We are seeking a fulltime postdoctoral researcher to help with ongoing experiments in our laboratory. PhDs, AuDs, or MDs are encouraged to apply. Strong postbaccalaureate candidates would also be considered. This position is available January 1, 2019, but we can certainly accommodate an early start date. Our research addresses questions on the cellular and spatial origin of objective measurements from the ear. Objective measurements are routinely used to study cochlear physiology and identify hearing loss, but their origins remain uncertain. Understanding their origins will improve their usefulness in basic and clinical applications.
Several of our current studies use a variety of cochlear manipulations to determine the origin of reflection-source otoacoustic emissions components with various latencies. One of our technical innovations allows sequential drug delivery to finely spaced cochlear regions using slow drug injection into the cochlear apex. This technique overcomes concentration losses associated with the classical use of passive round window drug delivery. Another study addresses a long-standing question of high scientific and clinical interest that still does not have an answer: What is the origin of low-frequency hearing loss in ears with permanent endolymphatic hydrops? An innovation associated with this study overcomes a long-standing obstacle in obtaining gross neural measurements at frequencies below 1 kHz, the region affected by hydrops, by using our recently developed measurement technique: the “Auditory Nerve Overlapped Waveform” (ANOW). Studies initiated by you would be highly encouraged.
Our experiments use animal models. We will provide the necessary training for surgical techniques. Your primary role will be to make measurements using a customized data acquisition rig, complete preliminarily analyses, and to participate in writing manuscripts.
The department of Otolaryngology Washington University in St. Louis has a long history of making contributions to the field of hearing and vestibular science. At present, we have over 20 active researchers. We have an exciting atmosphere to do research that provides a good sense of community. This position is in the Lichtenhan Laboratory: http://LichtenhanLab.wustl.edu. Collaborating investigators for our ongoing projects, who you would have the opportunity to learn from, are John J. Guinan Jr. PhD (cochlear mechanics), Alec N. Salt PhD (pharmacokinetics of inner-ear drug delivery), Shawn S. Goodman PhD (acoustics and signal processing), Keiko Hirose MD (cochlear inflammation and innate immunity), Mark A. Rutherford PhD (synaptic structure and function), and Craig A. Buchman MD FACS (electrocochleography during human ear surgeries).
Our research addresses questions related to normal and diseased cochlear physiology. Our approach is to understand the origins of objective measurements that can be used in the clinic. If the cell types, spatial location, and contributing mechanisms can be understood, these objective measurements would have better differential diagnostic capabilities for sensorineural hearing loss.
Our research also addresses questions related to low-frequency hearing. Our approach uses a novel objective measure of low-frequency physiology – the Auditory Nerve Overlapped Waveform. As compared to the high-frequency cochlear base, less is known about the low-frequency cochlear apex because, in part, conventional electrophysiologic techniques perform adequately only at high-frequencies above 1 kHz or so. Understanding low-frequency hearing and hearing loss is important because the majority of speech sounds and many bothersome environmental background noises are of low frequency.