A photo of Michael Williams.

Co-Director, Animal Behavior Core

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Biography & Affiliation


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 Core. 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.

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions



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.


Selected Publication

Effects of Acute Deltamethrin Exposure in Adult and Developing Sprague Dawley Rats on Acoustic Startle Response in Relation to Deltamethrin Brain and Plasma Concentrations. Williams, MT; Gutierrez, A; Vorhees, CV. Toxicological Sciences. 2019; 168:61-69.

Cincinnati water maze: A review of the development, methods, and evidence as a test of egocentric learning and memory. Vorhees, CV; Williams, MT. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2016; 57:1-19.

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. 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.

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

Effects of Permethrin or Deltamethrin Exposure in Adult Sprague Dawley Rats on Acoustic and Light Prepulse Inhibition of Acoustic or Tactile Startle. Regan, SL; Sugimoto, C; Fritz, AL; Vorhees, CV; Williams, MT. Neurotoxicity Research. 2021; 39:543-555.

GABAA Alpha 2,3 Modulation Improves Select Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome. Schaefer, TL; Ashworth, AA; Tiwari, D; Tomasek, MP; Parkins, EV; White, AR; Snider, A; Davenport, MH; Grainger, LM; Becker, RA; et al. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2021; 12.