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Alan G. Cheng

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and, by courtesy, of Pediatrics

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Stanford Ear Institute 2452 Watson Ct Ste 1500 Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Tel Work (650) 724-4800 Fax (650) 497-7821
  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Alternate Contact
    Arturo Retana Administrative Associate Tel Work 650.723.6818
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use


Clinical Focus

  • Otolaryngology
  • Hearing loss
  • Cholesteotoma
  • Pediatric sinus disease
  • Pediatric head and neck tumors

Academic Appointments

Honors and Awards

  • Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar, Child Health Research Institute at Stanford (2011)
  • Herbert Silverstein Otology-Neurotology Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (2010)
  • Triological Society Career Development Award, Triological Society (2009)
  • American Otological Society Clinician-Scientist Award, American Otological Society (2008)
  • Percy Memorial Research Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (2008)
  • Shiley Resident Research Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fundation (2001)
View All 7honors and awards of Alan Cheng

Professional Education

Residency: University of Washington Medical Center WA (2006)
Internship: University of Washington Medical Center WA (2000)
Fellowship: Children's Hospital Boston MA (2007)
Board Certification: Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology (2007)
Medical Education: Albert Einstein Medical Center NY (1999)
Fellowship: Children's Hospital Boston, Pediatric Otolaryngology (2007)
View All 9

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

The overarching goal of our research group is to restore/protect auditory function. The irreversible loss of mechanosensitive hair cells in the cochlea causes permanent hearing loss. Mammals lack the ability to spontaneously regenerate hair cells and restore hearing. Wnt signaling is a recurrent theme playing crucial roles in the development of multicellular organisms as well as tissue and cellular homeostasis including the maintenance of stem/progenitor cells. To understand how to regenerate the inner ear, our group has been studying Wnt-responsive progenitor cells in the mammalian cochlea. We take in vitro and in vivo approaches to study the behavior of these putative progenitor cells both during development and after damage in the mature animal. In particular, we are interested in how cell fate decision is made when these progenitor cells differentiate and how Wnt signaling (and other signals) directly and indirectly affects their decision. Techniques include genetic and pharmacologic manipulations, flow cytometry, cell and organotypic cultures, and confocal and time-lapse imaging, single cell and whole animal physiological testing.

A second direction of our laboratory is to understand how the aminoglycoside antibiotics enter the inner ear. These commonly prescribed antibiotics selectively damage inner ear hair cells leading to hearing loss. We are interested in understanding how it enters the blood-labyrinth barrier and its subsequent transport into hair cells. One main focus is to re-design aminoglycosides to preclude their entry into the inner ear.




Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations



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Publication Topics

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