Hearing loss is a steadily growing health concern in Australia, and is listed by the World Health Organization as a major cause of disability worldwide. On an individual level, the influence of a hearing impairment is profound, with often devastating social and economic consequences. Our lab is concerned with understanding the mechanisms responsible for hearing loss, particularly as they relate to neural components, and determining what role ion channels play in controlling auditory function in health, disease and in response to treatment. We use patch-clamp electrophysiology, tissue culture and immunohistochemistry in our in vitro studies, together with in vivo models of hearing loss.
Ms Kate Brody, Research Assistant,
Swinburne University of Technology
University of Queensland
UCL Ear Institute (UK)
University of Auckland (NZ)
Centre for Eye Research Australia
Wagstaff Research Fellowship, Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital
Dulcie Gam Trust
Action on Hearing Loss
This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
Cai HQ, Gillespie LN, Wright T, Brown WGA, Minter R, Nayagam B, O’Leary SJ, and Needham K. (2017) Time-dependent activity of primary auditory neurons in the presence of neurotrophins and antibiotics. Hearing Research 350: 122-132
Richardson RT, Thompson A, Wise AK, and Needham K. (2017) Challenges for the application of optical stimulation in the cochlea for the study and treatment of hearing loss. Expert Opinion On Biological Therapy 17(2): 213-223
Wright T, Gillespie LN, O’Leary SJ, and Needham K. (2016) Firing frequency and entrainment maintained in primary auditory neurons in the presence of combined BDNF and NT3. Scientific Reports 6, 28584
Gill KP, Hung SSC, Lo C, Sharov A, Needham K, Lidgerwood G, Jackson S, Crombie DE, Nayagam BA, Cook T Hewitt AW, Pebay A, and Wong RCB. (2016) Enriched retinal ganglion cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. Scientific Reports 6, 30552
Newbold C, Farrington A, Peters L, Cowan R and Needham K. (2014) Electropermeabilization of adherent cells with cochlear implant electrical stimulation. Audiology and Neurotology 19 (5): 283-292
Gunewardene N, Van Bergen N, Crombie D, Needham K, Dottori M and Nayagam BA. (2014) Differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells into auditory neurosensory progenitors. BioResearch Open Access 3 (4) 162-175
Yong J, Needham K, Brown WGA, Nayagam BA, Yu A, McArthur SL and Stoddart PR. (2014) Gold nanorod assisted near infrared stimulation of primary auditory neurons. Advanced Healthcare Materials 3 (11): 1862-1868
Bird M, Needham K, Frazier A, van Rooijen J, Leung J, Hough S, Denham M, Thornton ME, Parish C, Nayagam BA, Pera M, Thorburn D, Thompson L and Dottori M. (2014) Functional characterization of Friedreich ataxia iPS-derived neuronal progenitors and their integration in the adult brain. PLoS One 9 (7): e101718
Needham K, Hyakumura T, Gunewardene N, Dottori M and Nayagam BA. (2014) Electrophysiological properties of neurosensory progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Research 12 (1): 241-249
Brown WGA, Needham K, Nayagam BA and Stoddart PR. (2013) Whole cell patch clamp for investigating the mechanisms of infrared neural stimulation. Journal of Visualized Experiments (77): e50444
Nayagam BA, Edge AS, Needham K, Hyakumura T, Leung J, Nayagam DAX and Dottori M. (2013) An in vitro model of developmental synaptogenesis using co-cultures of human neural progenitors and cochlear explants. Stem Cells and Development 22: 901-912
Needham K, Minter RL, Shepherd RK and Nayagam BA. (2013) Challenges for stem cells to functionally repair the damaged auditory nerve. Expert Opinion On Biological Therapy 13: 85-101
Needham K, Nayagam BA, Minter RL and O’Leary SJ. (2012) Combined application of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 and its impact on spiral ganglion neuron firing properties and hyperpolarization-activated currents. Hearing Research 291: 1-14
- Neurotrophins - how do they influence neural firing and ion channels?
- Acid-sensitivity in auditory neurons
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Dr Karina Needham