T-32 Affiliate Principal Investigators

Chu Chen, PhD
Dr. Chen is Full Member in the Program in Epidemiology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Affiliate Professor in the UW Departments of Epidemiology and OtoHNS.  Dr. Chen directs an interdisciplinary research program in molecular and epidemiologic studies of oral and head and neck cancers in a laboratory environment that offers students and residents an opportunity to conduct studies that further the understanding of the etiology, progression, and outcomes of these cancers.  This program offers access to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Shared Resources that include a DNA array facility, DNA biotechnology center, and bioinformatics support.  It provides an opportunity for the students and residents to interact with scientists who are at the forefront of research in a number of scientific disciplines related to cancer prevention, etiology and cure.  Dr. Chen is supported by several NIH grants.

Michael Cunningham, MD, PhD  
Dr. Cunningham is Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Cunningham’s research focuses on craniofacial bone biology.  The laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro models to examine the development of the calvaria and midface during normal and pathologic growth.  Projects range from pure molecular biology, to cellular biology, to in vivo models.  An extensive collection of human osteoprogenitor cells harboring mutations that affect craniofacial growth and animal models can be utilized for a variety of projects.  The laboratory enthusiastically supports the research training of OtoHNS residents and fellows interested in a career in academic medicine.

Blake Hannaford, PhD
Dr. Hannaford is Professor of Electrical Engineering and has been engaged at the interface between engineering and surgery since the early 1990's when he organized some of the first research conferences on surgical robotics.  His lab has developed a team of engineers with specialized software and analytical skills to perform various projects including expertise in open source software and real time rotational graphics.  His lab developed the Raven II, the first open-source scientific surgical robot platform to study minimally invasive approaches to the skull base, and dispersed to laboratories at several universities (Harvard, Hopkins, UCB, UCLA, and UCSC).  Dr. Hannaford is well funded and has worked with Dr. Moe (Associate Professor of OtoHNS) for the last three years.  Dr. Bly (OtoHNS Resident Research Trainee) completed his T32-supported research period in the Biorobotics Lab where he performed initial research on a skull base surgical planning system.  This work led to funding from the Coulter Foundation and an NIH R21.

David W. Raible, PhD 
Dr. Raible is Professor of Biological Structure at UW and an Affiliate of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center.  His research focuses on mechanosensory hair cell death and regeneration in the zebrafish lateral line system.  Using a combination of genetics, small molecule screening and live imaging techniques, he and his colleagues have uncovered pathways involving hair cell death and potential pathways to therapy.  His group has active collaborations with the laboratories of Edwin Rubel, Jennifer Stone and Elizabeth Oesterle.  Dr. Raible has trained a diverse set of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and residents.  His research is funded by grants from NIDCD and the Hearing Health Foundation.

Edwin W Rubel, PhD
Dr. Rubel is Professor of Otolaryngology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Psychology. He is also the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Professor of Basic Hearing Science. Since the early 1970s he has studied development and plasticity of the peripheral and central auditory system. Research programs have focused on the effects of auditory experience and hearing loss on the cellular biology of the auditory brainstem, development of the inner ear and cellular approached toward treating and preventing hearing loss. His interest in how the inner ear develops and how hair cells become vulnerable to various environmental insults led to two landmark papers in Science on functional development of the inner ear.  Further studies on the vulnerability of hair cells led to the serendipitous discovery that birds have the ability to regenerate inner ear receptor cells and recover from sensorineural hearing loss. He has mentored over 50 PhD students, and PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows and has been continuously funded by NSF and NIH since 1972.  Currently, his focus is on understanding how inner hair cells die and on the discovery of a small molecule that robustly protects zebrafish lateral line hair cells as well as mammalian inner ear hair cells.

Daniel Storm, PhD
Dr. Storm is Professor of Pharmacology.  His lab studies the molecular basis of chemosensory mechanisms with a specific emphasis on the importance of the cAMP signal transduction pathway for olfaction and pheromone detection.  For the last 15 years he has used an interdisciplinary approach including signal transduction, biochemistry, transgenic animal production, electrophysiology and behavior.  During this time he has mentored a number of PhD students, PhD postdoctoral fellows and Otolaryngology Resident Research Trainees including Dr. Jae Lim and Dr. Jack Liu.  Dr. Storm is currently funded by several R01 grants from NIH.

Noel Weiss, MD, MPH, DrPH  
Dr. Weiss is Professor of Epidemiology.  He has studied cancer epidemiology and clinical epidemiology for 34 years, and has been highly engaged in training others how to do this work.  He teaches courses in epidemiologic methods, and oversees the thesis and dissertation research of UW graduate students in Epidemiology.  During his career he has worked with over 100 such students, currently including Dr. Sapna Patel (OtoHNS Resident Research Trainee).  In 1999, Dr. Weiss was awarded the first Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award given by the UW.  Dr. Weiss is supported by NIH grants.

Lynne A. Werner, PhD  
Dr. Werner is Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Affiliate Professor of OtoHNS.  She is one of the world’s foremost experts on the development of hearing in human infants.  She developed the first methods for behavioral analyses of hearing capabilities of newborn babies.  Her laboratory uses these psychoacoustic methods to study hearing sensitivity and auditory perceptual development in infants from one month to two years of age.  She has mentored graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty interested in normal hearing development, pathologies of the auditory development and infant hearing with cochlear implants.  Her laboratory has been funded by NIH continuously for over 25 years.