The Inner Ear Physiology Core provides access to knowledge and training allowing the user to learn and understand whole animal inner ear physiology technologies as well as cellular physiology on hair cells, neurons, and heterologous expression systems. The Core is integrated into the overall philosophy of the Stanford OHNS Core Center to provide a hub for knowledge and technology (Aim 1). This includes stimulating and inspiring discussion among users and to eliminate thresholds that otherwise would prevent users to seek training to expand the scope of their work toward incorporating physiological techniques. An immediate result of such training is that is stimulates advanced discussions of scientific questions and communication among users and the Core Center personnel. The resulting stimulation of collaborative research (Aim 2) has been successful in the past funding period, which is a good indicator for the overall value of this kind of approach. The core provides access and training for measuring auditory brainstem response (ABR), distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE), arid vestibular evoked potentials (VsEPs). Patch clamping and hair cell transduction experiments are provided on customized rigs and allow users to gain access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise (Aim 3) allowing them to establish experimental repertoires and research programs that without the Core Center would be impossible and economically unfeasible.
Access to equipment that requires expert maintenance and advanced training for optimal use can most efficiently be capitalized through the implemented Core Center. For an individual laboratory, it would be economically unbearable to maintain such broad and up-to-date capabilities. Implementing a philosophy where the user base is being educated to utilize the Core-provided technology in the best possible way creates a stimulating and innovative environment for collaborative research.
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