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Lab News

Pioneers Deliver on the Promise of Nature’s Medicine Chest

February, 2024

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Result from the first human gene therapy for genetic deafness as reported in the Boston Globe, Science  Mag. and NYTimes.

February, 2024

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Olga's project on STRC gene therapy for DFNB16 is featured in Harvard Otolaryngology Magazine   

Spring, 2022

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Gene therapy advance could reverse a common genetic cause of hearing loss           

December 15, 2021

In vivo base editing restores hearing

June 03, 2020

Saving Beethoven: Single letter speaks volumes

July 03, 2019

Saving Beethoven:  A single letter speaks volumes

Neuron names our TMC1 manuscript one of the 10 best of 2017 -2018 (out of 549 articles)!

February 06, 2019

TMC1 Forms the Pore of Mechanosensory Transduction Channels in Vertebrate Inner Ear Hair Cells

The Scientist names our discovery among the top five biggest science news stories of 2018!

December 27, 2018

From disastrous scientific setbacks to the end of a 40-year search for the hearing protein

Gene Therapy Tackles a Common Birth Defect: Deafness

December 01, 2018

Out of the Silence: After false starts researchers are making progress toward treating deafness with gene therapy.  by Dina Fine Maron. 

​A 40-Year Quest Uncovers Hearing’s “Holy Grail” Protein

August 29, 2018

A new discovery shows how sound waves become brain waves

Ending 40-year quest, scientists reveal ‘hearing’ protein

August 22, 2018

Sensor protein TMC1 is responsible for hearing and balance. -Health and Medicine, The Harvard Gazette

Long-Sought Hearing Channel Protein Found

August 22, 2018

After a decades-long pursuit, researchers have confirmed the identity of the pore of the mechanotransduction channel in vertebrates’ inner ear hair cells. -Abby Olena, The Scientist

Harvard Scientists: 'Smoking-Gun Evidence' Of Key To Hearing In Ear's Hair Cells

August 22, 2018

New research in the journal Neuron converts that "somehow" into a very specific protein, called TMC1, a critical key for hearing. I spoke with Jeffrey Holt, a Harvard Medical School professor of otolaryngology and neurology and a senior author on the paper. -Carey Goldberg, CommonHealth, WBUR (NPR)

Promising Gene Therapy Results for Usher Syndrome

May 30, 2018

Hearing Health Foundation writer, Kate Telma, interviews Gwen Géléoc, P.h.D, and provides an overview of newest developments in gene therapy for Usher Syndrome. 

Jeff's BBC interview with Georgia Mills

April 03, 2018

Jeff talks with Naked Science Correspondent, Georgia Mills about the prospects for cell and gene therapy for hearing loss.  The interview was featured on BBC radio in the UK and ABC radio in Australia. 

Hearing Loss and the Brain

March 16, 2018

The Holt lab helped solve a decades-old scientific mystery about hearing by discovering that the gene TMC1 (and the related TMC2) is essential for “hair cell transduction” in the inner ear. Brain Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute Letter

Harvard Otolaryngology Magazine, Spring, 2017

Gene Therapy Helps Advance Cures for Genetic Deafness

April 07, 2017

Bertarelli Foundation

BBC News: Gene therapy, Deaf to hearing a whisper

February 07, 2017

Deaf mice have been able to hear a tiny whisper after being given a "landmark" gene therapy by US scientists. Jeffrey Holt is invited for an interview on BBC News. 


February 06, 2017

Gwenaëlle Géléoc, PhD

In this USH Talk, Dr. Gwen Géléoc shares exciting news on progress made towards gene therapy for Usher syndrome type 1c. Working with a mouse model of a human mutation, Dr. Géléoc and colleagues delivered a normal copy of the Ush1c gene to the inner ear soon after the mice were born. This led to robust improvements enabling profoundly deaf and dizzy mice to hear sounds at the level of whispers and recover proper balance function. Dr. Géléoc is cautiously optimistic that successes in the lab will someday lead to novel therapeutic approaches in the clinic.

Now Hear This!

February 06, 2017

Improved gene therapy restores hearing and balance in pre-clinical tests

An inner ear in a dish

May 24, 2016

Vector Blog, Boston Children’s Hospital

Could regenerative techniques restore hearing or balance by replacing lost sensory cells in the inner ear? Lab-created inner-ear organs, described today in Nature Communications, could provide helpful three-dimensional models for testing potential therapies.

A happy coincidence for Irish tot with cochlear implants

December 22, 2015

The thing about clichés is sometime they are just spot on. “It’s small world after all,” sprung to mind when I heard about how hearing-restoration researcher Jeffrey Holt, PhD, met Roisin Morgan, an Irish toddler with hearing loss, on an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Boston. Read Holt’s recount of their meeting, and watch the reunion video.

Science Friday NPR: Gene Therapy Aims to Switch on Hearing

November 13, 2015

In this segment of Science Friday, guest host John Dankosky discusses gene therapy for the ears with Holt and Lustig. And Mary Harris of WNYC’s Only Human podcast brings us the story of the deaf composer Jay Zimmerman and his dilemma over whether to attempt treating his hearing loss with gene therapy. 

Deaf mice cured with gene therapy

September 01, 2015

Reuters: Boston, Massachusetts - In a laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital a cure for genetic deafness is taking shape. Lead researcher Jeff Holt says that if all goes as planned, children of the future who lose their ability to hear due to genetic mutation will never go deaf.

BBC News: Deafness could be treated by virus, say scientists

July 09, 2015

Scientists say they have taken a significant step towards treating some forms of deafness after restoring hearing in animals.

Gene therapy could be the key to hearing loss

July 09, 2015

Research fellow Bifeng Pan, left, research assistant Erin Child and instructor Yukako Asai are part of the team that has been working on a treatment that restores genetic hearing loss.

