Patricia A Leake, PhD, is a Professor and Director of the Saul and Ida Epstein Laboratory for Auditory Physiology and Genetics in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her MA and PhD in neuroanatomy from the University of California, San Francisco, and this was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Coleman Laboratory in the Department of OHNS at UCSF.
Dr. Leake’s main research interest is in the development and safe clinical application of multichannel cochlear prostheses, with a particular focus on the plasticity elicited in the developing auditory system following early onset profound hearing loss and cochlear implantation. Research in the Saul and Ida Epstein Laboratory for Hearing Research explores the functional encoding of electrical stimulation delivered to the auditory nerve by a cochlear implant, examining the responses of ensembles of neurons within the auditory midbrain or inferior colliculus (IC).
Dr. Leake’s primary areas of research interest have been in exploring the effects of early deafness, electrical stimulation from a cochlear implant and exogenous neurotrophins on the morphology of the cochlea and cochlear nucleus, on the development of auditory nerve projections to the brainstem, and on functional alterations in the central auditory system. Most recently, this research has focused on the potential use of AAV-mediated neurotrophin gene therapy to improve auditory nerve survival after early deafness and thereby to optimize the function of a cochlear implant.
Research in Auditory neuroscience, cochlear implants, plasticity, gene therapy
Cochlear morphology, cochlear prostheses, auditory nerve, auditory system development, auditory system plasticity, central auditory neural pathways, cochlear spiral ganglion, cochlear nucleus, development of topographic maps, electrical stimulation, neonatal deafness, neurotrophin/neurotrophic agents, temporal processing, tonotopic organization, adeno-associated viral vector therapies
Education and Training:
• MA: University of California, San Francisco - Neuroanatomy
• PhD: University of California, San Francisco - Neuroanatomy
• Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
Awards and Honors:
• 1966 Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, OH - George J. Record Scholar
• 1970 Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, OH - Laurels Honor Society for Women
• 1970 University of California, San Francisco Department of Anatomy - Regents Scholar
• 1998 European Symposium on Paediatric Cochlear Implants - Keynote Lecturer, Netherlands
• 1998 Purdue University - Distinguished Lecturer in Neuroscience
• 2004 7th European Symposium on Paediatric Cochlear Implantation, Geneva - Keynote Lecture
• 2002 University of California, San Francisco Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery - Georgia G. Sullivan Endowed Chair in Hearing Research
• 2002 Helmholtz Instituut, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands - Helmholtz Lecturer