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Alasdair Barr

Primary Area of Research:
Brain, Behaviour & Development
Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Phone:604-875-2000 ext. 4728
Mailing Address:
BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
Room A3- 125 
950 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4


Research Areas

  • Schizophrenia/Psychosis

  • Depression 

  • Animal models 

  • Biological mechanisms

  • Brain morphology

  • Clinical trials

  • Cognition

  • Drug development

  • Drug dosing

  • Drug side-effects 

  • Neuropsychiatry/ Neuropsychology

  • Neurotransmitters

  • Psychostimulants

About Dr. Barr

The central focus of my research is mental health and addictions, with a particular emphasis on psychosis and the medications used in its treatment. My research program is based on a multidisciplinary and translational approach that spans from "bench to bedside," as I maintain strong and highly productive research programs in both clinical and related preclinical research.

Working in collaboration with some of Canada's finest researchers, I study "psychosis" from three different perspectives. These include idiopathic schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, psychostimulant drug-induced psychosis and (most recently) the post-operative delirium that occurs following cardiac surgery. Despite different etiologies and patient populations, these three conditions share many similarities in terms of symptoms and treatment, and all can be studied in a translational manner.

Recent Publications

View Dr. Barr's recent publications on ORCID

Selected Publications

Exercise prevents downregulation of hippocampal presynaptic proteins following olanzapine-elicited metabolic dysregulation in rats: distinct roles of inhibitory and excitatory terminals. Ramos-Miguel A, Honer WG, Boyda HN, Sawada K, Beasley CL, Procyshyn RM, Barr AM. Neuroscience. 2015 Aug 20;301:298-311. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.06.022. Epub 2015 Jun 16.PMID: 26086543

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome: a review from a clinically oriented perspective. Tse L; Barr AM; Vila-Rodriguez F.  Curr Neuropharmacol. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015;13(3):395-406.PMID: 26411967

Paliperidone Palmitate Long-Acting Injectable Given Intramuscularly in the Deltoid Versus the Gluteal Muscle: Are They Therapeutically Equivalent? Yin J, Collier AC, Barr AM, Honer WG, Procyshyn RM.J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2015 Aug;35(4):447-9. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000000361. Review.PMID: 26061612

Development of a cost-efficient novel method for rapid, concurrent genotyping of 5 common single nucleotide polymorphisms of the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene by Tetra-Primer Amplification Refractory System. Wang CK, Xu M, Ross CJ, Lo R, Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F, White RF, Honer WG, Barr AM. Int J Meth Psychiatr Res. In Press

Treatment of clozapine-associated weight gain: a systematic review. Whitney Z, Procyshyn RM, Fredrikson DH, Barr AM. (2015).  Eur J Clin Pharmacol.71:389-401. PMID: 25627831

Effects of sub-chronic clozapine and haloperidol administration on oxidative stress in rat serum, liver and brain. Andreazza AC; Barakauskas VE, Fazeli S; Feresten A; Shao L; Wei V; Wu CH; Ypsilanti A; Barr AM; Beasley CL. (2015).  Neurosci Lett. 591:36-40.

Response trajectories to clozapine in a secondary analysis of pivotal trials support using treatment response to subtype schizophrenia. Honer WG, Jones AA, Thornton AE, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F (2015).  Can J Psychiatry. 60:19-25. PMID: 25886676

Therapeutic drug levels of second generation antipsychotics in youth: a systematic review. Whitney Z, Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Elbe D, Black T, Eslami A, Barr AM. (2015). J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 25:234-245. PMID: 25803501

Postoperative delirium in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement: A historical cohort study. Tse L, Bowering JB, Schwarz SKB, Moore RL, Burns KD, Barr AM. (2015). Can J Anesth. 62:22-30. PMID: 25644851

 Incidence and risk factors for impaired mobility in older cardiac surgery patients during the early postoperative period. Tse L, Bowering JB, Schwarz SKW, Moore RL, Sztramko R, Barr AM. (2015). Geriatr Gerontol Int. 15:276-281. PMID: 24617507

Drugs of abuse. In Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs (ed J Jeffries) 19th edition. Barr AM (2015).

