• 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

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.

  1. Kantarci, H, Edlund, RK, Groves, AK, Riley, BB. Tfap2a promotes specification and maturation of neurons in the inner ear through modulation of Bmp, Fgf and notch signaling. PLoS Genet. 2015;11 (3):e1005037. Epub 2015/3/17. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005037. PubMed PMID:25781991 PubMed Central PMC4364372.
  2. Maulding, K, Padanad, MS, Dong, J, Riley, BB. Mesodermal Fgf10b cooperates with other fibroblast growth factors during induction of otic and epibranchial placodes in zebrafish. Dev. Dyn. 2014;243 (10):1275-85. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24119. PubMed PMID:24677486 PubMed Central PMC4313390.
  3. Edlund, RK, Ohyama, T, Kantarci, H, Riley, BB, Groves, AK. Foxi transcription factors promote pharyngeal arch development by regulating formation of FGF signaling centers. Dev. Biol. 2014;390 (1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.03.004. PubMed PMID:24650709 PubMed Central PMC4013273.
  4. Vemaraju, S, Kantarci, H, Padanad, MS, Riley, BB. A spatial and temporal gradient of Fgf differentially regulates distinct stages of neural development in the zebrafish inner ear. PLoS Genet. 2012;8 (11):e1003068. Epub 2012/11/15. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003068. PubMed PMID:23166517 PubMed Central PMC3499369.
  5. Bhat, N, Kwon, HJ, Riley, BB. A gene network that coordinates preplacodal competence and neural crest specification in zebrafish. Dev. Biol. 2013;373 (1):107-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.10.012. PubMed PMID:23078916 PubMed Central PMC3508392.
  6. Padanad, MS, Bhat, N, Guo, B, Riley, BB. Conditions that influence the response to Fgf during otic placode induction. Dev. Biol. 2012;364 (1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.01.022. PubMed PMID:22327005 PubMed Central PMC4709014.
  7. Bhat, N, Riley, BB. Integrin-α5 coordinates assembly of posterior cranial placodes in zebrafish and enhances Fgf-dependent regulation of otic/epibranchial cells. PLoS ONE. 2011;6 (12):e27778. Epub 2011/12/2. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027778. PubMed PMID:22164214 PubMed Central PMC3229493.
  8. Sweet, EM, Vemaraju, S, Riley, BB. Sox2 and Fgf interact with Atoh1 to promote sensory competence throughout the zebrafish inner ear. Dev. Biol. 2011;358 (1):113-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.07.019. PubMed PMID:21801718 PubMed Central PMC3171634.
  9. Padanad, MS, Riley, BB. Pax2/8 proteins coordinate sequential induction of otic and epibranchial placodes through differential regulation of foxi1, sox3 and fgf24. Dev. Biol. 2011;351 (1):90-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.12.036. PubMed PMID:21215261 PubMed Central PMC3039053.
  10. Kwon, HJ, Bhat, N, Sweet, EM, Cornell, RA, Riley, BB. Identification of early requirements for preplacodal ectoderm and sensory organ development. PLoS Genet. 2010;6 (9):e1001133. Epub 2010/9/23. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001133. PubMed PMID:20885782 PubMed Central PMC2944784.
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Bruce Riley

Bruce Riley
Professor

3258 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3258

Office:
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 118A
979-845-6494

Lab:
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 104
979-845-4302

Fax: 979-845-2891
Email: briley@bio.tamu.edu

Curriculum Vitae