The University of Sheffield
Department of Biomedical Science

Professor Walter Marcotti

Walter MarcottiProfessor of Sensory Neuroscience
Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics
Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN. United Kingdom

Room: B1 221 Alfred Denny
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 1098

Research Summary

One of the challenges in modern medicine is to develop gene and stem cell therapeutic strategies to treat deafness by targeting specific genes that play a crucial role in the generation of the disease. In all cases, it is important to understand how the auditory system normally develops and operates and how defects at molecular level lead to deafness. Moreover, understanding how the ear processes sound is essential to further technical and software development of hearing aids, including cochlear implants.

In my laboratory, we aim to identify the normal development of the mammalian auditory system and, most importantly, to determine the functional/physiological consequences of genes that when mutated cause deafness in humans.This is achieved by studying the physiological properties of the individual sensory hair cells of the mammalian cochlea using electrophysiological, calcium imaging and molecular biology techniques.

Read more on research in the Marcotti laboratory

Career history

Grants and funding

Recent publications

Zampini V, Johnson SL, Franz C, Knipper M, Holley MC, Magistretti J, Masetto S & Marcotti W (2013)
Burst activity and ultrafast activation kinetics of CaV1.3 Ca2+ channels support presynaptic activity in adult gerbil hair cell ribbon synapses..
J Physiol, 591(Pt 16), 3811-3820.

Duncker SV, Franz C, Kuhn S, Schulte U, Campanelli D, Brandt N, Hirt B, Fakler B, Blin N, Ruth P, Engel J, Marcotti W, Zimmermann U & Knipper M (2013)
Otoferlin couples to clathrin-mediated endocytosis in mature cochlear inner hair cells..
J Neurosci, 33(22), 9508-9519.

Johnson SL, Kuhn S, Franz C, Ingham N, Furness DN, Knipper M, Steel KP, Adelman JP, Holley MC & Marcotti W (2013 )
Presynaptic maturation in auditory hair cells requires a critical period of sensory-independent spiking activity..
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 110(21), 8720-8725.

Furness DN, Johnson SL, Manor U, Rüttiger L, Tocchetti A, Offenhauser N, Olt J, Goodyear RJ, Vijayakumar S, Dai Y, Hackney CM, Franz C, Di Fiore PP, Masetto S, Jones SM, Knipper M, Holley MC, Richardson GP, Kachar B & Marcotti W (2013 )
Progressive hearing loss and gradual deterioration of sensory hair bundles in the ears of mice lacking the actin-binding protein Eps8L2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Zampini V, Johnson SL, Holley MC, Marcotti W, Magistretti J, Masetto S, Franz C & Knipper M (2013)
Burst activity and ultrafast activation kinetics of Ca1.3 Ca channels support presynaptic activity in adult gerbil hair cell ribbon synapses
Journal of Physiology, 591(16), 3811-3820.

Chen W, Jongkamonwiwat N, Abbas L, Eshtan SJ, Thurlow JK, Andrews PW, Moore HD, Rivolta MN, Johnson SL, Kuhn S, Milo M & Marcotti W (2012)
Restoration of auditory evoked responses by human ES-cell-derived otic progenitors.
Nature, 490(7419), 278-282.

Eckrich T, Varakina K, Johnson SL, Franz C, Singer W, Kuhn S, Knipper M, Holley MC & Marcotti W (2012)
Development and function of the voltage-gated sodium current in immature mammalian cochlear inner hair cells..
PLoS One, 7(9), e45732.

Johnson SL, Kennedy HJ, Holley MC, Fettiplace R & Marcotti W (2012)
The resting transducer current drives spontaneous activity in prehearing mammalian cochlear inner hair cells.
J Neurosci, 32(31), 10479-10483.

Zuccotti A, Kuhn S, Johnson SL, Franz C, Singer W, Hecker D, Geisler HS, Köpschall I, Rohbock K, Gutsche K, Dlugaiczyk J, Schick B, Marcotti W, Rüttiger L, Schimmang T & Knipper M (2012)
Lack of brain-derived neurotrophic factor hampers inner hair cell synapse physiology, but protects against noise-induced hearing loss..
J Neurosci, 32(25), 8545-8553.

Marcotti W (2012) Functional assembly of mammalian cochlear hair cells.
Experimental Physiology, 97(4), 438-451.

Kuhn S, Ingham N, Pearson S, Gribble SM, Clayton S, Steel KP & Marcotti W (2012)
Auditory function in the Tc1 mouse model of down syndrome suggests a limited region of human chromosome 21 involved in otitis media.
PLoS One, 7(2), e31433.