Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology at Illinois State University
Department of Biology

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Dr. Andres Vidal-Gadea

Assistant Professor of Molecular Neuroethology
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • Dr. Vidal-Gadea was born in Uruguay. He obtained his BS from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and PhD in Biology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. After completing his postdoctoral training in Southampton (UK) and Austin (TX) he joined the School of Biological Sciences at ISU on January of 2015.
  • CURRENT COURSES
  • BSC 353.Sec 001 Biotechnology Laboratory I: Dna Techniques
  • BSC 299.Sec 009 Independent Honor Study
  • BSC 499.Sec 015 Independent Research For The Masters Thesis
  • BSC 290.Sec 045 Research In Biological Sciences
  • BSC 599.Sec 015 Research In The Biological Sciences
  • TEACHING INTERESTS
  • 1) Molecular techniques 2) Neuroscience 3) Neuroethology 4) Behavioral genetics
  • RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • My lab uses the nematode C. elegans and the marbled crayfish to study the molecular and neural underpinnings of behavior. We harness these insights to the study of neural and muscular pathologies. Our approach is integrative and combines forward and reverse genetics, immunohistochemistry, calcium imaging, optogenetics, and in-depth behavioral analysis. We currently focus on three topics: magnetic field detection and orientation, the etiology and prevention of degeneration during Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and the adaptation of molecular techniques to the study of neuroscience in crustaceans. Magnetic field detection and orientation: Many organisms detect and use the magnetic field of the earth to navigate their environment. While much progress has been made in this exciting field, no magneto transduction mechanism has been identified in any animal. After demonstrating that nematodes can detect and orient to magnetic fields, our lab identified the first set of neurons capable of detecting this invisible force field. Our lab presently works to: 1) characterize the magnetic orientation behavior of C. elegans; 2) identify the molecular transduction mechanism allowing worms to detect magnetic fields; 3) determine how the magnetosensory neurons encode magnetic information; 4) evaluate the effects of non-terrestrial magnetic fields on animal viability. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal disease affecting 1 in 3500 males caused by deleterious mutations in DYS1, a giant gene encoding the dystrophin protein. Progress in this field is hindered by lack of animal models faithfully recreating the disease beyond the genetic lesion (e.g. muscular degeneration, loss of ambulation). We devised the first assay able to fully recapitulate the progression of the disease in animals. We then conducted a genetic screen and isolated mutants able to overcome the effects of the disease. My students now work to identify these mutations hoping to bring relief to those suffering with this disease. We are also using this and similar assays to evaluate different types of exercise that might prove protective for dystrophic musculature. Adaptation of molecular techniques to the study of neuroscience in crustaceans: For well over a century, crustaceans have proven immensely useful in neuroscience research. Key has been their unmatched ability to withstand a multitude of synchronous neuronal investigations. In recent years advances in molecular and genetic techniques allowed many model organisms to jump to the forefront of research, however crustaceans have remained somewhat insulated from this revolution due in part to their complex life histories. Our lab is presently collaborating with the Stein lab at ISU, and the Lyco lab in Germany to bring crustaceans into the age of modern genetics. We are using the marbled crayfish, a parthenogenetic species that easily breeds in the lab to adapt current molecular and genetic techniques to the study of neuroscience and behavior in crustaceans.
  • Post-Doc Molecular Neuroethology - 2014
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Austin, Texas, USA
  • Post-Doc Neurophysiology - 2009
  • Southampton University
  • Southampton, England
  • Ph D Biology / Neuroethology - 2008
  • Louisiana State University
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  • Dissertation/Thesis topic: Comparative Aspects of the Control of Posture and Locomotion in the Spider Crab Libinia emarginata
  • BS Biology / Psychology - 2003
  • University of Victoria
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • Dip International Baccalaureate - 1995
  • Lester B. Pearson College
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
  • Bainbridge C, Rodriguez A, Schuler A*, Cisneros M*, Vidal-Gadea AG​. 2016. Magnetic orientation in C. elegans relies on the integrity of the villi of the AFD magnetosensory neurons. J Physiology Paris
  • Bainbridge C, Schuller A, Vidal-Gadea AG​. 2016. Method for the assessment of neuromuscular integrity and burrowing choice in vermiform animals. J Neurosci Methods. 264:40-46

  • Vidal-Gadea AG​, Ward K, Beron C, Ghorashian N, Gokce S, Russell J, Truong N, Parikh A, Gadea O, Ben-Yakar A, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2015. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans. eLife. 10.7554/eLife.07493

  • Beron C, Vidal-Gadea AG, Cohen J, Parikh A, Hwang G, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2015. The burrowing behaviour of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: A new assay for the study of neuromuscular disorders. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 14(4):357-368.

