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 sculpt 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.


  • What cellular processes in glia are regulated by the circadian system?
  • What is the function of the circadian clock system during myelination?
  • How does the circadian clock machinery influence myelin-forming cell structure and function?
  • How does disruption in the circadian clock affect diseases of dysregulated myelination?
  • How do circadian disruptions mediated by environmental changes (i.e. jet lag, shift work, light at night) affect brain form and function in health and disease?


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!).

Jacob Greene: Undergraduate Researcher

Jacob is a Junior majoring in Biology. He is currently using a Cre-induced BMAL1fl/fl murine model to investigate the cellular and behavior effects of knocking out BMAL1 in oligodendrocytes. After his undergraduate education, Jacob hopes to pursue an MD and become a physician. Outside of the lab, Jacob enjoys backpacking, rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, and cooking.

Ella Eisinger: Undergraduate Researcher

Ella is a senior hailing from New York and majoring in biology. She is currently investigating how constitutive knockdown of the core molecular clock in oligodendrocyte precursor cells affects the glial microenvironment and oligodendrocyte-driven remyelination. Ella loves studying glial cell biology and neurodegeneration, and she hopes to continue with research in the neurosciences following completion of her undergraduate studies and throughout medical school. When she is not in lab, Ella enjoys running, biking, and lounging in coffee shops.

Sam Kim: Research Associate

Sam completed his undergraduate degree in neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked on characterizing changes in synaptic density consequent of traumatic brain injury. As a new member of the Gibson lab, he looks forward to exploring the multifarious downstream effects of biological clock genes. He hopes to become a physician-scientist and enjoys working out, reading, and eating.

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.

Anna Badner: Postdoctoral Fellow

Anna Badner completed her PhD at the Institute of Medical Science in the University of Toronto (2018), under the supervision of Dr. Michael Fehlings. Her thesis was focused on the peripheral inflammatory response in neurotrauma and application of immunomodulatory cell therapies to target this pathology. She subsequently spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, University of California-Irvine (UCI), transplanting various sources of neural stem cells for traumatic brain injury. During this time, Anna became increasingly interested in the activation of endogenous progenitors as an alternative to cell transplantation strategies. At the Gibson lab, she hopes to further explore the circadian as well as immune-mediated activation of endogenous central nervous system precursor cells for potential repair and/or regeneration in disease.

In her free time, Anna can be found mountain biking, skiing or hiking with her little dog—Taco.

Caroline Arellano-Garcia : Graduate Student in Biology

Caroline Arellano-Garcia earned her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from California State University, Northridge in 2015. She then participated in the NIH funded University of Michigan PREP working on several projects focusing on aggressive breast cancer metastasis, and treatments for Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). At Stanford within the Gibson Lab, Caroline is focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the regulation of oligodendrocytes, more specifically the effects of the circadian molecular clock on developmental myelination and dysmyelination within neuropsychiatric disorders.

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.

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. 



Selected Publications:

  • 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:

  • 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:

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


October 2020: We keep growing! We are so excited to welcome Daniela Rojo, a wonderful new postdoc, to our lab!

August 2020: The Gibson Lab is thrilled to welcome two amazing graduate students, Caroline and Lindsey, to our lab!

July 2020: The Gibson Lab is excited to welcome Anna Badner, an amazing new postdoc, to our lab! 

February 2020: We are excited to announce the first grant awarded to the Gibson Lab and partner with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Thank you!

February 2020: The Gibson Lab is thrilled to welcome Louisa Dal Cengio, our new lab manager extraordinaire, and Sam Kim, our new amazing lab tech! 

January 2020: Gibson Lab opens its doors! The Gibson Lab in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine is looking for motivated, inquisitive, and fun graduate students and postdoctoral scholars! Come join us!

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