Dr Timothy Bredy

Associate Professor

Queensland Brain Institute
t.bredy@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 33005

Overview

Originally from Halifax, Canada, I completed a B.Sc. (Hon) in Experimental Psychology with Dr. Richard Brown at Dalhousie University. In 1999, I moved to Montreal to work with Dr. Michael Meaney and, in 2004, earned a Ph.D. in Neurological Sciences from McGill University. For my thesis, I examined gene-environment interactions and the influence of early life experience on cognitive development. From 2005 through 2009, I was awarded FRSQ, NSERC and CIHR research fellowships to pursue postdoctoral training at the University of California (Los Angeles). I worked with two very talented researchers at UCLA: Dr. Mark Barad, a psychiatrist with significant expertise in fear-related anxiety disorders and their treatment, and Dr. Yi Sun, a leader in the emerging field of epigenetics and stem cell biology. During my time at UCLA, I initiated collaboration for cross-disciplinary studies in epigenetics with Dr. Michael Kobor at the University of British Columbia, and studies in drug addiction with Dr. Tod Kippin at UCSB. In August 2009, I established the Psychiatric Epigenomics Laboratory at QBI.

The main aim of our research is to understand how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to the formation and maintenance of long-term memories, particularly within the context of psychiatric disorders such as phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the addictions. More generally speaking, we are interested in elucidating how the genome is connected to the environment, and how this relationship shapes brain and behaviour across the lifespan. Embedded within the chromatin environment, directly at the interface between intracellular signaling and DNA within the nucleosome, epigenetic mechanisms including histone modifications, DNA methylation and non-coding RNA’s represent an attractive foundation for experience-dependent, long-lasting changes in gene expression, cellular function and behaviour. In contrast to the information conveyed by a static genome, the epigenome is very dynamic and can be modified by exposure to a variety of environmental stimuli including a variety of learning paradigms, exposure to drugs of abuse, environmental toxins, dietary factors, and social interaction. For example, we have recently discovered that fear-related learning is associated with epigenetic modification of genes within the prefrontal cortex. The acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear lead to distinct patterns of histone acetylation around the P4 promoter of the gene encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (Bredy et al., 2007). We have also shown that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, when administered during spaced extinction training, enhance long-term extinction memory and prevent renewal of conditioned fear (Bredy et al., 2008), evidence which suggests that the epigenome may represent a therapeutic epigenomic point of intervention for the treatment of fear-related anxiety disorders.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Neurological Sciences, McGill University

Publications

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Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Marshall, P. R. and Bredy, T. W. (2017). What does the future hold for the study of nucleic acid modifications in the brain?. In DNA modifications in the brain (pp. 149-159) New York, NY, United States: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801596-4.00009-5

  • Bagot, Rose, Parent, Carine, Bredy, Timothy W., Zhang Tieyuan, Grattan, Alain and Meaney, Michael J. (2007). Developmental origins of neurobiological vulnerability for PTSD.. In Laurence J. Kirmayer, Robert Lemelson and Mark Barad (Ed.), Understanding trauma : Integrating biological, clinical, and cultural perspectives (pp. 98-117) Cambridge, England, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511500008.009

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Widagdo, J., Zhao, Q. -Y., Anggono, V. and Bredy, T. (2015). Activity-dependent RNA methylation in learning and memory. In: Special Issue: 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Cairns, QLD Australia, (118-118). 23-27 August 2015. doi:10.1111/jnc.13188

  • Mitchnick, K., Wei, W., Creighton, S., Kalisch, B., Bredy, T. and Winters, B. (2015). Dissociable roles of GADD45A/B in the rat perirhinal cortex and hippocampus for object memory: different forms of dna methylation?. In: Special Issue: 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Cairns, QLD Australia, (115-115). 23-27 August 2015. doi:10.1111/jnc.13188

  • Bredy, T., Widagdo, J. and Zhao, Q.-Y. (2015). Epitranscriptomic mechanisms of memory stability. In: Special Issue: 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Cairns, QLD Australia, (29-29). 23-27 August 2015. doi:10.1111/jnc.13185

  • Ratnu, V., Li, X., Emami, M., Zhao, Q. -Y. and Bredy, T. (2015). Exploring the role of histone demethylase, UTX, in mediating sex differences in fear-related learning and memory. In: Special Issue: 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Cairns, QLD Australia, (116-116). 23-27 August 2015. doi:10.1111/jnc.13188

  • Fish, Eric W., Shahrokh, Dara, Bagot, Rose, Caldji, Christian, Bredy, Timothy W., Szyf, Moshe and Meaney, Michael J. (2004). Epigenetic programming of stress responses through variations in maternal care. In: John Devine, James Gilligan, Klaus A. Miczek, Rashid Shaikh and Donald Pfaff, Youth Violence: Scientific Approaches to Prevention. Conference on Scientific Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention, New York, United States, (167-180). 24-26 April 2004. doi:10.1196/annals.1330.011

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors: