Ivett Gabriella

Ivett Gabriella is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), studying Psychology with a Behavioral Neuroscience focus. Ivett is a graduate research assistant at Dr. Glenn B. Stanley's Lab. Her research interests include the neural underpinnings of eating behavior, food addiction, the control of body weight, and the neurotransmitters involved in regulating these behavioral processes.
Ivett earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), and completed her internship at Dr. Kate Wassum's lab at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Previously, Ivett was a research assistant to Dr. Carl D. Sneed at the Adolescent Health and Behavior Research Lab and also worked with Dr. Giacomo Bono on the Youth Gratitude project at the Positive Social Development and Dynamics Lab at CSUDH.

Research

Ivett Gabriella is currently investigating the role of GABAergic neurons in eating behavior in the Septohypothalamic Nucleus (SHy).
The prevalence of obesity has been steadily increasing, as have the rates of eating disorders, emphasizing the importance of understanding the neural circuits of eating behavior and body weight control. Toward that end, our study explored a potential role for the Septohypothalamic Nucleus in feeding mechanisms. It has previously been shown that c-fos in SHy cell nuclei increases after feeding, suggesting neural activity associated with this behavior (Csikos et al., 2020; Nakahara et al., 2004).
As the SHy is densely populated with GABAergic cells, we hypothesized that central injections of GABAA and GABAB receptor antagonists would elicit feeding. Adult male rats with chronic indwelling guide cannulas targeted towards the SHy were microinjected with artificial cerebrospinal fluid, or the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin (n=12), or the GABAB receptor antagonist 2-OH Saclofen (n=6). Food and water intakes were measured 1, 2, 3, and 24 hours after injection, and repeated measures ANOVA was employed to assess the results.
We found a significant increase in food intake 2 and 3 hours after picrotoxin injection (p=.02) and a trending increase in food intake after 2-OH Saclofen (p=.06) injection. In contrast, injection of either picrotoxin or 2-OH Saclofen in brain regions immediately surrounding the SHy were ineffective, suggesting that the elicited eating was due to effects within the SHy. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence for eating elicited by a manipulation within the Shy. More specifically, this evidence suggests that GABAA and GABAB receptor suppression within the Shy produces eating with a delay and may be elements of a neurocircuit that participates in the regulation of feeding.
Our study may provide information for future research relating to obesity or eating disorders.
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PAST PROJECTSStimulation of GABA Receptors in the Lateral Septum Rapidly Elicits Food Intake and Mediates Natural Feeding
Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3425/12/7/848?utmcampaign=releaseissuebrainsciutmmedium=emailutmsource=releaseissueutm_term=titlelink9
The current study explored the roles of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors within the LS in the control of food intake. Experiments with a rat model (n ≥ 11/group) showed that LS microinjection of the GABAA receptor agonist, muscimol, and the GABAB receptor agonist, baclofen hydrochloride (baclofen), elicited intense, dose-dependent feeding. In contrast, LS pretreatment with the GABAA receptor antagonist, picrotoxin, markedly reduced the muscimol-elicited feeding, and pretreatment injections with the GABAB receptor antagonist, 2-hydroxysaclofen (2-OH saclofen), reduced the baclofen evoked response. Next, we showed that picrotoxin injection at the beginning of the dark phase of the light-dark cycle—when rats show a burst of spontaneous eating—reduced naturally occurring feeding, whereas 2-OH saclofen was ineffective. These results indicate that the activation of LS GABAA and GABAB receptors strongly stimulates feeding and suggests potential roles in feeding control neurocircuitry. In particular, our evidence indicates that endogenous LS GABA and GABAA receptors may be involved in mediating naturally occurring nocturnal feeding.
Keywords: eating; feeding; lateral septum; gamma-aminobutyric acid; GABA receptors; rat model; central injections

