Gwenaëlle Géléoc

Gwenaëlle Géléoc

Associate Director and Director of Student Affairs, Doctoral Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT)
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
Gwenaëlle Géléoc
Sensory hair cells of the inner ear transduce mechanical stimuli into electrical signals which are transmitted to the brain. The primary goal of my research is to characterize the functional and molecular development of these inner ear hair cells. In particular, I am interested in the developmental acquisition and maturation of sensory transduction in hair cells. I am using this information to identify molecular correlates that underlie hair cell mechanosensation. Using this strategy, our group recently identified two proteins, TMC1 and TMC2, as components of the sensory transduction complex (Kawashima*, Géléoc* et al. JCI 2011; Pan, Géléoc et al. Neuron, 2013). Tmc1 was identified over a decade ago through positional cloning of a gene underlying both dominant and recessive nonsyndromic sensorineural hearing loss (Kurima et al., 2002) but its function was unknown. A current focus in the lab is to understand how these proteins function in hair cells and how they contribute to frequency tuning along the cochlea. In addition, we are now in a prime position to investigate the function of several hair cell genes associated with hearing loss. We are applying our knowledge and expertise to study gene mutations that cause Usher Syndrome, the most common form of combined deafness and blindness. Using adeno- or adeno-associated virus, we are able to manipulate genes or introduce exogenous sequences to rescue function in hair cells of mutant mouse models (Géléoc and Holt, 2014). Our ultimate goal is to identify and develop of gene therapy treatment for Usher Syndrome.

Contact Information

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115
p: 617-919-4061

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