Prof Jonathan Gale
Professor of Cell Biology
The Ear Institute
Faculty of Brain Sciences
- Joined UCL
- 1st Oct 1999
Hair cells are the sensory receptors of the ear that enable us to hear and balance. The main focus of my lab is to determine the signalling events that control repair and regeneration of hair cells after cell damage or loss. The avian inner ear has a powerful ability to regenerate hair cells after injury whereas in mammals that regenerative potential is absent. We are taking a comparative approach. By studying the signalling processes in these two species we aim to discover the essential elements that control hair cell repair and regeneration.
A combination of dynamic imaging, cellular and molecular techniques are being used to study intracellular signalling in and between support cells. Why the support cells you may ask? These are the progenitor cells that divide or undergo phenotypic conversion to produce hair cells.A range of different techniques are used to damage hair cells. We measure spatio-temporal changes in a number of candidate signaling pathways and molecules e.g. intracellular calcium and cyclic AMP in response to hair cell damage or loss. Inhibitor and promotor molecules of different signalling pathways are used to investigate the mechanisms underlying hair cell regeneration. Other projects related include investigating the potential for hair cells to repair after damage, and the role of Rho proteins and of gap junction proteins in hair cell repair and regeneration. Some projects involve collaborative work with Dr Sally Dawson here at the UCL Ear Institute
I have taught on the Biomedical Sciences program since 2000 and now run the Anatomy and Physiology of the Audiovestibular System Modules for the BSc and MSc's at the the UCL Ear Institute.
- University of Bristol
- Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1994
- University of Sheffield
- First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1990