Get to know the people behind the research.
AMANDA MARIE LAUER, PH.D.
I am a native of York County, Pennsylvania, home of rolling hills, hearty PA Dutch cuisine, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. I followed in my father’s footsteps and attended college at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where I received my B.S. and M.S. in Psychology/Biopsychology. Instead of answering the call from friends with lucrative pharma jobs in the Philly area, I opted to become a poor graduate student in Bob Dooling’s Laboratory of Comparative Psychoacoustics at the University of Maryland. There I studied perceptual hearing deficits in canaries with a hereditary hearing loss and had the opportunity to learn about all manner of creatures—bugs, birds, bats, reptiles. I received my Ph.D. in Psychology/Integrative Neuroscience in 2006 and moved to Johns Hopkins to redirect my skills to study the mammalian auditory system. I completed postdoctoral fellowships with Drs. Brad May and David Ryugo, took an Instructor position, and then became an Assistant Professor at Hopkins in July 2013 and Associate Professor in 2019.
I live in Oella along the Patapsco River with my husband, a cat, and two rescued greyhounds. In my spare time, enjoy gardening, hiking along the river, and volunteering for greening efforts in my community. I am a junky for locally produced food, and I am constantly experimenting with various veggies and fruit in my own postage stamp garden.
Photo credit: Rachel Cornish
Research Data Analyst
I am generally interested in the neural processes that underlie sensory perception and behavior. Currently, I study how noise exposure and aging change the central auditory system (i.e. the brain), and how these changes translate to functional changes in perception.
After rigorous training in ex-vivo cellular electrophysiology in the mouse inner ear neurons during my PhD and post graduate studies, I joined the Lauer lab to study the auditory system at the systems and behavioral level. I am currently investigating a tinnitus mouse model to characterize the disorder in the central pathways.
After training extensively in mouse psychoacoustics during my PhD, with primary focus on natural stimuli (e.g., ultrasonic vocalizations), I am currently investigating how the auditory system responds to and recovers from acoustic trauma. In general, I am interested in neuroplasticity and its effect on auditory perception.
James ENGEL, M.H.S.
In the lab I perform light microscopy on brain tissue to investigate the effects cochlear damage has on synaptic organization in the central auditory system, and I perform behavioral studies of hearing in mice. I recently earned my Masters of Health Science from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In the lab I specialize in the use of immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy to understand how the cochlea and brain work together. With my strong family history of hearing disorders, I hope to understand more about hearing and how disorders can affect the auditory system. I am also currently pursing a Masters of Public Health.
I am primarily interested in the effect of aging on the auditory system and what neural mechanisms come into play in order to combat age related hearing loss. My main focus in the lab thus far has been applying histological techniques to map cochlear damage and explore the effects of hearing loss on the auditory nerve.
I am a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University. In the lab, I study cochlear histology in bats. My long term goal is to attend medical school, but I will begin Teach for America in August.
I am a first year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I am continuing projects in the Lauer Lab that I began while an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. I am interested in efferent feedback to the cochlea and hearing loss and do analysis of immunolabeling and cochlear dissections in the lab. I am also interested in clinical aspects of otolaryngology including head and neck surgery.
I am a rising third-year student at the University of Florida, studying Biology and Psychology. As a deaf individual with two cochlear implants, I am very excited to get involved in research with hearing disorders so I can better understand cochlear pathogenesis. In the lab, I focus on mice cochlear histology to examine the effects of early noise exposure and conductive hearing loss on the auditory nerve.
I am a recent graduate from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and an incoming freshmen at JHU. I am interested in the link between hearing loss and Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases.
I am a member of the JHU Class of 2021 studying Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. I am interested in research on the auditory system since I have bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. My research projects include behavioral tests of mice with hearing loss and the use of scanning electron microscopy to characterize axons in the cochlear nucleus.
Incoming Medical student
I am an incoming medical student at Johns Hopkins. In the lab, I've been involved with cochlear dissections and immunolabeling analysis. I am currently working to design an experimental protocol for lesioning medial and lateral olivocochlear fibers in mice.
My name is Ryleigh Board. I am a undergraduate sophomore attending Campbellsville University where I am pursuing a bachelors degree in Biology at Campbellsville University and playing on the JV Basketball team. I was born and raised in Ekron, Kentucky. I am a middle child with an older brother and little sister. I also have moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears and wear hearing aids in both ears as well.
My summer research experience in Dr. Lauer’s lab involves conducting an experiment to assay melanin and lipofuscin concentrations in the Stria Vascularis within juvenile and aged mice. It has been an amazing experience and learning opportunity!
Analysis of cochlea and brain tissue in aging animals.
Gail Larkin (now in the Immunogenetics lab at Hopkins)
Aikeen Jones (now at NIH)
Brian McGuire (now an independent business owner)
Jordan Swift (UK, visiting student in 2014)
Prashant Singh (India, visiting student in 2016)
LiYang Tang (JHU SOM class of 2017, now ENT resident at USC)
Naasir Albright (Stevenson U class of 2019)
Lydia Gutema (JHU class of 2019)
Mark Scotto Di Vetta (JHU class of 2018)
Amy Schettino (Provost's Undergraduate Research Award winner, now at Yale SOM)
Ioan Lina (now a resident at JHU SOM Dept. of Otolaryngology)
Heather Graham (now a graphic designer at Indigo Ink; http://www.heatherjanegraham.com)
Phani Ghaddipati (JHU class of 2016; 2014 Google app contest winner)
Seal Bin Han (Provost's Undergraduate Research Award winner, JHU class of 2017)
Aditi Trevedi (JHU class of 2016)
Surekha Mullangi (JHU class of 2016)
William Yu (JHU class of 2014)
Nicholas Bell (JHU class of 2016)
Antonio Spina (JHU class of 2016)
Jessica Stuyvenberg (JHU class of 2011)
Judy Park (JHU class of 2011)
Alice May (now at Barnard University)
High School Students
Sophie Thrippleton (UK)
2015 (from left: Kat Schrode, AJ Jones, Brian McGuire, Gail Larkin)