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Hainan Lang MD, PhD


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  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Academic Focus
  • Hearing Loss; Auditory Nerve Degeneration and Regeneration
  • Stem Cells in the Inner Ear
  • Auditory Function Deficits in Autism and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases
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Dr. Lang has been engaged in hearing research involving cellular and molecular biology, and electrophysiology, of the peripheral auditory system for over 25 years.  Her early research training involved retrovirus-mediated lineage analysis of the sensory hair cells and other cochlear cell types, along with investigating temporal-spatial patterns of cell proliferation and cell death in the developing cochlea.  Dr. Lang has extensive research experience in auditory electrophysiology, oto-pathology, and molecular biology of hearing loss as a result of increased aging, and exposure to noise or ototoxic drugs.  The research in Lang laboratory at Medical University of South Carolina has focused on the pathophysiological alterations of the peripheral auditory nerve and cochlear lateral wall using several mouse models of sensorineural hearing loss and postmortem human temporal bones.  In a series of recent studies, her laboratory has demonstrated that 1) the plasticity of adult hematopoietic stem cells is present in the auditory nerve following cochlear injury, 2) adult cochlear glial cells retain neural progenitor cell properties and are able to change their cellular phenotype in response to acute cochlear injury, 3) glial cell dysfunction and demyelination are important components of cochlear pathophysiological alterations in several forms of sensorineural hearing loss, and 4) the innate immune system and cochlear macrophages play a critical role in the formation and refinement of auditory neural circuitry during postnatal development, and in the pathophysiological alterations of sensorineural hearing loss.