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Symposium & 57th Inner Ear Biology Workshop – IEB 2022

Symposium & 57th Inner Ear Biology Workshop – IEB 2022 will take place in Trieste, Italy on 10-13 September 2022.

The Workshop will focus on the genetics, pathology and therapies of the inner ear, highlighting the importance to bridge basic research into clinical application, and will be preceded by a Symposium on “Hearing loss: from inner ear biology to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches. (information and updates on


4th Frequency-Following Response Workshop - 8-10 June 2022 - University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain)

About the Workshop

The Frequency Following Response (FFR) is a sustained auditory evoked potential that has gained recent interest in auditory cognitive neuroscience over the past few years, as it captures with great fidelity the tracking accuracy of periodic sound features in the ascending auditory system. By analyzing the FFR it is possible to read neural traces from the scalp as sounds are transcribed in the neuronal aggregates and how these neural sound traces are shaped by different auditory experiences, context, and challenging conditions, such as listening in noise, with age and in speech and language disorders. Moreover, the number of developmental studies recording the FFR during the first years of life in healthy and clinical conditions are growing exponentially, as the FFR provides a neurophysiological correlate of language acquisition and processing.

Despite its popularity, a lot remains unknown about the FFR: what are the underlying processes involved in generating the response and what do the components making up the FFR reflect exactly? What kind of analyses are most appropriate to characterize the response? And what does inter-individual variability in the FFR signify? The aim of this workshop is to bring the FFR community together and to open up the discussion on the origins and interpretation of the response, explore new recording and analysis techniques, and discuss hot topics in this rapidly evolving field.

Confirmed Speakers

Erika Skoe (keynote), University of Connecticut
Gavin Bidelman (keynote), University of Memphis
Bharath Chandrasekaran (keynote), University of Pittsburgh

Gabriella Musacchia, University of the Pacific
Tobias Teichert, University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer Krizman, Northwestern University
Teresa Ribas-Prats, University of Barcelona


Important dates
Abstract submission deadline 1 March 2022
Notification of abstract acceptance 20 March 2022
Early registration Until 20 April 2022
Late registration 21 April - 1 June 2022
Congress dates 8-10 June 2022

Registration fees

Early payment (until 20 April 2022)
Students: 75 €

Postdocs/PIs: 125 €

Late payment (21 April - 1 June 2022)
Students: 100 €

Postdocs/PIs: 200 €

9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference (MARC)

JUNE 23-25, 2022

Palmer Commons
100 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Kresge Hearing Research Institute is pleased to host the 9th Midwest Auditory Research Conference (MARC) on June 23-25, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The MARC was created as a setting for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge auditory and vestibular research and to foster a high level of interaction among students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty scientists. 


  • To foster collaborations among basic, clinical, and translational hearing and vestibular scientists and clinicians from the Midwest.
  • To provide an affordable and accessible opportunity for graduate and postdoctoral students to present their work while interacting with national leaders in the field at a national-caliber scientific meeting.

Star-studded line up of Keynote Speakers:

  • Ruth Anne Eatock
  • Gwenaelle Geleoc
  • Maria Neimark Geffen
  • Elisabeth Glowatzki
  • Matthew Kelley
  • Barbara Shinn-Cunningham
  • Larry Trussell

Presentation topics:

  • Hair Cell Function
  • Genetics of Hearing Loss & Gene Therapy
  • Cortical Processing
  • Hair Cell Synapses
  • Development & Regeneration
  • Human Psychoacoustics & Imaging
  • Brainstem Circuits
  • Translational Research & Development

Friday Museum ReceptionPlease join us Friday evening during the MARC at the University of Michigan Museum of Art to explore the art collections, enjoy cocktails and dinner, and meet other scientists in the field. The evening will conclude with a discussion on how to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in auditory and vestibular research featuring a panel lead by Dr. David Brown, University of Michigan Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Biology of the Inner Ear – BIE 2022

Biology of the Inner Ear – BIE 2022

Advanced research course on experimental approaches to auditory and vestibular systems

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

August 3-25 2022 - Apply by May 16


Directors - Ruth Anne Eatock, Andy Groves, Philip Joris

Assistant Directors – Jennifer Rowsell, Bradley Walters


BIE  is the 8th iteration of a course that will introduce investigators to research challenges in auditory and vestibular systems ranging from inner ear development and regeneration to sound perception.  Through intense laboratory, tutorial and seminar exercises, students work closely with over 40 scientists from around the world and different sub-fields of expertise. Laboratory exercises feature diverse model organisms and include advanced microscopy, cell and tissue culture, cellular and systems electrophysiology.    

The Marine Biological Laboratory is renowned for its summer offerings of advanced research courses, and the setting on Cape Cod, Massachusetts is beautiful. 

Applicants must be in graduate school or beyond, and have backgrounds in biological, physical or computational sciences.   Past students have included mid-senior level graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents, and faculty. 

