Douglas A. Cotanche is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, a Lecturer in the Department of Otology & Laryngology at Harvard Medical School, and a Member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of North Carolina in 1983 and did a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cell Biology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1983-1985. His first faculty position was in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC from 1985 to 1987. In 1987 he moved to Boston where he was in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine for ten years before moving to Children's Hospital in 1998.
In 2008 he returned to BUMC with a primary appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology and a joint appointment in Anatomy & Neurobiology. Dr. Cotanche has served as Secretary/Treasurer and a Council Member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and has served on the Council of Scientific Trustees of the Deafness Research Foundation, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis, MO and on numerous hearing-related NIH Study Sections. He is a Section Editor for Hearing Research and a member of the editorial board of Audiology & Neurotology. Dr. Cotanche’s research has focused on the development and regeneration of hair cells and the tectorial membrane in the avian and mammalian cochlea. In 1985 he co-discovered that birds can regenerate their cochlear hair cells after sound damage and regain their hearing. He has continued his research on regeneration and has been a prominent force in the drive to develop hair cell regeneration as a potential treatment for sensorineural deafness. Currently the work in his lab is also exploring the therapeutic potential of stem cell transplantation into the damaged mammalian cochlea. Dr. Cotanche also teaches Gross Anatomy to first year medical students in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology where, in 2007, he received the Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Medical School.