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Stefan Heller

Academic Appointments

  • Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine

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Contact Information

  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Administrative Contact
    Sabrina Ahmad Tel Work 650-721-1032


Honors and Awards

  • Member, Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (9/2011)
  • Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor, Stanford School of Medicine (7/ 2010)
  • McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience (2005-2007)
  • Albert and Ellen Grass Faculty Grant Award, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Summer 2004, Summer 2005)
  • James Wiggins Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School (4/2005)
  • Burt Evans Young Investigator Award, National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation (2005)
View All 9honors and awards of Stefan Heller

Professional Education

Postdoctoral Fellow: The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, Sensory Neuroscience (2000)
Dr rer nat (Ph.D.): Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, Genetics (1994)
Dipl Biol (M.S.): Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, Biological Sciences (1990)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

We are interested how the inner ear forms from an early anlage called the otic placode. Our goal is to describe the otic lineage from an early placodal progenitor until it splits up into multiple cell types making up the sensory epithelia, innervating ganglia, and accessory structures.

In parallel, we apply knowledge we gained from guiding embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells along the otic lineage to find ways for treatment of hearing loss. This involves identification of mechanisms of sensory hair cell regeneration in animals such as chickens that recover from hearing gloss, screening for potential regenerative targets that can be activated with drugs, and exploring reprograming as well as cell transplantation strategies.




Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations



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