Katherine Shim, Ph.D.

Katherine Shim, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, Division of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.   

She takes a molecular and genetic approach to understanding inner ear development in the mouse, and current work is focused on understanding the role of the Sprouty family of receptor tyrosine kinase antagonists in inner ear development and function. In particular, Dr. Shim found that Sprouty2 mutant mice are born with severe hearing impairment associated with a postnatal cell fate transformation of a Deiters’ cell into a pillar cell, resulting in the formation of an ectopic space (tunnel of Corti) within the auditory sensory epithelium.

It is her hope that these studies will uncover mechanisms by which congenital hearing and balance disorders arise, and provide clues to their treatment.