Coffin Lab

Washington State University Vancouver

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Coffin Lab openings!

I’m searching for a new Lab Manager with at least one year of post-college experience in cell and molecular research, preferably with experience working with zebrafish, and with genetic engineering of model organisms. This is a salaried position with benefits. More information and the link to apply are available on the WSU jobs site.

I’m also searching for a M.S. student beginning either Jan 2015 or Sept 2015. This student will work on an NIH-funded drug discovery project aimed at developing new preventative therapies for hearing loss. This position is through the School of Biological Sciences. Information and application materials are available on the SBS website. Please contact me first if you plan to apply. 

Welcome to the Coffin Lab!  We study hair cells – not the hair cells on your head, but the hair cells in your inner ears. Hearing is one of our basic senses – it allows us to communicate and to perceive the world around us. At the heart of hearing is the sensory hair cell: a polarized epithelial-type cell that converts acoustic signals in the environment to electrochemical signals in the nervous system. These cells are exquisitely sensitive to sound and unfortunately to damage from a variety of sources including noise and some classes of medications. This damage causes hearing loss, cutting us off from the outside world.  Research in the Coffin Lab seeks to understand the cellular events underlying hearing loss so that we may prevent these events and preserve hearing. We use a variety of fishes as model systems for this research.

Our research examines two major questions:

1)   What cellular and molecular events trigger hair cell death following a toxic insult?

2)   How do endogenous hormones influence hair cell death and proliferation?

In addition, we are interested in more fisheries-related questions, specifically the way the hatchery rearing environment affects development and function of the lateral line in juvenile salmonids.

 

Coffin Lab PR

Our research was featured in The Columbian. Check it out!

We were also featured in the WSU Vancouver publication the NW Crimson and Gray, for our research and our science communication focus.