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2023 Hearing Therapeutics Summit

Talk: Prof Karen P Steel

Segmenting the biological causes of hearing loss

Prof Karen P Steel, King’s College London

  • Hearing loss is highly heterogeneous – in causation and pathology.
  • Likely to need a range of different therapies for different causes and different sites-of-lesion.
  • Diagnosis of the cause, or at least the site-of-lesion, will be important to stratify patients for clinical trials, then to select the best treatment for each person.
  • Genome sequencing may be useful in some cases but the vast majority of people with hearing loss have no genetic or molecular diagnosis.
  • Can we develop other tools for site-of-lesion?
  • Some types of pathology may be treatable, even reversible, while other cochlear pathologies may not be treatable. Useful to know which is which

About Prof Karen P Steel

Professor of Sensory Function, King’s College London, UK

Karen P Steel obtained her PhD from University College London followed by research posts in Munich, Germany, the MRC Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham, the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, and currently is Professor of Sensory Function at King’s College London. Trained as a mouse geneticist, her main goal is to understand deafness.

She uses genetics as a tool to understand the underlying molecular pathways, and her current focus is on progressive (age-related) hearing loss. Her group works with both mouse and human data, using the mouse for understanding the different pathophysiological mechanisms involved in hearing loss and human genomic data to establish the most common types of deafness in the population.

She was awarded the Brain Prize in 2012 and has served the research community as an elected member of Council of the Royal Society, elected President of the International Mammalian Genetics Society, and elected President of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology among many other roles.

Satellite event of the 58th Inner Ear Biology Meeting