This grant is Dr. Zheng's fourth NIH grant for research involving auditory disease with accumulated $4 million funding.
"A clear translational goal, expertise of his research team and a very strong publication record, Dr. Zheng has potential to uncover new therapeutic approaches to treat hearing loss in Usher syndrome. I'm very grateful for the NIH for its forward-thinking commitment to Dr. Zheng and his innovative medical science research," said Dr. James Arnold, Julius McCall Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Dr. Zheng aims to: 1) identify the mutation in and characterize a new mouse deafness model (for Usher 1 syndrome and presbycusis or age-related hearing loss) that provides an ideal window of time for evaluating drug therapy; 2) identify key molecules and mechanisms that lead to hair cell death and hearing loss in the models for the Usher 1 syndrome; 3) prove the concept that genetic hearing loss and hair cell death can be prevented by otoprotection therapy.
"We are very honored and pleased that our department has been given this significant award from the NIH," says Dr. Cliff Megerian, Richard W. and Patricia Pogue Professor of Auditory Surgery and Hearing Sciences at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "The impact of deafness on quality of life and language development is devastating. The financial impact and individual human suffering are devastating, due to the lack of effective drug therapy," adds Dr. Megerian who has collaborated on several research projects with Dr. Zheng.
|Contact: Christina DeAngelis|
Case Western Reserve University