This training program for predoctoral, postdoctoral, and undergraduate trainees provides an interdisciplinary education and research experience in hearing, balance and chemical senses (HBCS). Predoctoral training is based in one of the 15 academic departments and degree-granting graduate programs with which the 28 training faculty are associated. Doctoral thesis research and postdoctoral research training reside primarily within the laboratories of the mentors. Our affiliated faculty provides outstanding training in each of their corresponding disciplines: bioengineering, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, molecular and neurophysiology, developmental biology, and biopsychology of sensory processing. The HBCS program integrates investigators in auditory, vestibular and chemosensory research with trainees from across these disciplines and thereby fosters innovative training opportunities into mechanisms and disorders of hearing, balance, taste and smell. Cross-disciplinary integration is made possible by the training program through: a) introductory and advanced courses in sensory systems;b) seminars in hearing, balance and chemical senses with experts from within and outside the University of Michigan;c) student and faculty seminars, journal clubs and research forums;d) exposure to clinical research issues in Otolaryngology and clinical/translational resources available at the University of Michigan Medical School, and d) training in research standards and ethics. Support for 5 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees is requested. Predoctoral trainees will be selected from the most highly qualified graduate students in the training faculty's affiliated departments and programs. Interest and motivation for research in sensory systems will be an important criterion. Postdoctoral trainees must have a doctoral degree such as a Ph.D. or M.D. and a strong commitment to sensory biology. Support is also requested to recruit hearing impaired individuals into biomedical research. The deaf are clearly underrepresented in scientific and medical professions. The goal of our Science Mentorship Program (SMP) is to provide these under-represented individuals with direct exposure to mainstream research in the sensory sciences in order to better prepare them for entry into graduate and professional schools. We propose to continue the SMP, begun in 1990, by training 5 deaf undergraduate students per year in summer research internships.

Public Health Relevance

Our primary goal for this training program is to attract promising scientists to the research fields of hearing, balance, taste and smell and to provide them with the mentoring and training that will result in their pursuit of productive research careers in these areas. A better understanding of these areas of sensory neuroscience will provide important insight into many human sensory disorders that greatly affect quality of life.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-L (47))
Program Officer
Sklare, Dan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
Zip Code
Pfingst, Bryan E; Zhou, Ning; Colesa, Deborah J et al. (2015) Importance of cochlear health for implant function. Hear Res 322:77-88
Micucci, Joseph A; Layman, Wanda S; Hurd, Elizabeth A et al. (2014) CHD7 and retinoic acid signaling cooperate to regulate neural stem cell and inner ear development in mouse models of CHARGE syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 23:434-48
Chervenak, Andrew P; Bank, Lisa M; Thomsen, Nicole et al. (2014) The role of Zic genes in inner ear development in the mouse: Exploring mutant mouse phenotypes. Dev Dyn 243:1487-98
Zhou, Ning; Pfingst, Bryan E (2014) Effects of site-specific level adjustments on speech recognition with cochlear implants. Ear Hear 35:30-40
Zhou, Ning; Pfingst, Bryan E (2014) Relationship between multipulse integration and speech recognition with cochlear implants. J Acoust Soc Am 136:1257
Zhou, Ning; Xu, Li (2014) Melody recognition in dichotic listening with or without frequency-place mismatch. Ear Hear 35:379-82
Castro, Daniel C; Berridge, Kent C (2014) Opioid hedonic hotspot in nucleus accumbens shell: mu, delta, and kappa maps for enhancement of sweetness "liking" and "wanting". J Neurosci 34:4239-50
King, W M (2013) Getting ahead of oneself: anticipation and the vestibulo-ocular reflex. Neuroscience 236:210-9
Chervenak, Andrew P; Hakim, Ibrahim S; Barald, Kate F (2013) Spatiotemporal expression of Zic genes during vertebrate inner ear development. Dev Dyn 242:897-908
Corson, James A; Bradley, Robert M (2013) Physiological and anatomical properties of intramedullary projection neurons in rat rostral nucleus of the solitary tract. J Neurophysiol 110:1130-43

Showing the most recent 10 out of 101 publications