Professor Walter Marcotti

Department of Biomedical Science

Professor of Sensory Neuroscience

w.marcotti@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 1098

Full contact details

Professor Walter Marcotti
Department of Biomedical Science
B1 221
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TN
Profile
  • 2012 - present: Professor of Sensory Neuroscience
  • 2006 - present: Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • 2004 - 2005: Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sussex, UK.
  • 2001 - 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sussex, UK.
  • 1997 - 2000: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol, UK.
  • 1994 - 1997: PhD, University of Pavia, Italy.
  • 1989 - 1992: University Degree in Biological Science, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.
Research interests
  • Molecular and physiological mechanisms controlling the functional maturation of the auditory system.
  • Mechanoelectrical transduction at the hair cell stereocilia
  • Signal processing at ribbon synapses
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Mechanisms underlying different forms of hearing loss and deafness

Auditory neuroscience and deafness sensory transduction synaptic transmission

Sensory organs and the neural networks responsible for processing sensory information are supremely well adapted for detecting input from the external environment. Their challenge is to maximize sensitivity and fidelity over a wide dynamic range. The sensory receptors of the mammalian auditory system, the inner hair cells (IHCs), do this with unparalleled temporal precision (kHz range). We know little about the molecular and physiological mechanisms controlling the functional maturation of the auditory system or signal processing at the primary auditory synapses, the IHC ribbon synapses. Crucial to this work, is the need of near-physiological in vitro and the development of in vivo experimental models.

My laboratory is uniquely suited for this task because it is the only one in the world that routinely uses near-physiological conditions for in vitro mammalian cochlear physiology and performs in-vivo electrophysiology from the zebrafish.  How biological systems orchestrate their development and how complex signals are processed by mature neuronal networks are major challenges in the quest to understand human biology and disease.

The auditory system provides an ideal model with which to address these questions, primarily because it involves a highly ordered array of a very small number of sensory cells with well-defined neuronal circuitry. It is also a key priority for human health because hearing loss affects more than 360 million people worldwide (WHO 2013), a number that will increase with the aging population.

Publications

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Olt J, Ordoobadi AJ, Marcotti W & Trapani JG (2016) Physiological recordings from the zebrafish lateral line In Detrich III HW, Westerfield M & Zon LI (Ed.), The Zebrafish: Cellular and Developmental Biology, Part A Cellular Biology (pp. 253-279). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Corns LF, Bardhan T, Houston O, Olt J, Holley MC, Masetto S, Johnson SL & Marcotti W (2014) Functional Development of Hair Cells in the Mammalian Inner Ear, Development of Auditory and Vestibular Systems: Fourth Edition (pp. 155-188). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Corns LF, Bardhan T, Houston O, Olt J, Holley MC, Masetto S, Johnson SL & Marcotti W (2014) Functional Development of Hair Cells in the Mammalian Inner Ear, Development of Auditory and Vestibular Systems (pp. 155-188). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Alexander EE, Altieri SC, Avraham KB, Bardhan T, Baxendale S, Beraneck M, Bhonker Y, Cardon G, Chen P, Clause A , Contreras J et al (2014) Contributors, Development of Auditory and Vestibular Systems (pp. xi-xiii). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Prigioni I, Russo G & Marcotti W (1996) Potassium currents of hair cells in thin slices of vestibular epithelium In Torre V & Conti F (Ed.) (pp. 193-200). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marcotti W & Masetto S () Hair Cells John Wiley & Sons, Ltd RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • DINKLO T, VAN NETTEN SM, MARCOTTI W & KROS CJ (2003) SIGNAL PROCESSING BY TRANSDUCER CHANNELS IN MAMMALIAN OUTER HAIR CELLS. Biophysics of the Cochlea RIS download Bibtex download
  • Russo G, Marcotti W, Lelli A & Prigioni I (2000) Differential expression of inward rectifier K+ currents in frog crista ampullaris. PFLUG ARCH EUR J PHY, Vol. 439(5) (pp R281-R281) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Prigioni I, Russo G, Marcotti W & Lelli A (2000) Intraregional expression gradients of voltage-gated conductances in frog semicircular canals.. EUR J NEUROSCI, Vol. 12 (pp 142-142) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Russo G, Marcotti W & Prigioni J (1998) Two components of a delayed rectifier K+ current in frog vestibular hair cells. PFLUG ARCH EUR J PHY, Vol. 436(5) (pp R16-R16) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marcotti W, Russo G & Prigioni I (1997) Delayed-rectifier K+ currents in type II vestibular hair cells. PFLUG ARCH EUR J PHY, Vol. 434(3) (pp 54-54) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Collaborators

  • Prof Steve Brown and Dr Mike Bowl (MRC Harwell, Oxford, UK)
  • Prof Corne Kros (University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)
Grants
Teaching activities

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

Undergraduate:

  • BMS335 Sensory Neuroscience (Co-ordinator)
  • Level 3 Practical and Dissertation Modules

Masters (MSc):

  • BMS6335 Sensory Neuroscience (Co-ordinator)
Professional activities
  • Reviewing editor for Journal of Physiology
  • BBSRC Core panel member – Panel A
  • Grant reviewer for UK/EU Research Councils and Charities
  • Reviewer for many leading scientific journals
Awards
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator (2014)
  • Sharpey-Schafer Lecture and Prize (2011) – Physiological Society, Oxford.
  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2004), The Royal Society, UK.