Dr. Gubbels’ lab is interested in using a variety of stem cell types to model the development, disease and regeneration of inner ear hair and supporting cells in vitro. His research focuses on defining a method to reliably direct the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into auditory hair cells and other inner ear cell types. In addition, he seeks to evaluate the ability of these cells to integrate into the appropriate areas of the inner ear upon transplantation by using a novel, developmental in vivo model system. In addition, his research uses a number of transgenic mouse models to evaluate the persistence of a population of stem cell-like cells in the adult mammalian cochlea.
In addition to his basic and translational research interests, Dr. Gubbels is involved in a variety of clinical research projects. Areas of particular interest are in imaging of cochlear implants, hearing preservation in cochlear implantation and skull base surgery, and cochlear implant indications.