A. James Hudspeth. Originally from Texas, Hudspeth went to Harvard University where he studied biochemical sciences at Harvard University, followed by a PhD in neurobiology (1973) and a medical degree (1974). Here he learned about the neuroscience of hearing and electron microscopy, both important for his future research. After a year at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, he moved to Harvard Medical School and then in 1975, to the California Institute of Technology, where he first showed that direct mechanical displacement of hair bundles led to an electrical response.
From 1983 to 1995 he did research at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre before becoming Professor and Director of the FM Kirby Centre for Sensory Neuroscience at Rockefeller University. He continues to study the neural mechanisms of hearing including through a recently designed microscope that can take a million measurements a second, with subnanometer resolution. He is also exploring the possibility of hair cell regeneration as treatment for hearing loss.
His awards include the W. Alden Spencer Award (1985), the Ralph W. Gerard Prize, Society for Neuroscience (2003) and the Guyot Prize, University of Groningen 2010 for ‘important discovery in the field of otology’.