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Vestibular Genetics

For Scientists and Other Professionals

The Vestibular Genetics Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Yesha Lundberg, conducts research to uncover the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the normal and abnormal development and maintenance of the vestibular (balance) system, with otoconia as the focus. We use mouse models as well as human genetic and genomic approaches.

For Families

Our studies are aimed to identify the molecular and genetic causes of inner-ear diseases, particularly vestibular diseases. These studies can eventually help develop better diagnostic and treatment methods for prevention and early intervention.

Over 7 million adults in the United States suffer chronic dizziness/vertigo of vestibular origin. Such illnesses are very disruptive to daily living, and worsen with age, exposure to ototoxic drugs, infection, inflammation, certain disorders of the nervous system, and certain genetic mutations. The most common balance disorder is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is believed to be caused by dislocation of otoconia.

Our preliminary studies show that many BPPV patients also have hearing loss. In all, about 30 million Americans have some kind of hearing loss. While many hearing loss genes have been identified in children, much fewer studies have been done to identify age-related hearing loss genes. The second goal of our studies is to identify molecular and genetic causes of age-related hearing loss.

Recent studies have shown an association of BPPV with osteoporosis in some cases. We are interested in identifying the shared molecular etiology of these diseases. Osteoporosis is a major public health issue. According to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of two postmenopausal women and one out of four men of the same age group have osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Please email bppv.study@boystown.org or call 402-498-6336 if you are interested in participating in our studies or have questions for us.

Staff

Yesha Lundberg, Ph.D., Director of the Vestibular Genetics Laboratory
Yan Zhang, Ph.D., Research Associate, 402-498-6384, yan.zhang@boystown.org
Yinfang Xu, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, 402-498-6384, yinfang.xu@boystown.org

Publications

Yesha Lundberg in PubMed1

1PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.