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Department of Physiology and Biophysics

University of Colorado Department of Physiology and Biophysics
 

Angeles B. Ribera, PhD

Professor and Chair


Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Neuroscience Program

UCD Anschutz Medical Campus
C-1 North Tower, P18-7117
Mail Stop 8307
Tel (303) 724-4517
Fax (303) 724-4501

E-mail:
Angie.Ribera@ucdenver.edu


Neuroscience Program

Development and roles of electrical excitability in the developing spinal cord

Our laboratory is interested in determining the mechanisms that direct differentiation of electrical excitability in neurons, and, in turn, how activity regulates neuronal development. Our studies span the period from when neurons exit the cell cycle and begin terminal differentiation and to when synaptic interactions emerge. In order to have access to the relevant early stages of development, we use a classic vertebrate embryological system - the zebrafish, Danio rerio.

Current projects in the lab concern:

1 – the genetic mechanisms that direct cell-type specific differentiaton of electrical excitability (Moreno & Ribera, in press);

2 – developmental roles of neuronal connexins in the spinal cord (Martin and Ribera, 2013);

3 - a novel process of neuronal transdifferention that occurs in vivo in zebrafish larvae (e.g., Wright et al., 2010, Wright & Ribera, 2010.




Vanessa Carmean
Graduate Student (Neuroscience)

E-mail: Vanessa.Carmean@ucdenver.edu

Vanessa Carmean is studying a touch-insensitive zebrafish mutant (macho) that has reduced sodium current density in sensory neurons, known as Rohon-Beard cells.  She is studying this mutant with the goal of obtaining insights into mechanisms underlying developmental regulation of sodium current.

Chris Knoeckel
Graduate Student (Medical Scientist Training Program/Neuroscience)

E-mail: Christopher.Knoeckel@ucdenver.edu

Chris Knoeckel is studying mechanisms underlying a novel process of in vivo transdifferention that occurs in zebrafish larvae.

Rosa Moreno, PhD
Research Associate

E-mail: Rosa.Moreno@ucdenver.edu

Rosa Moreno's research concerns the intrinsic genetic programs that allow neurons to develop early electrical properties in a subtype specific manner.

Michelle Tellez
Professional Research Assistant

E-mail: Michelle.Tellez@ucdenver.edu

Michelle Perales maintains the Ribera Lab zebrafish colony and co manages the zebrafish facility.

Photo coming soon

Macie Walker
Research Associate

E-mail: Marcie.Walker@ucdenver.edu

Macie Walker is studing zebrafish connexins and developing tools to study their effects on development of neurons and spinal cord activity

​​​​Lab Alumni:
Judith Blaine, MD-PhD, Assistant Professor, Renal Division – Dept of Medicine, UCAMC
Corrinna Burger, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept of Neurology, U Wis – Madison
Tara Carlisle, PhD, Third year medical student, Medical Scientist Trainign Program, UCAMC
Nicole Gravagna, PhD, Chief Visionary, Rocky Mountain Patent
Susan Jones, PhD, Research Associate, Swedish Medical Center
Teresa Nick, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Melon, Santa Monica, CA
Alicia Novak, PhD, Director of Research, Colorado Neurological Institute
Ricardo Pineda, PhD, Research Associate, Dept of Pharmacology, UCAMC
Kurt Svoboda, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, School of Public Health, U Wis - Milwaukee
Marc Yonkers, MD-PhD, Chief Resident, Opthalmology, UC Irvine
Melissa Wright, MD-PhD, Pediatric Neurology Resident, The Children’s Hospital, UCAMC

Recent Publications:
Nick TA, Ribera AB (2000) Synaptic activity modulates presynaptic excitability. Nat Neurosci 3: 142-149.

Blaine JT, Taylor AD, Ribera AB (2004) The carboxyl tail region of the Kv2.2 subunit mediates novel developmental regulation of channel density. J Neurophysiol 92: 3446-3454. (Highlighted in an Editorial Focus of the J Neurophysiology [92: 3169–3170, 2004] and in Highlights from the Literature in Physiology [19: 317–321, 2004]) pdf (Perspectives and Highlights)

Pineda RH, Svoboda KR, Wright MA, Wright MA, Taylor AD, Novak AE, Gamse J, Eisen JS and Ribera AB. (2006) Knock-down of Nav1.6a sodium channels affects zebrafish motor neuron development. Development 133: 3827-3836. (Highlighted in Research Highlights in Nature Reviews Neuroscience [7: 759, 2006])  pdf

Pineda RH, Ribera AB (2008) Dorsal-Ventral Gradient for Neuronal Plasticity in the Embryonic Spinal Cord. J Neurosci 28: 3824-3834. pdf

Yonkers MA, Ribera AB (2008) Sensory neuron sodium current requires nongenomic actions of thyroid hormone during development, J Neurophysiol, 100: 2719-2725.

