Zheng-Yi Chen, D.Phil.
Dr. Zheng-Yi Chen is an Associate Scientist at Mass. Eye and Ear with research interests in the functional genomics of hearing, inner ear hair cell regeneration, mechanisms and treatment for age-related and noise-induced hearing loss, and gene therapy for hereditary deafness.
One of the most common causes of hearing loss is the loss of hair cells, the inner ear sensory cells that detect sound and sense balance. Regeneration of hair cells in the adult mammalian inner ear has been the most prominent obstacle to overcome. Dr. Chen’s laboratory takes a functional genomics approach to systematically study gene expression patterns during mouse inner ear development.
His laboratory has also been involved in cloning and characterizing numerous deafness genes. They recently showed that proteins can be directly delivered into the mammalian inner ear in vivo with functional consequences. They used protein delivery to demonstrate genome editing in the inner ear hair cells by CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
Dr. Chen’s long-term research goals are to identify genes and functional pathways that govern the development, function, and disease state of the inner ear, and to develop therapies for different types of deafness in humans.
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