Ulrich Mueller is an internationally recognized expert on hearing loss and brain development who investigates how the nervous system processes sound and what happens when the brain does not properly respond to external stimuli. His research on the mutations involved in hearing loss holds promise for translation into medical solutions to reverse the process.
Mueller studies auditory impairment on the molecular level. His laboratory aims to identify genetic components of the mechanotransduction machinery of hair cells, as well as the mechanisms by which these proteins are regulated, in order to gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of auditory impairment. A second emphasis for Mueller’s lab is the analysis of the mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of neural stem cells during the development of the neocortex, a high-functioning structure of the brain unique to mammals that is involved in sensory perception, cognition, and language. His research narrows in on the genes that cause severe brain abnormalities, such as the birth defects of microcephaly and lissencephaly, as well as those linked to neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Mueller joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2016 from the Scripps Research Institute.