POU4F3 is an inner ear hair cell-specific transcription factor that is expressed in the hair cells from shortly after they are formed. Mutations in POU4F3 underlie human hereditary hearing loss. In the mouse, loss of Pou4f3 results in early degeneration of all inner ear hair cells. My graduate thesis work focused on identification and characterization of the targets of POU4F3 in hair cells. Several of these targets have been subsequently identified to be important for hearing in human (LHX3) or critical for increasing the efficiency of transforming stem cells to hair cells (GFI1). My laboratory now continues to study the function of this signaling cascade, with a specific focus on GFI1 as all as other transcription factors, on their roles in hair cell development. 

Principal Investigator