The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than five percent of the world's population is affected by hearing loss and deafness. Often, the reason is a loss of hair cells in the ear. For future treatment, researchers at the DPZ are developing optical cochlear implants that convert sound waves into light instead of electricity to provide a more natural hearing experience. Common marmosets are among those being used for the research, as they have an extensive sound repertoire and rely on vocal communication for their social behavior. For the required hearing tests, the scientists have developed an automated training program in which the monkeys can participate voluntarily and in familiar surroundings. You can read about how this works and how the method contributes to animal welfare on page 3.
The Sponsorship Society of the German Primate Center is the contact point for anyone who is interested in DPZ research and would like to support it. The association was founded in 1985 and has since supported numerous young scientists, DPZ projects, workshops and symposia in Germany and abroad. Since 1988, 35 PhD prizes have been awarded and the annual photo contest is also awarded by the Sponsorship Society. After seven years as chairman, Eberhard Fuchs, senior professor at the DPZ, has now handed over his office to Christian Roos, scientist in the Primate Genetics Laboratory. In the interview starting on page 25, both talk about the work and the future of the Sponsorship Society.
Olena Tkachenko is Ukrainian and did her PhD at the DPZ from 2005 to 2008. After a stay in the U.S., she went back to her home country with her daughter in 2018, where she worked as a freelance technical translator. And then came the war. You can read about how Olena Tkachenko fled Ukraine with her daughter and found a new home here with the help of DPZ staff starting on page 35.
We wish you a pleasant reading!
"DPZ aktuell" is published four times a year, has about 35 pages each time and can be subscribed to free of charge. Of course, the magazine is also available in the building: You will find it at the reception desk or in the library.