A photo of Brian Gebelein.

Brian Gebelein, PhD

  • Director, MDB graduate program
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My research areas include developmental biology, gene expression regulation, neural cell-fate specification, mechanisms patterning the early embryo and the mechanisms underlying Notch signaling, with a specific emphasis on modeling the disease alleles of Adams-Oliver syndrome.

The goal of my laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cell-specific transcription. I have always been fascinated with how cells within our body can use the same genome to generate the vast array of cell types needed to form functional organs and tissues.

Some of my groundbreaking discoveries include:

  • How Hox transcription factors are integrated with genes regulating segmentation to pattern the early embryo
  • How Hox transcription factors are integrated with zinc finger proteins to pattern the nervous system and regulate hematopoiesis

I received the Basil O'Connor Award from the March of Dimes in 2006. I have been a researcher for more than 26 years and began my work at Cincinnati Children's in 2004. My research has been published in respected journals, such as eLife, Nature, Science, Developmental Cell, Genes and Development, Development, Developmental Biology and PLoS Genetics.

BS: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 1994.

PhD: Mayo Graduate School, Rochester, MN, 2000.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Molecular mechanisms of Hox specificity in Drosophila melanogaster, Columbia University.

Research Areas

Developmental Biology


Homeodomain complex formation and biomolecular condensates in Hox gene regulation. Salomone, J; Farrow, E; Gebelein, B. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. 2024; 152-153:93-100.

Prediction of cooperative homeodomain DNA binding sites from high-throughput-SELEX data. Cain, B; Webb, J; Yuan, Z; Cheung, D; Lim, HW; Kovall, RA; Weirauch, MT; Gebelein, B. Nucleic Acids Research. 2023; 51:6055-6072.

A Drosophila Su(H) model of Adams-Oliver Syndrome reveals cofactor titration as a mechanism underlying developmental defects. Gagliani, EK; Gutzwiller, LM; Kuang, Y; Odaka, Y; Hoffmeister, P; Hauff, S; Turkiewicz, A; Harding-Theobald, E; Dolph, PJ; Borggrefe, T; et al. PLoS Genetics. 2022; 18:e1010335.

Olig2 defines a subset of neural stem cells that produce specific olfactory bulb interneuron subtypes in the subventricular zone of adult mice. Del Águila, Á; Adam, M; Ullom, K; Shaw, N; Qin, S; Ehrman, J; Nardini, D; Salomone, J; Gebelein, B; Lu, QR; et al. Development (Cambridge). 2022; 149:dev200028.

A Novel Variant of ATP5MC3 Associated with Both Dystonia and Spastic Paraplegia. Neilson, DE; Zech, M; Hufnagel, RB; Slone, J; Wang, X; Homan, S; Gutzwiller, LM; Leslie, EJ; Leslie, ND; Xiao, J; et al. Movement Disorders. 2022; 37:375-383.

Mechanisms Underlying Hox-Mediated Transcriptional Outcomes. Cain, B; Gebelein, B. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 2021; 9:787339.

Enhancers with cooperative Notch binding sites are more resistant to regulation by the Hairless co-repressor. Kuang, Y; Pyo, A; Eafergan, N; Cain, B; Gutzwiller, LM; Axelrod, O; Gagliani, EK; Weirauch, MT; Kopan, R; Kovall, RA; et al. PLoS Genetics. 2021; 17:e1009039.

Mechanisms of stearoyl CoA desaturase inhibitor sensitivity and acquired resistance in cancer. Oatman, N; Dasgupta, N; Arora, P; Choi, K; Gawali, MV; Gupta, N; Parameswaran, S; Salomone, J; Reisz, JA; Lawler, S; et al. Science Advances. 2021; 7:eabd7459.

Conserved Gsx2/Ind homeodomain monomer versus homodimer DNA binding defines regulatory outcomes in flies and mice. Salomone, J; Qin, S; Fufa, TD; Cain, B; Farrow, E; Guan, B; Hufnagel, RB; Nakafuku, M; Lim, HW; Campbell, K; et al. Genes and Development. 2021; 35:157-174.

Notch dimerization and gene dosage are important for normal heart development, intestinal stem cell maintenance, and splenic marginal zone B-cell homeostasis during mite infestation. Kobia, FM; Preusse, K; Dai, Q; Weaver, N; Hass, MR; Chaturvedi, P; Stein, SJ; Pear, WS; Yuan, Z; Kovall, RA; et al. PLoS biology. 2020; 18:e3000850.