An EU Marie Sklodovska-Curie Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Aida Costa in order to work on the sensory cells of the inner ear in a project jointly hosted by Andrew Jarman (CIP) and Sally Lowell (SCRM).
Aida received her PhD from the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, University of Lisbon, where she developed a new methodology to generate inner ear sensory cells using stem cells.
Aida aims to use this model system to understand the genetic processes that control sensory cell generation in the developing ear.
This is important because damage or death of these sensory cells is the leading cause of permanent deafness in humans (for example, due to loud noises, medications, infections, aging). Understanding how the sensory cells are generated gives clues to therapeutic approaches for preventing or reversing their loss in deafness.