Paving The Way To Curing Deafness, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Explains Promising Stem Cell Research
Many people experience hearing loss at some point in their lifetime, especially as they age. Currently, there are few options for dealing with hearing loss. Many people who experience age-related hearing loss use hearing aids (and have to deal with replacing batteries, remembering to put their hearing aids in each morning, etc.). Other people go through the process of cochlear implant surgery. Ebenezer Yamoah, Ph.D., is working to create a long-lasting biological solution that could be life-changing for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
When hearing loss occurs, it’s often due to damage or degeneration of the hearing cells. Hair cells in the cochlea are an important part of the hearing process. These cells tune and amplify sound, just before the cochlea transforms the sound waves into electrical impulses that travel to the brain for interpretation, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah.
When hair cells are damaged or begin to degenerate, hearing loss occurs, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah. In humans, it’s not possible for these cells to repair or regenerate on their own. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has shown that other organisms – such as birds – have the ability to repair damaged hair cells, making hearing loss far less likely than in humans.
According to Ebenezer N. Yamoah, Ph.D., stem cells are special cells that have the ability to transform into new organ cells, depending on their RNA profile. Much of Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has focused on exploring stem cells in the body, finding cells that have a similar profile to hair cells. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, Ph.D., is hopeful that the injection of stem cells into the area in which hair cells grow could eventually allow the body to regenerate hair cells on its own. This may allow the body to restore hearing biologically.
Currently, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has shown that the insertion of stem cells into the ears of mice who have experienced age-related hearing loss can change damaged hair cells. As Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research continues, there is hope that eventually, stem cells will transform into hair cells in mice. Over time, and with further research, it’s possible that this technology could be used to cure deafness in humans.
Having held leadership positions everywhere from Johns Hopkins to UC-Davis to his current position of Director of the Communication Science Program in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology at the University of Nevada-Reno School of Medicine, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah knows a few things about running a productive research group.
With longstanding records of accomplishment in administration, including chair for the minority program and member of the publication committee at the Association of Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), as well as member and chair of NIH study sections and unique emphasis panels, Dr. Yamoah stresses that “the need to maintain academic and cutting-edge research innovation prowess and teaching excellence should be matched by efficient administrative support,” in order for departments to continue to thrive.
To get more specific, he has released several recommendations for research groups looking to maintain healthy, productive, and well-funded standings.
How to Keep a Research Department Thriving | Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Participating responsibly in institutional and professional service while teaching are primary pillars of academic leadership, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah. Transparency also underscores this endeavor, with Dr. Yamoah detailing a personal challenge while running a large laboratory:
“In 2012, while I was away at a scientific meeting, one of my postdoctoral fellows made an innocent, but serious, animal protocol violation. By the time he corrected the deficiency, the damage was done. Upon my return, I took full responsibility and immediately initiated further, extensive corrections to the shortcomings. I have since served on three steering committees that provided recommendations on how institutions should address legitimate animal care concerns, with funding agencies and the public.”
However, the necessity for transparency goes further than accepting responsibility for compromising incidents. To maintain an active and productive research group, leaders must listen to others and incorporate ideas and methods from other institutions while ensuring that proper credit is paid for integrations of these institutions’ most valuable components.
Being well-funded is an obvious key for continued growth, and Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah encourages using enhanced incentive measures for students and faculty, as well as fundraising campaigns to increase the number of departmental endowments,
However, the foundation for maintaining vibrance in a research department is a commitment to diversity. “Diversity in beliefs, background, and humanity is the bedrock of our student and faculty’s academic strength,” says Dr. Yamoah. “As someone who identifies as an underrepresented minority (URM) in the US and science,” Dr. Yamoah continues, “I have taken on the personal quest of promoting diversity and inclusion—especially of women, the disabled, and ethnically underrepresented—among faculty, postdoc, and student ranks.”
To Yamaoh’s point, departmental leaders must advocate for change while serving as a testament to those who also identify as underrepresented minorities.
No Substitute for Experience | Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has made a career of helping bolster the standing of academic departments. In addition to securing numerous research grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Yamoah has been a member of the Society for Neuroscience since 1992, a member of the Biophysical Society since 1993, the American Association for the Advancement in Science since 1994 and the Society for General Physiologists since 2000. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has provided leadership roles to senior faculty for mentoring junior faculty nationwide and set an example for students looking to advance in science and academia.
Research Aims To Find Help for Most Prevalent Sensory Deficit, Says Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, a professor in the Institute of Neuroscience of the University of Nevada at Reno, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health and is currently undertaking a new study on age-induced hearing loss and reversal strategies. Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most prevalent sensory deficit; 30 percent of those older than 65 have some hearing loss. As people live longer ARHL is expected to have an increasingly significant impact on daily life, says Dr. Yamoah.
