Jong-Hoon Nam received his BS and MS degree from Seoul National University in South Korea and PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2005. After postdoctoral period at Virginia Tech and University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering departments at the University of Rochester in 2010. His research area is mechano-biology of the inner ear. Through computational analysis and experiments, he seeks to understand the biophysical properties and mechanisms of the inner ear sensory organs that enables them to select and amplify mechanical stimuli such as sound, gravity and acceleration.
Our laboratory investigates how inner ear sensory systems work - how the inner ear selects and amplifies external stimuli. Inner ear sensory cells are called mechanoelectric transducers because they are mechanically stimulated by surrounding soft tissues or fluid to generate electric signals. We focus on the mechanical interaction between the inner ear sensory cells and their surrounding structures. Computational and experimental methods are combined for our research. Various engineering/biological principles are incorporated such as structural acoustics, micro-fluidics, microelectromechanical systems, and electrophysiology.
Our goal is to contribute to understanding sensorineural hearing and balance disorders and provide new insights for the design of biologically inspired mechano-transduction sensors and prosthetics.