Introduction to the InnerEarLab

The InnerEarLab explores sensory processing in the inner ear during normal and impaired function. A common focus of the groups in the InnerEarLab is on sensory encoding in the inner ear by specialized synapses the hair cell ribbon synapses. We combine various techniques for studying the molecular anatomy and physiology of these synapses. The group of Carolin Wichmann studies the molecular ultrastructure of synapses using light and electron microscopy. The group of Tobias Moser uses patch-clamp, optical methods, and biophysical modeling to study structure and function of hair cell ribbon synapses and the endbulb of Held synapse in the cochlear nucleus. The group of Tina Pangršič Vilfan studies the molecular and cellular basis of noise-induced hearing loss as well as vestibular neurotransmission. The group of Nicola Strenzke studies auditory systems physiology at the single neuron and population levels. The group of Christian Vogl explores the development of inner hair cell ribbon synapses. The Beutner group studies middle ear mechanics using contact-free measurements by laser-doppler vibrometer. Thomas Effertz with his group studies the molecular function of mechano-electrical transduction. The Moser and Strenzke groups also work on establishing optogenetic stimulation of the auditory nerve as a tool for auditory research and improved hearing restoration by cochlear implants, which is also a focus of the work of the Wrobel group, who additionally work on the recovery of the damaged auditory nerve. The Beutner, Moser, and Strenzke groups also perform clinical research.


  • bioRxiv, doi:, 2022 September 6th Graded optogenetic activation of the auditory pathway for neural network analysis and hearing restoration
  • bioRxiv, doi:, 2022 August 5th Expansion microscopy at one nanometer resolution
  • Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2022 Jul 23. doi: 10.1002/acn3.51633. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35869884 , 2022 July 23rd GGPS1-associated muscular dystrophy with and without hearing loss
  • IEEE Spectrum online,July 18th, 2022 Restoring Hearing With Beams of Light
  • Hum Mutat. 2022 Jul 11. doi: 10.1002/humu.24435. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35815345, 2022 July 11th Biallelic variants in WARS1 cause a highly variable neurodevelopmental syndrome and implicate a critical exon for normal auditory function
  • Clin Transl Dis. 2022 Jul 7. doi: 10.1002/ctd2.102. Online ahead of print, 2022 July 7th Whole genome sequencing for newborns—The devil is in the details
  • Hum Mutat. 2022 Jul 5.doi: 10.1002/humu.24430. Online ahead of print, 2022 July 5th WARS1 and SARS1: two tRNA synthetases implicated in autosomal recessive microcephaly
  • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 2022 June 7th Synaptic transmission at the vestibular hair cells of amniotes
  • EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2022 May 2nd, accepted Is there an unmet medical need for improved hearing restoration?
  • Groups

    Prof. Dirk Beutner
    Dirk Beutner

    Middle Ear Research Group
    Dr. Thomas Effertz
    Thomas Effertz

    Mechano-electrical-transduction in the inner ear Research group
    Dr. Marcus Jeschke
    Marcus Jeschke

    Cognitive Hearing in Primates
    Dr. Kathrin Kusch
    Kathrin Kusch

    Functional Auditory Genomics
    Prof. Dr. Tobias Moser
    Tobias Moser

    Molecular anatomy, physiology,
    and pathology of sound coding and prosthetics
    Prof. Dr. Tina Pangršič
    Tina Pangršič

    Synaptic physiology of mammalian vestibular hair cells
    Prof. Nicola Strenzke
    Nicola Strenzke

    Auditory Systems Physiology
    Dr. Christian Vogl
    Christian Vogl

    Presynaptogenesis and intracellular transport in hair cells
    Prof. Dr. Carolin Wichmann
    Carolin Wichmann

    Molecular architecture of synapses
    Dr. Christian Wrobel
    Christian Wrobel

    Methods to recover hearing and their clinical translation

    Related Institutions

    MBExC Multiscale Bioimaging Cluster of Ecellence
    Institute for Auditory Neuroscience
    Max Planck Institut for Biophysical Chemistry
    Department of Otolaryngology
    Sensory and Motor Neuroscience
    Universitätsmedizin Göttingen