Department of Otolaryngology

Karl Kandler, PhD

  • Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
  • Professor, Department of Neurobiology
  • UPMC Professor for Auditory Development and Plasticity

Education & Training

  • University of Tuebingen, Germany, PhD
  • University of Tuebingen, Germany, Graduate
  • University of Regensburg, Germany, Undergraduate

Academic Affiliation

Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University and Departments of Otolaryngology and Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh

Representative Publications

Catherine JC Weisz, Maria E Rubio, Richard S Givens, and Karl Kandler. Excitation by axon terminal GABA spillover in a sound localization circuit. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(3):911-925.

Sturm J, Nguyen TD, Kandler K (2014) Development of intrinsic connectivity in the central nucleus of the mouse inferior colliculus. J. Neuroscience, 34:15032-46.    

Clause A, Kim G, Sonntag M, Weisz CJC, Vetter DE, Rűbsamen D, Kandler K (2014) The precise temporal pattern of pre-hearing spontaneous activity is necessary for tonotopic map refinement. Neuron, 82:822-35. 

Chi DH and Kandler K (2012) Cannabinoid receptor expression at the MNTB-LSO synapse in developing rats. Neurosci Lett. 509(2):96-100.

Noh J, Seal RP, Garver JA, Edwards RH. Kandler K (2010) Glutamate co-release at GABA/glycinergic synapses is crucial for the refinement of an inhibitory map. Nature Neuroscience, 13:232-8. 

Seal RP, Akil O, Yi E, Weber CM, Grant L, Yoo J, Clause A, Kandler K, Noebels JL, Glowatzki E, Lustig LR, Edwards RH. (2008) Sensorineural deafness and seizures in mice lacking vesicular glutamate transporter 3. Neuron 57:263-75. 

Gillespie DC, Kim G, Kandler K (2005) Inhibitory synapses in the developing auditory system are glutamatergic. Nature Neuroscience, 8: 332-338 

Kim G and Kandler K (2003) Elimination and strengthening of inhibitory synapses during establishment of a tonotopic map. Nature Neuroscience. 6:282-290.

View Dr. Kandler's most current publications.

Research Interest Summary

Developmental and Pathological Plasticity of Auditory Neurons

Research Interests

In order to correctly process sound, the brain depends on precisely organized neuronal circuits. Knowing how auditory neurons in the developing brain become connected with the correct neuronal partners, and how this wiring changes, is crucial for understanding auditory dysfunction such as developmental dyslexia or central auditory processing disorders. Insight into how the brain connections change after hearing loss will provide insight into the neuronal mechanisms of tinnitus. 

To investigate how neuronal connections change during development and following hearing loss, Dr. Kandler's team uses  a variety of high-resolution anatomical and physiological techniques that are applied to animal models. 

Research Grants

Development of Neuronal Circuits in the Auditory System, 8/1/99 – 6/30/2016, NIH/NIDCD, RO1

Training in Vestibular and Auditory Neuroscience, 07/01/2011 – 6/30/2021, NIH/NIDCD, Institutional Training Grant (T32)

Cell-specific Synaptic Plasticity in the Auditory Brainstem (‘co-investigator’), 12/01/2005 - 2/28/2017, NIH/NIDCD, RO1

Anatomical and functional properties of auditory nerve synapses  (‘co-investigator’), 3/01/2013 – 2/28/2018, NIH/NIDCD, RO1