Auditory and visual impairments compose a very large spectrum of rare disorders occurring at any age. These two sensory deficiencies are combined in several syndromes, such as Usher syndrome, leading to a major disability. Despite significant advances, progress in the understanding of the pathogenesis of these disorders as well as in the development of therapeutic approaches and rehabilitation, call for the setting up of a brisk cross-talk between these two scientific biomedical fields. Indeed the relationship between the two sensory systems is multiple. Most of the disorders affect the sensory organs. Their respective sensory cells, which are the major target cells of the defects, share several structures, for instance a cilium and ribbon synapses, and physiological properties. The therapeutic approaches, nowadays mainly based on pharmacological and gene therapy approaches for retinal defects and prostheses for hearing impairment, especially cochlear implants, provide a broad range of experience that can be fully exploited by the other sensory field. Finally, rehabilitation in patients massively relies on the compensation of one sense by the other.
The meeting will bring together experts in sensory neuroscience, developmental biology, genetics, cell biology, modelling, translational research and therapy. It aims at promoting exchanges between the scientists of the two fields and beyond, at stimulating the emergence of new research projects at the interface between disciplines and at training young researchers in this interdisciplinary field.
The sessions will discuss in parallel and compare for vision and hearing:
- The process of the sensory information by the two sensory systems
- The evolution of the two sensory systems
- The development of the sensory organs and the associated developmental defects
- The mechanisms of sensory transduction and the associated disorders
- The role of the cilium and the ribbon synapses in photoreceptor cells and auditory hair cells, and the pathogenesis of the disorders affecting the two sensory systems
- The various therapeutic approaches and rehabilitation: the present achievements, challenges and the fast evolving perspectives.
Three poster awards will be distributed to the best posters presented. These prizes will fully cover the participants’ conference fees as well as their travel costs.