ELSC Special Seminar: Prof. Christine Petit - March. 20th, 2018

March 20, 2018

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by:


Prof. Christine Petit

 Pasteur Institute


On the topic of: 

The Mechanisms Underlying Sound Detection and Perception: Genetic Dissection and Beyond


The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 13:00

at ELSC: Silberman Bldg., 3rd Wing, 6th Floor

Edmond J. Safra Campus


Light refreshments at 12:45



The molecular mechanisms underlying the development and functioning of the auditory system remained virtually unknown until the early nineteen nineties.  We initiated a genetic dissection based on the causal genes for sensorineural deafness in humans, paving the way to an understanding of these processes. The roles played by the proteins encoded by these genes, which were investigated in multidisciplinary studies of engineered mouse models combined with biochemical analyses, brought to light the molecular basis of many of the functions of the cochlea and improved our understanding of their interplay. Specifically for the sensory hair cells, this led to the deciphering of the molecular networks underpinning their key functions, such as mechanotransduction and to revealing the crucial roles of neglected structures, such as the fibrous lateral links of the hair bundle. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a puzzling synaptic neurotransmitter release molecular machinery underlies the amazing physiological properties of the first synapse of the auditory system. 

Recently, a hidden face of inherited deafness has come to light: the existence of intrinsic auditory cortex deficits masked by peripheral auditory abnormalities. Studies of these deficits are paving the way for a genetic dissection of the central auditory system, using causal genes for audiogenic seizures. This work should improve our understanding of the development of the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the auditory cortex.