Training in Auditory and Vestibular Neuroscience

NIDCD T32DC011499, PIs: Drs. Karl Kandler and Bill Yates

While considerable progress has been made in identifying the genetic and molecular bases of inner ear deficits, the biological bases of centrally-generated hearing and balance disorders, which are increasingly recognized as major contributors to auditory and vestibular dysfunction, are still poorly understood. This training program is intended to generate auditory and vestibular scientists who can address these problems, through training in basic neuroscience and the clinical aspects of hearing and balance disorders.

A group of 15 preceptors who are committed to auditory and vestibular neuroscience research comprise the training faculty. The research methodology employed by the preceptors ranges from cellular and molecular to developmental to systems and cognition using a variety of model systems, ensuring that trainees use are exposed to the breadth and variety of technical and conceptual approaches that define modern research in the field. In addition to conducting research, trainees attend monthly research seminars, and participate in a series of professional development workshops that provide explicit training in such “survival skills” as written and oral communication, obtaining jobs and grants, teaching, and managing a research lab. All trainees must submit a fellowship application as part of the program, the writing of which will be facilitated by periodic meetings with a local committee that provides advice and guidance, as well as utilizing grant-writing workshops provided by the office of academic career development. Training in responsible scientific conduct is an integral part of the professional development workshops, the core curriculum, and laboratory training. A solid structure is in place to mentor the trainees and monitor their progress through the program.

Drs. Kandler and Yates will solicit applications to be placed on this training grant at the beginning of each fiscal year. The grant supports two graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows.