Michael C. Golding

Associate Professor

Phone: (979) 862-1332
Email: [email protected]

Research and Scholarly Interests

Within the department, I serve as the lead instructor for two courses covering human embryology and the physiological events of pregnancy. My research is focused at the interface between pregnancy and epigenetics, trying to understand how environmental exposures before conception or early in development cause disease later in life. My lab works in the area of research known as Developmental Programming, which seeks to better understand the biochemical mechanisms by which chromatin structure is altered during development and how these epigenetic changes cause birth defects and disease.

About Me

Focus Areas

Research

Teaching

Trainees

Publications

  • BSc in Honors Genetics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario Canada, 1996 – 2000
  • Ph.D. in Veterinary Physiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas USA, 2000 – 2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Cold Spring Harbour, New York USA, 2004 – 2006
  • Canadian Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario Canada, 2006 – 2009

I am a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology at Texas A&M University. Here, I serve as the director of two courses studying human embryology and the physiological events of pregnancy. I am an associate editor for the scientific journal Environmental Epigenetics and have served on multiple NIH, NSF, and CIHR study sections examining epigenetics and developmental programming. My research program is focused on defining biochemical mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance, determining how these processes are influenced by exposure to toxicants, and the capacity of these heritable changes to cause birth defects and disease, and contribute to the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Currently, we are focused on understanding how male drinking, prior to conception, contributes to the development of alcohol-induced birth defects and disease. [https://research.tamu.edu/2019/10/21/fathering-a-child-dont-drink/]

My former trainees have successfully transitioned to the next phase of their careers and taken positions at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Washington, the University of California Irvine, or have successfully obtained employment at Epizyme pharmaceuticals and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Due to my research’s multidisciplinary nature, I accept Ph.D. trainees from the Biomedical Sciences, Genetics, and Toxicology programs.

Current Funding

NIH – National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse – R01AA028219 Heritable epigenetic effects of Paternal alcohol use on FASD phenotypes (2020 – 2025)

Medical Research Grant – W.M. Keck Foundation – Paternal contributions to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: questioning the prevailing paradigm. (2019 – 2023)

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Reproductive and Developmental Biology
  • Toxicology

My long-term objective is to understand the mechanisms that control chromatin structure within the developing embryo and determine how environmental exposures, either before conception or during gestation, cause birth defects and disease. As a model, my laboratory studies the growth defects associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and how the cellular memory of alcohol exposures, either before conception or during gestation, influences the growth and development of the offspring.

Our studies have demonstrated lineage-specific sensitivities to ethanol-induced alterations in histone structure, and that multiple embryonic cell types are susceptible to alcohol-induced perturbation of the histone code (Veazey et al., 2013). We have conducted basic research into the transcriptional consequences of alcohol exposure in vitro and identified a significant correlation between altered histone structure and alcohol-induced central nervous system birth defects in vivo (Veazey et al., 2015, Veazey et al., 2017). In late 2014, I began examining the epigenetic impact of preconception paternal alcohol exposures on offspring development. Using a mouse model, studies from my lab have identified fetal growth restriction and long-term alterations in the metabolic health of offspring sired by alcohol-exposed males (Chang et al., 2017; Chang et al., 2019a; Bedi et al., 2019 and Chang et al., 2019b). Our current research is aimed at trying to decipher the mechanisms by which these epigenetic errors arise and are transmitted to the offspring.

Chang RC, Thomas KN, Bedi YS, Golding MC. Programmed increases in LXRα induced by paternal alcohol use enhance offspring metabolic adaptation to high-fat diet-induced obesity. Mol Metab. 2019;30:161–172. PubMed ID: 31767168. PMCID: PMC6807343.

Bedi Y, Chang RC, Gibbs R, Clement TM, Golding MC. Alterations in sperm-inherited noncoding RNAs associate with late-term fetal growth restriction induced by preconception paternal alcohol use. Reproductive Toxicology. 2019 Apr 30;87:11-20. PubMed ID: 31051257. PMCID: PMC6783280

Chang RC, Wang H, Bedi Y, Golding MC. Preconception paternal alcohol exposure exerts sex-specific effects on offspring growth and long-term metabolic programming. Epigenetics & Chromatin. 2019 Jan 22;12(1):9. PubMed ID: 30670059. PMC6341619

Chang RC, Skiles WM, Chronister SS, Wang H, Sutton GI, Bedi YS, Snyder M, Long CR, Golding MC. DNA methylation-independent growth restriction and altered developmental programming in a mouse model of preconception male alcohol exposure. Epigenetics. 2017;12(10):841-853. PubMed PMID: 28816587; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5788439.

Veazey KJ, Wang H, Bedi YS, Skiles WM, Chang RC, Golding MC. Disconnect between alcohol-induced alterations in chromatin structure and gene transcription in a mouse embryonic stem cell model of exposure. Alcohol. 2017 May;60:121-133. PubMed PMID: 28433419; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5484046.

