Doctor of Science

David P. Corey, 1974

David P. Corey is the Bertarelli Professor of Translational Medical Science in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. For decades, he has led a team of researchers in the painstaking exploration of auditory transduction, the process by which vertebrate ears convert the vibration of sound to a neural signal. The Corey Laboratory has made fundamental advances in our understanding of auditory system function at the cellular and molecular level: their findings have progressed from a basic morphological and biophysical description of the process of auditory transduction to the recent identification of a pivotal sensor protein. This pathbreaking work on the molecular mechanics of hearing has transformed our understanding of hearing and hearing loss and lays the groundwork for precision-targeted therapies to treat genetic deafness.

As a practitioner of translational medical science, Corey is dedicated to charting a direct path between research and the development of therapeutic applications for that research. As an alumnus, Corey has shared this passion with Amherst students as a mentor and as a leader of neuroscience seminars. The College is particularly pleased to honor his work during the inaugural year of our state-of-the-art Science Center.

Author of over 150 scientific papers, Corey is the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions for his research, teaching, and mentorship, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and the 2012 Award of Merit from the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

Concurrent with his long career at Harvard Medical School, Corey worked as a physiologist and neurobiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1984 to 2002 and as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1984 to 2018. Prior to these appointments, he was a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor of molecular neurobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. Corey graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in physics in 1974. He earned a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology in 1980.

Audio and transcript of David Corey’s talk, “How We Hear, How We Lose Hearing, and What Can Be Done About It.”