Roberto Galvez






My scientific career started as an undergraduate working with Dr. James McGaugh at the University of California Irvine. Upon graduating I joined the Neuroscience Program here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign working with Dr. William Greenough. During that time I became intrigued with the molecular properties for neocortical memory consolidation. Upon defending my doctoral thesis I accepted a post-doctoral position with Dr. John Disterhoft at Northwestern University.  Then in 2009 I returned to UIUC and accepted an assistant professor position in the Psychology Department. Now at UIUC my laboratory is broadly interested in understanding the cellular/molecular mechanisms mediating memory storage and how these processes can go astray in maladaptive behaviors and neurological disorders such as the Fragile X Mental Retardation Syndrome. The process for storage and subsequent retrieval of learned information is critical for daily living and a major component of many maladaptive behaviors (i.e. addiction) and cognitive impairments with neurological disorders; yet we still do not fully understand the underlying biological mechanisms mediating this process.  In exploring these mechanisms, my laboratory is actively examining the neocortical biochemical mechanisms facilitating distinct phases of this learning process (acquisition, consolidation & over-training).  Furthermore, using this knowledge we are examining various cognitive impairing abnormalities in a mouse model of the Fragile X syndrome and subsequently exploring pharmacologically targetable mechanisms for alleviating these biochemical, anatomical and behavioral abnormalities.


Invited Lecture, University of Delaware “Neocortical mechanisms for associative learning,” 2013.   

Invited Presentation, Winter Conference on Brain Research “VEGF modulation, a novel mechanisms mediating abnormalities in the Fragile X Mental Retardation Syndrome,” 2015.

Invited Lecture, Spastic Paralysis Research Foundation of the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District of Kiwanis International Convention “A new strategy for alleviating Fragile X Syndrome Abnormalities: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A modulation,” 2015.


  • Accepted
    • Loh, R.M.; Galvez, R., Kappa-Opioid Antagonism Impairs Forebrain-Dependent Associative Learning; a Trace Eyeblink Conditioning Analysis. Behavioral Neuroscience. Accepted.

  • 2014
    • Chau, L. S.; Akhtar, O.; Mohan, V.; Kondilis, A.; Galvez, R., Rapid Adult Experience-Dependent Anatomical Plasticity in Layer Iv of Primary Somatosensory Cortex. Brain Research 2014, 1543, 93-100, DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.043.

    • Chau, L. S.; Prakapenka, A. V.; Zendeli, L.; Davis, A. S.; Galvez, R., Training-Dependent Associative Learning Induced Neocortical Structural Plasticity: A Trace Eyeblink Conditioning Analysis. Plos One 2014, 9, (4), 8, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095317.

    • Loh, R. M.; Galvez, R., Opioid Antagonism Impairs Acquisition of Forebrain-Dependent Trace-Associative Learning: An Eyeblink Conditioning Analysis. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 2014, 118, 46-50, DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.01.005.

  • 2013
    • Chau, L. S.; Davis, A. S.; Galvez, R., Neocortical Synaptic Proliferation Following Forebrain-Dependent Trace Associative Learning. Behavioral Neuroscience 2013, 127, (2), 285-292.

    • Chau, L. S.; Prakapenka, A.; Fleming, S. A.; Davis, A. S.; Galvez, R., Elevated Arc/Arg 3.1 Protein Expression in the Basolateral Amygdala Following Auditory Trace-Cued Fear Conditioning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 2013, 106, 127-133, DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.07.010.

  • 2012
    • Galvan, A. M.; Galvez, R., Neocortical Vasculature Abnormalities in the Fragile X Mental Retardation Syndrome. Brain Research 2012, 1471, 155-161.

  • 2011
    • Galvez, R.; Cua, S.; Disterhoft, J. F., Age-Related Deficits in a Forebrain-Dependent Task, Trace-Eyeblink Conditioning. Neurobiology of Aging 2011, 32, (10), 1915-1922.

    • Galvez, R.; Nicholson, D. A.; Disterhoft, J. F., Physiological and Anatomical Studies of Associative Learning: Convergence with Learning Studies of W.T. Greenough. Developmental Psychobiology 2011, 53, (5), 489-504.


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