Tuition, room and board are provided.  Partial travel costs will be considered. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 

MBL is an EEO/Affirmative Action Institution


Molecular Neuroscience: Focus on Sensory Disorders Miami Winter Symposium 2023

Conference title:
Molecular Neuroscience: Focus on Sensory Disorders
Miami Winter Symposium 2023 

 Dates:  January 30 – February 1, 2023

 Location:  Miami, FL, USA


 Secretariat:  Gemma Boodell, Elsevier, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1GB, UK


 Short announcement / Synopsis:  The Miami Winter Symposium 2023 is dedicated to Molecular Neuroscience: Focus on Sensory Disorders and includes an international line-up of renowned speakers – selected to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to meet with and hear from representatives from leading research centers on basic research, translational issues, and potential or actual clinical applications in sensory neuroscience.

Abstracts are invited for short Spotlight Talks and Posters on the conference topics - hearing, vision, smell, taste and pain/itch/touch – by September 16, 2022 to supplement the invited plenary program.


EARssentials- Concepts and Techniques of Contemporary Hearing Research (July 18-22, 2022)


Hearing loss can significantly disrupt the ability of children to become mainstreamed in educational environments that emphasize spoken language as a primary means of communication. Similarly, adults who lose their hearing after communicating using spoken language have numerous challenges understanding speech and integrating into social situations. These challenges are particularly significant in noisy situations, where multiple sound sources often arrive at the ears from various directions. Intervention with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants (CIs) has proven to be highly successful for restoring some aspects of communication, including speech understanding and language acquisition. However, there is also typically a notable gap in outcomes relative to normal-hearing listeners. Importantly, auditory abilities operate in the context of how hearing integrates with other senses. Notably, the visual system is tightly couples to the auditory system. Vision is known to impact auditory perception and neural mechanisms in vision and audition are tightly coupled, thus, in order to understand how we hear and how CIs affect auditory perception we must consider the integrative effects across these senses.

We start with Rebecca Alexander, a compelling public speaker who has been living with Usher’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder found in tens of thousands of people, causing both deafness and blindness in humans. Ms. Alexander will be introduced by Dr. Jeffrey Holt, who studies gene therapy strategies for hearing restoration. The symposium then highlights the work of scientists working across these areas. Here we integrate psychophysics, clinical research, and biological approaches, aiming to gain a coherent understanding of how we might ultimately improve outcomes in patients. Drs. Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are new to the ARO community, and will discuss neurobiology of the visual system as it relates to visual prostheses. Dr. Jennifer Groh’s work will then discuss multi-sensory processing and how it is that vision helps us hear. Having set the stage for thinking about the role of vision in a multisensory auditory world, we will hear from experts in the area of cochlear implants. Dr. René H Gifford will discuss recent work on electric-acoustic integration in children and adults, and Dr. Sharon Cushing will discuss her work as a clinician on 3-D auditory and vestibular effects. Dr. Matthew Winn will talk about cognitive load and listening effort using pupillometry, and we will end with Dr. Rob Shepherd’s discussion of current work and future possibilities involving biological treatments and neural prostheses. Together, these presentations are designed to provide a broad and interdisciplinary view of the impact of sensory restoration in hearing, vision and balance, and the potential for future approaches for improving the lives of patients.

Kirupa Suthakar, PhD - Dr Kirupa Suthakar is a postdoctoral fellow at NIH/NIDCD, having formerly trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and doctoral student at Garvan Institute of Medical Research/UNSW Australia.  Kirupa's interest in the mind and particular fascination by how we are able to perceive the world around us led her to pursue a research career in auditory neuroscience.  To date, Kirupa's research has broadly focused on neurons within the auditory efferent circuit, which allow the brain to modulate incoming sound signals at the ear.  Kirupa is active member of the spARO community, serving as the Chair Elect for 2021.



I began studying the vestibular system during my dissertation research at the Università di Pavia with Professors Ivo Prigioni and GianCarlo Russo. I had two postdoctoral fellowships, first at the University of Rochester with Professor Christopher Holt and then at the University of Illinois at Chicago with Professors Jonathan Art and Jay Goldberg.

My research focuses on characterizing the biophysics of synaptic transmission between hair cells and primary afferents in the vestibular system. For many years an outstanding question in vestibular physiology was how the transduction current in the type I hair cell was sufficient, in the face of large conductances on at rest, to depolarize it to potentials necessary for conventional synaptic transmission with its unique afferent calyx.