Increased SNARE Protein-Protein Interactions in Schizophrenia Orbitofrontal Cortex. Ramos-Miguel A, Beasley CL, Dwork AJ, Mann J, Rosoklija G, Barr AM, Honer WG. (2014). Biol Psychiatry.

Neurocognitive profiles of marginally housed persons with comorbid substance dependence, viral infection and psychiatric illness. Gicas KM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Paquet K, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Lang DJ, Montaner JS, Kradjen M,  Krausz M, MacEwan GW, Smith GN, Panenka WJ, Honer WG, Thornton AE (2014).  J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 36:1009-1022. PMID: 25380059

Cardiovascular effects of acute treatment with the antipsychotic drug olanzapine in rats. Leung JYT, Pang CCY, Procyshyn RM, Barr AM. (2014).  Vascul Pharmacol. 62:143-149. PMID: 24969105

Improving metabolic and cardiovascular health at an early psychosis intervention program Fredrikson DH, Boyda HN, Tse L, Whitney Z, Pattison MA, Ott FJ, Hansen L, Barr AM. (2014).  in Vancouver, Canada. Front Psychiatry. PMID: 25249985

An evaluation of the effects of the novel antipsychotic drug lurasidone on glucose tolerance and insulin resistance: a comparison with olanzapine. Wu C, Yuen J, Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Wang CK, Asiri YI, Pang CCY, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014).  PLoS One. PMID: 25254366

Managing ADHD and disruptive behaviour disorders with combination psychostimulant and antipsychotic treatment. Elbe D, Barr AM, Honer WG, Procyshyn RM. (2014).  J Psychiatry Neurosci. 39:E 32-33. PMID: 24758945

Prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic use in youth at the time of admission and discharge from an inpatient psychiatric facility. Procyshyn RM, Su J, Elbe D, Liu AY, Panenka WJ, Davidson J, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014).  J Clin Psychopharmacol. 34:17-22. PMID: 24346744

Clozapine administered once versus twice daily: Does it make a difference? Procyshyn RM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014).  Med Hypotheses. 82:225-228.PMID: 24360486

Antidiabetic-drug combination treatment for glucose intolerance in adult female rats treated acutely with olanzapine. Boyda HN, Procyshyn RM, Asiri Y, Wu C, Wang CK, Lo R, Pang CC, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014).  Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 48:170-176. PMID: 24140931

Routine exercise ameliorates the metabolic side effects of treatment with the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine in rats. Boyda HN, Ramos-Miguel A, Procyshyn RM, Töpfer E, Lant N, Choy HH, Wong R, Li L, Pang CC, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014).  Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 17:77-90. PMID: 23953063

 Pharmacological treatment of antipsychotic-induced dyslipidemia and hypertension. Tse L, Procyshyn RM, Fredrikson DH, Boyda HN, Honer WG, Barr AM. (2014). Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 29:125-137. PMID: 24169026

Symptom changes in five dimensions of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in refractory psychosis. Woodward TS, Jung K, Smith GN , Hwang H, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Flynn SW, van der Gaag M, Honer WG (2014).  Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 264:673-682. PMID: 24126470

Insomnia. In Patient Self-Care (ed C Repchinsky), 1st editiion. Procyshyn RM & Barr AM (2014). 33-42.

Depression. In Patient Self-Care (ed C Repchinsky), 1st editiion. Procyshyn RM & Barr AM (2014). 43-50.

 The hotel study: multimorbidity in a community sample living in marginal housing. Vila-Rodriguez F, Panenka WJ, Lang DJ, Thornton AE, Vertinsky T, Wong H, Barr AM, Procyshyn RM, Sidhu JJ, Smith GN, Buchanan T, Krajden M, Krausz M, Montaner JS, MacEwan GW, Honer WG. (2013).Am J Psychiatry. 170:1413-1422.PMID: 23929175

Much of late life cognitive decline is not due to common neurodegenerative pathologies. Boyle PA, Wilson RS, Yu L, Barr AM, Honer WG, Schneider JA, Bennett DA. (2013). Ann Neurol. 74:478-489. PMID: 23798485

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