Joseph Santos-Sacchi, PhD

Professor of Surgery (Otolaryngology), of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and of Neuroscience

Research Departments & Organizations

Surgery: Otolaryngology Surgery | Yale Ear Lab

Cellular & Molecular Physiology

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Ear, Inner; Hair Cells, Auditory; Neurosciences; Otolaryngology; Physiology

Research Summary

The exquisite sensitivity and frequency resolving power of the mammalian inner ear depends upon interactions between the two receptor cells of the organ of Corti, inner (IHC) and outer (OHC) hair cells. While inner hair cells appear to function solely as receptors of acoustic information, OHC’s function both as receptors and effectors, producing motile responses as a function of transmembrane potential fluctuations.

These motile responses modify the mechanical input to the inner hair cells which receive the majority of afferent innervation, thereby enhancing the gross frequency tuning afforded by basilar membrane mechanics. Dr. Joseph Santos-Sacchi studies the effector role of the OHC with electrophysiological (patch clamp) and displacement measurement techniques using isolated OHCs from the guinea pig. He also works on the motor protein (prestin) responsible for the cells’ mechanical activity, utilizing mutational analysis and expression systems to understand how it works.

Specialized Terms: Mammalian inner ear

Activities

  • Inner Ear Biology Meeting Ferrara, Italy (2008 - 2008)

    Presented at the Inner Ear Biology Meeting

  • Plenary Lecture Mechanics of Hearing, 10th International Symposium, Keele University England, United Kingdom (2008)

    Plenary Lecture Mechanics of Hearing, 10th International Symposium, Keele
    University

  • Plenary Speaker, Newest tunes from Corti’s organ, 16th Congress of the Japan Otology Society Hirosaki, Japan (2006 - 2006)

    Plenary Speaker, Newest tunes from Corti’s organ, 16th Congress of the Japan Otology Society

  • Invited Chair, Symposium on Cochlear Amplification, Shangai International Conference on Audition and Vision Shanghai, China (2006)

    Invited Chair, Symposium on Cochlear Amplification, Shangai International
    Conference on Audition and Vision

  • Invited Speaker Osaka-shi, Japan (2004)

    Invited Seminar, Biophysics of the outer hair cell, Osaka University

  • Modulation of OHC capacitance by chloride Rome, Italy (2001 - 2001)

    Presentation- Modulation of OHC capacitance by chloride, Inner Ear Biology Meeting

  • Invited participant, Roving nonlinearities of the OHC motor Perceptual Consequences of Cochlear Nonlinearity Germany (2001)

    Invited participant, Roving nonlinearities of the OHC motor Perceptual Consequences of Cochlear Nonlinearity

  • Presenter Groningen, Netherlands (1993)

    Presentation- Characterizing the extent of the OHC motility voltage sensor with an electrical guillotine: evidence that ends don't meet, Symposium: Biophysics of hair cell
    sensory systems

  • Presenter Montreal, Canada (1988)

    Presentation- Gap junctional communication in isolated supporting cells of the organ of Corti., Fourth International Congress of Cell Biology

  • Presentation- Rectified mechanical responses in outer hair cells from the mammalian organ of Corti, Fourth International Congress of Cell Biology Canada (1988)

    Presentation- Rectified mechanical responses in outer hair cells from the mammalian organ of Corti, Fourth International Congress of Cell Biology

  • Presentation- AC receptor potentials from hair cells in the low frequency region of the guinea pig cochlea, I.U.P.S. Satellite Symposium on Mechanism of Hearing, Monash University Melbourne, Australia (1983 - 1983)

    Presentation- AC receptor potentials from hair cells in the low frequency region of the guinea pig cochlea, I.U.P.S. Satellite Symposium on Mechanism of Hearing, Monash University

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Joseph Santos-Sacchi, PhD
Office Location
Brady Memorial Laboratory
310 Cedar Street, Ste Room 224

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Otolaryngology SurgeryPO Box 208062
New Haven, CT 06520-8062

Curriculum Vitae

YaleEarLab