Professor Patrick O. McGowan

Patrick O. McGowan

Associate Professor



CSB Appointment


Research Areas

Animal Biology, Genetics / Genomics, Neurobiology, Physiology, Systems Biology


Ph.D. Duke University
B.Sc. Concordia University

Primary Undergraduate Department

Biological Sciences, UTSC

Graduate Programs

Cell & Systems Biology
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Research Description

Epigenetic mechanisms of neurodevelopment and behaviour. Focus on molecular mechanisms that mediate the adaptation to psychosocial stress and complex disease in humans and other species.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 416-208-5153
Office: SW548
Lab: SW526

Mailing Address

Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto
1265 Military Trail
Scarborough, ON M1C 1A4

Visit lab’s website



DNA Methylation Modifications Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

de Vega WC, Vernon SD, McGowan PO
2014, PloS one, 9, e104757, 25111603

Cocaine exposure prior to pregnancy alters the psychomotor response to cocaine and transcriptional regulation of the dopamine D1 receptor in adult male offspring

Sasaki A, Constantinof A, Pan P, Kupferschmidt DA, McGowan PO, Erb S
2014, Behavioural brain research, 265, 163-70, 24583058

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Epigenomic Mechanisms of Early Adversity and HPA Dysfunction: Considerations for PTSD Research

McGowan PO
2013, Frontiers in psychiatry, 4, 110, 24133457

Biological embedding in mental health: an epigenomic perspective

Sasaki A, de Vega WC, McGowan PO
2013, Biochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire, 91, 14-21, 23442137

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Conserved epigenetic sensitivity to early life experience in the rat and human hippocampus

Suderman M, McGowan PO, Sasaki A, Huang TC, Hallett MT, Meaney MJ, Turecki G, Szyf M
2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 Suppl 2, 17266-72, 23045659

Epigenetic clues to the biological embedding of early life adversity

McGowan PO
2012, Biological psychiatry, 72, 4-5, 22682394

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The Neurological Ecology of Fear: Insights Neuroscientists and Ecologists Have to Offer one Another

Clinchy M, Schulkin J, Zanette LY, Sheriff MJ, McGowan PO, Boonstra R
2010, Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 4, 21, 21629856

Broad epigenetic signature of maternal care in the brain of adult rats

McGowan PO, Suderman M, Sasaki A, Huang TC, Hallett M, Meaney MJ, Szyf M
2011, PloS one, 6, e14739, 21386994

Impaired social recognition memory in recombination activating gene 1-deficient mice

McGowan PO, Hope TA, Meck WH, Kelsoe G, Williams CL
2011, Brain research, 1383, 187-95, 21354115

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Environmental epigenomics: understanding the effects of parental care on the epigenome

McGowan PO, Szyf M
2010, Essays in biochemistry, 48, 275-87, 20822499

The epigenetics of social adversity in early life: implications for mental health outcomes

McGowan PO, Szyf M
2010, Neurobiology of disease, 39, 66-72, 20053376

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Epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in human brain associates with childhood abuse

McGowan PO, Sasaki A, D'Alessio AC, Dymov S, Labonté B, Szyf M, Turecki G, Meaney MJ
2009, Nature neuroscience, 12, 342-8, 19234457

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Diet and the epigenetic (re)programming of phenotypic differences in behavior

McGowan PO, Meaney MJ, Szyf M
2008, Brain research, 1237, 12-24, 18694740

The effects of pH on DNA methylation state: In vitro and post-mortem brain studies

Ernst C, McGowan PO, Deleva V, Meaney MJ, Szyf M, Turecki G
2008, Journal of neuroscience methods, 174, 123-5, 18656499

Promoter-wide hypermethylation of the ribosomal RNA gene promoter in the suicide brain

McGowan PO, Sasaki A, Huang TC, Unterberger A, Suderman M, Ernst C, Meaney MJ, Turecki G, Szyf M
2008, PloS one, 3, e2085, 18461137

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Epigenetics in mood disorders

McGowan PO, Kato T
2008, Environmental health and preventive medicine, 13, 16-24, 19568875

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