Melissa M. McGovern

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology

Current Research

The McGovern Lab investigates the potential of the mammalian inner ear to regenerate following the loss of sensory cells that detect and transduce sound from the environment to the brain. These highly specialized cells are critical for our perception of the auditory world, but, unlike birds and fish, the mammalian inner ear has a very limited capacity to regenerate these cells and only early in development.  The mature organ does not have any known capacity to naturally regenerate lost cells, and therefore our lab deploys transcription factors in order to reprogram lost sensory cells from their neighbors that remain in the ear. We use genetically modified mouse lines that modify the transcriptome of cochlear cells specifically in mature non-sensory cells of the ear and investigate these through high resolution fluorescence histology and molecular genetic mechanisms.  We are interested in understanding the circumstances necessary to reprogram non-hair cells into functional hair cells so that we can begin to design gene therapies for hearing restoration.


Selected Recent Publications

Fbxo2CreERT2: A new model for targeting cells in the neonatal and mature inner ear
Hearing Research, Feb, 2023
McGovern, M.M, Hartman, B., Thawani, A., Maunsell, H.R., Zhang, H., Heller, S., Stone, J., Groves, A.K.

Cellular reprogramming with ATOH1, GFI1, and POU4F3 implicate epigenetic changes and cell-cell signaling as obstacles to hair cell regeneration in mature mammals
eLife, Nov 29, 2022
Iyer, A., Hosamani, I., Nguyen, J.D., Cai, T., Singh, S., McGovern, M.M., Beyer, L.A., Zhang, H., Jen, H.-I, Yousaf, R., Birol, O., Sun, J., Ray, R.S., Raphael, Y., Segil, N. and Groves, A.K.

Glial-Specific Deletion of Med12 Results in Rapid Hearing Loss via Degradation of the Stria Vascularis
J. Neurosci, Aug 25, 2021
Teng-Wei Huang, Amrita Iyer, Jeanne Manalo, Junsung Woo, Navish Bosquez Huerta, Melissa McGovern, Heinrich Schrewe, Fred Pereira, Andrew K Groves, Kevin Ohlemiller, and Benjamin Deneen

Organ of Corti size is governed by Yap/Tead-mediated progenitor self-renewal.
Proc Natl Acad Sci, Jun 16, 2020
Gnedeva, L., Wang, X., McGovern, M.M., Tao, L., Trecek, T., Llamas, J., Makmura, W., Monroe, T., Martin, J.F., Groves, A.K., Warchol, M., Segil, N.

Multiple supporting cell subtypes are capable of spontaneous hair cell regeneration in the neonatal mouse cochlea
Development, Feb 15, 2019
McGovern, M.M., Randle, M.R., Graves, K.A., Cuppini., C., & Cox, B.C.

Spontaneous Hair Cell Regeneration is Prevented by Increased Notch Signaling in Supporting Cells
Front Cell Neurosci, May 4, 2018
McGovern, M.M., Zhou, L., Randle, M.R., & Cox, B.C.

Quantitative Analysis of Supporting Cell Subtype Labeling among CreER Lines in the Neonatal Mouse Cochlea
J Assoc Res Otolaryngol, Apr 18, 2017
McGovern, M.M., Brancheck, J.B., Grant, A.C., Graves, K.A., & Cox, B.C.