Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah: Understanding the Mechanisms of the Aging Auditory Neuron

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) has become the most common sensory deficit, according to Professor of Physiology and Cell Biology Director in the Communication Science Program at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah.

Says Dr. Yamoah, “30% of people over 65 have some form of hearing deficit, a condition shown to have devastating consequences on quality of life.” Dr. Yamoah’s findings are a part of his most current research project, Investigating Mechanisms of the Aging Auditory Neuron, a study funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), that began in 2016, with a targeted end date of May 2021.

As laid out by Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah, the mission statement of the study summarizes that “the inner ear is structured like an orchestral platform, where the symphonic sections play distinct functions…Here, we will provide novel experimental results in careful quantitative studies, which will help to understand the fundamental workings of these systems critical to the health and the aging inner ear.”

Determinants of Age-Induced Hearing Loss | Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah

Called the “essence of human interaction,” as Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah cites in his study, Determinants of Age-Induced Hearing Loss and Reversal Strategies, the maintenance of hearing and communication are at the center of this ambitious project. 

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of ARHL, Dr. Yamoah has assembled an impressive team of experts in the fields of genetics, cell biology, and physiology to work in three separate “core” groups to test the project’s central hypothesis; that aging auditory sensory epithelia, or thick cell layers, undergo structural changes that allow the high [potassium] endolymph – or, fluid in the membrane of the ear – to leak into the inner ear, triggering…synaptic and neuronal degeneration.”

Dr. Yamoah and his team have been using mice to test their hypothesis better. He believes that the proposed studies will reveal critical neural mechanisms of ARHL and, together with data derived from the various core groups, and new therapeutic remedies for ARHL. Dr. Yamoah boldly states that the results from his studies “are likely to transform and shift the prevailing paradigm from descriptive to mechanistic and translational platforms.”

Administrative Core | Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah

Of the three “core” groups assembled to test the Central Hypothesis, perhaps the most critical in keeping the study on track is the Administrative Core. Under Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah’s leadership as Administrative Core Leader, the Administrative Core has provided financial oversight, clerical support, and informational outreach, coordinated interactions with the various research teams and executive committees, administered collaborative contractual agreements with Stanford University, University of Washington, and Saint Louis University, ensured regulatory compliance with regards to animal rights, resource sharing and public access for publications, as well as, most importantly, that the scientific objections of the hypothesis have been met.

Award-Winning Track Record | Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah

A perfectly-suited leader for this critical ongoing research, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah has amassed an impressive number of accolades in his acclaimed career in science and academia. Namely, Dr. Yamoah was awarded the 1988 American Society for Cell Biology Summer Fellowship, the 1989 Potters’ Research Fellowship, the 1994 Grass Foundation Research Fellowship, and the 2010 Dean of School of Medicine Research Excellence Award from the University of California, Davis, CA. Yamoah’s studies are set to complete in 2021, with potentially world-altering results that can benefit citizens worldwide.

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