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Dr. Cox received her PhD in pharmacology in 2008 and completed 5 years of postdoc training in auditory neuroscience with Dr. Jian Zuo. She has 10 years of research experience studying cellular and molecular changes that occur in the cochlea during and after hair cell loss. She also has expertise studying the vestibular system and examining the ribbon synapses which connect inner hair cells to the acoustic nerve. Dr. Cox has received grant funding from National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Defense.




2008    Ph.D., Pharmacology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC


1999    B.S. Biology, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA



Professional Experience


2018 – present

Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL


2018 – present

Consultant, Otonomy, Inc., San Diego, CA


2017 – present

Consultant, Turner Scientific, LLC, Jacksonville, IL


2014 – present

Cross appointment to the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL


2013 – present   

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL


2008 - 2013

Postdoctoral Research Associate, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN; Mentor: Jian Zuo, Ph.D.


2002 - 2008        

Graduate Student, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Dissertation Title: Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Visual System; Mentor: Kenneth J. Kellar, Ph.D.


2000 – 2002        

Clinical Research Coordinator for psychiatric and neurological disorders, Chicago Center for Clinical Research, Protocare Trials (currently known as Radiant Research), Chicago, IL


1999 – 2000        

Research Assistant, Chicago Center for Clinical Research, Protocare Trials (currently known as Radiant Research), Chicago, IL


1997 – 1999        

Undergraduate Research, University of Richmond, VA; Expression of heat shock proteins in the gorgonian, Leptogorgia virgulata

Current Research Funding


R01 DC014441 (Cox)

6/1/2016 – 5/31/2021

NIH/National Institute on Deafness and other Communicative Disorders

Title: Mechanisms that regulate hair cell survival

Role: PI


W81XWH-15-1-0475 (Cox)

9/15/2015 – 9/14/2018

Neurosensory and Rehabilitation Research Award Program, CDMRP Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Department of Defense

Title: Investigation of Notch signaling in during spontaneous regeneration of cochlear hair cells

Role: PI


R01 DC00151 (D. Caspary, SIUSOM)


NIH/National Institute on Deafness and other Communicative Disorders

Title: Coding in Auditory Neurons: Effects of Amino Acids

Role: Co-investigator


N00014-16-1-2306 (D. Caspary, SIUSOM)

3/22/2016 –2/28/2019

Office of Naval Research  

Title: Targeting attentional mechanims in tinnitus: contributions of the thalamic cholingeric system

Role: Co-investigator


R01 DC13771 (J. Stone, University of Washington)

4/1/2014 – 3/31/2019

NIH/National Institute on Deafness and other Communicative Disorders

Title: Vestibular hair cell turnover in normal mammals

Role: Co-investigator/Sub-award contract


Completed/Past Research Funding

Research Seed Grant for Residents (Ezeilo, SIUSOM)   


Department of Surgery, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Title: The role of Pou4f3 in regulating survival of vestibular hair cells

Role: Mentor

N00014-15-1-2866 (Cox)

8/15/2015 – 8/14/2016

Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) Office of Naval Research  

Title: Confocal microscope for the investigation of hearing loss, otoprotection, and tinnitus

Role: PI

N00014-13-1-0569 (Cox)

4/1/2013 – 9/30/2015

Office of Naval Research  

Title: Cell source and mechanism of hair cell regeneration in the neonatal mouse cochlea

Role: PI


Academic and Professional Honors



Invited speaker at the Gordon Research Conference on the Auditory System


Forty under 40 in Springfield, Springfield Business Journal, Springfield, IL


Young Medical Innovator Award, Sangamon County Medical Society, Springfield, IL


Invitation to AAMC’s Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, Denver, CO (competitive application process)


Nominated for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers      (PECASE) by the Office of Naval Research


Invitation to the NIH/NIGMS Workshop for Postdocs Transitioning to Independent Positions, NIH, Bethesda, MD (competitive application process)


Invitation to the National Graduate Student Symposium, St. Jude Children’s   Research Hospital, Memphis, TN (competitive application process)


Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society Induction, University of Richmond, VA



Peer-Reviewed Publications


Stone JS, Wisner SR, Bucks SA, Mellado Lagarde MM, and Cox BC (2018) Characterization of adult vestibular organs in 11 CreER mouse lines. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 19(4):381-399. DOI:  10.1007/s10162-018-0676-6


McGovern MM, Zhou L, Randle MR, and Cox BC (2018) Spontaneous hair cell regeneration is prevented by increased Notch signaling in supporting cells. Front Cell Neurosci 12:120. DOI:  10.3389/fncel.2018.00120


Cai, R, Montgomery SC, Graves KA, Caspary DM, and Cox, BC (2017) The FBN rat model of aging: investigation of ABR waveforms and ribbon synapse changes. Neurobiol Aging 62:53-63. DOI:  10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.09.034


