In the developing cochlea, a decision is made by progenitor cells to differentiate into sensory hair cells, neurons or neighboring supporting cells. Together with a precise control of cell number and patterning, this cell fate decision dictates the generation of our hearing organ.
Our lab is interested in understanding how cell fate decision is made and maintained during this critical phase of development. We are interested in answering the following questions:
- How does a progenitor cell decide to commit and differentiate into sensory cells?
- What internal and external cues can influence the sensory progenitors’ cell fate?
- How do these internal and external cues integrate and pattern the cochlea?