Center for Hearing and Deafness
Office: (716) 829-5315
Fax: (716) 829-2980
Our aim is to reach a better understanding of vestibular signaling and its modulation following compensation or adaptation. Vestibular pathways are very plastic and recalibrate their responses under normal conditions as well as following vestibular disorders. However, this compensation/ adaptation is not complete and following lesions, deficits can be observed in response to more challenging stimuli, such as high frequency or velocity movements. The ultimate goal of studies in the lab is to find practical ways for enhancing vestibular compensation or adaptation in humans. This can be specifically useful for patients (e.g., after therapeutic vestibular neurectomy) or in conditions where unusual adaptation is required (e.g., space travel). We start by dissecting the pathway at the cellular level in order to understand the mechanisms involved in synaptic signal transmission in this system and then apply the knowledge gained by these studies to live animals.
Education / Training:
2009-2013, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
2002-2009, PhD degree, Department of Physiology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1989-1997, MD degree, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Employment / Professional Experience:
2009-2013, Studied the properties of synaptic transmission between vestibular hair cells, afferent fibers, and efferents in rats and mice.
2002-2009, Studied compensatory changes in signal transmission in vestibular afferents and nuclei after vestibular lesions in alert primates.
1995-2002, Clinical research on the effect of a novel rehabilitation method on patients with chronic vestibular vertigo.
Professional Honors/ Advisory and Editorial
2012-2013, National Organization for Hearing Research (NOHR) grant
2005-2006, Faculty of Medicine Scholarship, McGill University
2015-2018 National Institute of Health (NIDCD) grant 1R03DC015091-01 (Role: PI)
Title: “Differential modulation of response properties of vestibular afferents by cholinergic and GABAergic efferents”
Amount: $300,000 for three years
2016-2017 American Otological Society (AOS) grant (Role: PI)
Title: “In vivo optogenetic stimulation of vestibular nerve afferents and efferents”
Amount: $50,000 for one year
2015 Faculty Internationalization Fund, University at Buffalo (Role: PI)
Title: “Behavioral correlates of vestibular nerve activity modulation by intratympanic drug delivery”
Amount: $500 for a trip to France
2012 National Organization for Hearing Research (NOHR) grant (Role: PI)
Title: “Efferent synaptic transmission onto calyx endings of vestibular nerve afferent fibers”
Amount: $10,000 for one year
2012 Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) travel grant
2005-2006 Faculty of Medicine Scholarship, McGill University
2005 & 2007 Canadian Physiological Society Award
2004 & 2006 Alma Mater travel grant, Faculty of Graduate Studies, McGill University
2016-present NRS 524: Quantitative Neuroanatomy (Neuroscience III), Neuroscience Program, University at Buffalo – presented in spring semester of each year
2014- , CDS 610: Vestibular System, Dept. of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo
2014- , CDS 542: Advanced Hearing Sciences, Dept. of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo
2014- , CDS 502A: Research Methods, Dept. of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo
2009-2012, Vestibular sections of BME 580.625 and BME 580.626: Structure and function of the inner ear, Johns Hopkins University
2004-2005, Teaching assistant, PHGY 314: Integrative Neuroscience, McGill University
2003, Teaching assistant, PHGY 212: Introductory Physiology Laboratory, McGill University
Jan 2016 and 2018, National Science Foundation,
Feb 2015 and 2016, NIH-SMI (National Institute of
Health – sensory motor integration) study section,
2016- present, Editorial board of the Journal of Neurophysiology
Reviewer for the following journals:
2011-2013, Member of the Animal Care Committee of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO).
2005-2006, Member of the Animal Care Committee, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University.