Peter Santi, PhD

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Peter Santi

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-9881

Mailing Address:
Lions Research Building
Room 121
2001 Sixth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Phone

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Director, Cochlear Anatomy Laboratory

Faculty, Masters Program in Stem Cell Biology


The overall goal of the Santi laboratory is to minimize or prevent hearing loss in humans by improving our understanding normal structure/function of the inner ear and characterize pathologies of the cochlea that result in hearing loss. My research uses the mouse animal model and human temporal bones for anatomical research. The laboratory consists of a primary space for histological processing of tissue, and a vibration isolated space for imaging in the Lions Research Building/Translation Research Facility. A major effort in my laboratory is the development of a new microscope for high resolution imaging of the whole inner ear in animals and humans. This microscope produces well-aligned image stacks of the inner ear that are suitable for 3D reconstruction of inner ear structures. Advanced imaging and computer reconstruction allows for the generation of complete 2D and 3D atlases of the cochlea that are used to produce average cochlea models, and development of a 3D coordinate system of the cochlea for a morphometric analysis of cochlear structures.

Dr. SAnti's research is funding through NIDCD/NIH, Capita Foundation and the Digital Technology Center, Biomedical Engineering Institute.

Awards & Recognition

  • Invited Speaker, Nobel Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002
  • Editor and on the Executive Council, Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) (elected to serve three times), 2000-present
  • Editorial Board of Hearing Research, 1990-present,
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Florida State University, 1989


Research Summary/Interests

Cochlear Anatomy Laboratory

The primary goal of this laboratory is to minimize or prevent hearing loss by improving our understanding of the structure and function of the mammalian inner ear. We are specifically interested in characterizing cochlear glycoconjugates in the normal inner ear and how these macromolecules may be involved in normal hearing and hearing dysfunction in acoustic overstimulation, and Alport's syndrome. We are also developing the first antomical database on the mouse cochlea.


Steevens, AR, Glatzer, JC, Kellogg, CC, Low, WC, Santi, PA & Kiernan, AE 2019, 'SOX2 is required for inner ear growth and cochlear nonsensory formation before sensory development', Development (Cambridge), vol. 146, no. 13, dev170522.

Liu, W, Löwenheim, H, Santi, PA, Glueckert, R, Schrott-Fischer, A & Rask-Andersen, H 2018, 'Expression of trans-membrane serine protease 3 (TMPRSS3) in the human organ of Corti' Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 372, no. 3, pp. 445-456.

Santi, PA, Aldaya, R, Brown, A, Johnson, S, Stromback, T, Cureoglu, S & Rask-Andersen, H 2016, 'Scanning Electron Microscopic Examination of the Extracellular Matrix in the Decellularized Mouse and Human Cochlea' JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 159-171.

Liu, W, Edin, F, Blom, H, Magnusson, P, Schrott-Fischer, A, Glueckert, R, Santi, PA, Li, H, Laurell, G & Rask-Andersen, H 2016, 'Super-resolution structured illumination fluorescence microscopy of the lateral wall of the cochlea: the Connexin26/30 proteins are separately expressed in man' Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 365, no. 1, pp. 13-27.

Hayashi, H, Schrott-Fischer, A, Glueckert, R, Liu, W, Salvenmoser, W, Santi, PA & Rask-Andersen, H 2015, 'Molecular organization and fine structure of the human tectorial membrane: is it replenished?' Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 362, no. 3, pp. 513-527.

Liu, W, Atturo, F, Aldaya, R, Santi, P, Cureoglu, S, Obwegeser, S, Glueckert, R, Pfaller, K, Schrott-Fischer, A & Rask-Andersen, H 2015, 'Macromolecular organization and fine structure of the human basilar membrane - RELEVANCE for cochlear implantation' Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 360, no. 2, pp. 245-262.

Hirose, K, Hartsock, JJ, Johnson, S, Santi, PA & Salt, AN 2014, 'Systemic lipopolysaccharide compromises the blood-labyrinth barrier and increases entry of serum fluorescein into the perilymph' JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 707-719.

Johnson, SB, Cureoglu, S, O'Malley, JT & Santi, PA 2014, 'Comparison of traditional histology and TSLIM optical sectioning of human temporal bones' Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology, vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 1145-1149.

Schmitz, HM, Johnson, SB & Santi, PA 2014, 'Kanamycin-furosemide ototoxicity in the mouse cochlea: A 3-dimensional analysis' Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States), vol. 150, no. 4, pp. 666-672.

Buytaert, JAN, Johnson, SB, Dierick, M, Salih, WHM & Santi, PA 2013, 'MicroCT versus sTSLIM 3D Imaging of the mouse cochlea' Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 382-395.