Lisa Goodrich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurobiology
We are interested in the development of neural circuits, from the determination and differentiation of neurons to the formation of axonal connections and ultimately the generation of behavior. The auditory and vestibular systems, which are both housed in the ear, provide an exciting opportunity to link development to the function of neural circuits, since these systems are closely related developmentally, but in the adult, control the distinct behaviors of hearing and balance. Moreover, despite the obvious impact that congenital and age related hearing loss have on society, little is known about the genetic mechanisms that underlie development and function of the ear.
Our research program explores 3 major topics: Patterning in the Ear and Hindbrain; Circuit Formation; and Auditory/Vestibular Behavior. We address questions such as what cellular and molecular cues ensure the vestibular-auditory division of the developing otic vesicle? how are tonotopic maps preserved at each level of the auditory system? and how do changes in patterning or wiring affect auditory or vestibular system function?
We are using the mouse as a model system, taking advantage of recent exciting advances in mouse genetic technology, especially a gene trap mutagenesis approach that allows us not only to mutate genes, but also to label the neurons that express the mutated genes, including even the complete axonal trajectory of each neuron. In addition, we use a variety of molecular and physiological approaches including in situ hybridization, microarray analysis of normal and mutant mice, and Auditory Brainstem Response recordings to analyze hearing in mutant animals. To complement the work in mice, we also perform studies in chick embryos and design in vitro assays that allow us to best explore questions of both cell fate and axon guidance.
For a complete listing of Lisa Goodrich's publications on PubMed, click here.