The study is examining the synaptic and neural structures of the inner ear, as well as the neural plasticity, or the ability of neural networks to change in response to changes at the neurites of spiral ganglion neurons. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah administers the study, which includes a team of researchers from various fields, including physiology, genetics, and cell biology. The study includes three projects to test the hypothesis that the tissue lining the alimentary canal (or epithelia) undergo structural changes that allow high-potassium endolymph leakage into the perilymph or extracellular fluid within the inner ear. The hypothesis is that this leakage triggers depolarization of mechanically sensitive hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons and increased degeneration of intercellular messengers, synapses, and neurons, says Dr. Yamoah. The study team also believes that neural and synaptic alterations at the periphery will mediate cellular changes. The study also will assess new therapeutic targets for the treatment of ARHL, Dr. Yamoah says.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has conducted several studies related to ARHL and made several presentations on his stem cell research, seeking to regenerate the inner ear’s hair cells to restore hearing. In November 2018, Dr. Yamoah presented at the University of Iowa Neuroscience Seminar Series. His topic was “Oddments of K+ Channel Functions in Hair Cells and Auditory Neuron Properties that Shape the Speed of Hearing.”
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah is a physiology professor and director of cell biology in the School of Medicine communication science program at UNR Reno. He earned his Ph.D. and MD degrees in neuroscience from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in 1991. In addition to the ARHL study, he is currently studying calcium-dependent functions in hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons. The National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders funds that study.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah also has served nationally in many organizations, including as member and chair for the minority program at the Association of Research in Otolaryngology, a member of the publication committee of ARO, and a member and chair of NIH study sections and special emphasis panels.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah earned his Ph.D. & MD in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Today, Dr. Yamoah is a highly respected Professor of Physiology and Cell Biology Director in the Communication Science Program at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
Dr. Yamoah has been recognized for his many accomplishments in administration at the University of Nevada. These include recognition for his work as the Communication Science Programs (CSP) director at Reno School of Medicine.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has also served in critical roles at the national level in numerous organizations. These include his work as member and chair for the minority program at the Association of Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), as a member of the publication committee of ARO, and as a member and chair of the National Institute of Health study sections and special emphasis panels. Dr. Yamoah also served in key leadership roles to senior faculty, mentoring junior faculty.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has delivered numerous presentations and professor lectures at events and universities worldwide. At the University College of London, London, UK, in 2018, Dr. Yamoah presented a lecture entitled “The Speed of Electromotility as Defined by Kv 7.4 Channels and the Properties of Type II Neurons in the Post-Hearing Cochlea.”
While this critical lecture is among his most lauded work, it is far from the full spectrum of groundbreaking material that Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has produced. A quick visit to Dr. Yamoah’s personal website, DrEbenezerYamoah.com, reveals a wealth of insights into the science behind the successful treatment of hearing loss. Dr. Yamoah has achieved a fuller understanding of the neurological conditions underlying hearing loss, a central part of everything he has done as a researcher, as a professor, and as an administrator during his distinguished career at the Communication Science Program at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
During his career, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has earned a number of prestigious awards, including the 1988 American Society for Cell Biology Summer Fellowship, and the 2005 – 2007 Faculty Mentorship Award 2010 Dean of School of Medicine Research Excellence Award, University of California, Davis, CA, among many more.
Dr. Yamoah has been awarded multiple current grants to support his work and that of his associates, with others still pending and funding for more than a dozen completed projects.
Today, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah is proud to accept the accolades that have been heaped upon him by his peers, students, and colleagues. It is his accomplishments in science and in the classroom of which he is most proud. Dr. Yamoah’s continuing work is intended primarily to benefit those suffering from hearing loss.
