The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 439 - 445 (2007)

Vol 51, Issue 6-7

Special Issue: Ear Development

In pursuit of communication. An interview with Bob Ruben

Published: 1 September 2007

Fernando Giraldez* and Bernd Fritzsch

1DCEXS-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biom├Ędica de Barcelona (PRBB), Barcelona, Spain and 2Creighton University Department of Biomedical Sciences, Omaha, NE, USA


Due to the achievements of the NIDCD, combined with the important influence of the initial work on 'birthdating' by Dr. Ruben and his leading role in the field through 1975-1995, the editors of this Special Issue consider Dr. Ruben to be a landmark in modern research on ear development. It was a great delight to talk to a person who has been of such paramount importance for the development of the entire field, having contributed to the main issues of the science of normal ear development, and to the orientation of the administrative resources towards the application of basic research to the treatment of disease.At the end of this day in Manhattan, there was as strong feeling that there is a need to continue with this conceptualization now that the molecular foundation of ear development has been laid down. It appeared possible that current efforts may have an immediate relevance for translational research to benefit those with impaired hearing. Conceptualization of the issues as an intellectual 'blueprint' for others, in particular younger researchers with not as broad a perspective, might benefit the entire field. It is the intent of the editors of this Special Issue to provide at least a rough outline of this future direction of research.


interview, mitosis, birth dating, inner ear, otic vesicle, cochlea, NIDCD.

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