  • Russell J, Vidal-Gadea AG, Makay A, Laham R, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2014. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in C. elegans. PNAS. 111(22):8269-74.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Belanger JH. 2013. The evolutionary transition to sideway-walking gaits in brachyurans was accompanied by a reduction in the number of motor neurons innervating proximal leg musculature. Arthropod Structure and Development. 42(6):443-454..

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2012. Conserved role of dopamine in the modulation of behavior. Journal of Communicative and Integrative Biology. 5(5)1-8.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Davis S, Becker L, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2012. Coordination of behavioral hierarchies during environmental transitions in Caenorhabditis elegans. Worm. 1(1)5-11.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Topper S, Young L, Crisp A, Kressin L, Elbel E, Maples T, Brauner M, Erbguth K, Axelrod A, Gottschalk A, Siegel D, Pierce-Shimomura JT.2011. Caenorhabditis elegans​ selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin. PNAS. 108(42)17504-9.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Xingjian J, Simpson D, Kondoh Y, Allen R, Newland PL. 2010. Coding characteristics of spiking local interneurons during imposed limb movements in the locust. J Neurophysiology. 103:603-15.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Belanger JH. 2009. Muscular anatomy of the legs of the forward walking crab ​Libinia emarginata​ (Decapoda, Brachyura, Majoidea). Arthropod Structure and Development 38(3):179-94.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Rinehart MD, Belanger JH. 2008. Skeletal adaptations for sideways and forwards walking by three decapod species. Arthropod Structure and Development 37(2):95-108.

  • PRESENTATIONS
  • Villarreal M, Goel S, Sathyamurthy L, Vidal-Gadea A, Edwards K. 2017. Dystrophin's structure, subcellular organization, and roles in development. 2017 Midwest Drosophila Conference, Allerton Pk, IL. [Poster Presentation]
  • Bainbridge C, McDonald J, Benefield Z, Padia S, Hall D, Vidal-Gadea AG 2016. Investigating Behavioral Strategies for Magnetic Orientation in C. elegans. Presented at the School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Illinois State University, Normal, IL.
  • Rodriguez A., Goel S., Schuler A., Barickman L., Cisneros M., DeVries P., Rodemoyer B., Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. Investigations in to the neural deficits of Duchenne muscular dystrophy using C. elegans. Presented at the School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Illinois State University, Normal, IL.
  • Bainbridge C, McDonald J, Benefield Z, Padia S, Hall D, Vidal-Gadea AG 2016. Investigating Behavioral Strategies for Magnetic Orientation in C. elegans. Presented at Society for Neuroscience Conferences, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.
  • Rodriguez A., Goel S., Schuler A., Barickman L., Cisneros M., DeVries P., Rodemoyer B., Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. Investigations in to the neural deficits of Duchenne muscular dystrophy using C. elegans. Presented at Society for Neuroscience Conferences, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.
  • Vidal-Gadea, AG. 2016. Genetic and behavioral basis of magnetic orientation in the nematode C. elegans. 114th International Titisee Conference-Molecules and mechanisms in magneto, thermo, and mechano sensation. Titisee, Black Forest, Germany.
  • McDonald J., Benefeld Z., Vidal-Gadea AG., 2016. Finding you're way around:orientation strategies to qualitatively distinct environmental stimuli. School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Normal, IL.
  • Fritz A., Barickman L., Vidal-Gadea A., 2016, Investigating the effect of the Martian magnetic field on terrestrial organisms. Presented at the School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Normal, IL, USA.
  • Gahrs, C., Benson A., Hernandez J., Städele C., Stein W., and Vidal-Gadea A. (2016), Marbled crayfish as a new genetic model organism for the study of causal relationships between genes, neuronal physiology, and behavior. School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA.
  • Schuler A, Cisneros M, Andriulis V, Vidal-Gadea A. 2016. The effects of exercise on C elegans with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, Normal, IL.
  • Vidal-Gadea, AG. 2016. From magnets to muscles: the unquantifiable benefits of basic research. UIC College of Pharmacy at Rockford, IL.
  • Gahrs C., Stadele C., Vidal-Gadea AG., Stein W., 2016. The parthenogenetic marbled crayfish: a new model system for studying molecular underpinnings of neuromodulation. Presented at the International Congress of Neuroethology, Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Bainbridge C, Barickman L*, Bracht B*, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. Magnetotactic behavior of the nematode C. elegans. Presented at the Illinois State University Graduate Symposium, Bone Student Center, Normal, IL.
  • Bainbridge C., Barickman L., Bracht B., Vidal-Gadea AG., 2016. Investigation of the molecular mechanisms responsible for magnetic transduction in the nematode C. elegans. International Congress of Neuroethology, Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. Detection and orientation to Earth’s magnetic field by the nematode C. elegans. II Meeting of Neuroethology in the Southern Cone. Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2016. Investigación de las bases neuromoleculares de la orientación magnética en el nematodo C. elegans. Pasteur Institute of Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Bainbridge C, Bracht B, Barickman L, Vidal-Gadea AG, 2016. Investigating neuromolecular and behavioral strategies for magnetic orientation C. elegans. Presented at the 23nd Annual Indiana University Animal Behavior Symposium, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