Hearing Is a Complicated Process and Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Is Here To Discuss the Critical Role of Hair Cells
Hearing is a complex process and it is important for everyone to understand the basics of how this works. As sound enters the external ear, it passes through the ear canal until sound strikes the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. Then, this sound is passed to the bones of the middle ear which are the malleus, incus, and stapes. Finally, electrical signals are passed to the brain which are interpreted as sound. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah is an expert in hearing and is here to discuss the important role that hair cells play in the hearing process.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Reviews What Hair Cells Are and How They Work
In order for electrical signals to be passed to the brain, small cells called hair cells have to vibrate. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has studied hair cells extensively and is here to discuss the role they play. According to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, the ear’s hair cells are located in the inner ear. They vibrate in response to sound. Then, these vibrations are translated into electrical signals. These electrical signals are transmitted from the cochlea to the brain and are interpreted as sound. If something happens to either the cochlea or the hair cells, this can lead to hearing loss.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Discusses Some of the Signs of Hearing Loss
There are countless people who suffer from hearing loss and, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, hearing loss can present in a variety of ways. According to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, one of the first signs of hearing loss is that people have trouble hearing in a crowded room. Usually, the body is able to filter out background noise, making it easier for people to focus on a single conversation. With hearing loss, this ability is lost. Furthermore, individuals who have trouble hearing the TV, hearing the radio, or talking on the phone might suffer from hearing loss as well and should see a doctor.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Highlights the Treatment Options Available for Hearing Loss
The good news is that for those who suffer from hearing loss, there are treatment options available. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has spent much of his life looking at solutions to hearing loss and there are several options to highlight. First, some people who suffer from hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. These are designed to amplify the sound as it enters the ear. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah also wants people to know about cochlear implants. Many people who are born with hearing loss invest in cochlear implants; however, there are plenty of people with acquired hearing loss that can benefit from cochlear implants as well.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Discusses Alzheimer’s Disease, its Cause, and the Various Treatment Options Available for this Common Form of Dementia
During the past few years, the top scientists in the world, including Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, have been working hard to explore new treatment options for people who are diagnosed with dementia. For those who might not know, dementia is a class of progressive neurological disorders that lead to a variety of symptoms. One of the most common types of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This is a serious condition that can impact not only the individual diagnosed with it but also his or her family members and friends. Thanks to scientists such as Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, there are new diagnostic and treatment options available for Alzheimer’s disease. There are several important points that everyone should note as well.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Discusses the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Similar to other neurological disorders, the severity of Alzheimer’s disease can vary markedly from patient to patient. The marquee system of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. One of the earliest signs of this condition is that individuals afflicted with it usually have difficulty remembering certain conversations or events that took place recently. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, memory impairments are going to get worse.
According to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, there are a variety of other symptoms that might appear as well. Those who have developed Alzheimer’s disease might have difficulty concentrating on certain tasks. In particular, people with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble with abstract concepts, numbers, and multitasking. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s disease might also have trouble making judgments and working through complex decisions.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Discusses Treatment Options for Alzheimer’s Disease
Even though there is nothing that can reverse Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and other renowned scientists have been researching this condition for years. Now, there are medications that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, cholinesterase Inhibitors and memantine can enhance the level of cell-to-cell communication that takes place in the nervous system. This can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in individuals with moderate to severe dementia. Furthermore, family members and friends should work hard to create a safe and supportive environment to make sure that someone with Alzheimer’s disease feels supported.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah on the Future of Alzheimer’s Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment
As the general population continues to live longer and longer, Alzheimer’s disease is only going to become more common. That is why renowned scientists such as Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah work so hard on a daily basis to develop new diagnostic and treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease. It will be exciting to see what new tools doctors will have at their disposal in the coming years.
The Cochlear Amplifier Can Plays a Key Role in the hearing Process and Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Is Here to Discuss It
During the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of research, into how the body’s ears function from the minds of brilliant scientists such as Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah. One of the most important discoveries of the past century is the cochlear amplifier. For those who are looking to learn more about how the ears function, it is important to understand the role that this feedback mechanism plays and how it works.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Defines the Cochlear Amplifier
The cochlear amplifier is a critical mechanism within the cochlea itself. The cochlea plays a critical role in the body’s transduction of sound waves into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain itself. The cochlear amplifier function acts as a positive feedback mechanism. It increases the acute sensitivity of the auditory system in humans and other mammals. The cochlear amplifier is the outer hair cell. The outer hair cell increases the amplitude and frequency of its vibrations when exposed to sound using electromechanical feedback.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Discusses the Function of the Cochlear Amplifier
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and his colleagues have found that, in the cochlea of mammals, there is a wave of amplification that takes place in the outer hair cells of the organ of Corti. These cells rest directly and indirectly on the basilar membrane. This membrane has a high sensitivity for differences in the frequencies of certain sounds and vibrations (low frequencies and the apex and high frequencies at the base). When the sound waves enter the cochlea, they carry with them various frequencies. The sound waves exert pressure on the cochlea and certain parts of the cochlea vibrate in response to the sound waves.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and others have discovered that when these membranes vibrate and are deflected upwards, the cilia on these outer hair cells are also deflected in a certain direction. This changes the flow of ions in the outer hair cells, which causes them to depolarize. This triggers the outer hair cells to start the process of amplification via a positive feedback loop. This plays a critical role and someone’s ability to hear.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and Future Research Projects
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and other scientists have been working hard to learn more about how the body’s hearing process works. The cochlear amplifier plays a critical role and how typically it provides sensitivity to the auditory system of humans and other mammals. As more research is conducted, everyone is going to learn more about how the ears work. By understanding how the ears work, it might be possible to develop more effective treatment options for those who suffer from hearing loss. In this manner, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah and others are making a difference in the lives of people everywhere.
Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah shared his ground-breaking work utilizing stem cells to restore inner ear cells with the aim of helping individuals overcome deafness.
The talented Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah is renowned for his work, both past and present, in the fields of cellular biology and neuroscience. Today, one of his primary research projects involves investigating the calcium-dependent functions in hair cells and in spinal ganglion neurons and that research builds upon the years of work Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah has done that has paved the road towards investigations and discoveries in how to utilize stem cells to restore inner ear cells. This work and much of his previous research have been funded in part by the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
In 2008, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah spoke at an educational event entitled Spotlight on Deafness, hosted by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah was introduced by Claire Pomeroy, Ph.D., M.B.A., Dean of the University of California’s School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Human Health also at UC. In her introduction, Dr. Pomeroy noted that it was the hope that the ongoing research done by Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah would lead to the ability for scientists to create a biological implant that would replace the cochlear implant. To create such a biological implant utilizing stem cells, one would be able to restore hearing while simultaneously preserving the structure and function of the sensory cells and nerves of the inner ear.
In the seminar, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah explains that a key part of the problem here is that while the human is born with approximately 10,000 inner ear hair cells, those hair cells do not regenerate compared to hair cells in lower vertebrates (e.g. birds). Rather, when they degenerate, and the body cannot restore or regenerate them. Thus, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah began the hunt for cells elsewhere in the body that are similar enough to these hair cells to replace them.
Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah noted that this idea of restoring hearing via stem cells is something that would benefit a significant portion of the population as 10 percent of the population at any given time experiences some type of hearing loss. Such haring loss includes those caused by genetics, infections, drug use (including the legal use of medications with side effects causing a hearing loss), acoustic trauma, and age.
The goal, Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah explained in the seminar on deafness, was to grow stem cells capable of replicating the inner ear hair cells, inject them directly into the inner ear, and encourage them to incorporate themselves into the temporal bone.
The ideas Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah shared in this seminar quickly spread, inspiring research at schools like Stanford Medicine and Rutgers University-New Brunswick into how stem cells could be used in the inner ear and how they could be used to reverse hearing loss.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has spent over a decade now studying hearing loss and researching ways in which technology may offer radical new solutions for the hearing impaired — regardless of cause.
Deafness and hearing loss is a subsect of medicine that has long gone underappreciated and yet it is one that Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has dedicated many years of research to and has an undeniable impact on today’s current research environment for it.
Understanding Hearing Loss & Taking a New Approach
Many laypersons see deafness as being the result of either a deformity of birth or a part of the decline into old age, yet such situations are only a portion of the entire population that experiences some type of significant amount of hearing loss. In fact, an estimated 15 percent of the US population at any given time will report having some sort of hearing loss. Other causes of hearing loss include working environments and side effects of common medication. For example, when aspirin is taken in large doses, such as 8 to 12 pills a day for an extended amount of time, it can induce hearing loss.
However, despite these other causes of hearing loss, the notion that most people with hearing loss are either born with it or naturally develop it with age dictated that research and technologies designed to aid those with hearing loss were built to help people adapt and not regain their hearing. For example, the development of American Sign Language and the use of cochlear ear implants. These types of adaptations certainly made participating in society as a person who was deaf or suffered significant hearing loss easier, but they had their issues. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah imagined a possibility where adaptation wasn’t necessary, and instead, the answer to deafness could be the regeneration of hearing.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah began his journey into curing, yes, actually curing deafness and partial to severe hearing loss well over a decade ago. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah was one of the first in this field to propose the use of stem cells to replace the sensitive and vital-to-hearing hair cells located within the inner ear. Years later, this research with stem cells has continued on at universities across the country.
Ongoing Research Into Hearing Loss by Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
More recently, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has been working with mice to delve deeper into one type of hearing loss: Age-related hearing loss (ARHL). ARHL currently has no treatment and instead those who suffer ARHL must adapt as mentioned above via either the use of devices that can help amplify sound or utilize hand signals or other methods of communication.
In a 2019 conference on aging and speech communication, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah shared his ongoing research on mice and how their auditory neuron structure and functions could be altered with the goal of repairing that structure and enabling hearing once again. In this presentation, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah shared how these results may be replicable in humans.