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Profile Publications(15)

Elba E Serrano


Regents Professor of Biology

Research Description

Research in our laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular processes underlying differentiation of the mechanosensory hair cells of the inner ear, and on the innervation of these cells by axons of the eighth cranial nerve. The aquatic amphibians, Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, are being used as a model system for these investigations. The broad objective of this research is to gain an integrated view of the development and proliferation of sensory hair cells of the inner ear by using multidisciplinary approaches that draw on techniques from biophysics, anatomy, tissue culture, and molecular biology. A major long term goal of our research is to understand the genetic basis of hair cell function, differentiation, and regeneration. As part of this effort we seek to gain an integrated view of sensory organ formation during inner ear development, and to identify novel genes expressed in the developing auditory and vestibular system. Our interest in organ systems has expanded to include comparisons of the genetic profile of inner ear, kidney, and brain with the goal of uncovering genes whose expression is enhanced in these organs.

The knowledge gained from this research should prove useful in developing treatments for hearing and balance disorders based on hair cell and eighth nerve dysfunction, particularly those caused by trauma, or those with a genetic basis.

Lab Memberships

Serrano Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)


Biology Foster Hall 275
New Mexico State University
Box 30001 MSC 3AF NMSU
Sweet and Horseshoe St.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
88003, USA


Web Page:

Phone:  575 646 5217
Fax:  575 646 5665