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Brian McDermott, Ph.D.

Brian M. Jr. McDermott, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Otolaryngology
Case Western Reserve University

11100 Euclid Ave., Mail Stop 5045
Wearn Bldg., Room 452
Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone : 216-844-6036
Fax : 216-983-0663
Email :


Our group is interested in exploring the molecular bases of auditory hair-cell development and operation. Hearing, balance, and, for some aquatic vertebrates, the detection of water movement rely upon the hair cell, a highly specialized mechanoreceptor of the inner ear and lateral-line system. This receptor cell represents mechanical stimuli as electrical responses that are relayed to the brain. Physiologically, hair cells are very well understood and much is known about how they function in hearing. However, to understand the molecular bases of hearing, the genes expressed in hair cells must be identified and their role in hearing evaluated. We have developed a functional genomics approach involving the zebrafish (Danio rerio) (Figure 1) model system that utilizes DNA oligonucleotide microarrays and reverse genetics to explore the molecular mechanisms of hair-cell development and operation. Our research is focused on understanding three aspects of the hair cell: hair-bundle morphogenesis, hair-cell innervation, and ribbon synapse formation and function. We additionally integrate imaging, physiological, transgenic, and behavioral approaches to investigate the biology of the hair cell.



  1. Belnap D M, McDermott B M Jr., Filman D J, Cheng N, Trus B L, Zuccola H J, Racaniello V R, Hogle J M, Steven A C. (2000)
    Three-dimensional structure of poliovirus receptor bound to poliovirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 97(1):73-8.
  2. Bouchard M J, Dong Y, McDermott B M Jr., Lam D H, Brown K R, Shelanski M, Bellve A R, Racaniello V R. (2000)
    Defects in nuclear and cytoskeletal morphology and mitochondrial localization in spermatozoa of mice lacking nectin-2, a component of cell-cell adherens junctions. Mol Cell Biol. Apr; 20(8):2865-73.
  3. McDermott B M Jr., Rux A H, Eisenberg R J, Cohen G H, Racaniello V R. (2000)
    Two distinct binding affinities of poliovirus for its cellular receptor. J Biol Chem. Jul; 275(30):23089-96.
  4. Tsang SK, McDermott B M Jr., Racaniello V R, Hogle J M. (2001)
    A kinetic analysis of the effect of poliovirus receptor on viral uncoating: the receptor as a catalyst. J Virol. Jun; 75(11):4984-9.
  5. McDermott B M Jr., Baucom J, Hudspeth A J. (2007)
    Analysis and functional evaluation of the hair-cell transcriptome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 10; 104(28):11820-5.
  6. McDermott B M Jr., Jani S D, McClintock J, Baucom J M, Hudspeth A J. ()
    Transgenic zebrafish that express green fluorescent proteins in hair cells, support cells, and neurons of the acousticolateralis system. Manuscript in preparation..
faculty/mcdermott/index.txt ยท Last modified: 2015/05/07 05:14 (external edit)