Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Jeremy Duncan

Second Advisor

John Jellies

Third Advisor

Cindy Linn


Hearing loss can occur in a variety of ways, and in every case, they have equally devasting effects. While hearing loss and the people who suffer from it shall not be discriminated against, attempting to offer options for treatments nevertheless should be of priority. As such, there has been much progress in the field of genetically based forms of treatment for sensorineural hearing loss. A gene that has been almost always implicated in the conversation of regeneration, Hair Cell and Spiral Ganglia development, and inner ear development, in general, is the Zing Finger transcription factorsGata3. Furthermore, since the Organ of Corti is a complex organization of cells, we found a perfect opportunity to document the effect of Gata3 in cells of the GER that do not usually express high levels of Gata3. Thus, we were interested in documenting the effects of Gata3 overexpression on the genetic profile of these cells. To do this we decided to overexpress gata3 in the cells of the GER. We utilized the tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase transgenic mouse line Fgf10-CreERT2 to characterize Ffg10 expression in the GER (Fgf10-CreERT2:tdTomato), to then have certainty in our method of inducing overexpression of Gata3 (Fgf10-CreERT2:Gata3OE) in the cells of the GER. In doing this, we found no significant evidence that Gata3 overexpression causes any drastic morphologic or cell fate changes in the OC. This grants us some confidence. That if Gata3 ever be used as a treatment option in the future; for either sensorineural hearing loss treatment, HDR (Gata3 haploinsufficiency), or preemptive protection against expected otic trauma, it should not create any abnormal changes in the OC.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access