Sottile SY, Ling L, Cox BC, and Caspary DM (2017) Impact of aging on postsynaptic neuronal nicotinic neurotransmission in auditory thalamus. J Physiol 595(15):5375-5385. DOI: 10.1113/JP274467


Bucks SA, Cox BC, Vlosich BA, Manning JP, Nguyen TB and Stone JS (2017) Supporting cells remove and replace sensory receptor hair cells in a balance organ of adult mice. eLife 6:e18128 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.18128


McGovern MM, Brancheck J, Grant AC, Graves KA, and Cox BC. (2017) Quantitative analysis of supporting cell subtype labeling among CreER lines in the neonatal mouse cochlea. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 18(2): 227-245. DOI: 10.1007/s10162-016-0598-0


Montgomery SC and Cox BC (2016) Whole mount dissection and immunofluorescence of the adult mouse cochlea. J Vis Exp 107:e53561. DOI: 10.3791/53561


Walters BJ*, Liu Z*, Crabtree M*, Coak E, Cox BC, and Zuo J. (2014) Auditory hair cell-specific deletion of p27Kip1 in postnatal mice promotes cell-autonomous generation of new hair cells and normal hearing. J Neurosci, 34:15751-15763.  DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3200-14.2014

*authors contributed equally


Cox BC, Dearman JA, Brancheck J, Zindy F, Roussel MF, and Zuo J. (2014) Generation of Atoh1-rtTA transgenic mice: a tool for inducible gene expression in hair cells of the inner ear. Sci Rep 4:6885. DOI: 10.1038/srep06885


Cox BC*, Chai R*, Lenoir A, Liu Z, Zhang L, Nguyen D, Chalasani K, Steigelman KA, Fang J, Rubel EW, Cheng AG, and Zuo J. (2014) Spontaneous hair cell regeneration in the neonatal mouse cochlea in vivo. Development 141:816-829. DOI: 10.1242/dev.103036

*authors contributed equally


Mellado Lagarde, MM, Cox BC, Fang J, Taylor R, Forge A, and Zuo J. (2013) Selective ablation of pillar and Deiters’ cells severely affects cochlear postnatal development and hearing function in mice. J Neurosci 33:1564-1576. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3088-12.2013


Liu Z, Walters BJ, Owen T, Brimble MA, Steigelman KA, Zhang L, Mellado Lagarde MM, Valentine MB, Yu Y, Cox BC, and Zuo J. (2012) Regulation of p27Kip1 by Sox2 maintains quiescence of inner pillar cells in the murine auditory sensory epithelium. J Neurosci 32:10530-10540. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0686-12.2012


Burns J*, Cox BC*, Thiede BR, Zuo J, and Corwin JT. (2012) In vivo proliferative regeneration of balance hair cells in newborn mice. J Neurosci 32:6570-6577. DOI:


*authors contributed equally


Liu Z, Dearman JA, Cox BC, Walters BJ, Zhang L, Ayrault O, Zindy F, Gan L, Roussel M, and Zuo J. (2012) Age-dependent in vivo conversion of mouse cochlear pillar and Dieters’ cells to immature hair cells by Atoh1 ectopic expression. J Neurosci 32: 6600-6610. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0818-12.2012


Yu Y, Weber T, Yamashita Y, Liu Z, Valentine MB, Cox BC, and Zuo J. (2010) In vivo proliferation of postmitotic cochlear supporting cells by acute ablation of the retinoblastoma protein in neonatal mice. J Neurosci 30: 5927-5936. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5989-09.2010


Cox BC, Marritt AM, Perry DC, and Kellar KJ. (2008) Transport of multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the rat optic nerve:  High densities of receptors containing α6 and β3 subunits. J Neurochem 105: 1924-1938. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05282.x


Marritt AM, Cox BC, Yasuda RP, McIntosh JM, Xiao Y, Wolfe BB, and Kellar KJ. (2005) Nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the rat retina:  simple and mixed heteromeric subtypes.  Mol Pharmacol 68: 1656-1668. DOI: 10.1124/mol.105.012369


Kingsley RJ, Affif E, Cox BC, Kothari S, Kriechbaum K, Kuchinsky K, Neill AT, Puri AF, and Kish VM.  (2003) Expression of heat shock and cold shock proteins in the gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata.  J Exp Zoolog A Comp Exp Biol 296: 98-107. DOI: 10.1002/jez.a.10248



Reviews and Book Chapters


Cox BC, Liu Z, Mellado Lagarde MM, and Zuo J. (2012) Conditional gene expression in the mouse inner ear using Cre-loxP. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 13:295-322. DOI: 10.1007/s10162-012-0324-5

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