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Tim Shafer

Dr. Tim Shafer received his B.S. from Hope College in 1986 and Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Michigan State University in 1991. Dr. Shafer was a postdoctoral fellow in the Cellular and Molecular Toxicology Branch of the Neurotoxicology Division of the U. S. EPA in 1991.  In 1994, he moved to the Neurophysiological Toxicology Branch of the Neurotoxicology Division as a Principal Investigator. Currently, Tim is a Principal Investigator in the Systems Biology Branch of the Integrated Systems Toxicology Division of the U.S. EPA.

Dr. Shafer's research interest focuses on understanding mechanisms of chemical neurotoxicity, particularly as they relate to changes in neurophysiology at the cellular level. Over his career, Tim has examined the actions of heavy metals, PCBs, herbicides and pesticides on ion channel function and cellular neurophysiology. Currently, Dr. Shafer’s research is focused on developing in vitro approaches to screen and prioritize chemicals for their potential to cause developmental neurotoxicity. To do so, he has employed a variety of different models, including primary cultures of neurons as well as neural stem cells. Dr Shafer’s research uses high-content imaging to examine processes such as proliferation and apoptosis, as well as microelectrode array recordings to examine function of neuronal networks following chemical exposure.
Dr. Shafer has served on a several NIH study sections, and is on the Editorial Board of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology and is an Associate Editor for NeuroToxicology.  He has been a member of the Society of Toxicology since 1987, and has served on its Scientific  Program Committee and as an Officer of the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section. In 2009, Dr. Shafer received the Colgate-Palmolive Grant for Alternative Research from the Society of Toxicology. Dr. Shafer has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews and book chapters examining the mechanisms of actions of neurotoxicants.

Microelectrode arrays (MEAs) can be used to assess electrical activity in primary cultures and slices of nervous system tissues, and detect the effects of many different classes of compounds. Dr. Tim Shafer, Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, at...Full Article »