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Biological Sciences

Dr. Faith Liebl 

Portrait of Dr. Faith LieblProfessor, Undergraduate Committee Chair

Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005

Office: SW 1120
Research Lab: SW 1350
Phone: (618) 650-2509


Courses Taught: Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 319), Advanced Cell Biology (BIOL 432), Cellular and Molecular Bases of Disease (BIOL 431), Fundamentals of Neuroscience (BIOL 444), Molecular Genetics (BIOL 452).

Research Interests: My lab is interested in the expression, trafficking, and localization of glutamate receptors in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (i.e. fruit fly). Glutamate neurotransmission is thought to be involved in process such as learning and memory as well as pathological process such as epilepsy, neurodegeneration, and excitotoxic cell death. The fly neuromuscular junction (NMJ) contains glutamate-gated ion channels which are closely related to mammalian non-NMDA receptors, providing a powerful system to determine the function of specific molecules by analysis and investigation of mutant synapses.

Research Opportunities: Undergraduate and graduate students in the lab have the opportunity to learn how to record changes in membrane potential via electrophysiology, how to visualize synaptic  proteins via immunocytochemistry and fluorescence microscopy, how to measure RNA transcript levels via qRT-PCR, how to measure cellular protein levels via Western blotting, and how to construct unique fly lines using genetic techniques. Students interested in research opportunities should contact me.

Selected Publications

Hussein, N., Delaney, T., Tounsel, B., and Liebl, F.L.W. (2016). The extracellular-regulated kinase effector, Lk6, is required for glutamate receptor localization at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Journal of Experimental Neuroscience, 10: 77-91.

D’Rozario, M., Zhang, Y., Waddell, E., Hu, T., Nayal, M., Kutty, K., Liebl, F.L., Hu, W. and Marenda, D.R. (2016). Novel roles of the type I bHLH proteins Daughterless/TCF4 in post-mitotic neurons of the central nervous system. Cell Reports, 15 (2): 386-397.

Sturgeon, M., Davis, D., Albers, A., Beatty, D., Austin, R., Ferguson, M., Tounsel, B., and Liebl, F.L.W. (2016). A reverse genetic screen identifies Mind Bomb1 in glutamate receptor localization at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 70 (1): 11-21.

Ghosh, R., Vegesna, S., Safi, R., Zhang, B., Marenda, D.R., and Liebl, F.L.W. (2014). Kismet positively regulates glutamate receptor localization and synaptic transmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. PLoS ONE, 9(11): e113494.

Liebl, F.L., McKeown, C., Yao, Y, and Hing, H.K. (2010). Wnt2 Regulates Presynaptic Motor Neuron Morphology and Presynaptic Protein Localization at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction. PLoS ONE, 5(9):e12778.

Liebl, F. L. and Featherstone, D.E. (2008). Identification and investigation of Drosophila postsynaptic density homologs. Bioinformatics and Biology Insights, 2: 375-388.

Liebl, F. L., Wu, Y., Featherstone, D.E., Noordimeer, J., Fradkin, L. and Hing, H.K. (2008). Derailed regulates Drosophila neuromuscular junction morphology. Developmental Neurobiology, 68(2):152-165.

Liebl, F.L.W. (2006). Highwire balances synaptic growth. Journal of Neuroscience 26: 2143-4.

Liebl, F., Sheng, Q, and Featherstone, D.E. (2006).  A P-element insertion screen for synaptic morphology mutants. Journal of Neurobiology 66: 332-47.

Liebl, F.L.W. and Featherstone, D.E. (2005). Genes involved in Drosophila glutamate receptor expression and localization. BMC Neuroscience, 6 (1) 44.

Liebl, F.L W., Chen, K., Karr, J., Sheng, Q., and Featherstone, D.E. (2005). Drosophila sec8 inhibits synaptic microtubule stability to promote postsynaptic glutamate receptor localization. BMC Biology 3: 27.

Featherstone, D. E., Rushton, E., Rohrbough, J., Liebl, F., Sheng, Q., Rodesch, C. K., and Broadie, K. (2004). An essential Drosophila glutamate receptor subunit that functions in both central neuropil and neuromuscular junction. Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 3199-3208.

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