Andrea McQuate

Photo: Andrea McQuate

Assistant Professor

CAST 280

University of Washington, PhD in Neuroscience (2011-2017)
Oberlin College, BA in Neuroscience (2006-2010)


Research Area(s)

Cell Biology,  Neuroscience

Research Interests:

The hair cells of the inner ear are responsible for converting auditory and balance cues into the electrical signals our brains can understand. This is an ongoing and highly energetically demanding process. Therefore, hair cells require a lot from their mitochondria, the “powerhouses of the cell,” to get the job done. Slight alterations in hair cell mitochondria can lead to hearing loss. But we still don’t understand the precise relationship between hair cells and their mitochondria. In our lab, we use the zebrafish lateral line as a model for hair cells. This allows us to precisely quantify the relationship between mitochondrial structure and hair cell function.

We use a combination of genetic models, live confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, and electrophysiology to visualize and quantify hair cell mitochondrial in normal and averse conditions. The ultimate goal is to inform development of novel mitochondrially targeted therapeutics and provide fundamental insights regarding "mitochondrial deafness." We also aim to create an environment that is diverse and inclusive.

Selected Publications:

McQuate A, Knecht S, Raible DW. Activity regulates a cell type-specific mitochondrial phenotype in zebrafish lateral line hair cells. (2023) Elife. 2023;12:e80468. 

McQuate A, Raible DW. Finding the balance: The elusive mechanisms underlying auditory hair cell mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy. (2023) Hear Res 428:108664. 

McQuate, A, and A Barria. (2020) Rapid exchange of synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in hippocampal CA1 neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology 123, 1004-1014. 

A McQuate, E Latorre-Esteves, and A Barria. (2017) A Wnt/calcium signaling cascade regulates neuronal excitability and trafficking of NMDARs. Cell Reports S2211-1247(17)31298-6. 


2021- NIH Future Research Leader
2019 - Society for Developmental Biology, Northwest Regional Meeting 1st place talk award
2018 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32)
2013 - National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship
2011 - Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship
2010 - The Nancy Robell Memorial Scholarship in Neuroscience/Biopsychology (Oberlin College)