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Dr. Kurt M. Gibbs

Dr. Kurt M. Gibbs - Associate ProfessorGibbs-Kurt.jpg
Program/Dept.: Biology & Chemistry
Degrees, Licensures and Certifications: B.S. Biology, State University of New York at Albany; M.S Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Albany; Ph.D. Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Albany
Research Interests: Spinal cord injury, central nervous system (CNS) development and regeneration.


The work in my lab is focused on studying CNS development and regeneration in response to spinal cord injury.  We use Xenopus laevis frogs as a model system because they have the ability to regenerate their spinal cords as tadpoles, but fail to do so as adult frogs. This decline in CNS regenerative capacity with progressing development is observed throughout the vertebrate subphylum, from amphibians to mammals. In Xenopus embryos, we have easy access to all stages of embryonic development, beginning at the single cell stage, which facilitates genetic manipulations that are very difficult in “higher” vertebrates.  In addition, their rapid development and transparent skin (albino tadpoles) allow us to identify anatomical and phenotypic differences that result from genetic and small molecule manipulations. Using histological, molecular biology, and genomic assays, our goal is to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of successful CNS regeneration with hope that our findings will contribute to further understanding failed CNS regeneration in humans.

Selected Publications

  • Gibbs KM, Szaro BG. Tracing Central Nervous System Axon Regeneration in Xenopus. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2018 Dec 3;2018(12): doi:10.1101/pdb.prot101030. PubMed PMID: 29769393.
  • Theis T, Yoo M, Park CS, Chen J, Kügler S, Gibbs KM, Schachner M. Lentiviral. Delivery of miR-133b Improves Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in. Mice. Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Jul 13.
  • Yoo M, Khaled M, Gibbs KM, Kim J, Kowalewski B, Dierks T, Schachner M. Arylsulfatase B improves locomotor function after mouse spinal cord injury. PLoS One. 2013;8 (3).
  • *Yu, Y.M., *Gibbs, K.M., Davila, J., Campbell, N., Sung, S., Todorova, T.I., Otsuka, S., Sabaawy, H.E., Hart, R.P. & Schachner, M. (2011) MicroRNA miR-133b is essential for functional recovery after spinal cord injury in adult zebrafish. Eur J Neurosci, 33, 1587-1597.
  • Otsuka, S., Adamson, C., Venkatachalam, S., Gibbs, K.M., Goldsmith, N.K., Ayer, J., Babiarz, J., Kalinski, H., Ashush, H., Alpert, E., Lahav, R., Feinstein, E., and Grumet, M. (2011) Delayed Intrathecal Delivery of RhoA siRNA to the Contused Spinal Cord Inhibits Allodynia, Preserves White Matter, and Increases Serotonergic Fiber Growth. Journal of Neurotrauma, 6, 1063-1076.
  • Gibbs, K.M.,Chittur, S.V. & Szaro, B.G. Metamorphosis and the regenerative capacity of spinal cord axons in Xenopus laevis,Eur J Neurosci., November 9, 2010.
  • Gibbs, K.M. & Szaro, B.G.  Regeneration of descending projections in Xenopus laevis tadpole spinal cord demonstrated by retrograde double labeling, Brain Research, 2006, May 9; 1088(1): 68-72.



327E Lappin Hall