Johnny Wise, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Pediatric Research Institute, Neurotoxicology

Academic Phone Number: 502-852-5006 Email Address:


Dr. Wise received his Ph.D. in toxicology in 2018 from Purdue University.  He completed his first postdoctoral training at University of Southern California studying how air pollution contributes to brain aging, then completed a second postdoctoral training at the University of Louisville investigating metal toxicity in the heart-brain axis.

Research Interests:

  • Neurotoxicology of heavy metals (hexavalent chromium, cadmium)
  • Interaction of neurotoxicology and age
  • Role(s) of heavy metals as gerontogens
  • Environmental toxicology of heavy metals in wildlife populations
  • Interactions between DNA damage responses and protein quality control pathways

Current Projects and Grant

  • NIEHS/NIA, “Cr(VI)-Induced DNA Damage Contributes to Brain Aging”, 2021-2023, The major goals of this grant are to assess the interaction of age and hexavalent chromium toxicology from two perspectives: 1) how age (young, adult, geriatric) affects neurotoxic outcomes after chromium exposure, and 2) how hexavalent chromium induces or accelerates aging processes.


Selected Publications and Manuscripts in Progress

Studies related to heavy metals and neurotoxicology:

  1. Wise, Jr., J.P., Young, J.L., Cai, J., Cai, L. Current Understanding of Hexavalent Chromium (Cr [VI]) Neurotoxicology and New Perspectives. Environment International. 158:106877, 2022.

Studies related to heavy metals and environmental toxicology:

  1. Wise, Jr., J.P., Croom-Perez, T.J., Meaza, I., Montalvo, C.L., Wise, C.F., Wise, S.S., Wise, J.T.F., Speer, R., Abouiessa, A., Bras, M.M., Lopez, C., Markley, L.C., Young, J.L., Urban-R., J., and Wise, Sr., J.P. A Whale of a Tale: A One Environmental Health Approach to Study Metal Pollution in the Sea of Cortez.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 376:58-69, 2019.
  2. Wise, Jr., J.P., Wise, J.T.F., Wise, C.F., Wise, S.S., Zhu, C., Browning, C.L., Zheng, T., Perkins, C., Gianios, Jr., C., Xie, H., and Wise, Sr., J.P. Metal Levels in Whales from the Gulf of Maine: A One Environmental Health approach. Chemosphere. 216:653-660, 2019.
  3. Wise, Jr., J.P., Wise, J.T.F., Wise, C.F., Wise, S.S., Gianios, Jr., C., Xie, H., Walter, R., Boswell, M., Perkins, C., and Wise, Sr., J.P. A Three Year Study of Metal Levels in Skin Biopsies of Whales in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Crisis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. 205: 15-25, 2018.


Selected Conference Publications and Presentations

  1. Wise, Jr. J.P., Cai, L. Evaluation of Cr(VI) Neurotoxicity and Its Potential as a Brain Gerontogen. Presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, March 2021, virtual.
  2. Young, J.L., Wise, Jr., J.P., Wise, J.T.F., Wise, C.F., Wise, S.S., Zhu, C., Browning, C., Zheng T, Perkins C, Gianios, Jr, C., Xie H, Lu, C., and Wise, Sr., J.P. A Whale of a Tale: A 3-Year Study of Metals in Gulf of Maine Whales. Presented at the World Marine Mammal Science Conference, Barcelona, Spain, December, 2019
  3. Wise, Jr., J.P., Lu, H., Meaza, I., Wise, S.S., Croom-Perez, T., Speer, R., Toyoda, J., Ali, A., Cai, L., Liu, K.J., Wise, J.T.F., Young, J.L., Wise, Sr., J.P. Assessment of Heavy Metal Accumulation in American Alligators in Florida. Presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (OVSOT), Cincinnati, OH. October, 2019.
  4. Wise, Sr., J.P., Wise, Jr., J.P., Wise, J.T.F., Wise, C.F., Wise, S.S., Browning, C.L. Martino, J., and Li Chen, T. A Whale of a Tale: Metals and Genotoxicity in Great Whales Considered from a One Health Perspective. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 59(S1): S30 p 42, 2018.