Research Project 2: Brent Wilkerson, PhD

His current research focuses on inner ear development and hearing loss. His CNDD project will explore the role of hearing impairments in autism-like behaviors in mice. His JI Project will utilize the CNDD cores, and he will serve as an Associate Director of the GBC to develop his core leadership skills. His primary co-mentors are Dr. Hainan Lang of the MUSC Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, an expert in cochlear development and hearing function, and Dr. Judy Dubno, a hearing expert and Vice-Chair for Research for Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery at MUSC. Dr. Brad Walters of U of Mississippi Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery will serve as his external mentor. Specific contribution to CNDD: There is a growing appreciation that NDD risk genes can produce symptoms through functions within the peripheral sensory systems, and changes in sound perception are commonly observed in ASD and related disorders. Dr. Wilkerson’s studies of inner ear development and function are important contributions to the overall scope of modern NDD research.