A photo of Michael Williams.

Michael T. Williams, PhD

  • Co-Director, Animal Behavior Facility
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My research interest is in neurocognitive disorders, especially during development, related to environmental agents, proton therapy and genetic anomalies. My lab team and I are gaining a better understanding of the fundamental processes of cognitive disorders by using an entire animal system. Specifically, we are interested in determining the mechanisms of cognitive conditions during early development.

I am the co-director of the Animal Behavior Facility. In our lab, my team and I collaborate on multiple projects that test the functional outcomes of an assortment of features. Our research's notable findings include utilizing the Cincinnati water maze to reveal egocentric learning and memory deficits, and how the dopaminergic system is essential for this kind of learning and memory.

Some of the notable recognitions I have obtained during my career include becoming a fellow of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and receiving the Patricia Rodier Mid-career Award for Research and Mentoring.

I have more than 25 years of experience in neurology and began working at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1997. My research has been published in numerous journals, such as Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience and Nature Protocols.

AA: Psychology, Belleville Area College, Belleville, IL.

BS: Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

PhD: Biomedical Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Psychoneuroimmunology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Teratology, Children's Hospital Research Foundation.

Research Areas




Kaolin-induced ventriculomegaly at weaning produces long-term learning, memory, and motor deficits in rats. Williams, MT; Braun, AA; Amos-Kroohs, RM; II, MJ P; Lindquist, DM; Mangano, FT; Vorhees, CV; Yuan, W. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 2014; 35:7-15.


Dorsal striatal dopamine depletion impairs both allocentric and egocentric navigation in rats. Braun, AA; Graham, DL; Schaefer, TL; Vorhees, CV; Williams, MT. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2012; 97:402-408.


Neonatal methamphetamine-induced corticosterone release in rats is inhibited by adrenal autotransplantation without altering the effect of the drug on hippocampal serotonin. Grace, CE; Schaefer, TL; Gudelsky, GA; Williams, MT; Vorhees, CV. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2010; 32:356-361.


Ontogeny of the adrenal response to (+)-methamphetamine in neonatal rats: the effect of prior drug exposure. Williams, MT; Schaefer, TL; Furay, AR; Ehrman, LA; Vorhees, CV. Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress (Informa). 2006; 9:153-163.


Morris water maze: procedures for assessing spatial and related forms of learning and memory. Vorhees, CV; Williams, MT. Nature Protocols. 2006; 1:848-858.


Neonatal methamphetamine administration induces region-specific long-term neuronal morphological changes in the rat hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and parietal cortex. Williams, MT; Brown, RW; Vorhees, CV. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2004; 19:3165-3170.


CRF administered to pregnant rats alters offspring behavior and morphology. WILLIAMS, MT; HENNESSY, MB; DAVIS, HN. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 1995; 52:161-167.

A Gad2 specific Slc6a8 deletion recapitulates the contextual and cued freezing deficits seen in Slc6a8-/y mice. Sugimoto, C; Perna, MK; Regan, SL; Tepe, EA; Liou, R; Fritz, AL; Williams, MT; Vorhees, CV; Skelton, MR. Brain Research. 2024; 1825:148690.