Sensory Systems: Hearing, Touch and Pain

The nerves associated with sensory systems enable the representation of visual, auditory, olfactory, mechanical, chemical and thermal signals. Research in the Department focuses on ion channels that determine the coding of sound input in the auditory system. These ion channels need to be anchored precisely in the neuronal membrane and are regulated by cellular kinases. Other projects focus on channels in nociceptors, the neurons that signal pain and detect noxious physical and chemical stimuli. Ongoing studies investigate how these nerves monitor the integrity and health status of the human body and interact with the immune system to direct inflammatory responses in inflammatory conditions such as asthma.