Neurodevelopmental Toxicology RIG


Greg Barnes, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neurology
Co-Director, Epilepsy Surgery Program
Director, University of Louisville Autism Center
University of Louisville School of Medicine
401 E. Chestnut Street, Suite 510
Louisville, KY 40202
Tel: (502) 852-7981; (502) 589-0802

Click here for the Neurodevelopmental Toxicology Research Intrest Group members 

Greg Barnes

The Neurodevelopmental Toxicology RIG led by Gregory Barnes, M.D., Ph.D., includes Drs. Shao-Yu Chen, Lonnie Sears, and Shirish Barve. Dr. Barnes is a pediatric neurologist and the Director of the Autism Center. His main interest is the genetics of guidance cues and other neurodevelopmental genes which influence interneuron circuitry development and as a result impact neurological symptoms in children with developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and epilepsy1,2. His current research investigates environmental contributors to autism including cannabinoids and metals. Dr Chen’s research focuses on developmental alcohol exposure and mechanisms of dysregulated central nervous system development3-5. Drs. Sears is PI on a subcontract of Dr. Kristina Zierold’s R01 to continue their work together on the impact of early childhood exposure to metals in coal ash dust on incidence of neurobehavioral disorders in pre-adolescent children identified earlier by Dr. Zierold6,7. Dr. Barve’s newest efforts are on the role of gut microbiome and DHA deficiency in alcohol-induced neuroinflammation8. Thus, the Neurodevelopmental Toxicology RIG investigators study early life exposures role in neurodevelopmental disorders and as well as adult disease modified by life style factors contributing to an understanding of Individual Susceptibility.

1.         El-Gamal FEA, Elmogy MM, Ghazal M, Atwan A, Casanova MF, Barnes GN, Keynton R, El-Baz AS and Khalil A. A Novel Early Diagnosis System for Mild Cognitive Impairment Based on Local Region Analysis: A Pilot Study. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017;11:643.

2.         Gant JC, Thibault O, Blalock EM, Yang J, Bachstetter A, Kotick J, Schauwecker PE, Hauser KF, Smith GM, Mervis R, Li Y and Barnes GN. Decreased number of interneurons and increased seizures in neuropilin 2 deficient mice: implications for autism and epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2009;50:629-45.

3.         Dou X, Menkari C, Mitsuyama R, Foroud T, Wetherill L, Hammond P, Suttie M, Chen X, Chen SY, Charness ME and Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum D. L1 coupling to ankyrin and the spectrin-actin cytoskeleton modulates ethanol inhibition of L1 adhesion and ethanol teratogenesis. FASEB J. 2018;32:1364-1374.

4.         Wang K, Chen X, Liu J, Zou LP, Feng W, Cai L, Wu X and Chen SY. Embryonic exposure to ethanol increases the susceptibility of larval zebrafish to chemically induced seizures. Sci Rep. 2018;8:1845.

5.         Yuan F, Chen X, Liu J, Feng W, Cai L, Wu X and Chen SY. Sulforaphane restores acetyl-histone H3 binding to Bcl-2 promoter and prevents apoptosis in ethanol-exposed neural crest cells and mouse embryos. Exp Neurol. 2018;300:60-66.

6.         Sears CG and Zierold KM. Health of Children Living Near Coal Ash. Glob Pediatr Health. 2017;4:2333794X17720330.

7.         Zierold KM and Sears CG. Are healthcare providers asking about environmental exposures? A community-based mixed methods study. J Environ Public Health. 2015;2015:189526.

8.         Avila DV, Myers SA, Zhang J, Kharebava G, McClain CJ, Kim HY, Whittemore SR, Gobejishvili L and Barve S. Phosphodiesterase 4b expression plays a major role in alcohol-induced neuro-inflammation. Neuropharmacology. 2017;125:376-385.