Photo of Gail Mandel, Ph.D.

Gail Mandel Ph.D.

  •      (503) 494-3784
    • Professor Vollum Institute
    • Senior Scientist Vollum Institute
    • Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine

Gail Mandel is senior scientist at the Vollum Institute and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at OHSU. A valley girl at heart, she received her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles, four years after receiving her B.A. in Biology. Mandel did her postdoctoral training at UCLA and the University of California, San Diego. She was an instructor in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School for two years before joining Molecular Medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center. In 1989, Mandel was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior at Stony Brook University and advanced to the rank of distinguished professor before joining the Vollum Institute in 2006. She was an HHMI Investigator from 1997 to 2016.

Research in the Mandel Lab is focused on understanding how neuronal cell identity is established and maintained. Most recently, the lab uncovered a role for glia in inducing neuronal dysfunction in Rett Syndrome, one of the most common causes of mental retardation in young girls.

Areas of interest

  • Rett Syndrome
  • neuronal-glial interactions
  • microRNA
  • epigenetics
  • neurogenesis
  • neuronal circuitry
  • neurodevelopment


  • B.S., University of California, Los Angeles 1972
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles 1977

Honors and awards

  • Jacob J. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, NINDS, NIH (1997-2004)
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1997-2016)
  • Elected member, National Academy of Sciences (2008)
  • Discovery Award, Medical Research Foundation of Oregon (2011)
  • NIH Transformative Research Award (2013-2018)
  • Councilor, Society for Neuroscience (2017-2021)


  • "Rest repression of neuronal genes requires components of the hSWI·SNF complex" Journal of Biological Chemistry October 25 2002
  • "C-terminal domain small phosphatase 1 and MAP kinase reciprocally control REST stability and neuronal differentiation" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America September 16 2014
  • "Expression and characterization of a canine hippocampal inwardly rectifying K+ current in Xenopus oocytes" Journal of Physiology  1992
  • "Analysis of the functional components of the phase variation system." Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology  1981
  • "Erratum" Neuron  1998
  • "Modulation of sodium-channel mRNA levels in rat skeletal muscle." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America December 1987
  • "Genomic organization and deduced amino acid sequence of a putative sodium channel gene in Drosophila" Science  1987
  • "Identification of PN1, a predominant voltage-dependent sodium channel expressed principally in peripheral neurons" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America February 18 1997
  • "The CGTCA sequence motif is essential for biological activity of the vasoactive intestinal peptide gene cAMP-regulated enhancer" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  1988
  • "MicroRNA-132 regulates dendritic growth and arborization of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America November 23 2010
  • "The many faces of REST oversee epigenetic programming of neuronal genes" Current Opinion in Neurobiology October 2005
  • "Non-cell autonomous influence of MeCP2-deficient glia on neuronal dendritic morphology" Nature Neuroscience March 2009
  • "Fertilization events induced by neurotransmitters after injection of mRNA in Xenopus eggs" Science  1988
  • "Synaptic homeostasis in a zebrafish glial glycine transporter mutant" Journal of Neurophysiology October 2008
  • "Defining the CREB regulon" Cell December 29 2004
  • "Cyclic AMP regulates somatostatin mRNA accumulation in primary diencephalic cultures and in transfected fibroblast cells" Journal of Neuroscience  1986
  • "Imaging Neuronal Activity during Zebrafish Behavior with a Genetically Encoded Calcium Indicator" Journal of Neurophysiology December 2003
  • "Epigenetic mechanisms and gene networks in the nervous system" Journal of Neuroscience November 9 2005
  • "Persistent electrical coupling and locomotory dysfunction in the zebrafish mutant shocked" Journal of Neurophysiology October 2004
  • "Tissue-specific expression of the voltage-sensitive sodium channel" Journal of Membrane Biology February 1992
  • "Homeostatic regulation of MeCP2 expression by a CREB-induced microRNA" Nature Neuroscience December 2007
  • "Structure of the human vasoactive intestinal polypeptide gene" DNA and Cell Biology  1985
  • "A single site on the ε{lunate} subunit is responsible for the change in ACh receptor channel conductance during skeletal muscle development" Neuron  1995
  • "Gonadotroph-specific expression of metallothionein fusion genes in pituitaries of transgenic mice" Science  1986
  • "A single pulse of nerve growth factor triggers long-term neuronal excitability through sodium channel gene induction" Neuron  1995
  • "Neural expression of a sodium channel gene requires cell-specific interactions" Neuron  1994
  • "Corepressor Rcor1 is essential for murine erythropoiesis" Blood May 15 2014
  • "Integral membrane proteins required for bacterial motility and chemotaxis." Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology  1982
  • "A single site on the epsilon subunit is responsible for the change in ACh receptor channel conductance during skeletal muscle development." Neuron May 1998
  • "Neuron-specific expression of the rat brain type II sodium channel gene is directed by upstream regulatory elements" Neuron  1990

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