Christine M. Gall

Picture of Christine M. Gall
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Anatomy & Neurobiology
School of Medicine
Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, Psychobiology
Phone: (949) 824-8652, (949) 824-4535
Fax: (949) 824-1255
University of California, Irvine
Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility
837 Health Sci. Road
Mail Code: 4292
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
adult synaptic plasticity, memory encoding, synaptic modulators, intellectual disability, autism, sexual dimorphism, endocannabinoids
Academic Distinctions
• Silver Beaker Award, Outstanding Basic Science Professor, UCI- CCM (1986);
• Kaiser Permanente Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCI-CCM (1989);
• NSF Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers ('91-'96);
• Lauds and Laurels, UCI Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research (1995);
• Athalie Clark Research Associates Achievement Award, UCI College of Medicine (1996)
• Chair, UCI College of Medicine Academic Senate (2004)
• Journal Editorial Boards: Hippocampus (1990-pres); Journal of Comparative Neurology (1998-04); Experimental Neurology (1999-04); Neuroscience (2000-pres); J. Neurosci. Res
• Society for Neuroscience: Program Committee (1998-2000)
• Society for Neuroscience Councilor (2000-04)
• Society for Neuroscience Treasurer 2006-07 (Treasurer group: 2005-08)
• Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007)
• Chair, NIH PMDA study section (member 2012 to 2017; Chair 2015-2017)
• Vice Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (2013-2015)
• Interim Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (2015-2017)
• Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (2017-present)
• Member NIH Synapse (SYN) NIH Study Section (2019-2022)
• Member Neuronal Communications (NC) NIH Study Section (Spring 2022-present)
Research Abstract
Research in the Gall laboratory is focused on mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in the adult brain and, in particular, the roles of primary neurotransmitter and modulatory receptors in regulating the actin cytoskeleton in association with the stabilization of synaptic plasticity and learning. Studies in this lab were the first to demonstrate that the expression of different classes of neurotrophic factor genes is regulated by physiological activity and that activity regulated trophic factor expression could be exploited to restore learning in instances of congenital and age-related cognitive impairment. Recent studies are focused on understanding the basis for cognitive impairment in congenital neurodevelopment disorders such as in the mouse model of Fragile X syndrome and in devising therapeutic strategies to enhance cognitive dysfunction. This program led to the discovery that the major information bearing input to hippocampus uses an endocannabinoid-dependent form of LTP which is critical for episodic memory encoding. Other studies are evaluating the basis for sexual dimorphism in learning. This work has identified striking and surprising differences in synaptic signaling, and requisites for enduring synaptic plasticity and activity regulated cytoskeletal remodeling, between male and female rodents. Current studies are evaluating the distinct changes in function of hippocampal synapses with age both across ages of puberty and from young to later adulthood. This includes analyses the extent to which synaptic functions in males and females are differentially sensitive to disruption by early life exposure to drugs (cannabinoids) and stress.
Le AA, Lauterborn JC, Jia Y, Wang W, Cox C, Gall CM, Lynch G. 2022 Prepubescent female rodents have enhanced hippocampal LTP and learning relative to males, reversing in adulthood as inhibition increases. Nature Neurosci., 25(2):180-190. doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-01001-5. Selected for the Journal Cover Illustration.
Invited Commentary in Nature Neuroscience: Tronson NC. Puberty reverses sex differences in learning. Nat Neurosci. 2022;25(2):134-5.
Le AA, Quintanilla J, Amani M, Piomelli D, Lynch G, Gall CM. Persistent sexually dimorphic effects of adolescent THC exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and episodic memory in rodents. Neurobiol Dis. 2022;162:105565. Epub 2021/11/29. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2021.105565.
Chavez J, Le AA, Quintanilla J, Tagne AM, Piomelli D, Lynch G, Gall CM. 2022 Microglia depletion selectively eliminates a singular form of hippocampal long-term potentiation. BioRxiv. doi:
Cox BM, Cox CD, Gunn BG, Le AA, Inshishian VC, Gall CM, Lynch G. 2019 Acquisition of temporal order requires an intact CA3 commissural/associational (C/A) feedback system in mice. Communications Biology (Nature). 2 (251) 1-15. doi: URL:
Wang W, Le AA, Hou B, Lauterborn JC, Cox CD, Levin ER, Lynch G, Gall CM. Memory-related synaptic plasticity is sexually dimorphic in rodent hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2018;38(37):7935-51. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0801-18.2018. PMCID: PMC6136152. (Featured for editorial comment in “This week in the Journal” by J. Neurosci. Selected as F1000Prime Recommended as being of special significance.
Wang. W., Y. Jia., D.T. Pham, L.C. Palmer, K.-M. Jung, C.D. Cox, G. Rumbaugh, D. Piomelli, C.M. Gall*, and G. Lynch* 2018 Atypical endocannabinoid signaling initiates a vew form of memory-related plasticity at a cortical input to hippocampus. Cerebral Cortex, 28: 2253-2266. *Corresponding.
