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Western Kentucky University

Smith Lab News

Smith Lab News

Graduate Student Opening:

We are looking for a qualified master's level graduate student to work on testing novel platinum-based anti-cancer compounds for cytotoxicity of cancer cells and ototoxicity of sensory hair cells using a zebrafish inner ear model.  This project involves cancer cell culture, zebrafish inner ear dissection and fluorescence microscopy of sensory hair cells, and electrophysiological recording of auditory evoked potentials in order to perform hearing tests on zebrafish.  This project is funded by an NIH R15 grant which would support the selected student for two years.  If you are interested, please send your CV to Dr. Smith at

New Post-doctoral Researcher:

We say a sad goodbye to Dr. Huifang Sun, who is currently a medical resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in New Jersey, and offer a warm welcome Dr. Jerry "Dave" Monroe to the Smith Lab.  Dave received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and examined the role of phosphatases in the regulation of axonal and dendritic development.   He will be applying techniques that he learned doing his dissertation research to better understand the process of hair cell death and regeneration in the zebrafish inner ear.

Lab Awards:

Mackenzie Perkins and Dr. Smith were awarded a FUSE (Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement) award for the 2012-13 academic year.  For her Honors thesis, Mackenzie examined whether growth hormone can mitigate sound-induced hearing loss in zebrafish.  Congratulations to Mackenzie for successfully defending her Honors Thesis and graduating with Honors in May.

Dr. Smith was awarded the Ogden College of Science and Engineering Faculty Research Award for 2012.

Amy Ni received the best poster presentation award in the Natural Sciences poster session of the
2013 WKU Student Research Conference.  Her poster was entitled "Effects of growth hormone antagonist on zebrafish auditory hair cell regeneration".

Barrett Roger, Eli King and Dr. Smith were awarded a FUSE awards for the 2014-2015 academic year.  For his Honors thesis, Barrett is doing an anatomical study of the unique hearing structures of the fish Semaprochilodus insignis.  Eli King performed hearing tests on axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) by recording auditory evoked potentials.  He traveled to Germany to present his poster at the International Bioacoustics Congress.



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 Last Modified 9/8/15