Decibel is attracting top talent in the hearing field and is committed to advancing hearing research and sharing our discoveries with the scientific community. Our scientists were trained in many top hearing labs around the world. Below are Decibel publications and recent publications by our employees prior to joining Decibel.

Publications from Decibel

  • Burns, J. C., & Stone, J. S. (2017). Development and regeneration of vestibular hair cells in mammals. Seminars in cell & developmental biology, 65, 96-105.
    • Damage to the vestibular system occurs in many different cell types. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on development, damage, and regeneration of sensory cell types in the mammalian vestibular system and highlights critical information gaps that must be addressed before new therapies for vestibular dysfunction can be defined. PubMed
  • Hickox, A. E., Larsen, E., Heinz, M. G., Shinobu, L., & Whitton, J. P. (2017). Translational issues in cochlear synaptopathy. Hearing research, 349, 164-171.
    • Synaptopathy is undetectable by current clinical audiometric measurements in rodent models. This review outlines the key translational questions that need answering to diagnose synaptopathy. PubMed

Recent publications by Decibel employees and Decibel founders

  • Bramhall, N. F., Shi, F., Arnold, K., Hochedlinger, K., & Edge, A. S. (2014). Lgr5-positive supporting cells generate new hair cells in the postnatal cochlea. Stem cell reports2(3), 311-322.
    • While hair cells do not appear to regenerate after damage or death, supporting cells are shown to differentiate into new hair cells after an insult to the cochlea. Specifically, Lgr5-positive cells act as hair cell progenitors. PubMed
  • Burns, J. C., & Corwin, J. T. (2014). Responses to cell loss become restricted as the supporting cells in mammalian vestibular organs grow thick junctional actin bands that develop high stability. Journal of Neuroscience34(5), 1998-2011.
    • Mammalian supporting cells are unable to regenerate hair cells for unknown reasons. Actin bands in intercellular junctions have been shown to regulate growth in epithelia. Here, F-actin bands in the supporting cells of mice are stabilized as they thicken. This thickening and stabilization coincides with processes that impede regeneration. PubMed
  • Burns, J. C., Kelly, M. C., Hoa, M., Morell, R. J., & Kelley, M. W. (2015). Single-cell RNA-Seq resolves cellular complexity in sensory organs from the neonatal inner ear. Nature communications6.
    • Hair cells and supporting cells are highly specialized, but cell-type-specific genes show uniform expression. Using single-cell RNA-Seq, many subtypes of hair cells and supporting cells were identified and lists of genes that are unique or enhanced in these cells were identified. PubMed
  • Burns, J. C., & Stone, J. S. (2017, May). Development and regeneration of vestibular hair cells in mammals. In Seminars in cell & developmental biology (Vol. 65, pp. 96-105). Academic Press.
    • Some adult mammals are able to regenerate vestibular cells after damage, though humans cannot. This review outlines the current understanding of development, damage, and regeneration in the vestibular system and key knowledge gaps are identified. PubMed
  • Gehlhausen, J. R., Park, S. J., Hickox, A. E., Shew, M., Staser, K., Rhodes, S. D., … & Yuan, J. (2014). A murine model of neurofibromatosis type 2 that accurately phenocopies human schwannoma formation. Human molecular genetics24(1), 1-8.
    • Neurobibromatosis type 2 (NF2) causes deficits in hearing and balance. Here, a mouse model was created to study NF-2 associated schwannomas. PubMed
  • Hickox, A. E., & Liberman, M. C. (2014). Is noise-induced cochlear neuropathy key to the generation of hyperacusis or tinnitus?. Journal of neurophysiology111(3), 552-564.
    • While the effects of hair cell damage and death are well established, the degradation of afferent nerve connections are substantially involved in the development of hyperacusis and tinnitus. PubMed
  • Hickox, A. E., Wong, A. C., Pak, K., Strojny, C., Ramirez, M., Yates, J. R., Ryan, A.F., & Savas, J. N. (2016). Global Analysis of Protein Expression of Inner Ear Hair Cells. Journal of Neuroscience, 2267-16.
    • Using transgenic mice with GFP-expressing hair cells, this study reports the most complete hair cell and inner ear proteome at time of publication. Hundreds of proteins are uniquely identified or enriched in hair cells. PubMed
  • Horwitz, G. C., Risner-Janiczek, J. R., & Holt, J. R. (2014). Mechanotransduction and hyperpolarization-activated currents contribute to spontaneous activity in mouse vestibular ganglion neurons. The Journal of general physiology, jgp-201311126.
    • The hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-sensitive current, Ih, is required for normal balance function. Hair cell transduction and Ih contribute to the rate and regularity of spontaneous action potentials in the vestibular afferent neurons. PubMed
