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Details for Dr Dawn Davies

Personal details
Name Dr Dawn Davies
Job title Senior Teaching Fellow
Department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
Qualifications BSc, PhD(Bristol)
Professional details
Keywords sensory hair cells
inner ear
balance deficit
hearing deficit
epithelial cells
cell fate
extracellular environment
Areas of expertise Mammals are unique in their inability to regenerate the sensory hair cells of the inner ear. Therefore, loss of these cells, as a result of damage or disease, causes permanent balance or hearing deficit. When hair cells are lost the neurones that innervate them also begin to die back. My aim is to identify key-mechanisms involved in the development of the inner ear that may be recapitulated following damage, in order to promote regeneration.

The inner ear has been described as ‘one of the most remarkable displays of precision engineering in the vertebrate body’ yet this complex organ develops from a simple sheet of epithelial cells. The early epithelium contains the precursors for all the cell types that will eventually comprise the mature organ, including neurones and sensory hair cells. I am investigating how cell fate and behaviour are influenced by interactions between cells and proteins in the extracellular environment.