curriculum vitae

EDUCATIONPresent: Ph.D. Student Psychology - Behavioral Neuroscience focus
University of California, Riverside (UCR)
Riverside, CA
2019 M.A. in Clinical Psychology
California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
Carson, CA
Thesis: Prosocial Behaviors, Affect, and Alcohol Consumption Among College Students
2017 B.A. in Psychology
Summa Cum Laude
California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
Carson, CA
2015 A.A. in Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences
American Studies, Arts and Humanities
Coastline Community College
Fountain Valley, CA
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE2019- Present Graduate Research Assistant
Stanley Lab, UCR, Riverside, CA
• Assistant to Dr. Glenn B. Stanley
• Responsibilities: Stereotaxic surgery involving inserting cannulas in the brain, injections through cannulas, behavioral observations, perfusions, sectioning brain slices, mounting, histology
• Searched for literature for review, created hypothesis, performed data entry and cleaning, performed multivariate analysis on data, wrote a comprehensive research paper, presented at professional conferences
• Scheduled and managed undergraduate assistants, scheduled lab meetings
2018-2019 Volunteer Research Assistant
Wassum Lab, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
• Assistant to Dr. Kate Wassum and Dr. Melissa Malvaez
• Responsibilities: assisted with instrumental conditioning of rats, assisted with the preparation of optical fibers for optogenetic studies, scored videos of rats going through withdrawal, performed perfusions, assisted with tissue preparations, prepared solutions
2015-2019 Graduate Research Assistant
Adolescent Health and Behavior Research Lab, CSUDH, Carson, CA
• Assistant to Carl D. Sneed, Ph.D.
• Responsibilities: Searched for literature for review, created hypothesis, performed data entry and cleaning, performed multivariate analysis, wrote a comprehensive research paper, presented at professional conferences
2017 Research Assistant (2 months)
Dr. Szumlinsky’s Lab, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
• Assistant to Karen Szumlinsky, Ph.D.
• Responsibilities: Scored timed videos of mice completing behavioral tests
GRANTS FUNDED1. Graduate Research Advancement and Development Grant (GRAD)
Prosocial Behavior as Protective Factor from Alcohol Use among College Students
Role: Research Assistant P.I.: Carl D. Sneed, Ph.D. Project Period: 10/01/2017-present
Amount: 500.00$
2. Psi Chi International Honor Society - Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant
Prosocial Behavior as Protective Factor from Alcohol Use among College Students
Role: Research Assistant P.I.: Carl D. Sneed, Ph.D. Project Period: 04/2017-04/2018
Amount: 3000.00$
PUBLICATIONS (peer-reviewed)1. Gabriella, I., Tseng, A., Sanchez, K. O., Shah, H., Stanley, B. G., (2022) Stimulation of GABA receptors in the lateral septum rapidly elicits food intake and mediates natural feeding. Brain Sciences, - Submitted
2. Calderwood, M. T., Tseng, A., Gabriella, I., & Stanley, B. G. (2022). Feeding behavior elicited by mu opioid and GABA receptor activation in the lateral septum. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 217, 173395.
3. Jimenez Chavez, C. L., Coelho, M. A., Brewin, L. W., Swauncy, I., Tran, T., Albanese, T., Laguna, A., Gabriella, I., Szumlinski, K. K. (2020). Incubation of negative affect during protracted alcohol withdrawal is age-, but not sex-selective. Brain Sciences, 10(6), 405.
4. Szumlinski, K. K., Coelho, M. A., Tran, T., Stailey, N., Lieberman, D., Gabriella, I., ... & Ferdousian, S. (2019). Who is HOT and who is LOT? Detailed characterization of prescription opioid‐induced changes in behavior between 129P3/J and 129S1/SvlmJ mouse substrains. Genes, Brain and Behavior, e12609.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS (non-peer reviewed)1. Gabriella, I. (2019). Prosocial behaviors, affect, and alcohol consumption among college students – A thesis presented [Master’s thesis, California State University Dominguez Hills]. ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/9p290b18n?locale=en
2. Gabriella, I., (2015, January) Accent Reduction. The Actors Voice – POV, 9(1). Retrieved from http://more.showfax.com/plus/pov/2015/01/accent_reduction.html
