Research in the Koehler Lab focuses on using human organoid systems as a platform to model congenital diseases and develop novel therapies for the inner ear and various craniofacial tissues, including the skin and facial bones.


Dr. Koehler received his doctorate in medical neuroscience and postdoctoral training from the Indiana University School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Eri Hashino. His early work focused on neurodevelopment and generating inner ear organs from stem cells. Dr. Koehler became an Assistant Professor in 2015 and was named the Philip F. Holton Scholar in Otology in 2018 by the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine. His lab pioneered methods for inducing human inner ear and skin tissue from pluripotent stem cells. He joined Boston Children's Hospital and the faculty in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School in 2019. He is a principal investigator in the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center and an affiliated PI of the BCH Stem Cell Program and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. His work is funded primarily by the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense.


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  1. Lee J, Rabbani CC, Gao H, Steinhart MR, Woodruff BM, Pflum ZE, Kim A, Heller S, Liu Y, Shipchandler TZ, Koehler KR. Hair-bearing human skin generated entirely from pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 2020 Jun; 582(7812):399-404. View abstract
  2. Kao R, Rabbani CC, Patel JM, Parkhurst SM, Mantravadi AV, Ting JY, Sim MW, Koehler K, Shipchandler TZ. Management of Mandible Fracture in 150 Children Across 7 Years in a US Tertiary Care Hospital. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019 Sep 01; 21(5):414-418. View abstract
  3. Tang PC, Alex AL, Nie J, Lee J, Roth AA, Booth KT, Koehler KR, Hashino E, Nelson RF. Defective Tmprss3-Associated Hair Cell Degeneration in Inner Ear Organoids. Stem Cell Reports. 2019 07 09; 13(1):147-162. View abstract
  4. Lee J, B?scke R, Tang PC, Hartman BH, Heller S, Koehler KR. Hair Follicle Development in Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Skin Organoids. Cell Rep. 2018 01 02; 22(1):242-254. View abstract
  5. Koehler KR, Nie J, Longworth-Mills E, Liu XP, Lee J, Holt JR, Hashino E. Generation of inner ear organoids containing functional hair cells from human pluripotent stem cells. Nat Biotechnol. 2017 06; 35(6):583-589. View abstract
  6. Nie J, Koehler KR, Hashino E. Directed Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Into Inner Ear Sensory Epithelia in 3D Culture. Methods Mol Biol. 2017; 1597:67-83. View abstract
  7. DeJonge RE, Liu XP, Deig CR, Heller S, Koehler KR, Hashino E. Modulation of Wnt Signaling Enhances Inner Ear Organoid Development in 3D Culture. PLoS One. 2016; 11(9):e0162508. View abstract
  8. Liu XP, Koehler KR, Mikosz AM, Hashino E, Holt JR. Functional development of mechanosensitive hair cells in stem cell-derived organoids parallels native vestibular hair cells. Nat Commun. 2016 05 24; 7:11508. View abstract
  9. Longworth-Mills E, Koehler KR, Hashino E. Generating Inner Ear Organoids from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. Methods Mol Biol. 2016; 1341:391-406. View abstract
  10. Shimomura A, Patel D, Wilson SM, Koehler KR, Khanna R, Hashino E. Tlx3 promotes glutamatergic neuronal subtype specification through direct interactions with the chromatin modifier CBP. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135060. View abstract
  11. Koehler KR, Hashino E. 3D mouse embryonic stem cell culture for generating inner ear organoids. Nat Protoc. 2014; 9(6):1229-44. View abstract
  12. Koehler KR, Mikosz AM, Molosh AI, Patel D, Hashino E. Generation of inner ear sensory epithelia from pluripotent stem cells in 3D culture. Nature. 2013 Aug 08; 500(7461):217-21. View abstract
  13. Vemula S, Shi J, Mali RS, Ma P, Liu Y, Hanneman P, Koehler KR, Hashino E, Wei L, Kapur R. ROCK1 functions as a critical regulator of stress erythropoiesis and survival by regulating p53. Blood. 2012 Oct 04; 120(14):2868-78. View abstract
  14. Krishnan S, Mali RS, Koehler KR, Vemula S, Chatterjee A, Ghosh J, Ramdas B, Ma P, Hashino E, Kapur R. Class I(A) PI3Kinase regulatory subunit, p85a, mediates mast cell development through regulation of growth and survival related genes. PLoS One. 2012; 7(1):e28979. View abstract
  15. Koehler KR, Tropel P, Theile JW, Kondo T, Cummins TR, Viville S, Hashino E. Extended passaging increases the efficiency of neural differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells. BMC Neurosci. 2011 Aug 10; 12:82. View abstract
  16. Kondo T, Matsuoka AJ, Shimomura A, Koehler KR, Chan RJ, Miller JM, Srour EF, Hashino E. Wnt signaling promotes neuronal differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells through activation of Tlx3. Stem Cells. 2011 May; 29(5):836-46. View abstract
  17. Matsuoka AJ, Fritsch MH, Koehler KR, Hashino E. In-vivo assessment of migration and engraftment of stem cells in the cochlea using a high-resolution microscopic-endoscope. Laryngoscope. 2010; 120 Suppl 4:S212. View abstract