Areas of Interest
The Altschuler Laboratory studies the molecular and cellular elements that make up the morphological substrate of auditory function.
Tinnitus and Auditory Processing Disorders
Studies focus on activity dependent plasticity and how changes contribute to tinnitus and auditory processing disorders. We find that deafness or noise induces modifications of neurotransmitters, receptors and ion channels. A second area of focus examines central (efferent) modulation of the auditory nerve and how loss of specific neurotransmitter systems changes processing.
Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering the Auditory Nerve
These studies use stem cells to replace auditory nerve that is lost following deafness, as well as develop methods to enhance the survival of remaining auditory nerve and induce regrowth.
Protection from Deafness and Age-related Hearing Loss
These studies identify natural cellular protective mechanisms, determine if loss in their efficacy contributes to age-related hearing loss and develop interventions for their enhancement to increase protection from deafness.
The Altschuler Laboratory also contains the Histology/Pathology Core, which provides services to multiple investigators at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute and the University of Michigan, as well as Michigan State University, Wayne State University and the University of Toledo.