Wesley Grueber, PhD

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Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics
  • Professor of Neuroscience

Administrative Titles

  • Co-Director, Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1993 Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
  • PhD, 2000 Zoology, University of Washington
  • Postdoc, University of California, San Francisco

Research

Dendrites and axons show extraordinarily diverse forms and modes of patterning, with important implications for nervous system wiring and neuronal function. Our lab is interested in how neurons acquire their type-specific morphology and organization and how this organization underlies circuit function. To approach this problem, we use molecular, genetic, anatomical, and behavioral approaches to identify the mechanisms that sculpt somatosensory circuits during development.

Using the fruit fly Drosophila we can dissect the mechanisms of nervous system patterning and function with cell type specificity.  For example we have recently identified the mechanisms that allow branches from the same cell to spread from each other to cover their appropriate territory, a basic feature of most or all neuronal arbors.  This process of “self-avoidance” is controlled by the highly diversified homophilic immunoglobulin superfamily member Dscam1, which, via alternative splicing into thousands of different isoforms, endows individual neurons with unique surface identities that allow for self-recognition and repulsion.  We recently showed that repulsion is also enforced by integrin receptors for the extracellular matrix.

Current interests in the lab include 1) identification of interneuron populations that transmit somatosensory information and the contribution of these neurons to behavior, 2)  the mechanisms that underlie specific connectivity between primary sensory neurons and target interneurons, 3) mechanisms of dendro-dendritic repulsion that mediate territory formation, and 4) understanding the molecular basis for morphological and functional decline of neurons and circuits during aging.

Research Interests

  • Axon Pathfinding and Synaptogenesis
  • Synapses and Circuits
  • Neural Degeneration and Repair
  • Cell specification and Differentiation

Grants

NEUROBIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR RESEARCH TRAINING GRANT (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 1997 - Apr 30 2019

ALTERNATIVE SPLICING OF DSCAM2 IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NOCICEPTIVE CIRCUITRY IN DROSOPHILA (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2016 - Feb 28 2019

DENDRITIC PATTERNING BY INTERACTING (Federal Gov)

Apr 1 2008 - Mar 31 2018

DISSECTION OF NEURAL CIRCUITRY UNDERLYING NOCICEPTION IN DROSOPHILA LARVAE (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2014 - Aug 31 2017

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER SKIN DISEASE RESEARCH CENTER (CUMCSDRC) (Federal Gov)

Jul 20 1997 - Jun 30 2017

DISSECTING THE ROLE OF INTEGRINS IN LONG-TERM STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL CIRCUIT MAINTENANCE IN AGING NEURONS (Private)

Jul 1 2014 - Jun 30 2016

A VERSATILE SYSTEM FOR CELL-SPECIFIC GENE EXPRESSION CONTROL IN THE FLY BRAIN (Federal Gov)

Mar 1 2014 - Feb 28 2015

TRANSCRIPTIONAL CONTROL OF DENDRITIC MORPHOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (Private)

Jan 1 2008 - Dec 31 2012

DENDRITIC FIELD PATTERNING BY COMBINED ATTRACTIVE AND REPULS IVE CUES (Private)

Jul 1 2008 - Jun 30 2012

IDENTIFICATION OF MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF DENDRITE MORPHOGEN ESIS (Private)

Jul 1 2007 - Jun 30 2011

MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF DENDRITE GUIDNACE AND TARGETING (Private)

Jul 1 2007 - Jun 30 2011

Selected Publications

  • *Vaadia, R., *Li, W., Voleti, V., Singhania, A., #Hillman E.M.C., and #Grueber, W.B. (2019) Characterization of proprioceptive system dynamics in behaving Drosophila larvae using high-speed volumetric microscopy. Curr Biol 29:935-944.
  • Burgos A., Honjo K., Ohyama T., Qian C.S., Shin G.J., Gohl D.M., Silies M., Tracey W.D., Zlatic M., Cardona A., Grueber W.B. (2018) Nociceptive interneurons control modular motor pathways to promote escape behavior in Drosophila. eLife 2018;7:e26016 doi: 10.7554/eLife.26016.
  • Qian C.S., Kaplow M., Lee J.K., Grueber W.B. (2018).  Diversity of internal sensory neuron axon projections is controlled by the POU-domain protein Pdm3 in Drosophila larvae. J Neurosci. 38 (8):2081-2093.
  • Corty M.M., Tam J., and Grueber W.B. (2016). Dendritic diversification through transcription factor mediated suppression of alternative morphologies. Development 143:1351-1362.
  • Bouchard M.B., Voleti V., Mendes C.S., Grueber W.B., Mann R.S., Bruno R.M., Hillman E.M.C (2015) Swept confocally-aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy for high-speed volumetric imaging of behaving organisms. Nature Photonics 9:113-119.
  • Singhania, A, Grueber W.B. (2014) Development of the embryonic and larval peripheral nervous system of Drosophila. WIREs Developmental Biology 3:193-210.
  • Ziegenfuss J.S., Grueber W.B. (2013) SAX-7 and Menorin light the path for dendrite morphogenesis. Cell 155:269-271.
  • Grueber, W.B. (2013) Dendrite Development: Invertebrates, In: J.L.R. Rubenstein and P. Rakic editors: Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience: Cellular Migration and Formation of Neuronal Connections, Amsterdam: Academic Press, pp. 191-212.
  • Zipursky, S.L., Grueber W.B. (2013) The molecular basis of self-avoidance. Ann Rev Neurosci. 26:547-568.
  • Kim M.E., Shrestha B.R., Blazeski R., Mason C.A., Grueber W.B. (2012) Integrins establish dendrite-substrate relationships that promote dendritic self-avoidance and patterning in Drosophila sensory neurons. Neuron 73:79-91.
  • Matthews B.J., Grueber W.B. (2011) Dscam1-mediated self-avoidance counters netrin-dependent targeting of dendrites in Drosophila. Curr Biol 21:1480-1487.
  • Hattori D., Chen Y., Matthews B.J., Salwinski L., Sabatti C., Grueber W.B., Zipursky S.L. (2009) Robust discrimination between self and non-self neurites requires thousands of Dscam1 isoforms. Nature 461:644-648.
  • Grueber W.B., Sagasti A. (2010) Self-avoidance and Tiling: Mechanisms of Dendrite and Axon Spacing. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a001750.
  • Zlatic M., Li F., Strigini M., Grueber W., Bate M. (2009). Positional Cues in the Drosophila Nerve Cord: Semaphorins Pattern the Dorso-Ventral Axis. PLoS Biol 7(6): e1000135.
  • Corty M.M., Matthews B.J., Grueber W.B. (2009). Molecules and mechanisms of dendrite development in Drosophila. Development 136:1049-1061.
  • Matthews B.J., Kim M.E., Flanagan J.J., Hattori D., Clemens J.C., Zipursky S.L., Grueber W.B. (2007). Dendrite self-avoidance is controlled by Dscam. Cell 129:593-604.