Director — Division of Neurotoxicology
Sherry Ferguson, Ph.D.
Dr. Sherry Ferguson studied psychology and biology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1984. She then attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, earning an M.S. degree in 1987 and subsequently, a Ph.D. in animal behavior in 1990. Dr. Ferguson was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Neurotoxicology at NCTR in 1990. In 1993 she was converted to a principal investigator. She maintains adjunct faculty status with the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Ferguson also has adjunct faculty status with the Department of Psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She currently leads the Developmental Neurotoxicology Laboratory at NCTR. Dr. Ferguson has been the recipient of many national and international awards, including the “New Investigator Research Award from the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society,” the “Federal Employee of the Year, Scientific and Medical for Arkansas,” and the “FDA Scientific Achievement Award for Excellence in Laboratory Science.” She has also received the “FDA Excellence in Equity Award” and four “FDA Group Recognition Awards.”
Dr. Ferguson’s research interests are quite diverse. She began her career investigating the neurotoxicology of lead exposure in laboratory animals and that experience then carried into her postdoctoral fellowship where she studied the cognitive effects of acute drug exposure in laboratory animals. Her interests then became focused on development and much of her career has described the neurobehavioral effects of drugs, toxicants, and environmental contaminants after developmental exposure. More recently, she has investigated ethnicity differences in Alzheimer’s disease. She has worked with five different species during her career, including a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Her work has been supported by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program, the National Science Foundation, and FDA’s Office of Minority Health.
Professional Societies/National and International Groups
Developmental Neurotoxicology Society (formerly, the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society)
1992 – Present
President (elected position)
2003 – 2004
Member, Publication Committee (elected position)
2012 – 2015
International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment
2015 – Present
Society for Neuroscience
1996 – Present
Society of Toxicology
2016 – Present
Effects of Cyclophosphamide and/or Doxorubicin in a Murine Model of Postchemotherapy Cognitive Impairment.
Flanigan T.J., Anderson J.E., Elayan I., Allen A.R., and Ferguson S.A.
Toxicol Sci. 2018, 162: 462-474.
Neurodegenerative Markers are Increased in Postmortem BA21 Tissue from African Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ferguson S.A., Panos J.J., Sloper D., and Varma V.
J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2017, 59: 57-66.
Pre- and Postnatal Bisphenol A Treatment Does not Alter the Number of Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Positive Cells in the Anteroventral Periventricular Nucleus (AVPV) of Weanling Male and Female Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Paule M.G., and He Z.
Brain Res. 2015, 1624: 1-8.
Effects of Perinatal Methylphenidate Treatment on Postweaning Behaviors of Male and Female Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Law C.D., Sahin L., and Montenegro S.V.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015, 47: 125-136.
Developmental Treatment with Ethinyl Estradiol, but Not Bisphenol A, Causes Alterations in Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors in Male and Female Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Law C.D., and Kissling G.E.
Toxicol Sci. 2014, 140(2): 374-392.
A Review of Seasonal/Circannual Effects on Laboratory Rodent Behavior.
Ferguson S.A., and Maier K.L.
Physiol Behav. 2013, 119: 130-136.
A Pilot Study of Preemptive Morphine Analgesia in Preterm Neonates: Effects on Head Circumference, Social behavior, and Response Latencies in Early Childhood.
Ferguson S.A., Ward W.L., Paule M.G., Hall R.W., and Anand K.J.S.
Neurotox Teratol. 2012, 34(1): 47-55.
Developmental Treatment with Bisphenol A or Ethinyl Estradiol Causes Few Alterations on Early Preweaning Measures.
Ferguson S.A., Law C.D., and Abshire J.S.
Toxicol Sci. 2011, 124(1): 149-160.
Cocaine Responsiveness or Anhedonia in Rats Treated with Methylphenidate During Adolescence.
Ferguson S.A., and Boctor S.Y.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2010, 32(4): 432-442.
Female Mini-Pig Performance of Temporal Response Differentiation, Incremental Repeated Acquisition, and Progressive Ratio Operant Tasks.
Ferguson S.A., Gopee N.V., Paule M.G., and Howard P.C.
Behav Proc. 2009, 80(1): 28-34.
Neonatal PCP is More Potent than Ketamine at Modifying Preweaning Behaviors of Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Boctor S.Y., Wang C., and Ferguson S.A.
Toxicol Sci. 2008, 106(1): 172-179.
Oral Treatment with Accutane Does Not Increase Measures of Anhedonia or Depression in Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Cisneros F.J., Hanig J.P., and Berry K.J.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2007, 29(5): 642-651.
Steady-State Pharmacokinetics of Oral Treatment with 13-Cis-Retinoic Acid or All-Trans-Retinoic Acid in Male and Female Adult Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Siitonen P.H., Cisneros F.J., Gough B., and Young J.F.
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006, 98(6): 582-587.
Behavioral Effects of Prenatal Folate Deficiency in Mice.
Ferguson S.A., Berry K.J., Hansen D.K., Wall K.S., White G., and Antony A.C.
Birth Defects Res Part A Clin Mol Teratol. 2005, 73(4): 249-252.
Spatial Learning/Memory and Social & Nonsocial Behaviors in the Spontaneously Hypertensive, Wistar-Kyoto and Sprague-Dawley Rats Strains.
Ferguson S.A., and Cada A.M.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004, 77(3): 583-594.
Early Behavioral Development in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat: A Comparison with the Wistar-Kyoto and the Sprague-Dawley Strains.
Ferguson S.A., Gray E.P., and Cada A.M.
Behav Neurosci. 2003, 117(2): 263-270.
Effects of Lifelong Dietary Exposure to Genistein or Nonylphenol on Amphetamine-Stimulated Striatal Dopamine Release in Male and Female Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Flynn K.M., Delclos K.B., Newbold R.R., and Gough B.J.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2002, 24(1): 37-45.
Minimal Effects from Developmental Exposure to St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) in Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Cada A.M., Hansen D.K., LaBorde J.B., and Ferguson S.A.
Nutritional Neuroscience. 2001, 4(2): 135-141.
Acute Effects of Cocaine on Play Behavior of Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Frisby N.B., and Ali S.F.
Behav Pharmacol. 2000, 11(2): 175-179.
Gestational Stage-Specific Effects of Retinoic Acid Exposure in the Rat.
Holson R.R., Adams J., and Ferguson S.A.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1999, 21(4): 393-402.
Minimal Behavioral Effects from Moderate Postnatal Lead Treatment in Rats.
Ferguson S.A., Holson R.R., Gazzara R.A., and Siitonen P.H.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1997, 20(6): 637-643.
Progressive Ratio Performance Varies with Body Weight in Rats.
Ferguson S.A. and Paule M.G.
Behav Processes. 1997, 40(2): 177-182.
Contact information for all lab members:
Head of Neurochemistry Laboratory
Director, Bio-Imaging Lab
- Contact Information
- Sherry Ferguson
- (870) 543-7391