Bernard Katz Professor of Biophysics, UCL Ear Institute
• BSc Sussex University (UK)
• PhD Imperial College London (UK)
• MSc University College London (UK)
• Member, Association for Research in Otolaryngology
• Member, The Biophysical Society
• Member and Deputy President, The Physiological Society
• Fellow, The Royal Society
• Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences
The research in the Ashmore lab is centred on understanding some of the cellular processes involved in mammalian hearing and deafness. The main technique has been to use single cell recording in animal models of hearing, but increasingly we have been using imaging methods to complement the electrophysiology. Our work has focussed mainly on cochlear amplification mechanisms, and in particular on the population of sensory outer hair cells which act as fast motor cells along the cochlear partition, and this has led us down both molecular and systems biology routes in an effort to understand the precise contribution of these cells to normal hearing function. More recently we have become involved in studying synaptic coding in the sensory inner hair cells and, in this, transgenic models of hearing loss have provided essential insights.
The attraction of the cochlear neurobiology as a field of research is that there is a close integration between molecular, cellular, systems and clinical approaches to cochlear function: the parts cannot really be appreciated fully in isolation. Much of the labs modelling work, and cochlear modelling has a long tradition in the auditory field, links up with my graduate work as theoretical physicist. But the rest of my interests have all developed after migrating to sensory neurobiology.
'Seeing' how we hear
In the role of Section Head, Jonathan Ashmore oversees the Sensory Systems Section in the Neuroscience Faculty, including advising on the division of the Section into topics and the selection of suitable Faculty Members who actively review the literature in each of the topic areas.
The Faculty comprises Heads of Faculty, Heads of Section, Faculty Members and Associate Faculty Members, as well as an International Advisory Board.
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