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Michael Deans, Ph.D.

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments: Surgery - Associate Professor, Neurobiology - Adjunct Associate Professor, Ophthalmology/Visual Sciences - Adjunct Associate Professor

Divisions: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Academic Office Information


Dr. Deans has established a research program at the University of Utah to study the developmental processes of cellular morphogenesis and patterning in the primary sensory systems. His goal is to understand the anatomical basis of sensation and the premise that correlating developmental processes with the etiology of sensory handicaps is medically and socially important. His current research is a logical extension of this philosophy and is focused on developmental mechanisms regulated by genes found in both the retina and inner ear. Congenital syndromes such as Usher’s Syndrome, in which affected individuals have both photoreceptor and sensory hair cell deficits, demonstrate the logic behind this approach. In addition, he received graduate level and postdoctoral training in retinal neurobiology and inner ear development at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Deans' research program addresses questions of planar polarity in the developing vestibular maculae, in particular the global patterning of vestibular hair cells about a line of polarity reversal. This is a unique system for questioning planar polarity which is usually assayed in the auditory system, and the approach places an important focus vestibular system development which is largely overlooked. In this experimental context, inner ear development and specifically the establishment of planar polarity is assayed using an array of modern anatomical techniques.

Please see the link below for further details on his laboratory and research efforts:

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Harvard Medical School
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Harvard University; Division of Medical Sciences
Undergraduate Michigan State University
Microbiology/Molecular Genetics