Faculty & Staff bios

Stephen O'Barr, BS, PhD

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy

E-Mail: sobarr@westernu.edu

Phone: 909-469-5643

Join year: 1999


BS - Biochemistry/Cellular Biology 1992
University of California, San Diego, John Muir College

Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology 1997
Arizona State University, Tempe


Research Interest

My group studies the roll of inflammation in acute and chronic conditions. We have developed a zebrafish model of heart failure to study the “smoker’s paradox”. With this model, we screen alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonists to determine their anti-inflammatory effects in heart failure, and their potential as therapeutic candidates. In collaboration with clinical faculty, we identify and study biomarkers important for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. We also research the effect of E-cigarette vapor on inflammatory changes in oral and cardiovascular disease.

Scientific Meeting Presentations

Molina MS, Gamboa A, Souza Lima V, Cameron DJ, O’Barr SA; Nicotine-containing e-cigarette exposure influences the inflammatory response in an animal model of heart failure. J. Immunol. 196: 059.16, 2016.

Molina M, Gogineni H, Ferry L, O’Barr SA; Attitudes and beliefs about electronic cigarettes among various heathcare professional graduate students. Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting, 2016.

Chow SL; Krum H; O’Barr SA; Zile M; Carson P; Komajda M; McMurray J; Anand I. Markers of extracellular matrix turnover and risk of death in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: results from I-Preserve. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(10_S).

Molina, MS, Rietdorf, ED, Cameron DJ, Chow S, O’Barr SA, Nicotine and Varenicline Improve Survival in an Animal Model of Heart Failure. Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting, 2015.


Chen S, Wang Z, Huang Y, O'Barr S, Wong RA, Yeung S, Chow MSS . Ginseng and anticancer drug combination to improve cancer chemotherapy ----a critical review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

DiVall MV, Hayney MS,  Marsh W, Neville MW, O'Barr SA, Sheets ED, Calhoun LD. Perception of the students, faculty, and administrators on the use of technology in the classroom.  Am J Pharm Educ. 2013 May 13;77(4):75.

Wu-Pong S, O’Barr SA, Gobburu J, Shah K, Huber J, Weiner D.  The Future of the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Graduate Education.  Recommendations from the AACP Graduate Education Special Interest Group. Am J Pharm Educ. 2013 May 13;77(4):S2.

Chow SL, O'Barr SA, Peng J, Chew E, Pak F, Quist R, Patel P, Patterson JH, Heywood JT.Modulation of Novel Cardiorenal and Inflammatory Biomarkers by Intravenous Nitroglycerin and Nesiritide in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: An Exploratory Study. Circ Heart Fail. 2011 May 16.

Chow SL, O'Barr SA, Peng J, Chew E, Pak F, Quist R, Patel P, Patterson JH, Heywood JT. Renal function and neurohormonal changes following intravenous infusions of nitroglycerin versus nesiritide in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. J Card Fail. 2011 Mar;17(3):181-7. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

O'Barr SA, Oh JS, Ma C, Brent GA, Schultz JJ. Thyroid hormone regulates endogenous amyloid-beta precursor protein gene expression and processing in both in vitro and in vivo models.Thyroid. 2006 Dec;16(12):1207-13.
O'Barr SA, Caguioa J, Gruol D, Perkins G, Ember JA, Hugli T, Cooper NR "Neuronal expression of a functional receptor for the C5a complement activation fragment." J Immunol 166(6):4154-62 (2001)

O'Barr, S., Cooper, N.R. "Complement C5a increases IL-1ß and IL-6 release from Amyloid ß-primed THP-1 cells." J. Neuroimmunology 109(2):87-94 (2000)

Cooper, N.R., Bradt, B.M., O'Barr, S., Yu, J.X. "Focal Inflammation in the Brain: Role in Alzheimers Disease." Immunologic Research 21(2-3):159-165 (2000)

Rogers, J. and O'Barr, S. "Inflammatory mediators in Alzheimer's disease". In: Molecular Mechanisms of Dementia; Editors: W. Wasco & R.E. Tanzi, Humana Press Inc., Totowa N.J. pp 177-198 (1997)