Dr Stuart Johnson

Stuart Johnson

Royal Society University Research Fellow
Department of Biomedical Science
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Room: B1 220 Alfred Denny building
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 3692
Email: s.johnson@sheffield.ac.uk
Group: Hearing Research Group




Brief career history

  • 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.

Hearing Research Group

Professional activities

Invited Seminars

  • Sandbjerg Meeting on Membrane Transport, Denmark (2015)


  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2011)

Full publications list


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.

Figure 1


  • Henrique von Gersdorff (Vollum Institute, USA)
  • Robert Fettiplace FRS (Wisconsin, USA)
  • Marcelo Rivolta (Sheffield)


  • The Royal Society
  • Action on Hearing Loss

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules


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

Masters (MSc)

  • BMS6335 Sensory Neuroscience

Selected publications

Journal articles