Wright MA, Mo W, Nicolson T, Ribera AB (2010) In Vivo Evidence for Transdifferentiation of Peripheral Neurons. Development, 137: 3047-3056. (Highlighted in In this Issue)

Wright MA, Ribera AB (2010) BDNF mediates non cell-autonomous regulation of sensory neuron position and identity. J Neurosci, 27: 14513-14521. (Highlighted in This Week in the Journal) PMCID:PMC2585397

Doganli C, Beck HC, Ribera AB, Oxvig C, Lykke-Hartmann K (2013) α3Na+/K+-ATPase deficiency causes brain ventricle dilation and abrupt embryonic motility in zebrafish. J Biol Chem 288: 8862-8874.

Carlisle, TC, Ribera AB (2013) Connexin 35b expression in Danio rerio embryos and larvae spinal cord. J Comp Neur  522: 861-775. 

Moreno RL, Ribera AB (2014) Spinal neurons require Islet1 for subtype-specific differentiation of electrical excitability. Neural Development, in press.

Reviews:
Ribera AB (1998) Potassium currents in developing neurons. NYAS 868:399-405. pdf

Ribera AB (1998) Perspective: Ion channel activity drives ion channel expression. J. Physiol. 511.3:645.pdf

Novak AE, Ribera AB (2005) The zebrafish embryo as an integrative physiology model system. In: Integrative physiology: In the Proteomics and Post-Genomics Age. W. Walz, Editor. Humana Press: Totawa, N.J.

Pineda RH, Ribera AB (2007) Evolution of the action potential. In Evolution of Nervous Systems, Elsevier, pp. 211-238.

Gravagna NG, Ribera AB (2007) Regulation of Kv1 and Kv2 Potassium Channels. In Encyclopedia of Neuroscience.

Wright MA, Ribera AB (2007) Studying Electrical Activity in Development: Challenges and Solutions Using the Zebrafish Model. Global Science Books, in press.

Carmean V, Ribera AB (2010) Genetic analysis of the touch response in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Int J Comp Psych 23: 91-102.

Martin TC, Ribera AB (2010) Developmental regulation of ion channel expression and function in the zebrafish spinal cord. Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience, Encyclopedia of Neuroscience.

Yonker MA, Ribera AB (2010) Nongenomic actions of thyroid hormone in spinal neurons of zebrafish embryos.

Graduate program affiliations:

Honors and awards:

​1988-1993 ​NIH FIRST Award
​1991-1993 ​Basil O’Connor Scholar, March of Dimes
​1991-1994 ​Klingenstein Fellow in the Neurosciences
​1991-1996 ​NIH Research & Career Development Award
​1996-2001 Associate Editor, Journal of Neuroscience (Developmental Neurobiology)
​1997 ​John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellow
​1997-1998 ​Fogarty International Fellowship
​1997 ​Fulbright Kommission Award
​1998 ​1998    Journal of Neurobiology, Guest Co-Editor (Ion Channels Special Issue, 1998)
​1999-2000 ​Nominator, MacArthur Foundation
​2002-present ​Editorial Board, Journal of Neurophysiology
​2004-2005 ​Excellence in Teaching Award, UCHSC
​2005 ​Kaiser Permanente Award, Best Basic Science Teacher
​2009 ​Dean’s Mentoring Award, UCAMC
​2011 ​St. Geme Mentoring Award, Department of Pediatrics, UCD
​2013 ​Member, NIH Director Pioneer Award Study Section
 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Provide the following information for the key personnel and other significant contributors in the order listed on Form Page 2.
Follow this format for each person.  DO NOT EXCEED FOUR PAGES.

 

NAME

Angeles B. Ribera, Ph.D.

POSITION TITLE

Professor

eRA COMMONS USER NAME

RIBERAA

EDUCATION/TRAINING  (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, and include postdoctoral training.)

INSTITUTION AND LOCATION

DEGREE

(if applicable)

YEAR(s)

FIELD OF STUDY

Harvard-Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA

Columbia University, New York, NY

Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

UCSD, San Diego, CA

A.B.

