Dr Stuart Johnson

School of Biosciences

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Stuart Johnson
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+44 114 222 3692

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Dr Stuart Johnson
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
S10 2TN
  • 2011-present: Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • 2009-2011: RNID Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • 2006-2009: Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • 2003-2005: MRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sussex, UK.
  • 1998-2003: D.Phil, University of Sussex, UK.
  • 1995-1998: BSc Hons Biological Sciences (Animal Physiology), University of Leicester, UK.
Research interests
  • Signalling characteristics of cochlear hair cells.

Auditory neuroscience, sensory coding, synaptic transmission

Mammalian cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) are the primary sensory cells of the auditory pathway. Their job is to convert sound vibrations into an electrical signal that can be interpreted by the brain. As such, it is vital that the information encoded by IHCs is accurately preserved at this initial stage. One of the major causes of deafness/hearing loss is associated with IHCs losing their ability to function normally.

The aim of my research is to find out how IHCs are able to accurately encode sounds over a wide frequency and intensity range and how the information is processed on its way to the brain. Knowledge of how the ear processes sound will be informative to develop improved hearing aids, including cochlear implants. An additional aspect of my research applies directly to define how stem cells are able to replace damaged nerve fibres in order to restore hearing (in collaboration with Prof Marcelo Rivolta).

In order to achieve this I will study IHCs in the isolated cochlea using a combination of electrophysiological, cell imaging and molecular biological techniques.


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Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Research group


  • Henrique von Gersdorff (Vollum Institute, USA)
  • Robert Fettiplace FRS (Wisconsin, USA)
  • Marcelo Rivolta (Sheffield)
  • The Royal Society
  • Action on Hearing Loss
Teaching activities

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules


  • BMS248 Neural Circuits, Behaviour & Memory
  • BMS335 Sensory Neuroscience
  • Level 3 Practical and Dissertation Modules

Masters (MSc)

  • BMS6335 Sensory Neuroscience
Professional activities and memberships

Invited seminars

  • Sandbjerg Meeting on Membrane Transport, Denmark (2015)


  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2011)