Gibson Lab

At Stanford University School of Medicine

Glia – Circadian – Neurodevelopment – Disease

“The only thing any of us can do completely on our own is to have the START of a good idea.” – Unknown


How do glia modulate neural circuits and how does dysregulation of glia contribute to disease? Glia make up more than half of the cells in the human brain, but we are just beginning to understand the complex and multifactorial role glia play in health and disease. Glia are decidedly dynamic in form and function. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the dynamic nature of glia is imperative to developing novel therapeutic strategies for diseases of the nervous system that involve aberrant gliogenesis.

The Gibson Lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms modulating glia. One molecular mechanism that affords cells a dynamical nature is the circadian clock. While much is known about how the circadian clock influences neurons and peripheral cells throughout the body, little is known about how this core molecular mechanism regulates glia. We study how the circadian clock system regulates glial function to better understand diseases of the nervous system in which both circadian/sleep and glial dysfunction are prominent, such as autism, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.



Erin M. Gibson: Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine

Erin Gibson received her Bachelors of Science from Duke University in 2005 majoring in Psychology/Neuroscience and a minor in Biology. She received her PhD under Dr. Lance Kriegsfeld at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 studying the role of the circadian system in homeostatic processes, including neuroendocrine, immune and neural stem cell regulation.  As a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Michelle Monje at Stanford University, Dr. Gibson studied the effect of in vivo neuronal activity on myelin microstructure in health and disease such as the dysmyelinating disorder associated with chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.  Her lab focuses on understanding how glial cells modulate neural circuits throughout development and in diseases such as autism, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.  The Gibson lab aims to discern how the circadian system influences glial form and function throughout life.

Outside the lab, Erin enjoys working out, drinking wine, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family, including her two daughters (honorary lab members Madison and Riley!).

Louisa Dal Cengio: Lab Manager

From British Columbia in Canada, Louisa completed her Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience with a focus on molecular biology and biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. Over the last several years, she has contributed to pre-clinical research on Huntington’s Disease Therapeutics at UBC under Dr. MR Hayden, attentional suppression with respect to Human Electroneurophysiology and disruptions in Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience, both at SFU.

As a new member of the Gibson lab, Louisa is incredibly excited to combine her research interests and knowledge in Circadian systems and neuroinflammatory processes to better understand their influences on development & diseases. She eventually aspires to apply her research experiences while transitioning into the world of clinical research & drug development trials.

Outside of the lab, Louisa enjoys figure skating, cheering on her favorite sport teams, dance, theater, music, baking and brushing up on multiple languages.

Lindsey Mehl: Graduate Student in Cancer Biology

From Chicago, Illinois, Lindsey completed her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences with a focus on biochemistry and biophysics at Northwestern University. While there, she studied the role of chronic inflammation in intestinal epithelial wound healing and neoplasia in the lab of Dr. Ronen Sumagin. She then spent two years at the National Cancer Institute in the lab of Dr. Kevin Brown characterizing melanoma risk loci and studying noncoding promoter mutations driving melanoma. At the Gibson lab, she hopes to investigate how circadian regulation of glial cells impacts chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment. 
Outside of lab, Lindsey enjoys watercolor painting, reading, kickboxing, and hiking with friends.

Dr. Daniela Rojo: Postdoctoral Fellow

From Argentina, Daniela Rojo completed her PhD at the Institute of Research in Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology in Buenos Aires under the supervision of Dr. Marcelo Rubinstein. Over the last few years, she worked on several projects focused on the central melanocortin system. She contributed to the understanding of the metabolic effects produced by mutations in the melanocortin 4 receptor that are commonly found in humans and also worked on the mechanisms of melanocortins´ transcriptional regulation in mouse hypothalamic neurons. As a new member in the Gibson lab, Daniela is interested in studying gene expression regulation in myelin-forming precursor cells and investigating how circadian biology affects brain maturation and function with a novel perspective on neuropsychiatric disorders.

In her free time, Daniela enjoys traveling, cooking, swimming and hiking through nature. 


Dr. Tess Dierckx: Postdoctoral Fellow

From Belgium, Tess Dierckx completed her PhD at the Biomedical Research Institute of Hasselt University under the supervision of Dr. Jerome Hendriks and Dr. Jeroen Bogie. Over the last few years, she worked on several projects focused the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis. She found that the dietary component phloretin reduces neuroinflammation and enhances central nervous system repair by modulating autophagy and activity of the fatty acid sensing nuclear receptor PPAR. Apart from defining the protective properties of phloretin, she studied the importance of the fatty acid lipidome and metabolism on immune and glial cell function. As a new member in the Gibson lab, Tess aims to find novel insights into how circadian regulation affects chronic demyelinating diseases and identify new targets for the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at promoting remyelination and neurological function.

In her free time, Tess enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, drinking wine and cooking


Dr. Themis Tsarouchas: Postdoctoral Fellow

From Greece, Themis completed his PhD at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland under the supervision of Prof Catherina Becker, with focus on the contribution of the innate immune system during regeneration of the zebrafish spinal cord. He then moved to the lab of Prof Anna Williams at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh with interest on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the differentiation and functional maturation of human oligodendrocytes. Over the last few years, he worked on several projects focused on the identification of genes that regulate the axonal regeneration of spinal cord after injury and the differentiation of human oligodendrocyte progenitor cells into myelin producing oligodendrocytes. As a member in the Gibson lab, Themis aims to identify molecular regulators of the circadian clock and how tuning the circadian system affects the maturation and function of oligodendrocytes.

In his free time, Themis enjoys extreme sports, go karting, running, playing basketball and hiking in nature.


Julia Ransom: Undergraduate Researcher 

Julia Ransom is a Sophomore from Southern California majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Spanish. As a member of the Gibson Lab, she is excited to investigate neuropsychiatric conditions and their relationship to glial cell biology. Julia hopes to pursue a career in healthcare or research and is passionate about mental health advocacy. 

On campus, she is involved in Stanford Synapse and the Stanford Undergraduate Neuroscience Society. She also loves running, cooking, and making charcuterie boards.


Jerry Cheng: Graduate Student in Neurosciences

Jerry received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in 2017 majoring in Physiology/Neuroscience. He received his Master of Science under Dr. Mark Tuszynski at UCSD in 2018 developing a novel regulatable dual AAV system for therapeutic delivery of BDNF. Prior to graduate school, Jerry worked on blood-brain barrier-crossing therapeutics for treating neurodegenerative diseases as an associate scientist at Denali Therapeutics.At the Gibson Lab, Jerry aims to elucidate the role of cellular hypoxic states in regulating maturation and development of oligodendrocyte precursor cells in health and disease.

In his free time, Jerry loves to travel, explore local breweries, and find new hiking trails with his miniature Australian shepherd.


Sarah Wilson: Graduate Student in Stem Cell Biology

From Missouri, Sarah completed her Bachelor of Arts in Biology at Trinity College. While there, she investigated the variation and function of aluminum transporters on aluminum tolerance in tomato in the lab of Dr. Susan Bush. She then spent two years at Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Jessica Whited characterizing the role of adrenaline in stimulating a body-wide stem cell activation response to amputation that drives limb regeneration in axolotl. As a member of the Gibson lab, Sarah hopes to investigate how circadian regulation of glial cells impacts neurodegenerative diseases.

Outside of lab, Sarah enjoys cycling, reading, watching documentaries and spending time with her dog Ollie


Yohan Auguste: Graduate Student in Neurosciences

Originally from France, Yohan graduated from Amherst College in 2020 with a BA in Neuroscience and Music. During college, he spent a summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory working in the lab of Jennifer Morgan studying synaptic vesicle recycling in Sea Lamprey. For his undergraduate thesis in the Roche Lab, Yohan elucidated the role of Par-1 and Rab3 in synaptic plasticity. Yohan’s passion for glia started when he helped Lucas Cheadle open his lab at CSHL, where he discovered that OPCs can engulf synaptic material. Now, in the Gibson Lab, he hopes to understand what, and how, information is conveyed via Neuron-OPC synapses.