  • Rodriguez A., Barickman L., Goel S., Schuler A., DeVries P., Cisneros M., Alvarado G., Anastitia A., Barsanti B., DePerez J., Dickens S., Esfahanian M., Jarris B., Larson, B., Mathis C., Mecidor R., Mills S., Oates B., Pascalis T., Quintana E., Telander T., Young J., Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. C. elegans suppressor mutant rescues muscular degeneration in nematode model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Presented at the 23rd Annual Indiana University Animal Behavior Symposium, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

  • Bainbridge C, Barickman L*, Bracht B*, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2016. Investigating neuromolecular and behavioral strategies for magnetic orientation in C. elegans. Presented as at the School of Biological Sciences' Phi Sigma Research Symposium, Normal, IL.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2015. Investigation of the neural and molecular basis of magnetic orientation in the nematode C. elegans. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2015. Molecular and neuronal basis of magnetic field detection. UIC College of Pharmacy at Rockford, Rockford, IL.
  • Bainbridge C, Vidal-Gadea AG,  Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2015. Investigating the molecular mechanism for magneto-transduction in C. elegans. Presented at The 20th International C. elegans  Meeting at UCLA, CA.

  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Beron C, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2015. Burrowing in C. elegans used to study neuromuscular disorder models. Presented at The 20th International C. elegans Meeting at UCLA, CA.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG, Ward K, Beron C, Pierce-Shimomura JT. 2015. Geographical tuning in magnetotactic response across C. elegans  wild-type isolates. Presented at The 20th International C. elegans  Meeting at UCLA, CA.

  • Rickerd T, Khalil M, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Identification of proteins involved in the magnetotactic behavior of C. elegans . Presented at the Illinois State University Graduate Symposium​, Bone Student Center, Normal, IL.

  • Nuccio D, Barickman L, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Is there a safe level of exercise for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Presented at the Illinois State University Graduate Symposium, Boone Student Center, Normal, IL.

  • Bainbridge C, Paoulas O, Boutz D, Marcotte E, Pierce-Shimomura JT, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Magnetic transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans: identifying the molecular components necessary for magnetic field detection. Presented at the Illinois State University Graduate Symposium, Bone Student Center, Normal, IL.​

  • Bainbridge C, Khalil M, Rickerd T, Ward K, Beron C, Ghoashian N, Gokce S, Papoulas O, Boutz D, Marcotte E, Ben-Yakar A, Pierce-Shimomura JT, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Magnetic orientation behavior of the nematode C. elegans. Presented at the 22nd Annual Indiana University Animal Behavior Symposium, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

  • Bainbridge C, Rickerd T, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Dissecting the molecular basis for magnetic transduction in C. elegans. Presented at the Phi Sigma Research Symposium, Normal, IL.

  • Nuccio D, Barickman L, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Examining the cellular and motor effects of exercise in an animal model of Duchenne Muscular dystrophy. Presented at the Phi Sigma Research Symposium, Normal, IL.

  • Khalil M, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Molecular machinery responsible for C. elegans detection of earth’s magnetic fields. Presented at the Phi Sigma Research Symposium, Normal, IL.

  • Beron C, Cohn J, Pierce-Shimomura JT, Vidal-Gadea AG. 2015. Prevention of muscle decline in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Presented at the Phi Sigma Research Symposium, Normal, IL​.​​​​​​​

  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2014. Magnetic orientation in C. elegans is mediated by a pair of magnetosensitive neurons. Presented at Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2013. Magnetotaxis in C. elegans. Presented at the 19th International C. elegans Meeting at UCLA, Los Angeles< CA
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2013. Detection and orientation to Earth’s magnetic field by the nematode C. elegans. Presented for the Department of Biology at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Vidal-Gadea Ag., 2013.Dopamine and serotonin are responsible for locomotor gait transitions in C. elegans. Presented at the Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX.
  • Vidal-Gadea AG., 2011. C. elegans selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin. Presented at the18th International C. elegans Meeting at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
  • FUNDED GRANTS
  • University Research Grant - ISU. Vidal-Gadea (PI). Identification of a suppressor mutation responsible for the repair of mobility and the prevention of muscle degeneration in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. (2016)
  • 1R15AR068583-01A1. Vidal-Gadea (PI). 06/01/2016 - 05/31/2019. Genetic Repair of Muscular Degeneration Associated with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy