Mechanical work by outer hair cell membranes
Dr. Brownell received the award for his research in membrane biophysics. The remarkable frequency selectivity of mammalian hearing is based on the feedback of mechanical energy on inner ear vibrations. The Brownell laboratory has found evidence for, and developed a model of, membrane-based force transduction involving nanoscale membrane ripples in the outer hair cell.
Dr. Brownell’s nomination was based on the following publications:
Oghalai JS, Tran TD, Raphael RM, Nakagawa T, Brownell WE. Transverse and lateral mobility in outer hair cell lateral wall membranes. Hear Res. 1999 Sep;135(1-2):19-28.
Oghalai JS, Zhao HB, Kutz JW, Brownell WE. Voltage- and tension-dependent lipid mobility in the outer hair cell plasma membrane. Science. 2000 Jan 28;287(5453):658-61.
Raphael RM, Popel AS, Brownell WE. A membrane bending model of outer hair cell electromotility. Biophys J. 2000 Jun;78(6):2844-62.