- B.A., 1982, University of Colorado, Biology.
- Ph.D., 1990, University of Wisconsin, Molecular Biology.
- Postdoctoral research: University of Wisconsin, University of Utah.
Joined the department in 1995.
Associations: Faculty of Genetics.
Riley Lab Webpage
Professor and Graduate Advisor
College Station, TX 77843-3258
Biological Sciences Building East
Biological Sciences Building East
|Developmental Genetics of Zebrafish
My lab studies inner ear development in zebrafish. A prominent feature of our research is to investigate how cell-cell signaling and downstream gene-interactions control development. One project in the lab focuses on how cell signaling regulates ectodermal patterning during gastrulation to establish the otic placode, the precursor of the inner ear. Our recent work shows that localized Fgf signaling is especially critical for inducing formation of the otic placode, and members of the Pax2/5/8 family of transcription factors are important mediators of Fgf signaling. During later stages of inner ear development, we are exploring how sensory hair cells and neurons are regulated. Our studies address how these cells initially form, how they are genetically maintained, and how they become specialized for hearing vs. balance. We are also investigating how zebrafish can replace dead and damaged hair cells, an ability that mammals have lost. The inability to regenerate hair cells explains why humans show progressive irreversible hearing loss as we age. It is hoped that activating or augmenting human homologs of genes shown to operate in zebrafish might help restore hearing and balance in humans.
- Vemaraju S, Kantarci H, Padanad MS & Riley BB (2012) A spatial and temporal gradient of Fgf differentially regulates distinct stages of neural development in the zebrafish inner ear. PLoS Genet 8:e1003068 Full text
- Bhat N, Kwon HJ & Riley BB (2013) A gene network that coordinates preplacodal competence and neural crest specification in zebrafish. Dev Biol 373:107-17 Full text
- Padanad MS, Bhat N, Guo B & Riley BB (2012) Conditions that influence the response to Fgf during otic placode induction. Dev Biol 364:1-10 Full text
- Bhat N & Riley BB (2011) Integrin-α5 coordinates assembly of posterior cranial placodes in zebrafish and enhances Fgf-dependent regulation of otic/epibranchial cells. PLoS One 6:e27778 Full text
- Sweet EM, Vemaraju S & Riley BB (2011) Sox2 and Fgf interact with Atoh1 to promote sensory competence throughout the zebrafish inner ear. Dev Biol 358:113-21 Full text
- Padanad MS & Riley BB (2011) Pax2/8 proteins coordinate sequential induction of otic and epibranchial placodes through differential regulation of foxi1, sox3 and fgf24. Dev Biol 351:90-8 Full text
- Kwon HJ, Bhat N, Sweet EM, Cornell RA & Riley BB (2010) Identification of early requirements for preplacodal ectoderm and sensory organ development. PLoS Genet 6:e1001133 Full text
- Manohar M, Mei H, Franklin AJ, Sweet EM, Shigaki T, Riley BB, Macdiarmid CW & Hirschi K (2010) Zebrafish (Danio rerio) endomembrane antiporter similar to a yeast cation/H(+) transporter is required for neural crest development. Biochemistry 49:6557-66 Full text
- Riley BB, Sweet EM, Heck R, Evans A, McFarland KN, Warga RM & Kane DA (2010) Characterization of harpy/Rca1/emi1 mutants: patterning in the absence of cell division. Dev Dyn 239:828-43 Full text
- Millimaki BB, Sweet EM & Riley BB (2010) Sox2 is required for maintenance and regeneration, but not initial development, of hair cells in the zebrafish inner ear. Dev Biol 338:262-9 Full text