John Greenfield, MD, PhD (Moderator/Speaker)

University of Connecticut School of Medicine

L. John Greenfield Jr., M.D., Ph.D. is chair of the Department of Neurology at UConn Health in Farmington, CT, where he specializes in the care of patients with epilepsy.  His research involves the cellular and molecular mechanisms of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs.  He is board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology.  

Greenfield graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in New Haven, CT in 1980. He received his doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1988 and his medical degree at the school the following year. Greenfield completed residency training in neurology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1993 and then served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology during his NIH-funded K08 research training in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Macdonald. He also completed a fellowship in electroencephalography (EEG) and epilepsy during this time.

In 1999, Greenfield was recruited to the University of Toledo College of Medicine (then known as the Medical College of Ohio) as an assistant professor in the departments of Neurology and Pharmacology. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003, then to professor in both departments in 2009. He established an NIH-funded independent research laboratory there focusing on the regulation of inhibitory GABA-A receptor function by hypoxia and benzodiazepines.  He served as associate director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, vice chair for research in the Department of Neurology and as Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Training Program. In 2010, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, as Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  He assumed the Chair of Neurology position at UConn Health in 2016.    

Greenfield’s research focuses on the role of inhibitory neurotransmission in epilepsy and the mechanisms of antiepileptic drugs.  His NIH-funded research examined the mechanisms underlying a decrease in brain inhibitory neurotransmission that occurs after hypoxia, a decrease in oxygen level associated with conditions such as cardiopulmonary arrest, stroke, acute lung disease and high altitudes.  He and his collaborators are also studying ways to enhance inhibition in the brain to stop seizures, using drugs and endogenous brain chemicals that act at cannabinoid receptors.  More recently, he has begun to examine the role of high frequency EEG signals as a biomarker of epilepsy using a high-density scalp EEG recording system. Additional research interests include driving and epilepsy, seizure semiology, and burnout among academic physicians.

Greenfield is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, and the American Epilepsy Society, and serves as a councilor of the Association of University Professors of Neurology.  He was a charter member of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section (2009-2015), and serves on advocacy committee of the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the board of directors of the American Brain Coalition.