Jeffrey T. Corwin

Education

  • BS, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • MS, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • PhD, University of California, San Diego

Primary Appointment

  • Professor, Neuroscience

Contact

Research Interest(s)

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Research Description

buy viagra online pharmacy Over 20 million Americans have significant hearing deficits that result from loss of sensory hair cells, the acoustic receptors in the ear. Those losses are usually permanent in humans, but comparable losses in other species are followed by dramatic recovery of function. Past work in our lab and others has shown that sharks, bony fish, amphibians, and birds can regenerate damaged auditory and vestibular detector cells in a matter of weeks, leading to dramatic functional recovery from the kinds of deafness and balance disorders that are permanent when they occur in humans. A decade ago, we discovered that sensory hair cells also can be regenerated in the balance organs from the ears of mammals, including those from humans, but in mammalian tissues those processes occur at very low rates. Of course, we would have been happy to find robust regenerative responses in human tissues and in those from other mammals, but the discovery of even the low rates of regeneration observed showed for the first time that the machinery for biological self-repair existed and could operate in the mature human ear. Our work has extended from those first discoveries in mammalian tissue and we hope that by contributing answers about regenerative processes that work may lead to the development of effective treatments for conditions of neuronal and sensory cell loss.

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In addition to the projects outlined above, our work is exploring the potential for stem cells to contribute to our ability to repair damaged hearing and balance organs. We have also discovered growth factor treatments that can protect hair cells from drugs that normally cause their death. We have generated cells that secrete antibodies specific to an antigen in all vertebrate hair cells. We have identified certain fluorescent vital dyes that can readily permeate hair cells and other sensory cells and will remain in those cells for many weeks as bright and useful labels after a single injection.

Cell and organ culture, immunocytochemistry, a range of methods in molecular biology, confocal and time-lapse microscopy, laser microbeam cell surgery, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, intracellular injections, and microsurgical methods are used in our in projects involving species from sharks through humans. It is our hope that the results of our research will contribute to the quality of life of many people who have sensorineural hearing losses and balance disorders that are currently considered irreversible. In addition, studies of the relatively simple and defined neurosensory structures of the ear may lead to information that could be useful in attempts to regenerate other elements of the nervous system.

Selected Publications

  • Burns J, Corwin J. Responses to cell loss become restricted as the supporting cells in mammalian vestibular organs grow thick junctional actin bands that develop high stability. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2014;34(5): 1998-2011. PMID: 24478379 | PMCID: PMC3905154
  • Mann Z, Thiede B, Chang W, Shin J, May-Simera H, Lovett M, Corwin J, Kelley M. A gradient of Bmp7 specifies the tonotopic axis in the developing inner ear. Nature communications. 2014;5 3839. PMID: 24845721 | PMCID: PMC4264580
  • Thiede B, Mann Z, Chang W, Ku Y, Son Y, Lovett M, Kelley M, Corwin J. Retinoic acid signalling regulates the development of tonotopically patterned hair cells in the chicken cochlea. Nature communications. 2014;5 3840. PMID: 24845860
  • Burns J, Corwin J. A historical to present-day account of efforts to answer the question: "what puts the brakes on mammalian hair cell regeneration?". Hearing research. 2013;297 52-67. PMID: 23333259 | PMCID: PMC3594491
  • Bermingham-McDonogh O, Corwin J, Hauswirth W, Heller S, Reed R, Reh T. Regenerative Medicine for the Special Senses: Restoring the Inputs. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2012;32(41): 14053-14057. PMID: 23055472 | PMCID: NIHMS414441
  • Burns J, Cox B, Thiede B, Zuo J, Corwin J. In vivo proliferative regeneration of balance hair cells in newborn mice. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2012;32(19): 6570-7. PMID: 22573679 | PMCID: PMC3359838
  • Burns J, On D, Baker W, Collado M, Corwin J. Over half the hair cells in the mouse utricle first appear after birth, with significant numbers originating from early postnatal mitotic production in peripheral and striolar growth zones. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO. 2012;13(5): 609-27. PMID: 22752453 | PMCID: PMC3441952
  • Collado M, Burns J, Meyers J, Corwin J. Variations in shape-sensitive restriction points mirror differences in the regeneration capacities of avian and mammalian ears. PloS one. 2011;6(8): e23861. PMID: 21909368 | PMCID: PMC3166124
  • Burns J, Burns J, Christophel J, Collado M, Magnus C, Carfrae M, Corwin J. Reinforcement of cell junctions correlates with the absence of hair cell regeneration in mammals and its occurrence in birds. The Journal of comparative neurology. 2008;511(3): 396-414. PMID: 18803241 | PMCID: PMC2582022
  • Davies D, Magnus C, Corwin J. Developmental changes in cell-extracellular matrix interactions limit proliferation in the mammalian inner ear. The European journal of neuroscience. 2007;25(4): 985-98. PMID: 17331195
  • Gu R, Montcouquiol M, Marchionni M, Corwin J. Proliferative responses to growth factors decline rapidly during postnatal maturation of mammalian hair cell epithelia. The European journal of neuroscience. 2007;25(5): 1363-72. PMID: 17425563
  • Hu Z, Corwin J. Inner ear hair cells produced in vitro by a mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2007;104(42): 16675-80. PMID: 17895386 | PMCID: PMC1994140
  • Meyers J, Corwin J. Shape change controls supporting cell proliferation in lesioned mammalian balance epithelium. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2007;27(16): 4313-25. PMID: 17442815
  • Sage C, Huang M, Karimi K, Gutierrez G, Vollrath M, Zhang D, García-Añoveros J, Hinds P, Corwin J, Corey D, Chen Z. Proliferation of functional hair cells in vivo in the absence of the retinoblastoma protein. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2005;307(5712): 1114-8. PMID: 15653467
  • Meyers J, MacDonald R, Duggan A, Lenzi D, Standaert D, Corwin J, Corey D. Lighting up the senses: FM1-43 loading of sensory cells through nonselective ion channels. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2003;23(10): 4054-65. PMID: 12764092
  • Gale J, Meyers J, Periasamy A, Corwin J. Survival of bundleless hair cells and subsequent bundle replacement in the bullfrog's saccule. Journal of neurobiology. 2002;50(2): 81-92. PMID: 11793356