Dr. Fritzsch investigates the molecular development of neurosensory cells of the ear (hair cells, sensory neurons, efferents) with the aim to delay, repair and restore neurosensory hearing loss and the loss of balance. Current focus of the laboratory is on the use of neurotrophins to maintain innervation of the ear in the absence of hair cells. Recent work concentrates and the possible use of embryonic ear transplantations to investigate the molecular basis of pathfinding of afferents to enter the right nuclei in the brainstem. IN a collaborative work with the Hansen laboratory we are investigating molecular countermeasures to slow the growth of schwannoma. The laboratory uses a combination of molecular tools, transgenic animals, embryonic manipulations and pharmacological treatments in combination with various imaging techniques to analyze the outcomes of the targeted manipulations.