David E. Bergstrom, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Researches inner ear development and the genetics underlying vestibular function dysfunction, as well as dwarfism and skeletal malformation.

My research group studies mouse models with vestibular (inner ear) defects that may provide insights into balance disorders in humans. I am focusing on mutations that affect the structure and function of the otolithic end organs, small inner-ear structures that act as linear acceleration and gravity receptors. We have identified and characterized genes that are defective in head-tilt (het), head-slant (hslt), and neuromutagenesis facility (nmf) 333 mutant mice, each of which encodes an NADPH oxidase component. Thus, we've hypothesized that a previously unknown inner ear NADPH oxidase complex is necessary for proper development and function of the vestibular system.

I am also studying a mouse model that exhibits sex reversal, craniofacial defects and shortening of the limbs characteristic of some forms of human dwarfism. We have narrowed the genetic defect to a region on mouse Chromosome 7 and are analyzing that region of the genome with the goal of better understanding dwarfism and certain skeletal malformation syndromes in humans.

Education and experience


The Jackson Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellow
Adv: Dr. Eva M. Eicher

The Jackson Laboratory
Postdoctoral Trainee
Adv: Dr. Elizabeth M. Simpson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D., biology (molecular genetics)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S., biology

Illinois State University
B.S., biological sciences


The Jackson Laboratory
Research scientist/Animal models of human disease, Mouse Mutant Resource, Genetic Resource Science

The Jackson Laboratory
Research scientist

The Jackson Laboratory
Associate research scientist/research scientist

Grants, Honors, and Accomplishments

NASA Certificate of Appreciation
Space Shuttle Endeavor STS-108

School of Life Sciences Fellowship
University of Illinois