Kevin G Bath, PhD

Kevin G Bath, PhD

Research Interest

Research Summary

Toxic stress encountered early in life contributes to an elevated lifetime risk for a broad range of negative outcomes including depression, anxiety, PTSD, cognitive dysfunction, and attentional problems. However, the mechanisms through which stress increases risk for negative outcomes remains poorly understood. The focus of my lab is to understand how adverse experiences encountered early in life alter the trajectory of neural and behavioral development and the genetic mechanisms supporting those changes. We approach these questions through both an evolutionary and developmental lens, with the hypothesis that stress serves as a signal of the quality of the surrounding world for the developing brain. This signal drives changes in the timing of regional brain development to support proximate goals of survival and reproduction, with long-term implications for the expression of pathological behavior. To this end, the lab induces stress in developing mice through manipulation of maternal resources and focuses on the development of multiple brain centers, including the social behavioral network, limbic, paralimbic, and cortical brain areas, and behaviors associated with the development of each. Throughout this work we use an interdisciplinary and vertically integrated approach spanning from genes to behavior and collaborate heavily with researchers focused on studying the impact of various form of stress on neurodevelopment in human populations. 

Manzano Nieves, G., Bravo, M., Baskoylu, S., and Bath, K.G. (2020). Early life adversity decreases pre-adolescent fear expression by accelerating amygdala PV cell development. eLife.

Demaestri, C., Pan, T., Critz, M., Ofray, D., Gallo, M., and Bath, K.G. (2020). Type of early life adversity confers differential risk for effects on timing of early maturational milestones in mice that are sex dependent. Hormones and Behavior.

Bath, K.G. (2020). Synthesizing views to understand sex differences in response to early life adversity. Trends in Neurosciences. 45(3): 300-310. PMCID:PMC7195459.

Goodwill, H., Manzano-Nieves, G.*, Li, X., Serre, T., Lee, H.I., and Bath, K.G. (2019). Early life stress leads to sex differences in development of depressive-like outcomes in a mouse model. Neuropsychopharmacology. 44(4):711-720. PMCID:PMC6372611.

Goodwill, H.L., Manzano-Nieves, G., LaChance, P., Teramoto, S., Lin, S., Lopez, C., Stevenson, R.J., Theyel, B.B., Moore, C.I., Connors, B.W., and Bath, K.G. (2018). Early life stress drives sex selective impairments in reversal learning through effects on parvalbumin neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex of mice. Cell Reports. 25(9):2299-2307. PMCID:PMC6310486.

Bath, K.G., Manzano-Nieves, G. & Goodwill, H. (2016).  Early life stress accelerates neural and behavioral maturation of the hippocampus in male mice. Hormones and Behavior. 82:64-71. PMCID:PMC5308418.

Bath, K.G., Schilit Nitenson, A., Lopez, C., Lichtman, E., Chen, W., Gallo, M., Goodwill, H., and Manzano-Nieves, G. (2017). Early life stress leads to developmental and sex selective effects on performance in a novel object placement task. Neurobiology of Stress. 24:57-67. PMCID:PMC5408156.

  • Impact of early life adversity on neurodevelopmental trajectories, adaptation, and risk for pathology.
  • Animal models of brain and behavioral development.
  • Sex differences in response to adversity. 
  • Integrated multidisciplinary approach spanning from genes to behavior.