Genetic Tweaks Are Restoring Hearing In Animals, Raising Hopes For People

July 08, 2015

NPR- All Things Considered

Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice

July 08, 2015

Vector Blog, Boston Children's Hospital 

More than 70 different genes are known to cause deafness when mutated. Jeffrey Holt, PhD, envisions a day when patients with hearing loss have their genome sequenced and their hearing restored by gene therapy. A proof-of-principle study published today by the journal Science Translational Medicinetakes a clear step in that direction, restoring hearing in deaf mice.

Mice with hereditary deafness hear again thanks to gene therapy

July 08, 2015

New Scientist

Hearing Restored in Mice with Genetic Deafness using Gene Therapy

July 08, 2015

IFL Science! 

Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice

July 08, 2015

Harvard Medical School News

Gene therapy restores hearing in mice

July 08, 2015

Science News

Injected virus may someday treat a hereditary form of human deafness

Local researchers’ gene therapy treatment offers hope to deaf

July 08, 2015

Boston Herald

Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have restored hearing in deaf mice by replacing a mutated gene with a healthy version by injecting it into their ears.

Inside the Holt/Geleoc Lab

October 01, 2014

Harvard Otolaryngology

Gene therapy strategies lend hope to hearing loss treatments 

Lady Gaga at High Volume Drives Hearing-Loss Drug Search

January 07, 2015

New Piece of a Mysterious Channel

November 25, 2014

Researchers have nailed down yet another component of the mechanotransduction complex responsible for relaying signals from hair cells in the ear.

Jeff comments on 'The Scientist'

Engineering Research Partnerships To Launch in Jan.

November 04, 2014

The Harvard Crimson

Tackling Blindness, Deafness Through Neuroengineering

October 24, 2014

New grants for five research projects awarded by the Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering

Harvard Medical School News 

Thinking With Your Feet: How Soccer Rewires Your Brain

June 10, 2014

NPR affiliate – WBUR 

Read Jeff’s Commentary on Soccer and the Human Brain

Jeffrey Holt: Every artful touch of the ball, exquisite pass, explosive burst of speed and thundering shot on goal, begins in the cortex of evolution’s greatest achievement: the human brain. In this photo, Serbia's Nemanja Matic (14) goes up for a header against Panama's Armando Cooper (11) during the first half of an international friendly soccer game in Bridgeview, Ill., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (Paul Beaty/AP)

Hearing restoration has a sound future

May 09, 2014

Vector: BCH Science and Clinical Innovation Blog

This post is adapted from a commentary in this week’s edition of Science byJeffrey R. Holt, PhD, and Gwenaelle S. G. Géléoc, PhD, of the Department of Otolaryngology and F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Implant Injects DNA Into Ear, Improves Hearing

April 24, 2014

Deaf people get gene tweak to restore natural hearing

April 23, 2014

New Scientist

Jeff comments on: "Deaf People get gene tweak to restore natural hearing"

People who have lost their hearing will be injected with a harmless virus carrying a gene that should trigger the regrowth of their ears’ sensory receptors

How things work: Scientists find cellular channels vital for hearing

July 31, 2013

Vector Blog –Boston Children’s Hospital

Each sensory cell, of which the human ear has about 16,000, has tiny hairs tipped with TMC1 and TMC2 proteins. When sound vibrations strike the bundle, it wiggles back and forth, opening and closing the TMC channels. When open, the channel allows calcium into the cell, initiating an electrical signal to the brain relayed by the 8th cranial nerve.

Une a Nimes

April 01, 2013

Nimes, France- Article (en francais)

For Lab Mice, The Medical Advances Keep Coming

December 31, 2011

NPR – All Things Considered

Midi Libre

December 12, 2011

Montpelier, France

News Article (en francais)

Gene-therapy trial will attempt to restore hearing in deaf mice

November 29, 2011

Vector Blog – Boston Children’s Hospital

Mice with deletions of both TMC1 and TMC2 (four panels at left) have auditory hair bundles that look like those of normal mice (right panels), but don’t convert sound waves to electrical impulses. The bottom row shows the bundles in closeup. (Click to enlarge)

Ear researchers think like engineers

October 24, 2011

The Boston Globe

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo: Buy Mexican

May 05, 2009

NPR affiliate – WMRA

Hear Jeff’s Cinco de Mayo commentary or read the transcript and post a comment. 

Jeff’s comments on the Calirobics Program

March 17, 2009

NPR affiliate – WVTF

Restoring hearing in humans through gene delivery

November 07, 2007

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Researchers have an ear for fine motion control 

October 22, 2007

Design News

Innovations in Medicine

July 16, 2007

ReachMD – XM satellite radio

 Deafness research has a Sound Future

June 29, 2007

The goal of much of inner ear research is to develop strategies to treat both genetic and acquired forms of hearing and balance dysfunction. 


Virus Able to Transmit Genes in Deafness Therapy

June 22, 2007

The Journal of Young Investigators - Doshi Ojus

 Scientists step closer to curing genetic or acquired hearing loss 

June 18, 2007

 Medical Research News

Genes in human inner ear cells restored

June 14, 2007

Science Daily

Researchers have discovered a way to transfer genes, which they hope will restore hearing, into diseased tissue of the human inner ear. This important step brings scientists closer to curing genetic or acquired hearing loss.


Sensory Cells For Hearing And Balance Are Fast-Developing, UVA Researchers Find

September 15, 2003

Science Daily 

The functional development of hair cells in the inner ear that mediate hearing and balance takes place over a period of just one day in mouse embryos, according to a study by a research team at the University of Virginia Health System.

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BBC News- July 9, 2015 - BBC with guest, Jeffrey Holt
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