Brock Grill, PhD

Associate Professor Adjunct
Department of Neuroscience
Florida Campus


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Research in the Grill lab at The Scripps Research Institute, Florida focuses on two major problems in neuroscience.
1) What are the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern axon termination and synapse formation in the developing nervous system?
2) How does a simple neuronal circuit obtain a balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission?
Providing answers to these questions is at the heart of understanding how nervous systems are built, how neural circuits function, and understanding the basis of neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative disease. To learn more about ongoing research in the Grill lab, please visit the Research Projects page.


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

Professional Experience

1999 - 2004     Graduate Student, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver,
                       Canada; Thesis Mentor: John Schrader
2004 - 2007     Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Cruz; 
                       Mentor: Dr. Yishi Jin HHMI
2007 - 2009     Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Palo Alto; 
                       Mentor: Dr. Craig Garner
2009 - 2012     Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology,
                       University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
2012 - 2014     Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience,
                       The Scripps Research Institute – Florida
2014 -             Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience,
                       Scripps Research – Florida

Awards & Professional Activities

1998                Dean’s Silver Medal in Science, University of Alberta
1999 - 2000     Postgraduate Scholarship National Science and Engineering
                       Research Council (NSERC)
2003                Postgraduate Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
2003                Travel Award, Canadian Society for Immunology
2004 - 2007     Post-doctoral Fellowship CIHR
2015                Cutting Edge Basic Research Award (NIDA)

Selected References

Crawley O, Opperman K, Desbois M, Adrados I, Borgen MA, Giles AC, Duckett DR, Grill B. (2019) Autophagy is inhibited by ubiquitin ligase activity in the nervous system. Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 1;10(*1):5017. doi: 10.1038/s4146-019-12804-3. PubMed PMID: 31676756 (abstract).

Wang D, Stoveken HM, Zucca S, Dao M, Orlandi C, Song C, Masuho I, Johnston C, Opperman KJ, Giles AC, Gill MS, Lundquist EA, Grill B*, Martemyanov KA*. (2019) Genetic behavioral screen identifies an orphan anti-opioid system.  Science. in press  (abstract)

Giles AC, Desbois M, Opperman KJ, Tavora R, Maroni MJ, Grill B. A complex containing the O-GlcNAc transferase OGT-1 and the ubiquitin ligase EEL-1 regulates GABA neuron function. J Biol Chem. 2019 Apr 26;294(17):6843-6856. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007406. Epub 2019 Mar 11.  PubMed PMID: 30858176 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6497937(abstract)

Borgen, MA; Giles, AC; Wang, Dandan and Grill, B (2019).  Synapse maintenance is impacted by ATAT-2 tubulin acetyltransferase activity and the RPM-1 signaling hub. eLIFE 2019 Jan 18;8. pii:e44040. doi: 10.7554/eLife.44040. PubMed PMID:30652969 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6355192(abstract)

Desbois M, Crawley O, Evans PR, Baker ST, Masuho I, Yasuda R, Grill B. PAM forms an atypical SCF ubiquitin ligase complex that ubiquitinates and degrades NMNAT2. J Biol Chem. 2018 Jul 11. pii: jbc.RA118.002176. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002176. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29997255 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6130950  (abstract)

Crawley O, Giles AC, Desbois M, Kashyap S, Birnbaum R, Grill B. A MIG-15/JNK-1 MAP kinase cascade opposes RPM-1 signaling in synapse formation and learning. PLoS Genet. 2017 Dec 11;13(12):e1007095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007095. eCollection 2017 Dec. PubMed PMID: 29228003; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC5754208(abstract)

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. PubMed PMID: 28445732 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5475272(abstract)

Borgen MA, Wang D, Grill B. RPM-1 regulates axon termination by affecting growth cone collapse and microtubule stability. Development. 2017 Dec 15;144(24):4658-4672. doi: 10.1242/dev.154187. Epub 2017 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 29084805; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC5769622(abstract)

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(abstract)

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. PubMed PMID: 27008623 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4806438 (abstract)

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. PubMed PMID: 26464359 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4683646 (abstract)

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. PubMed PMID: 25339611 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4286679 (abstract)

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.  PubMed PMID: 25326385 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4263871 (abstract

Baker ST, Opperman KJ, Tulgren ED, Turgeon SM, Bienvenut W, Grill B. RPM-1 uses both ubiquitin ligase and phosphatase-based mechanisms to regulate DLK-1 during neuronal development. PLoS Genet. 2014 May 8;10(5):e1004297. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004297. eCollection 2014 May. PubMed PMID: 24810406; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4014440. (abstract)

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.  PubMed PMID: 25010424 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4091705 (abstract)

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.  PubMed PMID:2488532 PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4077836 (abstract)

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. PubMed PMID: 21968191 PubMed Central  PMCID:PMC3241410 (abstract)




Department of Neuroscience