In collaboration with Dr. Art, I overcame the technical challenges of simultaneously recording from type I hair cells and their enveloping calyx afferent to investigate this question. I was able to show that with depolarization of either hair cell or afferent, potassium ions accumulating in the cleft depolarize the synaptic partner. Conclusions from these studies are that due to the extended apposition between type I hair cell and its afferent, there are three modes of communication across the synapse. The slowest mode of transmission reflects the dynamic changes in potassium ion concentration in the cleft which follow the integral of the ongoing hair cell transduction current. The intermediate mode of transmission is indirectly a result of this potassium elevation which serves as the mechanism by which the hair cell potential is depolarized to levels necessary for calcium influx and the vesicle fusion typical of glutamatergic quanta. This increase in potassium concentration also depolarizes the afferent to potentials that allow the quantal EPSPs to trigger action potentials. The third and most rapid mode of transmission like the slow mode of transmission is bidirectional, and a current flowing out of either hair cell or afferent into the synaptic cleft will divide between a fraction flowing out into the bath, and a fraction flowing across the cleft into its synaptic partner.

The technical achievement of the dual electrode approach has enabled us to identify new facets of vestibular end organ synaptic physiology that in turn raise new questions and challenges for our field. I look forward with great excitement to the next chapter in my scientific story.


Charles C. Della Santina, PhD MD is a Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he directs the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Implant Center and the Johns Hopkins Vestibular NeuroEngineering Laboratory.

As a practicing neurotologic surgeon, Dr. Della Santina specializes in treatment of middle ear, inner ear and auditory/vestibular nerve disorders. His clinical interests include restoration of hearing via cochlear implantation and management of patients who suffer from vestibular disorders, with a particular focus on helping individuals disabled by chronic postural instability and unsteady vision after bilateral loss of vestibular sensation. His laboratory’s research centers on basic and applied research supporting development of vestibular implants, which are medical devices intended to partially restore inner ear sensation of head movement. In addition to that work, his >90 publications include studies characterizing inner ear physiology and anatomy; describing novel clinical tests of vestibular function; and clarifying the effects of cochlear implantation, vestibular implantation, superior canal dehiscence syndrome and intratympanic gentamicin therapy on the inner ear and central nervous system.  Dr. Della Santina is also the founder and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer of Labyrinth Devices LLC, a company dedicated to bringing novel vestibular testing and implant technology into routine clinical care.

Andrew Griffith received his MD and PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1992. He completed his general surgery internship and a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan in 1998. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Human Genetics as part of his training at the University of Michigan. In 1998, he joined the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) in the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). He served as a senior investigator, the chief of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Section, the chief of the Otolaryngology Branch, and the director of the DIR, as well as the deputy director for Intramural Clinical Research across the NIH Intramural Research Program. His research program identifies and characterizes molecular and cellular mechanisms of normal and disordered hearing and balance in humans and mouse models. Two primary interests of his program have been hearing loss associated with enlargement of the vestibular aqueduct, and the function of TMC genes and proteins. The latter work lead to the discovery that the deafness gene product TMC1 is a component of the hair cell sensory transduction channel. Since July of 2020, he has served as the Senior Associate Dean of Research and a Professor of Otolaryngology and Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Gwenaëlle S. G. Géléoc obtained a PhD in Sensory Neurobiology from the University of Sciences in Montpellier (France) in 1996. She performed part of her PhD training at the University of Sussex, UK where she characterized sensory transduction in vestibular hair cells and a performed a comparative study between vestibular and cochlear hair cells. Gwenaelle continued her training as an electrophysiologist at University College London studying outer hair cell motility and at Harvard Medical School studying modulation of mechanotransduction in vestibular hair cells. As an independent investigator at the University of Virginia, she expanded this work and characterized the developmental acquisition of sensory transduction in mouse vestibular hair cells, the developmental acquisition of voltage-sensitive conductances in vestibular hair cells and the tonotopic gradient in the acquisition of sensory transduction in the mouse cochlea. This work along with quantitative spatio-temporal studies performed on several hair cell mechanotransduction candidates lead her to TMC1 and 2 and long-term collaborations with Andrew Griffith and Jeff Holt. Dr. Géléoc is currently Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, at Boston Children’s Hospital where she continues to study molecular players involved in the development and function of hair cells of the inner ear and develops new therapies for the treatment of deafness and balance, with a particular focus on Usher syndrome.

Jeff Holt earned a doctorate from the Department of Physiology at the University of Rochester in 1995 for his studies of inward rectifier potassium channels in saccular hair cells.  He went on to a post-doctoral position in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he characterized sensory transduction and adaptation in hair cells and developed a viral vector system to transfect cultured hair cells.  Dr. Holt’s first faculty position was in the Neuroscience Department at the University of Virginia.  In 2011 the lab moved to Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Holt is currently a Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Neurology in the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center.  Dr. Holt and his team have been studying sensory transduction in auditory and vestibular hair cells over the past 20 years, with particular focus on TMC1 and TMC2 over the past 12 years.  This work lead to the discovery that TMC1 forms the hair cell transduction channel.  His work also focuses on development gene therapy strategies for genetic hearing loss.