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Personal profile

Research interests

Auditory hair cells are responsible for our ability to hear, and irreversible damage of these delicate sensory cells is the most common cause of deafness in the UK.

My research focuses on the role of intracellular calcium in signal transduction in mammalian hair cells. Increases in intracellular calcium are involved in several important processes in mammalian hair cells and my lab focuses on its role in adaptation of the mechanotransducer current and in triggering of transmitter release.

The hair cell bundle is exquisitely sensitive to mechanical motion, with deflections of less than the diameter of an atom being sufficient to open transducer channels in vivo. We have studied the transducer current and its calcium dependent adaptation during development and after the onset of hearing. We have shown that the mammalian auditory system is capable of extremely fast adaptation in the order of 100 microseconds or less, and that the speed of adaptation is related to the characteristic frequency of the hair cell.

We are also interested in calcium signaling in the basal pole of the inner hair cell, close to afferent transmitter release sites. Using simultaneous patch-clamping and confocal imaging we have demonstrated that calcium induced calcium release occurs in the basal pole of hair cells. We are now studying its role in triggering transmitter release from the inner hair cell synapse during development of hearing.

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Research Output

  • 34 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 5 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)
  • 2 Working paper and Preprints

Torsades-de-Pointes Predisposing Risk Factors (TdPPRFs) in a cohort of patients maintained on high dose methadone – a clinical safety caseload analysis

Iosub, R., Hawkins, S., McCarville, C., Kennedy, H., Williams, K. & Watson, B., 12 May 2016, In : European Psychiatry. 33, Supplement, p. S301-S302 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Calcium-induced calcium release during action potential firing in developing inner hair cells

    Iosub, R., Avitabile, D., Grant, L., Tsaneva-Atanasova, K. & Kennedy, H. J., 10 Mar 2015, In : Biophysical Journal. 108, 5, 6394.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • 8 Citations (Scopus)

    Regulation of alternative VEGF-A mRNA splicing is a therapeutic target for analgesia

    Hulse, R. P., Beazley-Long, N., Hua, J., Kennedy, H., Prager, J., Bevan, H., Qiu, Y., Fernandes, E. S., Gammons, M. V., Ballmer-Hofer, K., Gittenberger de Groot, A. C., Churchill, A. J., Harper, S. J., Brain, S. D., Bates, D. O. & Donaldson, L. F., Nov 2014, In : Neurobiology of Disease. 71, 1, p. 245-259 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    30 Citations (Scopus)