Molecular Genetics Laboratory
The Molecular Genetic Basis of Hearing Loss:
Hearing loss can occur at any age. Hearing loss can be caused by trauma or exposure to excessive noise, certain infectious agents or ototoxic medications. Heaing loss can also be caused by changes in genes called mutations. In recent years, dozens of genes associated with hearing loss have been discovered.
In my laboratory, we study genetic forms of hearing loss to learn about the different types of hearing loss that can be caused by the various genes. One goal of our work is to improve the ability of doctors to detect and diagnose genetic hearing loss in the clinic. In addition, we study how patients with various types of genetic hearing loss respond to standard hearing interventions such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. We hope that knowledge about patient response to treatment will allow doctors to personalize hearing intervention strategies so that each patient can experience the best possible outcome.
Another focus of my laboratory is the development of advanced technologies for genetic testing. Because of the large number of genes that can cause hearing loss, we would like to develop technologies to allow laboratories to test many genes at once and at a reasonable cost.
Genetics & Your Health: A Guide for the 21st Century Family by Raye Lynn Alford, Ph.D., FACMG
Genetics Home Reference, National Library of Medicine
GeneTests - GeneClinics - GeneReviews
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Human Genome Project Information, Department of Energy
The American College of Medical Genetics
National Society of Genetic Counselors
The Genetic Alliance