Peter A. Santi, PhD

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Peter A. Santi

Contact Info

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


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.


For a list of publications, see PubMed.

  • Rapson, I., P.A. Santi, and A. Voie. "Development of the mouse cochlea database (MCD)." Hearing Res, Sept. 2008, 243:11-17.
  • Santi, P.A., et al. "Distribution of Type IV Collagen in the Cochlea in Alport Syndrome." Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Nov. 2005, 131:1007-1013
  • Tsuprun, V. and Santi, P.A.(2002) Structure of outer hair cell stereocilia side and attachment links in the chinchilla cochlea J. Histochem. Cytochem. 50: 493-502.
  • Tsuprun, V. and Santi, P.A. (2001) Proteoglycan arrays in the cochlear basement membrane. Hear Res 157: 65-76.
  • Tsuprun, V. and Santi, P. (2000) Helical Structure of Hair Cell Stereocilia Tip Links in the Chinchilla Cochlea. JARO, 1:224-231.
  • Tsuprun, V. and Santi, P.A. (2000) Helical structure of hair cell stereocilia tip links In the chinchilla cochlea. JARO 1: 224-231
  • Swartz DJ, Santi PA (1999) Immunolocalization of tenascin in the chinchilla inner ear. Hear. Res. 130:108-14.
  • Santi, PA and Mancini, P. (1998) Cochlear Anatomy and Central Auditory Pathways. Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Ed. C. Cummings, 3rd. Edition, pp. 2803-2830, Mosby, St. Louis.
  • Santi, P. A. and Mancini, P. (1992) Anatomy of the Cochlea and Central Auditory Pathways, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 2nd. edition, Ed. Cummings, C. W., Mosby-Year Book, Inc., St. Louis.