Principal Investigator: Dr Jian Zuo
Department: Creighton UniversityTags: 57266, audiology, chemotherapeutics, GWAS, hearing loss, tinnitus, translational-research
Tinnitus is a distressing and persistent condition in a wide portion of the population, but little is known about its functioning and direct cause. Without a solid foundation of understanding, it becomes incredibly difficult to develop effective treatments. In order to develop drug therapies for tinnitus, then, it is critical to understand its mechanism of action. To do this, we plan to conduct a genetic study based on data from both the UK Biobank and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to identify genes impacting the development and severity of tinnitus. Then, by relating these genes back to their corresponding pathways and validating the change in activity of these pathways in between healthy and tinnitus-affected individuals, we can identify potential targets for tinnitus therapies. Using a data-based drug screen, it is possible to identify compounds that change the activity of these targets, and by extension, alter the effects of tinnitus in an individual. We are then able to test these compounds in a mouse model that corresponds to the cause of tinnitus, which may be better representative of the effectiveness of the drug against a known cause of tinnitus.