Professor of Biology
B.S. - James Madison University
Ph.D. - Wake Forest University

Phone - 540-568-6333
Fax - 540-568-3333
Offices - Bioscience 2028B

Office Hours    |    Personal web page

Courses:   Human Anatomy (BIO 290), Functional Neuroscience for Occupational Therapists (BIO 440/540), Clinical Anatomy for Occupational Therapists (BIO 414/514), Human Histology (BIO 482/582), Advanced Human Anatomy (BIO 410), Scientific Presentations (BIO 603)


Research Interests
: Developmental mechanisms that shape multisensory neural maps

Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying circuit assembly in developing sensory systems. Of particular interest to us is how inputs of multisensory origin converge at the level of the midbrain and segregate into distinct processing streams. The inferior colliculus (IC) is a strategically situated midbrain relay hub that receives a rich array of both bottom-up and top-down connections. In aspects of its shell nuclei (namely the lateral cortex of the IC, LCIC) multimodal afferents initially intermingle early in development, and later segregate into functional zones that align with the emerging characteristic modular-extramodular LCIC framework. Somatosensory inputs preferentially target developing modules, while inputs of auditory origin terminate in encompassing extramodular regions. Currently we have multiple ongoing projects in the lab examining the mechanisms important for shaping these discrete multimodal maps during early critical periods. Understanding the events necessary for appropriate targeting and refinement of developing sensory circuits should help to guide future interventions for those that suffer from a variety of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism spectrum and sensory processing disorders.

Molecular guidance mechanisms and glial-neuronal interactions are both vital for the establishment and shaping of similarly organized neural maps in other systems. One focus of our lab is determining the role that a large family of receptor tyrosine kinases and their corresponding ligands, the Eph-ephrins, play in instructing an initial blueprint of connections prior to systems coming online. Another emphasis involves the resident macrophage of the CNS, the microglial cell, and understanding its roles in defining the LCIC microarchitecture and selective pruning of exuberant synapses. To address these and other questions we utilize a combination of neuroanatomical, (tract-tracing, immunohistochemistry), physiological (auditory brainstem responses), and behavioral (pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response) approaches in a variety of control and transgenic lines. Advanced microscopy (epifluorescence, confocal, etc) and 3-D reconstruction applications are used to visualize and better understand the emergence of neural maps that underlie many of our reflexive and orientation behaviors.

Gay SM, Brett CA, Stinson JPC, Gabriele ML. 2018. Alignment of EphA4 and ephrin-B2 expression patterns with developing modularity in the lateral cortex of the inferior colliculus. J Comp Neurol. 526(16):2706-2721.

Dillingham CH, Gay SM, Behrooz R, Gabriele ML. 2017. Modular-extramodular organization in developing multisensory shell regions of the mouse inferior colliculus. J Comp Neurol. 525(17):3742-3756.

Wallace MM, Harris JA, Brubaker DQ, Klotz CA, Gabriele ML. 2016. Graded and discontinuous EphA-ephrinB expression patterns in the developing auditory brainstem. Hearing Research. 335:64-75.

Cramer KS, Gabriele ML. 2014. Axon guidance in the auditory system: Multiple functions of Eph receptors. Neuroscience (Forefront Review). 277:152-162.

Liuzzo AM, Gray LC, Wallace MW, Gabriele ML. 2014. Effects of Eph-ephrin mutations on pre-pulse inhibition in mice. J Physiol & Behavior. 135:232-236.

Wallace MM, Kavianpour SM, Gabriele ML. 2013. Ephrin-B2 reverse signaling is required for topography but not pattern formation of lateral superior olivary inputs to the inferior colliculus. J Comp Neurol. 521(7)1585-1597.

Gabriele ML, Brubaker DQ, Chamberlain KA, Kross KM, Simpson NS, Kavianpour SM. 2011.  EphA4 and eprhin-B2 expression patterns during inferior colliculus projection shaping prior to experience.  Developmental Neurobiology. 71:182-199.

Fathke RL, Gabriele ML. 2009. Patterning of multiple layered projections to the auditory midbrain prior to experience.  Hearing Research. 249:36-43.

Gabriele ML, Shahmoradian SH, French CC, Henkel CK, McHaffie JG.  2007.  Early segregation of layered projections from the lateral superior olivary nucleus to the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus in the neonatal cat.  Brain Research. 1173:66-77.

Gabriele ML, Smoot JE, Jiang H, Stein BE, and McHaffie JG. 2006.  Early establishment of adult-like nigrotectal architecture in the neonatal cat: A double labeling study using carbocyanine dyes.  Neuroscience 137(4):1309-1319.  

Henkel CK, Gabriele ML, McHaffie JG.  2005.  Quantitative assessment of developing afferent patterns in the cat inferior colliculus revealed with calbindin immunohistochemistry and tract tracing methods.  Neuroscience 136(3):945-955.

McHaffie JG, Anstrom KK, Gabriele ML, and Stein BE. 2001. Distribution of the calcium binding proteins calbindin D-28k and parvalbumin in the superior colliculus of adult and newborn cat and rhesus monkey. Exp Brain Res 141:460-470.

Gabriele ML, Brunso-Bechtold JK, and Henkel CK. 2000. Plasticity in the development of afferent patterns in the inferior colliculus of the rat after unilateral cochlear ablation. J Neuroscience 20(18):6939-6949.

Gabriele ML, Brunso-Bechtold JK, and Henkel CK. 2000. Development of afferent patterns in the inferior colliculus of the rat: Projection from the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus. J Comp Neurol 416:368-382.

Back to Top