In Celebration of Robert Fettiplace

The Award of Merit goes to our Robert this year
For work on transduction by cells of the ear.
In and out, calcium and potassium dance around
To make turtle cells tuned exquisitely to sound.
Stereocilia don't just yield to a push and lean
But generate forces ever so quick and clean.
Single transducer channels Robert studied next.
They're tricky because they need cells' context.
Robert made hair cells with just one that works
And studied their opening, closing and other quirks.
That calcium's important has long been clear
It's buffered in hairs in the front and also in rear.
Remove it and gone are the tip links that tug
Let it in and, by golly, it acts like a plug.
Cheers for Robert and well-earned recognition
And for the beautiful work he did bring to fruition.

Donata Oertel
Nov. 22 2005

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