Gabriel villar


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

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.

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.

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.

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)