Professor Marcelo N. Rivolta

Marcelo RivoltaProfessor of Sensory Stem Cell Biology
Centre for Stem Cell Biology
Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Room: C226 Alfred Denny building
Phone: +44 (0) 114 222 2385
Email: m.n.rivolta@sheffield.ac.uk

Centre for Stem Cell Biology Bateson Centre


Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine


Neuroscience



General

Brief career history

  • 2013-present: Professor of Sensory Stem Cell Biology, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield. UK.
  • 2012-2013: Reader in Sensory Stem Cell Biology, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield. UK.
  • 2003-2011: Senior Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield. UK.
  • 2001-2003: Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield. UK.
  • 1998-2001: Research Fellow, Department of Physiology, University of Bristol. UK.
  • 1995-1998: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Physiology, University of Bristol. UK.
  • 1992-1995: Ph.D., NIH. Bethesda, Maryland, USA and University of Córdoba, Argentina.
  • 1992-1995: Visiting Associate at the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, NIDCD, NIH. Bethesda. Maryland. USA.
  • 1992-1991: Visiting Fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, NIDCD, NIH. Bethesda. Maryland. USA.
  • 1989-1991: Visiting Fellow at the Laboratory of Cellular Biology, NIDCD, NIH. Bethesda. Maryland. USA.
  • 1989: M.D. School of Medicine, University of Córdoba. Argentina.
  • 1984-1989: Research Assistant. Institute of Cell Biology and Department of Histology, Embryology and Genetics. School of Medicine, University of Córdoba. Argentina.

Research interests

Deafness is a major public health issue worldwide, with more than 3 million people in the UK alone enduring a moderate to profound hearing loss. The Rivolta laboratory is dedicated to study the biology and behaviour of auditory stem cells (primarily human) and to explore their potential to regenerate the damaged inner ear.

Professional activities

  • Reviewer for leading scientific journals.
  • Reviewer for research proposals submitted to Action on Hearing Loss, Deafness Research UK, The Wellcome Trust, MRC, BBSRC and other funding bodies.
  • Invited speaker at several national and international meetings.
  • Trustee of the charity ‘The Ear Foundation’.

Invited Seminars

Invited to give numerous seminars, opening and plenary lectures.

In the media

Full publications

Research

Regenerative therapies for hearing loss: The development and use of human stem cells

Hearing loss has substantial personal, social and economic implications. It is most commonly caused by damage to the sensory hair cells and/or the auditory neurons in the cochlea. One possible therapeutic path would be to use otic progenitors generated in vitro to functionally replace the damaged cells.

Our group has made key advances developing stem cell technologies into a potentially viable therapy. We isolated a population of stem cells from the human fetal cochlea, and we have developed robust protocols to drive otic differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells. We also have established the proof of concept that hESC-derived otic progenitors can repair the damaged cochlea. We demonstrated that transplanted cells can graft into an animal model of auditory neuropathy, and elicit functional recovery as measured by auditory brainstem thresholds.

In an integrative regenerative medicine strategy, we are now exploring the combination of stem cells with cochlear implants, aiming to develop a true bionic implant. This device should conceptually combine stem cells with stimulatory electrodes. For this we are developing animal models of cell transplantation and implantation. On a parallel strategy, we are also using stem cells to develop in vitro platforms that would facilitate drug discovery and analysis.

We have several collaborations with industry and academia, within the UK as well as worldwide. We are part of Otostem, an international consortium with partners in Stanford, Harvard, Geneva, Uppsala, Tübigen and Marseille.

Figure 1

Funding

  • Medical Research Council
  • European Union
Teaching

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

Level 2:

  • BMS235 Integrated Physiology and Pharmacology
  • BMS236 Building Nervous Systems

Level 3:

  • BMS382 Stem Cell Biology (Coordinator)
  • BMS339 Patients as Educators Project
  • BMS349 Extended Library Project
  • BMS369 Laboratory Research Project

Masters (MSc):

  • BMS6056 Stem Cell Biology (Coordinator)
  • BMS6051 Retrieval and Evaluation of Research Information (Coordinator)

Selected publications

Journal articles