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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Diego Rodriguez-Gil
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Diego  Rodriguez-Gil 

Assistant Professor
Biomedical Sciences







Additional Contact Information:

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Quillen College of Medicine
East Tennessee State University
PO Box 70582
Johnson City, TN 37614
Office: Room B236  Bldg 178
Phone: (423) 439-5778
FAX: (423) 439-2017


2004     Ph.D. School of Natural Sciences, Buenos Aires University, Argentina.

1996     B.Sc. School of Natural Sciences, Buenos Aires University, Argentina.

Professional Positions:

2019 - Present   Course Director, Clinical Neuroscience

2010-2015          Associate Research Scientist, Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine,
                           New Haven, CT.

2004-2010        Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine,
                         New Haven, CT.


1.  Cellular and molecular regulation of axon guidance.
2.  Axon extension during development and regeneration.
3.  Mechanisms underlying the formation of topographic maps in the nervous system.

Research Narrative:

            Research in my lab is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying axon guidance and connectivity. The complexity of the nervous system depends on the precision of the spatio-temporal development of intricate neuronal connections. Abnormal wiring such as those observed in, for example Joubert or Kallmann syndromes are indicative of the critical nature of these developmental processes. Using the olfactory system, we have been studying the remarkable specificity of olfactory sensory neuron axon navigation from the olfactory epithelium toward the olfactory bulb.

Neurons in the olfactory epithelium are regenerated throughout life from basal stem cells, and new axons navigate toward the central nervous system continuously. Therefore, understanding these processes will allow the use of these stem cells in therapeutic treatments. Many axon guidance molecules are implicated in establishing the olfactory sensory neuron axon pathway, including the odorant receptors. However necessary these molecules are, none of them are sufficient to fully account for the intricate targeting of these axons. Therefore, the question remains: how do guidance molecules and odor receptors interact in the development/regeneration of the primary olfactory pathway? In pursuing this question, the lab analyzes different aspects of this process including expression patterns and the role of specific axon guidance molecules, as well as how and when odorant receptors contribute to axon guidance.

            We use a variety of approaches to answer questions including cell and molecular biology (PCR, qPCR, cloning, and in vitro nucleotide synthesis), histology (immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization), and confocal microscopy.


NEUR-2321. Clinical Neuroscience (Fall semester, 2016) 
BIOM 6010 Biomedical Science I Molecular Organization of Cells (Fall semester, 2016) 


Rudy Chapman Ph.D. student.  Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences


Odorant receptors regulate the final glomerular coalescence of olfactory sensory neuron axons. D.J. Rodriguez-Gil, D.L. Bartel, A.W. Jasper, A.S. Mobley, F. Imamura, and C.A. Greer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2015) 112(18):5821-6. PMID: 25902488.

Fibulin-3 promotes glioblastoma vascularization by paracrine stimulation of Notch-DLL4 signaling M.S. Nandhu, B. Hu, S. Cole, A. Erdreich-Epstein, D.J. Rodriguez-Gil and M.S. Viapiano. Cancer Research (2014) 74(19): 1-14. PMID: 25139440.

Aging in the Olfactory System A. Mobley, D.J. Rodriguez-Gil, F. Imamura and C.A. Greer. Trends Neurosci. (2014) 37(2):77-84. PMID: 24361044.

Dishevelled proteins are associated with olfactory sensory neuron presynaptic terminals D.J. Rodriguez-Gil, W. Hu and C.A. Greer. PLoS ONE, (2013) 8(2): e56561. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0056561. PMID: 23437169.

Renal cystic disease proteins play critical roles in the organization of the olfactory epithelium. J.L. Pluznick*, D.J. Rodriguez-Gil*, M. Hull, K. Mistry, V. Gattone3, C.A. Johnson, S. Weatherbee, C.A. Greer, M.J. Caplan. PLoS ONE, (2011) 6(5): e19694.
(*: Co-first authors). PMID: 21614130.

Chromosomal location-dependent nonstochastic onset of odor receptor expression. D.J. Rodriguez-Gil, H.B. Treloar, X. Zhang, A.M. Miller, A. Two, C. Iwema, S.J. Firestein, C.A. Greer. J Neurosci. (2010) 30(30):10067-75. PMID: 20668191.

PubMed Link:

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