Veazey KJ, Parnell SE, Miranda RC, Golding MC. Dose-dependent alcohol-induced alterations in chromatin structure persist beyond the window of exposure and correlate with fetal alcohol syndrome birth defects. Epigenetics Chromatin. 2015;8:39. PubMed PMID: 26421061; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4587584.

Veazey KJ, Carnahan MN, Muller D, Miranda RC, Golding MC. Alcohol-induced epigenetic alterations to developmentally crucial genes regulating neural stemness and differentiation. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Jul;37(7):1111-22. PubMed PMID: 23488822; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3688681.

Current Funding

NIH – National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse – R01AA028219 Heritable epigenetic effects of Paternal alcohol use on FASD phenotypes (2020 – 2025)

Medical Research Grant – W.M. Keck Foundation – Paternal contributions to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: questioning the prevailing paradigm. (2019 – 2023)

Past Funding (last 5 years)

NIH – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – P30 ES023512 (2017-2018)

NIH – National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse – 1R21AA022484 (2014–2016)

My undergraduate and graduate courses explore the physiological processes of pregnancy with a special emphasis on the formation of the body plan, the endocrine control growth and parturition, and the development of birth defects. These courses provide a framework upon which to build a basic understanding of the physiology of pregnancy and several developmental disorders that arise due to biomedical miss-regulation or environmental exposures.

Michael C. Golding is accepting trainees of these groups:

  • Graduate Students
  • Non-Thesis Masters
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Undergraduate Scholars

The Golding Lab accepts trainees from the Biomedical Sciences (BIMS), Genetics (GENE), and Toxicology (TOXI) programs.

Golding Lab Members

Katherine (Katie) Zimmel Research Associate – is the manager of the Golding lab. Originally from Houston, Texas, Katie graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Katie has advanced histology and medical imaging expertise and directs research projects examining embryonic patterning defects induced by either preconception or early life exposures.

 

 

Current Trainees

Yudishtar Bedi MSc. – Originally from New Deli, India, Yudi received his Master’s from the University of Southern California, where his work focused on peroxisome biogenesis. He is currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Golding, where his research focuses on chromatin looping in the placenta and the molecular basis of the fetal growth restriction observed in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
Alexis Roach, MSc. is originally from Wellborn, Texas, and received her Master’s degree from Texas A&M University, where her work focused on the application of assisted reproductive technologies to livestock production. After working in the bovine IVF industry, Alexis is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Dr. Golding’s lab. Her research focuses on defining the interactions between alcohol consumption, the microbiomes of the GI and male reproductive tract, and paternally-inherited alterations in developmental programming.
Kara Thomas – is originally from Goliad, Texas, and has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University. Kara’s Ph.D. research focuses on determining how alcohol-induced alterations in the paternally-inherited epigenetic program interact with maternal alcohol exposures to compromise the health and development of the placenta.
Dr. Nicole Mehta, MSc. Ph.D. is originally from Beaverton, Oregon, where she attended the University of Oregon. Nicole received both her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Texas A&M University, where her research focused on regenerative medicine and cardiomyocyte differentiation. Nicole’s current projects focus on epigenetic changes influencing cardiovascular development and the contribution of preconception or early life alcohol exposures to the development of congenital heart defects.

Alumni

Dr. Richard Cheng-An Chang, MS.c, Ph.D. – Originally from Kaohsiung Taiwan, Richard received his Master’s degree from National Yang-Ming University, where his work focused on the molecular pathways leading to obesity. Richard’s Ph.D. dissertation in the Golding lab focused on alcohol-induced alterations in sperm-inherited epigenetic programming and the long-term impact on offspring metabolism. Richard is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California Irvine.
Dr. William M. Skiles, Ph.D. – Originally from Dallas, Texas, Will’s research focused on elucidating the effects both ethanol and oxidative stress have on developmental programming. His research primarily focused on examining alterations in DNA methylation using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic methodologies.
Haiqing Wang, MSc. – Haiqing came to Texas A&M from Wuhan University in China. Her research focused on understanding the physiological basis of the growth restriction phenotypes and placental defects observed in mouse models of fetal alcohol syndrome. Haiqing is now entering the Ph.D. program in Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University.
Sarah S. Chronister, MSc. – Originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas, Sarah came to Texas A&M after graduating from Hendrix College. He project focused on understanding the impact of paternal alcoholism on fetal growth and development. Sarah is now a medical technician at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Daria Muller, MSc. – Daria came to Texas A&M from Sacramento, California. Her research focused on understanding the impact environmental toxicants have on neural stem cell development and the transcriptional regulation of thyroid hormone-responsive genes. Daria is now a research analyst for Proove Biosciences in California.
Dr. Kylee J. Veazey, Ph.D. – Originally from Amarillo, Texas, and a graduate of Texas A&M University, Kylee’s research project focused on understanding the effects alcohol has on the transcriptional control of gene expression during embryonic development. Her research was among the first to identify alcohol-induced changes to chromatin structure. After a successful postdoctoral fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Kylee is now an Oncology Medical Science Liaison at Epizyme pharmaceuticals, specializing in epigenetic-based chemotherapeutics.