Nicolson Lab

Selective expression of tmc2a transcripts in hair cells of the larval inner ear. The TMC1/2 family members are important components of the mechanotransduction complex in hair cells.


Professor, Oregon Hearing Research Center: Teresa Nicolson

We are interested in the molecular basis of mechanotransduction and synaptic transmission in auditory/vestibular hair cells. To identify key players in these processes, we are studying zebrafish mutants with hearing and balance defects. The aim of our research is to determine gene function by examining the mutants at multiple levels, including the behavioral, cellular, and physiological levels. Another major goal is to provide animal models of human deafness.

Recently, we have concentrated our efforts on developing innovative ways of characterizing our mutants. These new techniques include quantitation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, measuring post-synaptic responses to mechanical stimulation of hair cells, and calcium imaging of hair-cell transients using localized genetic indicators. With these tools in hand, we are able to gain a better understanding of gene function and apply our findings to understanding the pathology of congenital deafness in humans.

Nicolson Lab 2017

Members of the Nicolson lab, 2017


Current Lab Members

Teresa Nicolson
Primary Investigator

Lisa Hayashi
Fish Facility Staff

Itallia Pacentine
Graduate Student

Eliot Smith
Postdoctoral Fellow

Leah Snyder
Research Assistant 2


Nicolson Lab Alumni

Elisabeth Busch-Nentwich
Project Leader, Model Organism Program, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Rachel Clemens-Grisham
Commercial Innovation Life Science Lead at CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space)

Zev Einhorn
Associate Consultant, Zoltners and Sinha Associates

Tim Erickson
Assistant Professor, Biology Department, East Carolina University

Greta Glover
Instrumentation Biologist, Biology Department, Reed College

Katie Kindt
Acting Chief/Tenure Track Investigator, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Qianyung Liu
Senior Scientist, Astellas Pharma Global Development

Reo Maeda
Research Bioengineering Specialist, Ricoh Company, Ltd. Japan

Weike Mo
CEO and founder of UniteGen Inc.

Nikolaus Obholzer
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Ipsen Pharmaceuticals

Christoph Seiler
Zebrafish Core Director, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Lavinia Sheets
Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University in St. Louis

Samuel Sidi
Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Cecilia Toro
Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Linfield College

Joseph Trapani
Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, Amherst College

Sean Wolfson
Manager of Creative Affairs, Gaumont Television

Lab Phone Number

503 494-2928

Mailing Address

Teresa Nicolson Lab
Oregon Health & Science University, Vollum Institute
Mail Code L-474
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Pk. Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97239