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Brock Grill, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Neuroscience
Florida Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(561) 228-2110

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

The Grill lab studies candidate intracellular coordinators of neuronal development. By unraveling the mechanisms by which these molecules function, we will gain insight into how neurons integrate and manage numerous signals from their environment to form a neural network. We also hope to identify key molecular functions that can be stimulated to trigger new synapse and axonal growth. Such knowledge has tremendous potential to aid in generating new therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases, and injury to the central nervous system from stroke.


Ph.D., Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2003
B.Sc., Microbiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 1998

Professional Experience

2012-2014 Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute
2009-2012 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota
2007-2009 Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Craig C. Garner, Stanford University
2004-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Yishi Jin, University of California, Santa Cruz

Awards & Professional Activities

2015 Cutting Edge Basic Research Award (NIDA)

Post-doctoral Fellowship CIHR , 2004
Post graduate scholarship Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2000
Post graduate scholarship National Science and Engineering
Research Council (NSERC), 1998
Dean’s Silver Medal in Science, University of Alberta, 1998

Selected References

All Publications

Opperman KJ, Mulcahy B, Giles AC, Risley MG, Birnbaum RL, Tulgren ED, Dawson-Scully K, Zhen M, Grill B. (2017) The HECT Family Ubiquitin Ligase EEL-1 Regulates Neuronal Function and Development.  Cell Rep. 2017 Apr 25:19(4):822-835. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.04.003.  PMID: 28445732

Baker, ST, Grill, B (2016) Defining minimal binding regions in Regulator of Presynaptic Morphology 1 (RPM-1) using C. elegans neurons reveals differential signaling complex.  J Bio Chem. 2017 Feb 10;292(6):2519-2530. doi:10.1074/jbc.M116.748004. Epub 2016 Dec 15. Pubmed PMID:27979965; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC5313118. 

Risley MG, Kelly SP, Jia K, Grill B, Dawson-Scully K (2016) Modulating Behavior in C. elegans Using Electroshock and Antiepileptic Drugs.  PLoS One. 2016 Sep 26:11(9):e0163786. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163786. PMID: 27668426

Grill B, Murphey RK, Borgen MA (2016) The PHR proteins: intracellular signaling hubs in neuronal development and axon degeneration. Neural Dev. Mar 23;11 (1) ):8. doi: 10.1186/s13064-016-0063-0.  

Giles AC, Opperman KJ, Rankin CH, Grill B (2015) Developmental Function of the PHR Protein RPM-1 Is Required for Learning in Caenorhabditis elegans. G3 (Bethesda). 2015 Oct 13;5(12):2745-57. doi: 10.1534/g3.115.021410. 

Baker S, Turgeon S, Tulgren E, Wigant J, Rahimi O, Opperman K and Grill B. (2015) Neuronal development in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by inhibition of an MLK MAP kinase pathway. Genetics 199:151-156.

Sharma J, Baker S, Turgeon S, Gurney A, Opperman K, Grill B. (2014) Identification of a peptide inhibitor of the RPM-1/FSN-1 ubiquitin ligase complex.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 289:34654-34666.

Tulgren E, Turgeon S, Opperman K, and Grill B. (2014) The Nesprin family member ANC-1 regulates synapse formation and axon termination by functioning in a signaling pathway with RPM-1 and beta-Catenin. PLoS Genetics e1004481. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004481.

Opperman KJ, and Grill B. (2014). RPM-1 is localized to distinct subcellular compartments and regulates axon length in GABAergic motor neurons. Neural Development doi: 10.1186/1749-8104-9-10.

Baker S, Opperman K, Tulgren E, Turgeon S, Bienvenut W, Grill B. (2014) RPM-1 uses both ubiquitin ligase and phosphatase-based mechanisms to regulate DLK-1 during neuronal development. PLoS Genetics e1004297. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004297.

Grill B
, Chen L, Tulgren ED, Baker ST, Bienvenut W, Anderson M, Quadroni M, Jin Y, and Garner CC. (2012). RAE-1, a novel PHR binding protein, is required for axon termination and synapse formation in C. elegansJournal of Neuroscience 32:2628-2636. 

Tulgren ED, Baker ST, Rapp L, Gurney AM, Grill B. (2011). PPM-1, a PP2C alpha/beta phosphatase, regulates axon termination and synapse formation in Caenohabditis elegansGenetics 189:1297-1307.

Margeta MA, Shen K, Grill B. (2008). Building a synapse: Lessons on synapse specificity and presynaptic assembly from the nematode C. elegansCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology 18:69-76. 

Abrams B, Grill B, Huang X, Jin Y. (2008). Cellular and molecular determinants targeting the Caenorhabditis elegans PHR protein RPM-1 to perisynaptic regions. Developmental Dynamics 237:630-639.

Grill B, Bienvenut WV, Brown HM, Ackley BD, Quadroni M, Jin Y. (2007). C. elegans RPM-1 regulates axon termination and synaptogenesis through the Rab GEF GLO-4 and the Rab GTPase GLO-1. Neuron 55:587-601.

Dai Y, Taru H, Deken SL, Grill B, Ackley B, Nonet ML, Jin Y. (2006). SYD-2 Liprin-alpha organizes presynaptic active zone formation through ELKS. Nature Neuroscience 9:1479-1487. 

Nakata K, Abrams B, Grill B, Goncharov A, Huang X, Chisholm AD, Jin Y. (2005). Regulation of a DLK-1 and p38 MAP kinase pathway by the ubiquitin ligase RPM-1 is required for presynaptic development. Cell 120:407-420. 


Department of Neuroscience