Dr. Elias Lunsford of the Liao Lab Defends his PhD!
Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2022
On June 14, Elias Lunsford, a graduate student advised by James Liao, Associate Professor of Biology, successfully defended his Ph.D. entitled ““Mechanisms and evolution of sensory feedback and signal transduction in lateral line hair cells”.
During his Ph.D., Dr. Lunsford applied electrophysiological and imaging techniques to uncover mechanisms that help us better understand how sensory systems function. Dr. Lunsford’s research leveraged the powerful zebrafish and cavefish model system to investigate the function and evolution of the flow sensitive lateral line system. Because the mechanoreceptive hair cells that comprise the lateral line of fishes are homologous to those found in the human inner ear, Dr. Lunsford's work not only provides insight into how fish perceive their watery world, but also contributes to our understanding of human hearing and deafness disorders. Dr. Lunsford has published his chapters in the top journals in his field (PLoS Biology and eLife) and has regularly presented his work at international conferences such as the Association for Research in Otolaryngology Meeting. Dr. Lunsford was also an active member of the Whitney Lab's community as he was a founding member and President of the Whitney Graduate Student Association. Throughout his graduate career Dr. Lunsford has received several awards including the University of Florida Graduate Student Fellowship, the Brian Riewald Memorial Fund research Grant, and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Best Presentation Award in Neurobiology.
This fall he will be joining Claire Wyart's lab at the Paris Brain Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Congratulations Elias!