Wang W, Cox BM, Jia Y, Le AA, Cox CD, Jung KM, Hou B, Piomelli D, Gall CM, Lynch G. Treating a novel plasticity defect rescues episodic memory in Fragile X model mice. Mol Psychiatry. 2017. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.221. PubMed PMID: 29133950; PMCID: PMC5951717.
Cox CD, Palmer LC, Pham DT, Trieu BH, Gall CM, Lynch G. Experiential learning in rodents: past experience enables rapid learning and localized encoding in hippocampus. Learn Mem. 2017;24(11):569-79. doi: 10.1101/lm.045559.117. PubMed PMID: 29038218; PMCID: PMC5647927.
Wang W, Kantorovich S, Babayan AH, Hou B, Gall CM, Lynch G (2016) Estrogen's Effects on Excitatory Synaptic Transmission Entail Integrin and TrkB Transactivation and Depend Upon beta1-integrin function. Neuropsychopharmacology 41:2723-2732.
Lauterborn JC, Palmer LC, Jia Y, Pham DT, Hou B, Wang W, Trieu BH, Cox CD, Kantorovich S, Gall CM, Lynch G (2016) Chronic Ampakine Treatments Stimulate Dendritic Growth and Promote Learning in Middle-Aged Rats. J Neurosci 36:1636-1646.
Wang W., B.H. Trieu, L.C. Palmer, Y. Jia, D.T. Pham, K M Jung, C.A. Karsten, C.B. Merrill, K. Mackie, C.M. Gall, D. Piomelli, and G. Lynch. 2016 A Primary Cortical Input to Hippocampus Expresses a Pathway-Specific and Endocannabinoid-Dependent Form of Long Term Potentiation. eNeuro 3(4) doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0160-16.2016. eCollection 2016. PMCID: PMC4976302.
Seese, R.R., Maske A.R., Lynch G. and Gall C.M. 2014 Long-term memory deficits are associated with elevated synaptic ERK1/2 activation and reversed by mGluR5 antagonism in an animal model of autism. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39: 1664-1674. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.13.
Lynch G., Cox C.D., and Gall C.M. 2014 Pharmacological enhancement of memory or cognition in normal subjects. Front Syst Neurosci. 8:90. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00090. eCollection 2014.
Seese, R.R., Y.Q. Yao, K. Wang, G. Lynch and C.M. Gall (2014) Spaced training rescues memory and synaptic ERK1/2 signaling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. PNAS, USA. Nov 25;111(47):16907-12. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1413335111. PMCID: PMC4250145
Lynch, G, E.A. Kramar, A.H. Babayan, G. Rumbaugh, and C.M. Gall* 2013 Differences between synaptic plasticity thresholds results in new timing rules for maximizing long-term potentiation. Neuropharmacology, 64: 27-36.
Seese R, A.H. Babayan, A. Katz, C.D. Cox, J. Lauterborn, G. Lynch and C.M.Gall 2012 Activity-driven translocation of synaptic cortactin is severely impaired in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome. J. Neurosci. 32: 7403-7413.
Babayan, A.H., E.A. Kramar E.A., R.M. Barrett, M. Jafari, J. Hattig, L.Y. Chen, C.S. Rex, J.C. Lauterborn, M.A. Wood, C.M. Gall, and G. Lynch G. 2012 Integrin dynamics produce a delayed stage of LTP and memory consolidation. J. Neurosci., 32: 12854-12861.
Chen, L.Y., C.S. Rex, Y. Sanaiha, G. Lynch and C.M. Gall. 2010 Learning Induces Neurotrophin Signaling at Hippocampal Synapses. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 107:7030-7035. PMID: 20356829
Rex, C.S., L.Y. Chen, A. Sharma, J. Liu, C.M. Gall, and G. Lynch. 2009 Different Rho GTPase-dependent Signaling Pathways Initiate Sequential Steps in LTP Consolidation. J. Cell Biol. 186: 85-97. PMCID: PMC2712993
Simmons, D.A., C. S. Rex, L. Palmer, V. Pandyarajan, V. Fedulov, C. M. Gall, and G. Lynch 2009 Up-regulating BDNF with an ampakine rescues synaptic plasticity and memory in knock-in Huntington’s Disease mice. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci., USA 106:4906-1911. PMCID: PMC266072
Lauterborn J.L., C.S. Rex, E.A. Kramar, L.Y. Chen, V. Pandyarajan, G. Lynch and C.M. Gall. 2007 Brain derived neurotrophic factor rescues synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. J. Neurosci. 27:10685-10694.
Rex, C.S., J.C. Lauterborn, C.-Y. Lin, E.A. Kramár, C.M. Gall and G. Lynch (2006) Restoration of LTP in middle-aged hippocampus following induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. J. Neurophys., 96: 677-685. Covered in the lay press.
Professional Societies
Society for Neuroscience
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
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