AHH seminar: Translational hearing research through cochlear gene targeting

Professor Gary Housely

Presenter: Professor Gary Housley
Date: Tuesday 25 September
Time: 10.00am – 11.30am
Location: Level 1, Lecture Theatre, Australian Hearing Hub

10.00am – 10.05am –  Welcome
10.05 am – 10.50am – Presentation
10.50am – 11.00am – Q & A
11.00am – 11.30am – Refreshments

Abstract: Targeting gene expression in the cochlea has revealed new features of the regulation of hearing sensitivity and translational opportunities to protect or rescue hearing loss. Three areas of this research program are: (A) Elucidating the sensory drive for contralateral suppression (where sound in one ear inhibits hearing in the opposite ear). This utilized the peripherin knockout mouse model, where loss of the type III intermediate filament peripherin in the type II spiral ganglion neurons disrupted their selective innervation of the outer hair cells and eliminated the olivocochlear efferent-based contralateral suppression. This informs understanding of hearing in noise.  (B) Purinergic hearing adaptation. In the P2rx2 knockout mouse, moderately loud noise failed to reduce hearing sensitivity, whereas wildtype littermates exhibited a loss of hearing that was maintained for many hours.  This indicates that a substantial component of reversible noise-induced hearing loss arises from ATP release activating cochlear ATP-gated ion channels. People with a loss of function mutation in this (P2RX2) gene exhibit autosomal dominant progressive hearing loss (DFNA41).  (C) BaDGE® – Bionic array Directed Gene Electrotransfer. The spiral ganglion afferent innervation of the cochlear hair cells is supported by neurotrophin expression (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and NT-3).  BaDGE® utilising a development of the cochlear implant electrode array has enabled neurotrophin gene augmentation to stimulate spiral ganglion neurite regrowth that closes the neural gap and enhances the neural interface. These programs have been supported by NHMRC and ARC funding.

Bio: Gary Housley is a research Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where he holds the Chair of Physiology and is Director of the Translational Neuroscience Facility. He has contributed prominently to the understanding of cochlear physiology around noise and age-related hearing loss and molecular neuroscience associated with development, injury, neuroprotection and repair in the nervous system. He has a track record in translational neuroscience with patent filings for drug and devices around neuroprotection and neuro-regenerative medicine applications. He leads a first-in-human DNA therapeutics clinical trial for neurotrophin gene augmentation to enhance cochlear implants, in a multi-centre collaboration with UNSW, Macquarie University, University of Sydney, the Bionics Institute in Melbourne (U. Melbourne), the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, and industry partner, Cochlear Ltd.

Please register by Tuesday 18 September 2018 to louise.dodd@mq.edu.au