Please see Ithaca College Chemistry web page. https://www.ithaca.edu/academics/school-humanities-and-sciences/chemist…
Guest Speaker Elli Hartig ’13 Ph.D. Candidate
of Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME will be joining us on Tuesday, September 28th at 12:10 pm will present:
Maintaining the Architecture of Sensory Hair Cells Throughout Life
Our abilities to hear and balance are dependent on a limited, non-renewable population of sensory “hair” cells in the inner ear. These cells have a unique cytoskeletal structure characterized by an arrangement of membrane projections called stereocilia. The highly ordered patterning of stereocilia into rows of graded height allows for optimal capture of mechanical stimuli, e.g. sound waves, and its transduction to neurons. Numerous proteins and cellular processes are involved in stereocilia development and maintenance, as evidenced by the diverse genetic origins of human sensorineural deafness and vestibular dysfunction. My studies focus on a group of proteins that are required for establishing the stereocilia height differential, deemed the Elongation Complex. Loss of function in any Elongation Complex member during development results in hair cell dysmorphology and profound congenital deafness. However, much remains unknown about the activity of this complex in mature hair cells. I study how these developmentally required proteins behave in adulthood and their putative role in maintaining the precise architecture of stereocilia after it has been initially established. Insight into these processes will inform therapies for age-related hearing loss, extending the healthspan of our aging population.