University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine

Faculty Biographies

Byron D. Ford

Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Byron D. Ford

University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-2473
Office: 0207 School of Medicine Research Building

Education and Training

  • B.S. Biology, Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana, 1989
  • Ph.D. Physiology/Neuroscience, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee, 1995
  • Postdoctoral, Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 1995-98

Research Summary

My laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of stroke and acute brain injuries. We investigate the neuroprotective roles of neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) and other compounds in stroke and other acute neuroinflammatory disorders. My group utilizes in vivo and in vitro models as well as high-throughput tools to scan the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome to understand mechanisms associated with neuronal pathology and neuroinflammation following acute brain injuries. I have published extensively on the neuroprotective roles of NRG-1 in acute brain injury models, including rodent and non-human primate cerebral ischemia models and a novel model of nerve agent exposure. We are specifically interested in the role of NRG-1 in regulating the immune response and the activity of glial cells following brain injury. NRG-1 is currently in human clinical trials and showed significant efficacy in a phase II study of heart failure patients. My work has yielded nine full U.S. patents, two Canadian patents and one each from China and Australia. The results of these studies have therapeutic implications for other acute neuroinflammatory disorders include traumatic brain injury, nerve agent toxicity, cerebral malaria and sepsis.


  • Harold D. West, Ph.D. Distinguished Biomedical Scientist Award, Meharry Medical College, 2013.
  • NINDS Advisory Council (NANDS) member, 2012-2016.
  • Keynote Speaker, Daniel T. Rolfe Memorial Symposium, Meharry Medical College, 2012.
  • Keynote Speaker, Martinez-Townsel Endowed Lectureship in SPINES, Marine Biological Laboratories Special Lecture Series, 2012.
  • Southeast BIO Investor Forum (SEBIO) BIO/Plan Competition Winner, 2010.
  • Board of Trustees, Faculty Trustee, Morehouse School of Medicine, 2010-2013.
  • Stroke Treatment Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) member, 2008.
  • Cellular & Molecular Biology of Glia Study Section (CMBG), NIH, member, 2007-2010.
  • Society for Neuroscience Membership and Chapters Committee, 2007-2010.
  • Morehouse School of Medicine Dean’s Award for Outstanding Researcher, 2006.
  • Featured on NINDS webpage, 2006.
  • Featured in Science’s Next Wave, 2005.
  • Keynote Speaker, Grambling State University, Faculty Symposium 2005.
  • Keynote Speaker, James A. Pulliam Lecture, Meharry Medical College, 2004.
  • Keynote Speaker, Mapp Symposium, Morehouse College, 2003.
  • Keynote Speaker, Grambling State University Biomedical Research Symposium, 2003.

Selected Publications

  • Wang, S., Li, Y., Paudyal, R., Ford, B.D., Zhang, Z. (2015) Spatio-temporal assessment of the neuroprotective effects of neuregulin-1 on ischemic stroke lesions using MRI. J. Neurol Sci. 357(1-2):28-34.
  • Li., Y., Lein P.J., Ford, G.D., Liu C., Stovall, K.S., White, T.E., Bruun D.A., Tewolde T., Gates, A.S., Distel, T.J., Surles-Zeigler, M.C. Ford, B.D. (2015) Neuregulin-1 Inhibits Neuroinflammatory Responses in a Rat Model of Organophosphate-Nerve Agent-Induced Delayed Neuronal Injury. J. Neuroinflamm. 12(1):64. PMCID: PMC4391606.
  • Solomon, W., Wilson, N. Anderson, L., Pitts, S., Patrickson, J., Liu, M., Ford, B.D., Stiles, J.K. Neuregulin-1 Therapy Attenuates Mortality Associated With Experimental Cerebral Malaria (2014) J. Neuroinflamm. 11(1):9. PMCID: PMC3906904.
  • White, T.E., Ford, G.D., Surles-Zeigler M.C., Gates A.S, LaPlaca, M.C., Ford, B.D. (2013). Gene expression profiling reveals common pathways associated with acute brain injury models. BMC Genomics 14(1):282. PMCID: PMC3669032.
  • Rodriguez-Mercado, R., Algaze A., Xu Z., Martinez, M.I., Kraiselburd, E.N., Colon, E., Eterovic, V., Rodriguez, I.V., Portilla P., Gierbolini, L., Rodriguez-Carrasquillo, M., Ford, G.D., Ferchmin, P.A., Ford, B.D. (2012). Acute Neuronal Injury and Blood Genomic Profiles in a Non-Human Primate Model for Ischemic Stroke. Comp. Med. 62(5):427-438. PMCID: PMC3472608.
  • Lein P.J., Li Y., Liu C., Bruun D.A., Guilivi C., Ford G.D., Tewolde T., Ross-Inta C., Ford, B.D. (2012) Neuregulin-1 is Neuroprotective in a Rat Model of Organophosphate-Induced Delayed Neuronal Injury. Toxicol. And Applied Pharmacol. 262(2):194-204.
  • Fisher M., for the STAIR Group. Update of the Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) Preclinical Recommendations (2009). Stroke. 40(6):2244-50.
  • Clement C.M., Thomas, L.K, Mou, Y., Croslan D.R., Gibbons, G.H., Ford B.D. (2007) Neuregulin-1 Attenuates Neointimal Formation Following Vascular Injury and Inhibits the Proliferation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells, J. Vasc. Res. 44(4):303-312.
  • Xu Z., Croslan D.R., Harris A.E., Ford. G.D., Ford B.D. (2006) Extended therapeutic window for intravascular administration of neuregulin-1 following focal ischemic stroke. J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 26(4):527-535.
  • Xu Z., Ford G.D., Croslan D., Jiang J., Gates A., Allen R., Ford B.D. (2005) Neuroprotection by neuregulin-1 following focal stroke is associated with the attenuation of ischemia-induced pro-inflammatory and stress gene expression. Neurobiol. Disease.  19(3): 461-470.
  • Liu Y., Ford B.D., Mann M.A., Fischbach G.D. (2005) Neuregulin-1 increases the proliferation of neuronal progenitors from embryonic neural stem cells Dev. Biol. 283(2): 437-445.
  • Xu Z., Jiang J., Ford. G.D., Ford B.D. (2004) Neuregulin-1 is neuroprotective and attenuates inflammatory responses induced by ischemic stroke. Biochem. and Biophys. Res. Comm.  322:440-446.
  • Ford B.D., Mann M.A., Liu Y., Krauss R., Phillips K., Gan L., Fischbach G.D. (2003) Neuregulin-1 suppresses muscarinic receptor expression and acetylcholine-activated muscarinic K+ channels in cardiac myocytes. Biochem. and Biophys. Res. Comm. 308:23-28.
  • Liu Y., Ford B., Mann M.A., Fischbach G.D. (2001) Neuregulin increases α7 nAChRs and enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in GABAergic interneurons of hippocampus. J. Neurosci. 21(15): 5660-5669. 

More Information