Ph.D

Post-Doc

Post-Doc

1976

1982

1983-1985

1985-1988

Biochemistry

Physiology

Neurobio. Moleculaire

Devel. Neurobiology






 A. Personal Statement

My research concerns regulation of expression and function of voltage-gated ion channels in the embryonic nervous system and the roles of ion channels in directing neuronal development.  Our work, using the Xenopus and zebrafish embryo models, has uncovered unsuspected roles for activity-dependent effects, mediated by voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels, on neuronal survival, morphological differentiation, and identity maintenance (e.g., Jones and Ribera, 2004; Jones et al., 2005; Nick and Ribera, 200; Svoboda et al., 2001; Pineda et al., 2006; Pineda and Ribera, 2006; 2008; Pineda and Ribera, 2008; Fein et al., 2008; Wright et al., 2010; Wright and Ribera, 2010; McKeown et al., 2011; Doganli et al., 2012; 2013). Several of our findings have received special recognition by the Journals in which they appeared, including the two that contain many of the data supporting this application (Wright et al., 2010; Wright and Ribera, 2010). I have a history of successful national and international collaborations (e.g., Kukuljan group, U Santiago, Chile; Isom group, U Mich, Ann Arbor; Lykke-Hartmann group, Aarhus University, Denmark). Since 1988, NIH (NINDS) has continually funded my research.  I have also received grant awards from several private foundations.  In addition, for the past ten years I have been the PI of an NINDS P30 Core Center award.

I have been on the Faculty at the University of Colorado since 1990.  My academic responsibilities include teaching in both medical and graduate school courses and have served/serve on Curriculum Committees in both the Medical and Graduate Schools. I have previously served as Course Director of both Medical and Graduate school courses. Over the past 20+ years, I have collaborated with and trained several post-doctoral fellows, PhD gradate students, MD-PhD students, undergraduate and professional research assistants in the context of accomplishing our research goals.  Thus, I have a long history of active and effective involvement with both graduate and medical students and postdoctoral fellows.  Four previous trainees currently have Faculty positions (U Minn., U Mich, U Colo) and one previous trainee started a biotech company.

At UCAMC, I have had several positions from that have provided me with administrative experience.  These include Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (2004-present), Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program (2010-2012) and Chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics (2014- present).

 

B. Positions and Honors

  Postions

 1983-1985                  Postdoctoral Fellow (MDA Fellowship), Institut Pasteur

 1985-1988                  Postdoctoral Fellow (NRSA NIH Fellowship), Department of Biology, UCSD

 1988-1990                  Assistant Research Biologist, Department of Biology, UCSD

 1990-1995                  Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, UCAMC      

 1995-2001                  Associate Professor Department of Physiology & Biophysics, UCAMC

 1997-1998                  Visiting Scientist, Max-Planck Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen, Germany, Abteilung III-Genetik (Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Sponsor)

 2001 – present           Full Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, UCAMC

 2004 – present           Associate Director, MSTP, UCAMC

 2010 – 2012               Director, Neuroscience Program, UCAMC

 2010 – 2012               Associate Director, Center for Neuroscience, UCAMC

 2012 – 2013               Interim Chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UCAMC

 2012 – present           Chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UCAMC

 

Honors, Awards and Advisory Activities

1988-1993                   NIH FIRST Award                                         

1989-1992                   Regular Member, NSF Neuronal and Glial Mechanisms Panel

1991-1993                   Basil O’Connor Scholar, March of Dimes     

1991-1994                   Klingenstein Fellow in the Neurosciences     

1991-1996                   NIH Research & Career Development Award          

1995                            NSF, Committee of Visitors for Neuroscience

1995                            March of Dimes, Basil O’Connor Awards Review Panel (Ad-Hoc Member)

1995-1997                   Regular Member, NIH Neurology B1 Study Section

1996-2001                   Associate Editor, Journal of Neuroscience (Developmental Neurobiology)

1997                            John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellow

1997-1998                   Fogarty International Fellowship

1997                            Fulbright Kommission Award

1997                            NSF POWRE Panel Member

1998                            Journal of Neurobiology, Guest Co-Editor (Ion Channels Special Issue, 1998)

1998-1999                   Regular Member, NIH MDCN-3 Study Section

1999-2000                   Nominator, MacArthur Foundation

2000-2003                   Regular Member, NIH NSD-C Study Section

2001                            Ad Hoc Member, Fogarty International Center ICP Study Section

2000-2004                  Regular Member, NINDS NSD-C Study Section

2002-present              Editorial Board, Journal of Neurophysiology

2004–2009                  March of Dimes, Review Committee C

2004, 2005                  Excellence in Teaching Award, UCHSC

2005-2008                   HHMI Medical Fellowship Review Panel

2005                            Kaiser Permanente Award, Best Basic Science Teacher

2006–2011                  Regular Member, NIH BPNS Study Section

2009                            Dean’s Mentoring Award, UCAMC

2011                            St. Geme Mentoring Award, Department of Pediatrics, UCD

2013                            Member, NIH Director Pioneer Award Study Section

 

C.  Fifteen Reviewed Publications (representative publications of work done with previous/current pre- and post-doctoral Trainees, indicated by *)

 

1. *Nick TA, Ribera AB (2000) Synaptic activity modulates presynaptic excitability. Nat Neurosci 3: 142-149.

2. *Blaine JT, Ribera AB (2001) Kv2 channels form delayed-rectifier potassium channels in situ. J Neurosci 21: 1473-1480.