  • Hu, L., Lu, J., Chiang, H., Wu, H., Edge, A. S., & Shi, F. (2016). Diphtheria toxin-induced cell death triggers Wnt-dependent hair cell regeneration in neonatal mice. Journal of Neuroscience36(36), 9479-9489.
    • Sensory hair cells of the inner do not regenerate in adults after their death. Hair cell loss is a major cause of deafness. Using a mouse model, regeneration was shown to be dependent on the level of Wnt signaling. PubMed
  • Mehraei, G., Gallardo, A. P., Shinn-Cunningham, B. G., & Dau, T. (2017). Auditory brainstem response latency in forward masking, a marker of sensory deficits in listeners with normal hearing
    • Those with normal hearing thresholds measured by audiogram can have difficulty discerning specific sounds in a noisy environment, a phenomenon known as a speech-in-noise or hidden hearing loss. Assessing this type of hearing loss and the associated synaptopathy is difficult using traditional audiometric measures. Changes in ABR wave-V latency in forward masking were shown to be related to a correlate for speech-in-noise. PubMed
  • Mehraei, G., Hickox, A. E., Bharadwaj, H. M., Goldberg, H., Verhulst, S., Liberman, M. C., & Shinn-Cunningham, B. G. (2016). Auditory brainstem response latency in noise as a marker of cochlear synaptopathy. Journal of Neuroscience36(13), 3755-3764.
    • In mice and other animals, synaptopathy is detected through reduction of ABR wave-I amplitude, though this is not the case in humans. Here, a novel measurement of synaptopathy for humans was developed using the effect of noise on ABR wave-V latency. PubMed
  • Shi, F., & Edge, A. S. (2013). Prospects for replacement of auditory neurons by stem cells. Hearing research297, 106-112.
    • This review discusses the state of auditory neuron replacement, focusing on exogenous stem cell transplantation into the cochlea for neural replacement, expression of local guidance signals in the cochlea after loss of auditory neurons, the possibility of neural replacement from an endogenous cell source, and functional changes from cell engraftment. PubMed
  • Shi, F., Hu, L., & Edge, A. S. (2013). Generation of hair cells in neonatal mice by β-catenin overexpression in Lgr5-positive cochlear progenitors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences110(34), 13851-13856.
    • By forcing stabilization of β-catenin in supporting cells, Lgr5-positive cells reentered the cell cycle and differentiated, acting as hair cell progenitors. PubMed
  • Shi, F., Hu, L., Jacques, B. E., Mulvaney, J. F., Dabdoub, A., & Edge, A. S. (2014). β-Catenin is required for hair-cell differentiation in the cochlea. Journal of Neuroscience34(19), 6470-6479.
    • By modulating the levels of β-catenin in hair cells, differentiation was changed. Overexpression of β-catenin increased the number of cochlear hair cells while knockout of β-catenin inhibited the differentiation of hair cells from their progenitors. PubMed
  • Shi, F., Kempfle, J. S., & Edge, A. S. (2012). Wnt-responsive Lgr5-expressing stem cells are hair cell progenitors in the cochlea. Journal of Neuroscience32(28), 9639-9648.
    • Lgrt5-positive cells differentiated to hair cells while Lgr5-negative cells did not. The responsiveness to Wnt of cells with a capacity for division and sensory cell formation suggests a potential route to new hair cell generation in the adult cochlea. PubMed
  • Whitton, J. P., Hancock, K. E., Shannon, J. M., & Polley, D. B. (2016). Validation of a Self‐Administered Audiometry Application: An Equivalence Study. The Laryngoscope126(10), 2382-2388.
    • Traditionally, hearing tests have been performed at a clinician’s office. With the movement toward telehealth in mind, self-administered, automated hearing measurements were shown to be statistically equivalent to those made by an audiologist in the clinic. PubMed
  • Yuan, Y., Shi, F., Yin, Y., Tong, M., Lang, H., Polley, D. B., Liberman, M. C., & Edge, A. S. (2014). Ouabain-induced cochlear nerve degeneration: synaptic loss and plasticity in a mouse model of auditory neuropathy. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology15(1), 31-43.
    • Ouabain was previously shown to damage the cells innervating the inner hair cells. This model useful to tease apart the contribution of different damaged components to hearing loss. Long-term effects of deafferentation on synaptic organization in the organ of Corti and cochlear nucleus, and presence of post-injury plasticity of cochlear neurons were assessed. PubMed
  • Yu, D., Sun, C., Zheng, Z., Wang, X., Chen, D., Wu, H., Wang, X., & Shi, F. (2016). Inner ear delivery of dexamethasone using injectable silk-polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel. International journal of pharmaceutics503(1), 229-237.
    • Delivery of therapeutics to the inner ear is a major challenge for development of treatments inner ear disease. An injectable PEG-Silk hydrogen is shown to be a safe vehicle for the delivery of a glucocorticoid. Temporary threshold shift was found but resolved after 14 days. PubMed