hayden Eastwood Personal web page
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Stephen O’Leary Personal web page

Project Details

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is an enormous and expanding health problem in Australia and worldwide and currently there is no medical treatment to slow or reverse the damage it causes to the inner ear. Recently it has been shown that the nerves within the inner ear are often the primary casualty of noise trauma and that this ‘hidden hearing loss’ has largely been undetected. The aim of this project is to attempt to uncover the causes, mechanisms, impact and potential treatments for hidden hearing loss.

We will examine the entire auditory neuraxis from the cochlea to the auditory cortex, exploring the degeneration of nerves in response to noise and the potential for restoration of nerves with drug treatments. We have several projects available for dedicated Honours or PhD students.

Approaches include:

  • Morphological analysis using neural tract tracing, activity-dependent genes, cytoarchitectural/neurochemical characterisation of auditory neurons and the examination of the hair cell-nerve ribbon synapse;
  • Imaging of whole or partial cochlea and brain specimens using Thin Slice Laser Imaging and Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy;
  • Functional testing using evoked potential, single-unit and multichannel electrophysiology, laser vibrometry and voltage-sensitive dyes;
  • Pharmacological treatments including nerve growth factors and further development of minimally invasive drug delivery strategies.

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

Research Node

Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

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