Photo of Betsy M. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Betsy M. Ferguson Ph.D.

  •      (503) 346-5566
    • Associate Professor Oregon National Primate Research Center
    • Associate Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics School of Medicine
    • Director, ONPRC Japanese Macaque Resource
    • Director, ONPRC Primate Genetics Core Services
    • Molecular and Medical Genetics Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

Betsy Ferguson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Primate Genetics Section and Neuroscience Division of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and in the Molecular and Medical Genetics Department at OHSU. 

She uses genetic, epigenetic and genomic approaches to understand how risk for neurological diseases are established. She makes use of the similarity of diseases in both humans and monkeys to help identify genes that influence disease risk.

Dr. Ferguson believes that by finding the underlying genetic or epigenetic mechanisms, we will be able to develop more effective treatments for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Ferguson joined OHSU in 1995.

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Areas of interest

  • Epigenetics
  • Addiction Biology
  • Genomics


  • B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1981
  • Ph.D., University of Washington 1990


  • Cervera-Juanes, R., Wilhelm, L, Park, B, Lee, R, Locke, J, Gonzales, S, Wand, G, Jones, SR, Grant, KA and Ferguson, B. (2016) MAOA expression predicts vulnerability for alcohol use. Mol Psychiatry. (4):472-9. PMID: 26148813; PMC4705001.

  • Bimber, B.N., Raboin, M.J., Letaw, J., Nevonen, K.A., Spindel, J.E., McCouch, S.R., Cervera-Juanes, R., Spindel, E., Carbone, L., Ferguson, B., and Vinson, A. (2016) Whole genome characterization in pedigreed non-human primates using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and imputation.  BMC Genomics 17:676. PMID:27558348; PMC4997765

  • Cervera-Juanes, R., Wilhelm, L, Park, B, Grant, KA and Ferguson, B. (2017) Alcohol-dose-dependent DNA methylation and expression in the nucleus accumbens identifies coordinated regulation of synaptic genes. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jan 10;7(1):e994. PMID: 28072409

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