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The University of Southampton

Professor Christine Petit Distinguished Lecture Event

17:30 - 19:00
27 October 2016
Building 67, Room 1027

For more information regarding this event, please email Elizabeth Nutburn (Lloyd) at .

Event details

We are very pleased to announce a Distinguished Lecture given by Professor Christine Petit from Institut Pasteur, Paris, France on “Understanding hearing mechanisms in light of genetic disorders of this sensory system: from sound detection to auditory perception”

Hearing is unique among the senses in its increasing contribution to communication during evolution, culminating in the development of language and music by humans. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development and functioning of the auditory system remained unknown until the start of the 1990s.

We developed a genetic approach based on the identification of deafness genes in humans, and then carried out multidisciplinary studies, mostly in genetically engineered mouse mutants, to obtain insight into the operation of this sensory system and the molecular networks underlying this functioning.

This lecture will describe the progress we have made, on both aspects, towards understanding sound processing by the auditory sensory cells, the hair cells, and, in particular, the way in which their sensory antennae, the hair bundles, work to mediate the interplay between their various functions. It will show how this research has, in parallel, revolutionized our knowledge of sensorineural deafness.

Based on recent results, a new focus is emerging, highlighting the molecular mechanisms of auditory perception and revealing an overlooked side of inherited deafness that should lead to a reappraisal of therapies for hearing impairment.

Author Biography

Christine Petit, MD, PhD, is Professor at College de France (Chair of Genetics and Cellular Physiology), and Professor at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Christine Petit graduated in Medicine (M.D. from Pierre et Marie Curie University – Paris VI) and in Basic Biological Sciences, Genetics and Biochemistry, at Orsay University (Paris XI). She received her Ph.D at Institut Pasteur.

During her research training, she studied microbial genetics with Gunnar Lindhal and François Jacob, cell genetics, human genetics with Jean Weissenbach and Pierre Tiollais, and immunology.

In 2002, she was appointed Professor at College de France where she holds the chair of “Genetics and Cellular Physiology”. She is currently the head of the “Genetics and Physiology of Hearing laboratory” (Inserm Unit UMRS 1120) at Institut Pasteur.

Read more on her profile page .

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