Kevin Ohlemiller, PhD

Kevin Ohlemiller, PhD

Professor of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Mailing address

Washington University School of Medicine
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
660 S. Euclid Ave.-Campus Box 8115
St. Louis, MO 63110

Research interests

We study the role of genetics in the form and severity of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). We have shown that some of the same gene alleles and mutations that promote ARHL also promote cochlear noise injury. Such findings point to an interpretation of sensory ARHL as principally cumulative injury. We have also published evidence for one or more QTLs that can greatly impact the qualitative character of noise injury. CBA/J mice are more resistant to NIHL than are C57BL/6 mice, yet show more severe injury of the cochlear lateral wall and limbus. F1 and N2 crosses indicate that predisposition to lateral wall injury is inherited as a dominant trait in nearly Mendelian fashion. Two important implications are 1) that there exists no single ‘mammalian’ archetype of cochlear noise injury, and 2) that injury to the organ of Corti and lateral wall are mechanistically and genetically independent.


  • B.S. Biology, Indiana University 1983;
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University Neuroscience Institute 1990

Selected publications

  1. Ohlemiller, K.K. (2004) Age-related hearing loss: The status of Schuknecht’s typology. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 12: 439-443.
  2. Ohlemiller, K.K. (2006) Contributions of mouse models to understanding of age- and noise-related hearing loss. Brain Research 1091: 89-102.
  3. Bao, J., Lei, D., Du, Y., Ohlemiller,K.K., Beaudet, A.L and Role, L.W. (2005) Requirement of nichotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit 2 in the maintenance of spiral ganglion neurons during aging. Journal of Neuroscience 25: 3041-3045.
  4. Ohlemiller, K.K., Lett, J.M., and Gagnon, P.M. (2006) Cellular Correlates of Age-Related Endocochlear Potential Reduction in a Mouse Model Hearing Research 220: 10-26.
  5. Gagnon, P.M., Simmons, D.D., Bao, J., Lei,D., Ortmann, A.J. and Ohlemiller, K.K. (2007) Temporal and Genetic Influences on Protection against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss by Hypoxic Preconditioning in Mice. Hearing Research 226: 79-91.
  6. Shen, H., Zhang, B., Shin, J.-H., Lei, D., Du, Y., Gao,W., Wang,Q., Ohlemiller,K.K., Piccirillo, J., and Bao, J. (2007) Prophylactic and therapeutic functions of T-type calcium blockers on noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing Research 226: 52-60.
  7. Ohlemiller, K.K. and Gagnon, P.M. (2007) Genetic dependence of cochlear cells and structures injured by noise. Hearing Research 224: 34-50.