James H Eubanks, PhD

Epigenetics refers to a process in which the modification of chromatin structure controls gene expression. While epigenetic factors are recognized to play critical roles in the process of oncogenesis and normal embryonic development, relatively little knowledge exists regarding how epigenetic factors regulate normal brain development and function.

The clear involvement of epigenetics in brain development has been highlighted recently by the identification that mutations in the epigenetic factor MeCP2 cause the pediatric neurological condition of Rett syndrome.

My lab is investigating the role of this factor, as well as its related family members, in normal brain function. We have obtained mice that are deficient for specific epigenetic factors that allow us to study the consequences of loss of function.

In addition, we have generated several transgenic mouse lines in which the expression of a specific factor can be induced in neuronal populations. These mice allow us to study the consequences of over-expression.

Our previous work has shown that the expression of these factors is altered in the brains of animals following stroke or epilepsy, and that pharmacological targeting of the complexes in which they reside protects the brain from a stoke-like challenge.

Thus, we are also investigating whether specific epigenetic factors play a role in insult-induced neurodegeneration, or whether they influence the tolerance of neurons to such challenges. These examinations span from whole animal behavioral studies to investigations of primary neurons in defined culture conditions.
Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1077
Liu H, Stover KR, Sivanenthiran N, Chow J, Cheng C, Liu Y, Lim S, Wu C, Weaver DF, Eubanks JH, Song H, Zhang L
Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar 30;20(7):
Nag S, Manias J, Eubanks JH, Stewart DJ
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Dec 04;:
Kozikowski A, Shen S, Pardo M, Tavares MT, Szarics D, Benoy V, Zimprich CA, Kutil Z, Zhang G, Barinka C, Robers MB, Van Den Bosch L, Eubanks JH, Jope RS
Front Cell Neurosci. 2018;12:278
Song H, Mylvaganam SM, Wang J, Mylvaganam SMK, Wu C, Carlen PL, Eubanks JH, Feng J, Zhang L
Front Cell Neurosci. 2018;12:196
Sidorova-Darmos E, Sommer R, Eubanks JH
Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:451
Song H, Tufa U, Chow J, Sivanenthiran N, Cheng C, Lim S, Wu C, Feng J, Eubanks JH, Zhang L
Int J Dev Neurosci. 2018 May 26;:
Ratnam M, Chan J, Lesani N, Sidorova-Darmos E, Eubanks JH, Aarts MM
Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Mar 20;:
Gleave JA, Arathoon LR, Trinh D, Lizal KE, Giguère N, Barber JEM, Najarali Z, Hassan Khan M, Thiele SL, Semmen MS, Koprich JB, Brotchie JM, Eubanks JH, Trudeau LE, Nash JE
Epilepsy Res. 2018 Jan 26;140:177-183
Wither RG, Colic S, Bardakjian BL, Snead OC, Zhang L, Eubanks JH
Front Behav Neurosci. 2017;11:172
Bin NR, Song H, Wu C, Lau M, Sugita S, Eubanks JH, Zhang L


Professor, Department of Physiology and Department of Surgery, University of Toronto