School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

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Marian Drescher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Educator track, full time
Wayne State University - Medicine
Lande, 261
540 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201

 Dr. Marian J. Drescher is Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery at Wayne State School of Medicine, Wayne State University.  She obtained a B.S. in Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.   Her research in the Laboratory of Bio-otology is focused on elucidation of adenylyl cyclase signaling mediating signal transduction in hair cells, and specifically, cAMP-modulated ion channels involved in mechanosensory transduction and hair cell receptoneural transmission.  Identification of acousticolateralis transmitters and transmitter receptors is a second major research interest.  Both areas of research are supported by NIH R01s.

Dr. Marian Drescher is author of fifty-four peer-reviewed research publications.  She has mentored the research of fifty medical residents, medical students, and post-doctoral fellows and is the director of the Otolaryngology Research Seminar Series at Wayne State University.  Dr. Marian Drescher has served as an ad hoc reviewer on NIH grant-review committees, as a member of the Government Relations committee of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the Academic Senate of Wayne State University, and as reviewer for multiple scientific journals.



B.S.                  Nutrition.  University of California, Davis, CA;  1965

M.S.                 Biochemistry. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; 1967

Ph.D.                Biochemistry.  University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;  1974

Postdoctoral    Neurochemistry.  Wayne State University Medical School, Detroit, MI; 1979-81



1981-1984       Research Associate, Laboratory of Bio-otology, Department of Otolaryngolo­gy,

                          Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

1984-1988       Instructor, Laboratory of Bio-otology, Department of Otolaryngology, Wayne

                           State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

1988-1994       Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Bio-otology, Department of Otolaryngolo­gy,

                          Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

1994-present   Associate Professor, Laboratory of Bio-otology, Department of Otolaryngolo­gy,

                          Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 


Awards & Honors



1960-1964    NIH Undergraduate Research Traineeship in Biochemistry, Phi Kappa Phi,

                        Baccalaureate with Honors, Graduate Biochemistry Fellowship to University of

                        California, Davis

1964-1970    University of Wisconsin Wharton Graduate Fellowship

1984               Invited Speaker, NIH International Conference on Auditory Biochemistry, St.

                        Petersburg Beach, FL

1993               Invited Speaker, Dept of Otolaryngology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, OH

1994               Invited Speaker, Dept of Ophthalmology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

1990               Recipient of Wayne State University Research and Sponsored Programs Grant

1993-1995     Recipient of Deafness Research Foundation grants

1996-1997     Wayne State University Neuroscience Research Stimulation Award

1998               Speaker, Workshop on Inner Ear Biology, Innsbruck, Austria

2001               Speaker, Workshop on Inner Ear Biology, Rome, Italy

2001               Invited Speaker, Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan,

                        Ann Arbor, MI

1998-2001    Elected member of Academic Senate, Wayne State University

2002               Elected to ARO nominating committee

2004               Ad hoc member of AUD study section, NIH

2006-2009     ARO Government Relations Committee


Other Information

Ongoing Research Support  (last 5 years)


5 R01 DC004076-07 (M. Drescher)                                                          7/1/05-6/30/10


Adenylyl Cyclase Signaling in Ear Sensory Epithelia

The goal of this project is to elucidate adenylyl cyclase signaling pathways in hair cells and efferent/afferent nerve terminals of inner ear sensory epithelia, from stimulus to G-proteins to adenylyl cyclase isoforms to target, with a focus on ion channels directly targeted by cAMP.

Role: Principal Investigator           


5 R01 DC000156-27 (D. Drescher)                                                          4/1/09‑3/31/14    


Identification of Acoustico‑Lateralis Transmitters

The major goals of this project are to identify chemically the presumptive peripheral neurotransmitters of the cochlea of mammals and labyrinthine organs of fish, and to characterize the biochemical systems associated with the presumptive transmitters.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator


3R01 DC000156-28A1S1 (D. Drescher)

NIH/NIDCD                                                                                            7/17/09-6/30/11

Identification of Acoustico-Lateralis Transmitters

The major goals in ARRA �Accelerating the Science� are investigation of dopamine as a cochlear neurotransmitter and protein interactions of hair-cell calcium channels.

Role:  Co-Principal Investigator


Selected Publications

Selected Peer Review Publications (last 5 years)

Drescher MJ, Cho, WJ, Folbe AJ, Selvakumar D, Kewson DT, Abu-Hamdan MD, Oh CK, Ramakrishnan NA, Hatfield JS, Khan KM, Anne S, Harpool EC, Drescher DG.  An adenylyl cyclase signaling pathway predicts direct dopaminergic input to vestibular hair cells.  Neuroscience 171:1054-1074, 2010


Drescher D.G. (Corresponding author), Ramakrishnan N.A., and Drescher, M.J.  Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis of binding interactions of proteins in inner-ear sensory epithelia. In: Sokolowski, B., ed., Molecular Methods in Auditory/Vestibular Research. Springer, New York, 2009.


Ramakrishnan NA, Drescher, M.J., Drescher, D.G. (Corresponding author) Direct interaction of otoferlin with syntaxin 1A, SNAP-25, and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel CaV1.3.  J. Biol. Chem. Epub Nov., 2008. J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 16;284(3):1364-1372.


Ramakrishnan NA, Drescher MJ (Corresponding author) Barretto, R. L., Beisel K.W., Hatfield, J. S., and Drescher, D.G. Calcium-dependent binding of HCN1 channel protein to hair cell stereociliary tip-link protein protocadherin 15 CD3. J. Biol. Chem. Epub Nov. 13, 2008. J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 30;284(5):3227-38.

Khan KM, Drescher MJ (Corresponding author), Hatfield JS, Ramakrishnan NA, Drescher DG. Immunohistochemical localization of adrenergic receptors in the rat organ of Corti and spiral ganglion. J Neurosci Res 85: 3000-3012, 2007.


Drescher MJ (Corresponding author), Drescher DG, Khan KM, Hatfield JS, Ramakrishnan NA, Abu-Hamdan MD, Lemonier LA. Pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and its receptor (PAC1-R) are positioned to modulate afferent signaling in the cochlea. Neuroscience 142: 139-164, 2006.


Ramakrishnan NA, Drescher MJ, Sheikhali SA, Khan KM, Hatfield JS, Dickson MJ, Drescher DG (Corresponding author). Molecular identification of an N-type Ca2+ channel in saccular hair cells. Neuroscience 139: 1417-1434, 2006.