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS1. Gabriella, I., Mukundan, A., Dang J., Nambiar, V., Venkatraghavan, A., Tseng, A., Stanley, B. G., (2022, November). The Septohypothalamic nucleus: A brain region where GABA receptor antagonism elicits feeding. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, California, USA.
2. Gabriella, I., Stanley, B.G., (2021, November). Evidence that GABAA receptors in the lateral septum mediate nocturnal feeding at the onset of the dark phase. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Online, Worldwide.
3. Gabriella, I., Tseng, A., Sanchez, K., Himani, S., Stanley, B.G., (2021, July). Stimulation of GABA receptors in the lateral septum rapidly elicits food intake and is involved in natural feeding. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Online, Worldwide.
4. Gabriella, I., Tseng, A., Sanchez, K., Himani, S., Stanley, B.G., (2021, January). Eating response is rapidly elicited by GABAA or GABAB receptor stimulation in the lateral septum. Poster session presented at the Society for Neuroscience Global Connectome: A Virtual Event, Online, Worldwide.
5. Jimenez Chavez, C. L., Brewin, L. W., Laguna, A., Coelho M. A., Lieberman, D., Swauncy, I., Tran, T., Albanese, T., Gabriella, I., Scudder, S. L., Szumlinski, K. K. (2019, October) Both male and female mice exhibit comparable age-related differences in the incubation of alcohol withdrawal-induced negative affect: A study of molecular correlate. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
1. Gabriella, I., Bono, G., (2019, April). Gratitude and well-being: gender differences in adolescence. In G. Bono (Chair) Promising horizons in gratitude research: harnessing its dynamics to make life meaningful and better. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Pasadena, California, USA.
2. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C.D., (2019, March). Positive and negative affect, prosociality, and alcohol consumption among a diverse sample of college students. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the International Convention of Psychological Science, Paris, France.
3. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2018, April). Prosocial behavior and alcohol use among college students: A correlational study. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, Oregon, USA.
4. Victor, T., Gabriella, I., Sender, J., (2018, March). Leadership and creative expression: A transformative context for exploring boundaries, authority, role, and task. Poster session presented at the 2018 Community Engagement Symposium, Carson, California.
5. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2018, January). Can prosocial behavior and positive emotions be a protective factor for alcohol use? Paper presented at the third annual meeting of the Western Positive Psychology Association, Claremont, California, USA.
6. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2017, October). Prosocial behavior as a protective factor from alcohol use among college students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, Salt Lake City, Utah.
7. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2017, April). Physical activity and alcohol use among older college students in an ethnically diverse sample. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Sacramento, California, USA.
8. Brown, N., Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2017, April) Social influence on physical activity in an ethnically diverse sample of college students. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Sacramento, California, USA.
9. Gabriella, I., Sneed, C. D., (2016, October). Physical activity and alcohol use among older college students. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, Long Beach, California, USA.
ACADEMIC AWARDS AND HONORS2019 Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship Award recipient (UCR)
2019 Graduate Student Mentor Program recipient (UCR)
2019 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year Award (CSUDH)
2018 Love of Learning Award (Phi Kappa Phi)
2018 Diversity in Psychology Program recipient (University of Minnesota)
2018 Student Leader of the Year Award (CSUDH)
2017 PEGS Travel Scholarship (CSUDH)
2017 Graduate Equity Fellow (CSUDH)
2017 Graduated Summa Cum Laude from CSUDH
2017 Academic Excellence Award from the Psychology Department (CSUDH)
2017 Outstanding Service to the Community Award (CSUDH)
2016 Graduate and Professional Student initiative recipient (The Ohio State University)
2016 SACNAS 2016 Conference Travel Scholarship
