Research Faculty | Jonathan Lifshitz, Translational Neurotrauma Research

Jonathan LifshitzPhD, is the Director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program as a joint venture through Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Department of Child Health at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix, and Phoenix Veterans Administration Healthcare System. He received a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience from the University of Cal ifornia, Los Angeles and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. 

After NRSA-funded post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Commonwealth University, in 2007 he joined the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the University of Kentucky as an assistant professor in anatomy and neurobiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

In 2012, he was recruited to direct Translational Neurotrauma Research in Phoenix. The research program investigates traumatic brain injury, among other acute neurological injuries, as a series of events that dismantle circuits in the brain and in response repair those injured circuits. Unfortunately, repair occurs without the elegant sequence of events found in development and consequently disorganized circuits form. Disorganized circuits form the basis for neurological conditions associated with brain injury, such as sensory sensitivity, endocrine dysfunction, seizure susceptibility and balance incoordination. Ongoing investigations identify mechanisms (e.g. inflammation, synaptogenesis, neuropathology) and evaluate restorative and regenerative treatments to improve outcome.

His research is supported by federal extramural grants, institutional and philanthropic donations. He is an active member in the National Neurotrauma Society (past treasurer and chair of the strategic planning committee), Society for Pediatric Research and local Society for Neuroscience chapters.

He serves as a member of the Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) Service Scientific Merit Review Board of the VA, Scientific Board Member of The CACTIS Foundation, editorial board member for the journal Brain Injury, a counselor on the Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injury and Chair of the Scientific Board for the Johnny O. Foundation.


  • Endocrine dysfunction after TBI
  • Microglial and neuronal roles in circuit dismantling and reorganization
  • Pediatric TBI with a focus on post-traumatic seizure
  • Therapies targeted to reduce inflammation
  • Remote Ischemic Conditioning as a Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury


Funding Sources: 

National Institute of Health (NIH), Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation, Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Veterans Affairs.








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