MODELING INNER EAR DEVELOPMENT AND DISEASE
3D STEM CELL BIOLOGY
How do multipotent otic progenitors give rise to different cell types in the human inner ear during embryonic development? What degree do these progenitors possess the potential to switch cell fates?
How do certain genetic mutations cause abnormal development of inner ear structure and function? Are there ways to delay or reverse abnormal development of the inner ear?
Do small molecules with the ability of promoting hair cell differentiation promote hair cell regeneration in the human inner ear? Does inhibition of a histone demethylase promote hair cell differentiation and/or regeneration?
Research in the Hashino Lab is centered on recapitulating normal and pathological development of the neurosensory systems, with a major focus on the inner ear, using human pluripotent stem cells in 3D culture. Organoids, 3D self-organizing structures derived from pluripotent stem cells, can recapitulate many aspects of structural organization and functionality of their in vivo organ counterparts, thus holding great promise for biomedical research and translational applications. By leveraging our expertise in CRISPR/Cas9 genome technology, we are generating inner ear/brain organoids harboring disease-associated mutations, and also various reporter stem cell lines for prompt identification of specific cell lineages. Ongoing research projects in the lab include: (1) Investigation of inner ear/neurodevelopmental disorders, (2) Elucidation of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying human inner ear development, and (3) Identification of novel chemical compounds with the potential of regenerating sensory hair cells in the human the inner ear.
Department of Otolaryngology
Stark Neurosciences Res Institute
Indiana University School of Medicine
980 West Walnut Street
Walther Hall C470
Indianapolis, IN 46202