Outside of lab, he enjoys composing music, doing triathlons, and aquascaping.



Samuel Kim: Research Technician Sam is an MD/PhD student at OHSU.

Mohammad Elmojtaba Gumma: Undergraduate Researcher Mo graduated from Stanford and is pursuing a career in industry before applying for medical school.

Rebecca Soyk: Undergraduate Researcher Rebecca graduated from Stanford and is pursuing a career in industry before applying to graduate school.

Jacob Greene: Undergraduate Researcher Jacob is a medical student at UCSF School of Medicine.

Ella Eisinger: Undergraduate Researcher Ella is a medical student at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Anna Badner: Postdoctoral Scholar Dr. Badner is a scientist at Graphite Bio working on pre-clinical translational development of human hematopoietic stem cell transplantation strategies for neuropathic lysosomal storage disorders.


Selected Publications:

  • Rojo D, Badner A, Dal Cengio L, Kim S, Sakai N, Greene J, Dierckx T, Mehl LC, Eisinger E, Ransom J, Arellano-Garcia C, Gumma ME, Soyk RL, Lewis CM, Lam M, Weigel MK, Damonte VM, Yalcin B, Jones SE, Ollila HM, Nishino S, & Gibson EM. BMAL1 loss in oligodendroglia contributes to abnormal myelination and sleep. Neuron (in press).
  • Yuan P, Hysinger JD, Barron T, Schindler NF, Cobb O, Guo X, Yalcin B, Anastasaki C, Mulinyawe SB, Ponnuswami A, Scheaffer S, Ma Y. Chang K, Xia X, Toonen JA, Lennon JJ, Gibson EM, Huguenard J, Liau LM, Goldberg JL, Monje M, & Gutmann DH (2021) NF1 mutation drives neuronal activity-dependent optic glioma initiation, Nature, 594, 277-282.
  • Gibson EM, Nagaraja S, Ocampo A, Tam L, Wood LS, Pallegar PN, Greene JJ, Geraghty AC, Goldstein AK, Ni L, Woo PJ, Barres BA, Liddelow SA, Vogel H, & Monje M (2019). Methotrexate chemotherapy induces persistent tri-glial dysregulation that underlies chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment. Cell, 176, 43-55.
  • Geraghty AC, Gibson EM, Ghanem RA, Greene JJ, Ocampo A, Goldstein AK, Ni L, Yang T, Marton RM, Pasca SP, Greenberg ME, Longo FM, & Monje M (2019). Loss of adaptive myelination contributes to methotrexate chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment Neuron, 103, 2, 250-265.
  • Venkatesh HS, Johung TB, Caretti V, Noll A, Tang Y, Nagaraja S, Gibson EM, Mount CW, Polepalli J, Mitra SS, Woo PJ, Malenka RC, Vogel H, Bredel M, Mallick P, & Monje M (2015). Neuronal activity-regulated secretion of neuroligin-3 promotes glioma growth. Cell, 161, 803-816.
  • Gibson EM, Purger D, Mount CW, Goldstein AK, Lin GL, Wood LS, Inema I, Miller SE, Bieri G, Zuchero JB, Barres BA, Woo PJ, Vogel H, & Monje M (2014). Neuronal activity promotes oligodendrogenesis and adaptive myelination in the mammalian brain. Science,
  • Gibson EM, Wang C, Tjho S, Khattar N & Kriegsfeld LJ (2010). Experimental ‘jet lag’ inhibits adult neurogenesis and produces long-term cognitive deficits in female hamsters. PLoS ONE, 5,12.
  • Gibson EM, Humber SA, Jain S, Williams WP, Zhao S, Bentley GE, Tsutsui K, & Kriegsfeld LJ (2008). Alterations in RFamide-related peptide expression are coordinated with the preovulatory luteinizing hormone surge. Endocrinology, 149, 10, 4958-4969.


