A curious mind leads Assoc Prof Prêle to Ear Science

A/Prof Cecilia Prêle’s curiosity has been her driver throughout her career. “I love starting with a question and not knowing where that’s going to take me,” said A/Prof Prêle.

A/Prof Prêle has been first and foremost a cell biologist building knowledge in the field. Now, she’s joined Ear Science, and she’s thrilled to be contributing to patient outcomes.

“Ultimately, the fact that Ear Science is people-driven and translational (from lab to clinic) is a really exciting concept for me. Science in general gets me really excited, and I just love what I do.

To be able to apply that to real people and real treatments, is very motivating.”

From the lung to the eardrum

A/Prof Cecilia Prêle headed up the Tissue Repair Group at Institute for Respiratory Health (IRH) and UWA, focusing on lung fibrosis, a disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred.

“The fibrotic tissue doesn’t function like regular tissue does. You can imagine, when this happens in your lungs, you slowly lose the ability to breathe.”

While A/Prof Prêle’s team was working on tissue regeneration and reducing the impact of scarring in the lungs, she’s followed Ear Science’s work in the same area—for the eardrum.

“I first met Adj Prof Rod Dilley in 2012. I was very aware of his work in tympanic membrane (eardrum) repair, and I’ve worked in collaboration with the team at Ear Science over the years.”

And so, when a new opportunity to join the team came up, A/Prof Prêle jumped at the chance.

“It’s very rare to be able to start again in a new area, but there’s a lot of work that I’ve done in tissue repair, regeneration and fibrosis that fits in very nicely with the existing experience of the team at Ear Science.”

“There are opportunities for me to work closely with the teams across a number of projects, including the inner ear organoid growth and a number of the cell biology projects.”

Prof Rodney Dilley, Head of Basic Research at Ear Science, is thrilled to have A/Prof Prêle join the team.

“Cecilia is a successful cell biologist with expertise in regenerative medicine that perfectly complements our current laboratory skillset,” Prof Dilley said.

“Her work devising new preventative treatments for tissue fibrosis and scarring can be directly applied to our work in the ear, including cochlear implantation and ClearDrum®.”

“We look forward to working with Cecilia; she brings a high level understanding of biochemical science and its ability to create new treatments for difficult areas.”

“She’s been instrumental in bringing international recognition to the regenerative medicine community in WA and brings many valuable connections and collaborations with her. We have no doubt she will play an integral part in furthering our research towards a cure for hearing loss.”