Kennie Raviie Shepherd, Ph.D.

Kennie Raviie Shepherd, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Location: Research Wing Room 309 & LAB Research Wing Room 327
Phone: 404-756-5732


Emory University
Fellowship: Rollins School of Public Health and Center for Neurodegenerative Disease

St. Jude Children’s’ Research Hospital
Fellowship: Department of Developmental Neurobiology

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Toxicology

Albany State University
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology/Science Education

Research Interests

Laboratory of Neurotoxicology/Neuropharmacology

Topics of investigation include:
1). Mechanism(s) of neurotoxicity elicited by pesticides, industrial agents, drugs of abuse and the Parkinson’s inducing agent 1-methyl-4-phenyl,1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP).

2).The role of Genetic and Environmental interactions in neurodegenerative disease:
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.  The mean age of onset is 60. PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by resting tremor, rigidity, slowness in executing body movements and postural instability, which result from the progressive loss of dopamine (DA) producing neurons in the substantia nigra.  Symptoms appear when 80% of dopamine producing cells is no longer functioning or lost. To date, there is no cure for PD, and the cause is unknown.   Although the primary cause of PD is unknown, both environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute to PD pathogenesis.  Pesticide exposure, rural living, farming, well water drinking, metals, diet, head trauma, and infections have been proposed as potential risk factors.  The lab is interested in how the combination of exposure to environmental chemicals and altered genetic expression may influence neurodegeneration as seen in Parkinson’s disease as well as in Alzheimer’s disease. 

3). Pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurological disorders.

4).Molecular, Cellular, and Neurochemical signals controlling neurodegeneration

5). Neuronal Survival, protection and Cell Death

6). Neurochemical and molecular pathways involved in memory, cognition, and depression