Brandon Pearson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Profile Headshot


Brandon Pearson is a neuroscientist and toxicologist. Dr. Pearson's research focuses on the biology of brain disease and aging. His group studies the impact of complex environmental stressors during development and across the life course. By applying expertise in neurotoxicology, epigenetics, cell biology, stress, and diverse model organisms, the lab has a unique strength in identifying relevant environmental stressors with the potential to contribute to human pathology. Current projects in the lab focus on genetic and environmental factors in autism, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, and cardiometabolic disorders.

Office Location: 630 West 168th Street, VP&S Room 16-421A

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Member, Columbia Center for Environmental Health and Justice in Northern Manhattan
  • Affiliate Member, Zuckerman Institute
  • Columbia Neurobiology & Behavior Program

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2005 University of New Mexico
  • MS, 2008 Bucknell University
  • PhD, 2012 University of Hawaii

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Frontiers in Neuroscience - Cellular Neuropathology Section

Scientific Reports


Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Chronic disease
  • Environmental Health
  • Genetics
  • Mental Health

Selected Publications

Baker BH, Rafikian EE, Hamblin PB, Straight MD, Yang M, Pearson BL. (2023). Sex-specific neurobehavioral and prefrontal cortex gene expression alterations following developmental acetaminophen exposure in mice. Neurobiology of Disease 177: 105970.

Calluori S, Stark R, Pearson BL (2023). Gene-environment interactions in repeat expansion diseases: Mechanisms of environmentally induced repeat instability. Biomedicines 11(2), 515

Xie K, Ryan DP, Pearson BL, Henzel KS, Neff F, Vidal RO, Hennion M, Lehmann I, Schleif M, Schroeder S, Adler T, Rathkolb B, Rozman J, Schueltz A, Prehn C, Edvar M, Weiergraeber M, Adamski J, Busch DH, Ehninger G, Matynia A, Jackson WS, Wolf E, Fuchs H, Gailus-Durner V, Bonn S, Hrabe de Angelis M, Ehninger D. (2018). Epigenetic alterations in longevity regulators, reduced lifespan and exacerbated aging-related pathology in old father offspring mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A 115(10):E2348-E2357.

Xie K, Neff F, Markert A, Rozman J, Aguilar-Pimentel JA, Amarie OV, Becker L, Brommage R, Garrett L, Henzel KS, Hoelter SM, Janik D, Lehmann I, Moreth K, Pearson BL, Racz I, Rathkolb B, Ryan DP, Schroeder S, Treise I, Bekeredjian R, Busch DH, Graw J, Ehninger G, Klingenspor M, Klopstock T, Ollert M, Sandholzer M, Schmidt-Weber C, Weiergraeber M, Wolf E, Wurst W, Zimmer A, Gailus-Durner V, Fuchs H, Hrabe de Angelis M, Ehninger D (2017). Every-other-day feeding extends lifespan but fails to delay many symptoms of aging in mice. Nature Communications 8, 155.

Ryan DP, Henzel KS, Pearson BL, Siwek ME, Papazoglou A, Paesler K, Mueller R, Xie K, Schroeder S, Becker L, Garrett L, Hoelter SM, Neff F, Racz I, Rathkolb B, Rozman J, Ehninger G, Klingenspor M, Klopstock T, Wolf E, Wurst W, Zimmer A, Fuch H, Guilus-Durner V, Hrabe de Angelis M, Sidiropoulou K, M Weiergraeber M, Ehninger D (2017). A paternal methyl donor-rich diet altered cognitive and neural functions in offspring mice. Molecular Psychiatry 23(5):1345-1355

Pearson BL, Ehninger D (2017). Environmental chemicals and aging. Current Environmental Health Reports 4:38-43.

Pearson BL, Simon JM, McCoy ES, Salazar G, Fragola G, Zylka MJ (2016). Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration. Nature Communications 7:11173.

King IF, Yandava CN, Mabb AM, Hsiao JS, Huang H, Pearson BL, Calabrese JM, Starmer J, Parker JS, Magnuson T, Chamberlain SJ, Philpot BD, Zylka MJ. (2013). Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism. Nature 501: 58-62.

Sugawara A, Pearson BL, Blanchard DC, Ward MA. 2012. Mouse females devoid of exposure to males during fetal development exhibit increased maternal behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology 37(3): 383-395.