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Samuel P Gubbels, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery, has been working to regenerate a specific kind of ear cell that takes the major responsibility for human hearing loss, called a hair cell.

Unlike certain species — like some birds, fish or amphibians — who can regenerate their hair cells when lost, once the human’s hair cells are damaged or dead, whether it is due to noises, drugs or aging, the hearing is lost permanently.

Thus, if hair cells could be regenerated by scientists and transplanted into the human’s inner ears, there may be chances that hearing impairment could be cured at its root, according to Dr. Gubbels.

Current medical treatments for hearing loss patients include using hearing aids and cochlea implants. Although those therapies have worked well for thousands of patients, the help is still limited and has several disadvantages.

Learn more about Dr. Gubbels’ research and read the full story from the Daily Cardinal here. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System