Maria (Lania) Eulalia Rubio, MD/PhD

  • Professor, Neurobiology




Personal Website

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Education & Training

MD, University of Alicante, Spain (1990)
PhD, University of Alicante, Spain (1994)

Campus Address

10016 Biomedical Science Tower-3

One-Line Research Description

AMPA receptors in hearing and hearing loss. Ultrastructure and the nature of the tripartite synapse

Dr. Rubio has studied the synaptic circuitries in the cochlear nucleus, the cerebellum and the hippocampus as well as the structure the Organ of Corti in the cochlea.By taking a multidisciplinary approach, she developed expertise in functional assessment of hearing function, anatomy, ultrastructure, quantitative immunolabeling of a variety of proteins at the light and electron microscopic level and biochemistry. A long-term goal of Dr. Rubio’s research is focused on determining the molecular mechanisms that endow cochlear nerve fibers with temporal fidelity. These mechanisms are still largely unknown but are in place at central auditory nerve synapses and at the inner hair cell synapse in the cochlea. Dr. Rubio’s second research interest is to determine the role of glial cells in auditory function. In particular, the relationship (molecular and structural) of astrocyte processes to auditory nerve synapses in the normal hearing and in the hearing impaired.


Representative Publications

Eaton A.F., Clayton D.R., Ruiz W.G., Griffiths S.E., Rubio ME, Apodaca G. (2019) Mol Biol Cell. Jun 5:mbcE19020115. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E19-02-0115. PMCID: PMC6727774 DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E19-02-0115 


 Rubio M.E. (2018) Microcircuits of the Ventral Cochlear Nucleus. In: Oliver D., Cant N., Fay R., Popper A. (eds) The Mammalian Auditory Pathways. Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, vol 65, pp.41-71, Springer, Cham. 


Rubio M.E. (2018) Molecular and structural changes in the cochlear nucleus in response to hearing loss. The Oxford Handbook of the Auditory System. Karl Kandler (ed.) Hearing loss effects in the auditory brainstem news and views, Oxford Press, New York. October 2018, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190849061.013.7. 


 Welty S., Teng Y., Liang Z., Zhao W., Sanders L., Greenamyre J.T., Rubio M.E., Thathiah A., Kodali R., Wetzel R., Levine A., Lan L. (2017) RAD52 is required for RNA-templated recombination repair in post-mitotic neurons. JBC. 293(4):1353-1362. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.808402. Epub 2017. Dec 7. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M117.808402. PMCID: PMC5787811. 


Rubio M.E., MatsuiK., FukazawaY., KamasawaN., HaradaH., ItakuraM., MolnárE., AbeM., SakimuraK., Shigemoto R. (2017) The number and distribution of AMPA receptor channels containing fast kinetic GluA3 and GluA4 subunits at auditory nerve synapses depend on the target cells. Brain Structure and Function. 222(8):3375-3393.DOI 10.1007/s00429-017-1408-0. PMID: 28397107. PMCID: PMC5676837. 


Clarkson C., Antunes F.M., Rubio M.E. (2016) Conductive hearing loss has long-lasting structural and molecular effects on pre- and post-synaptic structures of the auditory nerve in the cochlear nucleus. Neurosci. 36(39):10214-10227. PMID: 27683915. PMCID: PMC5039262.*  


*This study was featured in Biomedical Advances ( section of Neuroscience. 


García-Hernández S., Abe M., Sakimura K.,Rubio M.E. (2017) Impaired auditory processing and altered synaptic structure of the endbulb synapse in mice lacking GluA3 AMPA receptors Hear Res. 344:284-294. PMID: 28011083. PMCID:PMC5240188. 


Weisz C.J.C., Rubio M.E.,Givens R., Kandler K. (2016) Excitation by axon terminal GABA spillover in a sound localization circuit. Neurosci36(3):911-925. PMID: 26791220. PMCID: PMC4719023.