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Alain Dabdoub
Alain Dabdoub, PhD
Long-term time lapse imaging of mouse cochlear explants

Learn more about long-term time lapse imaging of mouse cochlear explants in this video


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room A3 42
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6804
Fax: 416-480-4375

Administrative assistant: Sue Santillo
Phone: 416-480-5504


  • B.Sc., 1989, zoology, University of Maryland, U.S.
  • PhD, 1999, biology, University of Maryland, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Scientist, Biological Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Research director, Sonja Koerner Hearing Regeneration Laboratory, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Associate professor, departments of otolaryngology – head & neck surgery; and laboratory medicine and pathobiology, University of Toronto

Research Foci:

  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Wnt signalling transduction cascades
  • Transcription factors
  • Hearing research
  • Regeneration

Research Summary:

Abnormalities in the developmental processes needed for the formation of the cochlea (hearing organ), result in deafness, one of the most common birth defects in humans. Furthermore, hearing impairment is the fastest growing, and one of the most prevalent chronic conditions facing older adults. Our research is focused on discovering and elucidating the molecular signaling cascades and transcription factors responsible for the generation and development of inner ear sensory hair cells (cells that detect sound), and auditory neurons (cells that transmit sound information from hair cells to the brain). Once lost, these cell types are never recovered in humans or mammals. The aim of our research is to understand how cochlear cells are generated during development to guide strategies for regeneration.

In addition to its important biological function, the auditory system is an exemplary structure to study developmental processes. As a model system, the complex development of the cochlea provides the opportunity to study organogenesis, pluripotency, plasticity, cell fate specification, differentiation and pattern formation, all of which are essential processes for the development of all organs and organisms.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Nishimura K, Weichert RM, Liu W, Davis RL, Dabdoub A. Generation of induced neurons by direct reprogramming in the mammalian cochlea. Neuroscience. 2014 Sep;275:125–35.
  2. Jacques B, Montgomery WH, Uribe PM, Yatteau A, Asunicon JD, Resendiz G, Matsui JI, Dabdoub, A. The role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in proliferation and regeneration of the developing basilar papilla and lateral line. Dev Neurobiol. 2014 Apr;74(4):438–56.
  3. Jacques B, Puligilla C, Weichert RM, Ferrer-Vaquer A, Hadjantonakis AK, Kelley MW and Dabdoub A. A dual function for canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the developing mammalian cochlea. Development. 2012 Dec 1;139(23):4395–4404.
  4. Macheda ML, Sun WW, Kugathasan K, Hogan BM, Zhang YF, Jacques BE, Lieschke GJ, Dabdoub A and Stacker SA. The Wnt receptor Ryk plays a role in mammalian planar cell polarity signaling. J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 24;287(35):29312–23.
  5. Puligilla C, Dabdoub A, Brenowitz SD and Kelley MW. Sox2 induces neuronal formation in the developing mammalian cochlea. J Neurosci. 2010 Jan 13;30(2):714–22.


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The first three images depict the research of Dabdoub and colleagues, which was featured on the journal’s cover.