John “Travis” Parsons, PhD

John Travis Parsons, PhD

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

University of Florida
College of Medicine
Department of Anesthesiology
1600 SW Archer Road
PO Box 100254
Gainesville, Florida 32610-0254

Office Phone

(352) 294-5086


Administrative Assistant 

Antoinette Noel
Phone: (352) 273-8952


Dr. Parsons joined the Department of Anesthesiology in October, 2016, as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Research. He received his BS from the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech) in Blacksburg, VA and remains a devoted VA Tech Hokie. He earned his PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. His post-doctoral training was in the neuroscience laboratories in the Department of Neurology at VCU. His first appointment was as a Research Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology (2006-2010) and most recently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery (2010-2016), both at VCU. He was also a fellow of the VCU Reanimation Engineering Science Center and the Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research. Dr. Parsons has a strong track record as PI and/or COI on Department of Defense and Office of Naval Research Combat Casualty Care focused research grants.


Research Interests

  • Traumatic brain injury associated with repetitive blast exposure
  • Post traumatic epilepsy, status epilepticus, and epileptogenesis
  • Predicting decompression illness outcomes based on retinal vasculature bubble load dynamics
  • Continuum of care for polytrauma from the far forward battlefield to definitive treatment care facilities
  • Precision trauma care medicine
  • Deregulation of neuronal intracellular calcium homeostasis in trauma and diseases of the brain
  • Perfluorocarbon oxygen therapeutics for the intervention and treatment of trauma and diseases of the brain



1998-2005 Post-Doc Fellow Dept. of Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
1997 PhD Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
1992 BS Biochemistry Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA


Awards and Honors

2017, May Second Place of 66 entries. Retinal Angiography: A Non-Invasive, Real-Time Triage Tool For Assessment Of Individual Outcome And Survivability Associated With A Rapid Decompression Emergency Scenario.  Annual Celebration of Research Day, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
2013, June Second Place of 74 entries.  Poster Presentation.  Effects of Oxygent perfluorocarbon therapy on alpha II spectrin biomarker of brain damage and cognitive outcome associated with repetitive air blast traumatic brain injury. Resident Research Day, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
2008, June Best Trainee Oral Presentation. High Resolution Retinal Angiography: A Novel, Non-Invasive Procedure for the Real Time Visual Assessment of Bubble Formation/Resolution in a Sheep Model of Severe Cardiopulmonary Decompression Illness.  Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.
2005, Nov Post-Doctoral Travel Award, 35th Annual Meeting, Society for Neuroscience, Washington D.C.  Inhibition of Endoplasmic Reticulum Mg2+/Ca2+ ATPase Mediated Ca2+ Uptake in Cerebellum but not Brainstem, Inferior, or Superior Colliculi in the Gunn Rat Model of Chronic Bilirubin Encephalopathy.
2005, May Third Place of 18 entries.  Poster/Slide Presentation and Competition.  Status Epilepticus Induced Inhibition of Neuronal Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium Sequestration.  Virginia Academy of Sciences, Medical Sciences Subsection, Harrisonburg, VA.


Selected Publications

  • Leonard, K., Zhu J., McCarter, J.R., Hallman, M., Flores, K., Thummala, S.K., Spiess, B.D., Parsons, J.T.  The Effect of Perfluorocarbon Oxygen Therapeutics on Rodent Behavior and Biomarkers of Neuronal Damage in a Model of Repetitive Air Blast Traumatic Brain Injury.  Frontiers of Neuroscience.  In Preparation.
  • Smith C.R., Parsons J.T., Zhu J., Spiess B.D.  The Effect of Intravenous Perfluorocarbon Emulsions on Whole-Body Oxygenation After Severe Decompression Sickness.  Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine.  42: 10-17, 2012.
  • Parsons, J.T., Smith, C.R., Zhu, J., Spiess, B.D.  Retinal Angiography: Noninvasive, Real-Time Bubble Assessment from the Ocular Fundus.  Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.  36: 169-181, 2009.
  • Kurz, J.E., Parsons, J.T., Rana, A., Gibson, C.J., Hamm, R.J., Churn, S.B.  A Significant Increase in Both Basal and Maximal Calcineurin Activity Following Fluid Percussion Injury in the Rat.  Journal of Neurotrauma.  22: 476-490, 2005.
  • Parsons, J.T., Sun, D.A., DeLorenzo, R.J., Churn, S.B.  Neuronal-Specific Endoplasmic Reticulum Mg2+/Ca2+ ATPase Ca2+ Sequestration in Mixed Primary Hippocampal Culture Homogenates.  Analytical Biochemistry.  330:130-139, 2004.
  • Parsons, J.T., Churn, S.B., DeLorenzo, R.J.  Chronic Inhibition of Cortex Microsomal Mg2+/Ca2+ ATPase-Mediated Ca2+ Uptake in the Rat Pilocarpine Model Following Epileptogenesis.  Journal of Neurochemistry. 79:319-327, 2001.
  • Parsons, J.T., Churn, S.B., Kochan, L.D., DeLorenzo, R.J.  Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus Causes N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptor-Dependent Inhibition of Microsomal Mg2+/Ca2+ ATPase-Mediated Ca2+ Uptake.  Journal of Neurochemistry.  75:1209-1218, 2000.
  • Parsons, J.T., Churn, S.B., DeLorenzo, R.J.  Global Ischemia-Induced Inhibition of the  Coupling Ratio of Calcium Uptake and ATP Hydrolysis by Rat Whole Brain Microsomal Mg2+/Ca2+ ATPase.  Brain Research.  834: 32-41, 1999.