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Gabriel villar

EDUCATION:            

Ph.D. Entomology, in progress
Pennsylvania State University

Post-baccalaureate Study, Columbia University 2006-2010
Behavioral Ecology, Psychology, Epidemiology, Public Health

B.S. Entomology, Cornell University 2006

EXPERIENCE:                
Methods | Techniques | Skills: Histology, vertebrate husbandry and breeding, vertebrate (murine) behavioral paradigms, micro/macro dissection, tissue processing, cell cloning, beekeeping, DNA/RNA extraction, gene expression characterization, electrophysiology (EAG; GC-EAD), pheromone/odorant characterization (GC-MS), assaying behavior, statistical analysis, IACUC reporting, grantsmanship, teaching, community outreach, Bio-safety level 3 (BSL-3) bio-containment certification, team management and project coordination

Developing expertise in: Animal models of infectious and neuropsychiatric disease
Invertebrate chemical ecology
Honey bee physiology, neurobiology and behavior

Previous Research:
i. The identification of the neural targets of auditory receptors in Habronattus dossenus (Araneae: Salticidae). In vivo investigation using HRP, DiI, and cobalt chloride histology labeling techniques.

ii. Microbial and Immunopathogenesis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders Using Animal Models:
Animal model research probed for commonalities in pathways identified as important contributors to disease by exploring areas of overlap as a potential basis for more general mechanisms of irregular or impaired neurodevelopment. Challenges to immune systems and neural development were facilitated by using viruses which affect the CNS, such as bornavirus; viral mimics; immunotoxins; and bacteria such as strep.

iii. Development of an animal model for the study of West Nile Virus pathobiology and infection intervention.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:
My current research is rooted in the premise that behavior is orchestrated by the integration of sensory, processing, and motor pathways, and that distinct behaviors may arise and be regulated as a result of the modification or modulation of these pathways. My investigations aim to identify the proximate mechanisms mediating social and reproductive odor-mediated behavior in the honey bee, by employing a variety of molecular, electrophysiological and behavioral methods and techniques.

PUBLICATIONS:
Joari De Miranda, Kavitha Yaddanapudi, Mady Hornig, Gabriel Villar, Robert Serge, W. Ian Lipkin. Gestational induction of TLR3-mediated immunity inhibits cortical neurogenesis and causes behavioral disturbances. American Society for Microbiology: mBio 2010

Yaddanapudi K, Hornig M, Serge R, De Miranda J, Baghban A, Villar G, Lipkin WI. Passive transfer of streptococcus-induced antibodies reproduces behavioral disturbances in a mouse model of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection (PANDAS). Nature: Molecular Psychiatry 2009

G. Villar, T.C. Baker, H.M. Patch, C.M Grozinger. Examining the role of the proximate nervous system in sex- and maturation-related modulation of responses to pheromones in honey bees (Apis mellifera). In prep.

AWARDS:
PA Pollinators Grant Program – Research Award – 2011
The molecular and chemical ecology of honey bee mating behavior ($7,000)

Sahakian Family Fund for Ag Research Travel Award, College of Ag Sciences, PSU – 2013

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship – 2014 ($40,000)

Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education (SARE) Graduate Student Grant – 2014
Development of Pheromonal Tools for Honey Bee Breeding – ($15,000)

USDA – NIFA Pre-doctoral Fellowship – 2014 ($80,000)