Robert Fettiplace

Position title: Ph.D., 1974, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England


Phone: (608) 262-9320

Research Interests:
Mechanisms of mechanotransduction and frequency tuning in auditory hair cells
Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1990)
Steenbock Professor of Neural Sciences, UW-Madison (1991-2010)
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2012)
Kavli Prize in Neuroscience (2018)
Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences (2018)
Passano Award for medical research, Johns Hopkins University (2019)
Horwitz prize for biology, Columbia University (2020)
Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (2022)

Robert Fettiplace

My research focuses on the physiology of hair cells isolated from the inner ear and studied with patch clamp recording and optical imaging. This research has provided descriptions of the mechanosensory transduction mechanism, the membrane channels involved in frequency tuning, and the regulatory roles of intracellular calcium. My current interest lies with the outer hair cells of the mammalian cochlea, the mechanotransducer channels and the mechanism of force generation by the stereociliary bundle that may underlie amplification and tuning of the auditory signal.

Scanning electron micrographs

Figure: (A) Scanning electron micrographs of the stereociliary bundles of rat cochlear inner (top) and outer hair cells; scale bar = 2.6 mm (top) and 2.0 mm (bottom). (B) Single mechanotransducer channels evoked by deflections of the stereociliary bundle of an inner hair cell. The unitary conductance is about 200 pS (see Beurg et al. 2006).

See publications here.