2016 Karen Cooper Memorial Scholarship by the Mensa Research Foundation
2016 Dean’s list (CSUDH)
2015 McNair Scholar (CSUDH)
2015 Margaret E. Oser Scholarship by the Orange County Foundation
2015 Dean’s list (CSUDH)
TEACHING EXPERIENCEInstructor2022 Summer, UCR (1 quarter) in person
Special Topics: Design your Life
2022 Summer, UCR (1 quarter) online
Introduction to Neuroscience
2021 Summer, UCR (1 quarter) online
Health Psychology
Teaching Assistant2020 – 2022 UCR, Riverside, CA (3 quarters)
Introduction to Neuroscience
Professors: Dr. Glenn Stanley, John Spiegel, Dr. Todd Fiacco
2021 – 2022 UCR, Riverside, CA (3 quarters)
Neuroscience Laboratory
Professors: Dr. Scott Currie, Dr. Peter Hickmott, Dr. Mike Adams, Dr. Glenn Stanley
2021 – 2021 UCR, Riverside, CA (1 quarter)
Abnormal Psychology
Professor: Dr. Misaki Natsuaki
2020 – 2021 UCR, Riverside, CA (2 quarters)
Health Psychology
Professors: Pamela Sheffler, Melissa Wilson
2020 – 2020 UCR, Riverside, CA (1 quarter)
Skepticism & Pseudoscience in Psychology
Professor: Dr. Curt Burgess
SERVICE ACTIVITIESLeadership
2022 – 2023 President - Graduate Student Association (UCR)
2021 – 2022 Psychology Department Graduate Representative – Graduate Student Association (UCR)
2020 – 2022 Sustainability Committee member – Graduate Student Association (UCR)
2020 – 2021 Graduate Academic Integrity Committee member (UCR)
2015 – 2019 President, Public Relations Officer – Toro Psych Club (CSUDH)
Mentorship
2020 – 2021 Graduate Mentoring Program – Women’s Resource Center (UCR)
Reviewer
2019 – 2022 Association for Psychological Science – Student Grant Competition
2019 – 2022 Association for Psychological Science – Student Award
Volunteer
2022 – 2022 Brain Awareness Day – Neuroscience Graduate Student Association (UCR)
2021 – 2021 Annual Symposium of the Center for Glial Neuronal Interactions (UCR)
2017 – 2017 Celebration of Achievements and Service Awards (CSUDH)
2016 – 2016 Commencement Volunteer (CSUDH)
2014 – 2016 PencilPal, BookPal, StagePal (SAG-AFTRA Foundation)
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS2021 – Present Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
2020 – Present Society for Neuroscience – Graduate Student Member
2017 – Present Association for Psychological Science- Graduate Student Affiliate
2017 – Present Phi Kappa Phi Chapter CSUDH
2016 – Present Psi Chi Chapter UCR
PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE2018 – 2019 Writing Tutor
Toro Learning and Testing Center, CSUDH, Carson, CA
Supervisor: Peggy Ozaki, M.A.
• Assisted undergraduate students with crafting, writing, and revising research papers and essays, using APA and MLA Styles
• Aided with questions regarding Psychology course content, intermediate statistics, and the use of SPSS
2017 – 2018 California State University, Dominguez Hills
Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Position: Graduate Student Assistant
• Assisted with preparations of graduate events, assisted front desk with requests, maintained databases
CERTIFICATES AND LICENSURE• 2018 Ability Ally Training
Completed 3 hours of training about disability awareness and safe practices
• 2017 Certification of Completion for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSUDH)
Trained with 15 hours of coursework in the areas of alcohol and substance abuse disorders and dependency under Dr. Karen Wilson
• 2016 Community Resiliency Model (CRM) Training, Trauma Resource Institute
Learned CRM techniques to reduce responses to stress, trauma, and fear
• 2015 Certificate of Completion, The Science of Happiness
Online continuing education course about positive psychology, created by the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center
• 2015 Mental Health First Aide (CSUDH)
Trained to provide initial help to those experiencing depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance use disorders
MEDIA COVERAGE• California State University, Dominguez Hills. (2018, April). McNair Scholars. Graduate Studies & Research Magazine, (7), 8.-9.
• California State University, Dominguez Hills. (2017, September). Graduate Equity Fellowship. Graduate Studies & Research Magazine, (6), 17.-19.
• California State University, Dominguez Hills. (2017, April). McNair Scholars Program. Graduate Studies & Research Magazine, (5), 7.-8.

Contact

Ivett Gabriella
University of California, Riverside
Psychology Department
Office Location: LSB 1526
900 University Ave, Riverside, CA
92521