3. *Blaine JT, Taylor AD, Ribera AB (2004) The carboxyl tail region of the Kv2.2 subunit mediates novel developmental regulation of channel density. J Neurophysiol 92: 3446-3454. (Highlighted in an Editorial Focus of the J Neurophysiology [92: 3169–3170, 2004] and in Highlights from the Literature in Physiology [19: 317–321, 2004])

4. *Pineda, RH, Heiser RA, Ribera AB (2005) Molecular determinants of INa in vivo in embryonic zebrafish sensory neurons. J Neurophysiol 93: 3582-3593.

5. *Pineda RH, *Svoboda KR, *Wright MA, Taylor AD, *Novak AE, Gamse J, Eisen JS, Ribera AB. (2006) Knock-down of Nav1.6a sodium channels affects zebrafish motor neuron development. Development 133: 3827-3836.  (Highlighted in Research Highlights in Nature Reviews Neuroscience [7: 759, 2006])

6. *Pineda RH, Ribera AB (2008) Dorsal-Ventral Gradient for Neuronal Plasticity in the Embryonic Spinal Cord. J Neurosci 28: 3824-3834.

7. *Gravagna NG, *Knoeckel CS, Taylor AD, Hultgren B, Ribera AB (2008) Localization of Kv2.2 protein in Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles. J Comp Neur 510: 508-524.

8. *Pineda RH, *Knoeckel CS, Taylor AD, Estrada-Bernal A, Ribera AB (2008) Kv1 potassium channel complexes in vivo require Kvβ2 subunits and drive developmental changes in potassium current in dorsal spinal neurons, J Neurophysiol, 100: 2125-2136.

9. Fein AJ, *Wright MA, Slat EA, Ribera AB, Isom LL (2008) scn1bb, a zebrafish ortholog of SCN1B expressed in excitable and non-excitable cells, affects motor neuron axon morphology and touch sensitivity. J Neurosci, 28:12510-12522.  

10. *Yonkers MA, Ribera AB (2008) Sensory neuron sodium current requires nongenomic actions of thyroid hormone during development, J Neurophysiol, 100: 2719-2725.

11. *Wright MA, Mo W, Nicolson T, Ribera AB (2010) In Vivo Evidence for Transdifferentiation of Peripheral Neurons. Development, 137: 3047-3056. (Highlighted in In this Issue)

12. *Wright MA, Ribera AB (2010) BDNF mediates non cell-autonomous regulation of sensory neuron position and identity. J Neurosci, 27: 14513-14521. (Highlighted in This Week in the Journal) PMCID:PMC2585397

s

14. *Doganli C, Beck HC, Ribera AB, Oxvig C, Lykke-Hartmann K (2013) α3Na+/K+-ATPase deficiency causes brain ventricle dilation and abrupt embryonic motility in zebrafish. J Biol Chem 288: 8862-8874. PMCID: PMC3610961.

15. *Carlisle, TC, Ribera AB (2013) Connexin 35b expression in Danio rerio embryos and larvae spinal cord. J Comp Neur  522: 861-775.  PMC Journal - In Process.

16. *Moreno RL, Ribera AB (2014) Spinal neurons require Islet1 for subtype-specific differentiation of electrical excitability. Neural Development, in press.

 

D.  Research Support

 

Ongoing research support

National Institutes of Health R01 NS25217                          
Ribera, A.B. (PI)
09/25/1987-04/30/2015

NINDS: Molecular Analysis of K+ Currents in Developing Neurons

The major goals of this project are to study the roles of voltage-dependent potassium current in neuronal development. 

 

National Institutes of Health R01 NS065788                         
Appel, B. (PI)                                     
08/01/2009-07/31/2014
Ribera, AB (Co-PI)

NINDS: Genetic Screen for Zebrafish Neural Mutants                                         

The major goals of this project are to use strategically existing transgenic lines that express fluorescent protein in specific populations of neurons and glial cells for a forward genetic mutagenesis screen to uncover genes essential for development of neurons and glia. 

 

National Institutes of Health R01 NS086839                         
Ribera, A.B. (PI)                                
02/01/2014- 01/31/2019

NINDS: Neuronal Transdifferention in vivo: Mechanism and Potential

The major goals of this project are to identify the mechanisms underlying the process by which dorsal root ganglion neurons undergo transdifferentiation in vivo. 

 

National Institutes of Health P30 NS048154                                                
Ribera, A.B. (PI)                                               
09/15/2004-11/30/2015 NINDS

Rocky Mountain Neurological Disorders Core:

This grant was competitively renewed in 2011. This grant provides funds for four cores (Light Microscopy, Genetic Constructs, Zebrafish Facility, Machine Shop) that support neuroscience research at UCAMC and was competitively renewed in 2009.