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Neuroscientist A. James Hudspeth Joins Rockefeller Faculty

An expert in the neurobiology and biophysics of hearing, A. James Hudspeth, Ph.D., M.D., joins the faculty at The Rockefeller University as the F.M. Kirby Professor. The chair is made possible by a gift of $2 million from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., which supports health, educational, cultural, religious and other charitable organizations. Hudspeth also is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a position he will continue at Rockefeller.

“Jim Hudspeth has contributed much to our understanding of hearing through his elegant studies of the mechanisms used by hair cells to transmit sound waves as cellular signals,” says Torsten Wiesel, M.D., president of Rockefeller. “He will enrich our campus not only in neurobiology and biophysics, but in all of our scientific and educational activities.”

In his research, Hudspeth explores how hair cells inside the ear relay sound to the brain. He recently isolated the gene carrying the instructions to make a protein found on the top of sound-sensitive hair bundles, which may play a role in the amplifying of sound.

Hudspeth comes to Rockefeller after serving as professor and director of the neuroscience program at the University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas.

Hudspeth received his bachelor of arts degree in 1967 from the Biochemical Sciences Program at Harvard College in Boston, Mass., and a master of arts degree in 1968 and a doctoral degree in 1973 from the Division of Medical Sciences at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, he earned a medical degree from the Harvard Medical School.

In addition to his post at the University of Texas, Hudspeth has held teaching positions at Harvard Medical School, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California School of Medicine. While at the University of Texas, Hudspeth served as professor and chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and founded the school’s neuroscience program.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Hudspeth has received honors for his research from Columbia University, the New York Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes of Health and the Dana Foundation. He also received awards for excellence in teaching from the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the University of Texas.

Hudspeth serves as a section editor for sensory systems for Current Opinion in Neurobiology, and as an editorial panelist for Current Biology. He is the author or coauthor of two books, 11 book chapters and more than 40 scientific articles.

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