Reviews and Commentaries:

  • Rojo D and Gibson EM (2023). Timing Matters: A protective role of astrocyte reactivity in neurodegeneration. Neuron, 111(15), 2277-2279. 
  • Rojo D, Badner, A, Gibson EM (2022). Circadian control of glial homeodynamics. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 37(6), 593-608.
  • Mehl LC, Manjally AV, Bouadi O, Gibson EM*, Tay TL* (2022). Microglia in brain development and regeneration. Development, 149(8).
  • Gibson EM & Monje M (2021). Microglia in cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment. Trends in Neurosciences. *corresponding author and cover article
  • Gibson EM et al. (2020) How support of early career researchers can reset science in the post-COVID19 world. Cell.    *Lead and corresponding
  • Erin Gibson. Getting Personal (2020). Science.
  • Gibson EM & Monje M. (2019) Emerging mechanistic underpinnings and therapeutic targets for chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment. Curr Opin Oncol.
  • Working Group of Mothers in Science (2018). How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum. PNAS, 115, 12, 2845-2849.
  • Gibson EM, Geraghty AC, & Monje M (2017). Bad Wrap: Myelin and Myelin Plasticity in Health and Disease. Dev Neurobiol, 78, 2, 123-135.
  • Purger D, Gibson EM, & Monje M (2016). Myelin plasticity in the central nervous system. Neuropharmacology, 110(Pt B), 563-573.
  • Gibson E & Monje M (2012). Effect of cancer therapy on neural stem cells: implications for cognitive function. Curr Opin Oncol, 24,6.
  • Gibson EM, Williams WP, & Kriegsfeld LJ (2009). Aging in the circadian system: Considerations for health, disease prevention, and longevity. Experimental Gerontology, 44, 1-2, 51-56.

Media Coverage:

Rojo et al., 2023, Neuron 
•Brain Broadcast

Gibson EM et al .2019, Cell
•How does chemo brain work? One cancer drug might interfere with brain signaling. Science, Dec. 6, 2018
•Scientists discover a probable cause of ‘Chemo Brain’ and it may be treatable. Forbes, Dec. 7, 2018
•Five things to look out for in cancer research in 2019. Forbes, Dec. 28, 2018
•The cells that help cancer drugs to cloud the mind. Nature, Dec. 6, 2018
•Clearing the Fog surrounding Chemobrain. Cell Previews, Jan. 10, 2019
•Invited ‘Video Abstract’, Cell

Group of Working Mothers in Science 2018, PNAS
• Scope
• Nature Jobs: When Conferences Collide with Family Needs
• Nature Careers: Children and Infants must be welcome at scientific conferences, say scientist-parents
• Inside Higher Ed, Tackling the ‘Childcare-Conference Conundrum’

Gibson EM et al. 2014, Science
•Bechler ME, ffrench-Constant C (2014). A new wrap for neuronal activity? Science, 344 (6183)
•Recommended in Faculty of 1000

Gibson EM et al. 2010, PLoS ONE
• Featured by: The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Time
• Recommended in Faculty of 1000

Gibson EM et al. 2008, Endocrinology
• Recommended in Faculty of 1000


August 2023: We are so excited to welcome 3 new graduate students to the lab! Welcome Jerry Cheng, Sarah Wilson, and Yohan Auguste!

January 2023:  Welcome Dr. Themis Tsarchouchas as our newest postdoctoral scholar!

January 2023:  Congrats to all members of the Gibson lab for helping us secure our first R01!

Fall 2022:  Congrats to Dr. Tess Dierckx for being awarded a Stanford University School of Medicine Postdoctoral Dean’s Fellowship!

Spring 2022:  Welcome Dr. Tess Dierckx as our newest postdoctoral scholar!

January 2022:  Congrats to Dr. Dani Rojo for being awarded an MCHRI Postdoctoral Fellowship!

Join us!

Graduate Students: If you are a graduate student interested in learning about opportunities in our lab studying glia in health and disease, please email Erin at

Postdoctoral Scholars: If you are interested in a postdoctoral position in our lab please email Erin at your CV, a cover letter explaining your interest in our research, and the name and information of at least 2 references.



The Gibson Lab

3165 Porter Drive

Palo Alto, CA 94304

Stanford Division of Sleep Medicine