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A Cure Is Possible in Our Lifetime
A Cure Is Possible in Our Lifetime

The HRP consortium of scientists has developed a strategic research plan to develop a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. This three-phase plan starts with discovery research and culminates in clinical trials.
The plan, developed specifically by the HRP scientists and updated to incorporate new findings and approaches, is a living document meant to guide but not limit the work. Relevance to this strategic plan is one of the criteria for a project to receive HRP funding.
Our Strategic Research Plan
Phase I – Discovery Research
Phase I will examine which genes, or which series of genes, trigger the natural regeneration of hair cells in animals such as birds and zebrafish. This phase will also examine which genes in mammals prevent the natural regeneration of hair cells. Finally, Phase I will determine the types of cells in mammals’ ears that could serve as available targets for regeneration therapies. Read about our currently funded HRP projects.
Phase II – Pathway Validation
Phase II starts with the residual cells that remain in a mammal’s inner ear after hearing loss and uses the genes identified in Phase I to trigger hair cell regeneration.
Phase III – Develop Therapies and Treatment Options
In Phase III, the HRP Consortium will partner with a pharmaceutical or other company to develop drugs that mimic the identified genes, resulting in a regenerative therapy.
Bioinformatics Help the HRP Analyze All This Genetic Data
In Phase I, HRP scientists will examine what genes or series of genes trigger regeneration in certain species and prevent it in others. But how will they compare the results? The answer is bioinformatics, sophisticated computation tools that have only been developed in the past few decades.
Bioinformatics provides a way to analyze and compare large data sets (there may be tens of thousands of potential genes that are identified) and will allow HRP scientists to mine this data to identify the right patterns and pathways for testing in Phase II.
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