The funds requested in this application are for partial support of the workshop "The Mouse as an Instrument for Ear Research VI" to be held at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, on September 14-18, 2014. This workshop is one of a kind and will focus on comparative, translational aspects of characterizing auditory function in mouse models of human hereditary hearing and balance disorders. It represents an intensive training opportunity for graduate students, postdocs and investigators wishing to gain expertise in characterizing mouse auditory function. This workshop is for a small number of participants and includes classroom lectures in the morning, followed by laboratory sessions in the afternoon. It is the primary aim of this workshop to promote communication between both research and clinical investigators in various fields of biology related to hearing and balance, with a focus on the realized and potential applications of the mouse to their field of study. Toward this end, students and established investigators from several disciplines will have an opportunity to share new ideas, identify potential collaborations and help chart a course for the future of ear research. Lectures will be offered in the Highseas Conference Center, and hands on sessions will be held at The Jackson Laboratory main campus in the Applied Genetics Training Laboratory. In an era of expanding mouse model resources, practical training in phenotyping and related methodologies will continue to be of enormous benefit to researchers in the field. The only current educational offerings that address auditory biology and disease are either large amorphous society meetings or limited-entry workshops that require more than a two-week time commitment.
This workshop is directly relevant to human health as its focus is on the use of the laboratory mouse to study and understand human auditory biology and disease. Promoting the responsible use of appropriate models is critical to the development of effective new therapeutic approaches to treating human hearing disorders.