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Scientist profiles A-F

SRI profiles

Alain Dabdoub
Alain Dabdoub, PhD
Dabdoub Lab Summer 2023

    Dabdoub Lab Summer 2023

Senior scientist

Sonja Koerner Hearing Regeneration Laboratory
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., A3 42
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6804
Fax: 416-480-4375

Administrative assistant: Sue Santillo
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 63914


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

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior scientist, Biological Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Research director, Sunnybrook Hearing Regeneration Initiative, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Vice chair of research, department of otolaryngology – head & neck surgery, University of Toronto
  • Professor, departments of otolaryngology – head & neck surgery; and laboratory medicine and pathobiology, University of Toronto

Research Foci:

  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Wnt and Notch signalling transduction cascades
  • Inner ear biomarkers
  • Non-invasive therapeutic delivery
  • Regenerative medicine

Research Summary:

Our research program centers on discovering and elucidating the molecular signaling pathways and transcription factors responsible for the neurodevelopment and regeneration of the cochlea (hearing organ), and utricle (balance organ). Our goal is to connect the developmental biology of the inner ear to diseases and ultimately to regenerative medicine for the amelioration of hearing loss and balance disorders.

We carry out a dynamic interdisciplinary and highly collaborative research program centering on:

  1. Discovering the molecular underpinnings of sensory hair cell and auditory neuron development and regeneration
  2. Developing new approaches of non-invasive delivery of therapeutics to the inner ear
  3. Identifying and quantifying inner ear biomarkers that report on the pathologies and treatment efficacies of the inner ear

This research reflects our growing interest in translating our basic science discoveries into regenerative medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of inner ear disorders.

Become a partner in our research progress

Philanthropy is the cornerstone of our progress enabling us to pursue high-risk, high-reward projects. To support research and trainees in the Dabdoub laboratory and accelerate discovery toward a cure for hearing loss and balance disorders, please contact:

Adrianne O’Halloran, Executive Director, Advancement, Sunnybrook Foundation

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Mahshid, SS., and Dabdoub, A. (2020). Development of a novel electrochemical immuno-biosensor for circulating biomarkers of the inner ear. Biosensors & Bioelectronics. 165:112369.
  2. Nyberg S, Abbott JN, Shi X, Steyger PS, Dabdoub A. Delivery of therapeutics to the inner ear: The challenge of the blood-labyrinth barrier. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Mar 6;11(482). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao0935.
  3. Samarajeewa A, Lenz DR, Xie L, Chiang H, Kirchner R, Mulvaney JF, Edge ASB, Dabdoub A. Transcriptional response to Wnt activation regulates the regenerative capacity of the mammalian cochlea. Development. 2018 Nov 27;145(23). doi: 10.1242/dev.166579.
  4. Noda T, Meas SJ, Nogami J, Amemiya Y, Uchi R, Ohkawa Y, Dabdoub A. Direct reprograming of spiral ganglion non-neuronal cells into neurons: Towards ameliorating sensorineural hearing loss by gene therapy. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Feb 14;6:16. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2018.00016.


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