Professor of Neuroscience and Research Director

Zine started his scientiBc career in 1991 at the laboratory of hearing
developmental neuobiology at the university of Clermont-Ferrand, France. In
1994, he defended his Ph.D. thesis. Then, he moved as a post-doctoral researcher,
to Prof. L. Schweitzer’s lab at the university of Kentucky, where he studied
various patterns of cochlear development and as associate researcher at the
University of Lausanne with Prof. F. de Ribaupierre to work on cellular and
molecular mechanisms of hair cell diUerentiation and regeneration. In 2002, he
was appointed as Associate Professor at the university of Montpellier where he
teaches sensory biophysics to pharmaceutical and medical students. He also
gives lectures at advanced graduate programs in auditory neurosciences and
sensory stem cell biology. Since his appointment, he carried out research
activities devoted to inner ear development protection and regeneration at the
INSERM 583 in Montpellier until 2011. Then, he has integrated as a researcher-
associate the CNRS 7260 in Marseille, where he headed a research group working
on the European FP7-Health Innovation project « Otostem ». Since, 2018, he
joined the Laboratory Bioengineering and Nanosciences at the university of
Montpellier to continue his research on stem cell biology and neurosensory

Main achievements in 4 areas:
– Hair Cell differentiation: understanding the role of Notch/Hes signaling pathway in
the development of the cochlear hair cells (JNeurosci, Development…).
– Hair Cell regeneration: in vitro induction and in vivo engraftment of human otic progenitors derived from pluripotent stem cells in the damaged cochlea (PlosOne, Fnmol, Molecular Therapy…)
– Hair Cell protection: interfering with JNK pathway with small peptides: the
demonstration of the role of the JNK inhibitor (D-JNK-1) as an otoprotective
peptide against aminoglycosides ototoxicity and acoustic trauma induced
hearing loss ( JNeurosci, Current Signal Transduction Therapy…).
– Sensory stem cell biology: isolation and characterization of adult stem
cells from the mammalian cochlea by a side population analysis (Stem cells, Mechanisms of Development…).

Current research areas:
– Stem cells, Biomaterials, Regeneration
– Adult stem cells, Pluripotent stem cells, Organoids
– Otic sensory progenitors
– Modeling human inner ear differentiation with pluripotent stem cells
– Human stem cell engineering for hearing loss