In This Section

Gianluca Gallo, PhD

Associate Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Associate Professor, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center

Gianluca Gallo
Contact Information

Contact Information

Phone

215-926-9362

Email

gianluca.gallo@temple.edu

Office

7-9362
About Me

Research Interests

Gallo’s laboratory investigates the cell biology of neuronal development, specifically the mechanisms of axon development. An emphasis of the laboratory is on understanding how extracellular signals regulate the axonal cytoskeleton (actin filaments and microtubules), and thus axon development. We are currently analyzing the mechanism of axon branch formation in response to neurotrophins, which are major determinants of axon development and serve to sculpt the final morphology of axons. The laboratory employs in vitro and in vivo approaches to manipulate and measure signaling pathways and the neuronal cytoskeleton. Through high resolution imaging we have been able to uncover novel aspects of the cytoskeletal and signaling mechanism of axon branching. We have found that localized microdomains of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling drive the formation of axonal actin filament patches, which in turn serve as the first step in the initiation of axon branches. Furthermore, we found that the induction of branches by nerve growth factor (NGF) requires the mitochondria-dependent axonal translation of mRNAs for cytoskeletal proteins involved in branching. Our current work aims to unveil how NGF signaling regulates the dynamics and function of axonal mitochondria and continue detailing the role of mitochondria in axon branching.  An additional line of research focuses on understanding how axons respond to physical injury, as occurs in spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, and how the physical injury is translated into disruption of the axonal cytoskeleton ultimately leading to axon severing and degeneration. We are also analyzing the mechanisms used by extracellular signals to impair the regeneration of axons, focusing on a class of molecules termed chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). By understanding the mechanisms of injury induced axon severing and CSPG-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration we aim to develop approaches for minimizing these events in the context of the injured adult nervous system. Finally, we are also addressing whether injury and signals that impair axon regeneration impact the function or dynamics of axonal mitochondria.

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 2002
  • PhD, University of Illinois, 1996
  • BS, Hampshire College, 1990

Memberships

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Editorial Board of Developmental Neurobiology
Publications

PubMed Publications

View PubMed Publications