Riley, Bruce individual record

My lab studies inner ear development in zebrafish. A prominent feature of our research is to investigate how cell-cell signaling and downstream gene-interactions control development. One project in the lab focuses on how cell signaling regulates ectodermal patterning during gastrulation to establish the otic placode, the precursor of the inner ear. Our recent work shows that localized Fgf signaling is especially critical for inducing formation of the otic placode, and members of the Pax2/5/8 family of transcription factors are important mediators of Fgf signaling. During later stages of inner ear development, we are exploring how sensory hair cells and neurons are regulated. Our studies address how these cells initially form, how they are genetically maintained, and how they become specialized for hearing vs. balance. We are also investigating how zebrafish can replace dead and damaged hair cells, an ability that mammals have lost. The inability to regenerate hair cells explains why humans show progressive irreversible hearing loss as we age. It is hoped that activating or augmenting human homologs of genes shown to operate in zebrafish might help restore hearing and balance in humans.

selected publications
Academic Articles49
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  • Gou, Y., Vemaraju, S., Sweet, E. M., Kwon, H., & Riley, B. B. (2018). sox2 and sox3 Play unique roles in development of hair cells and neurons in the zebrafish inner ear.. Dev Biol. 435(1), 73-83.
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  • Gou, Y., Guo, J., Maulding, K., & Riley, B. B. (2018). sox2 and sox3 cooperate to regulate otic/epibranchial placode induction in zebrafish.. Dev Biol. 435(1), 84-95.
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  • Kantarci, H., Gerberding, A., & Riley, B. B. (2016). Spemann organizer gene Goosecoid promotes delamination of neuroblasts from the otic vesicle. 113(44), e6840-e6848.
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  • Riley, B. B. (2013). Induction and morphogenesis of the inner ear. Molecular Signaling of Mammalian Inner Ear Development. 27-64. Nova Science Publishers.
Conference Papers4
  • Holloway, N. D., Mackenzie, D. S., & Riley, B. B. (2020). Evidence for expression of the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) in novel neural and ovarian locations in teleost fish. INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY. 60, E104-E104.
  • Riley, B. B., Kwon, H., Bhat, N., & Cornell, R. A. (2008). Reassessing Bmp's role in early development of cranial placodes. DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. 319(2), 599-600.
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  • Riley, B. B., Kwak, S. J., Vemaraju, S., & Moorman, S. J. (2005). Genetic specification and neural refinement of vestibular function in the zebrafish inner ear.. DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. 283(2), 672-672.
  • Riley, B. B., Phillips, B. T., & Fritz, A. (2000). Role of muscle segment homeobox-B (msxB) in zebrafish neural development. 222(1), 258-258.
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Last Name
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Biology; 3258 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3258