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Oct. 28, 2013

Faculty from pharmacology/toxicology lead national organizations

One of the six imperatives of Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon’s Bolder by Design initiative is that faculty, staff and students should work to “advance our culture of high performance.”

Five faculty members from the MSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology are living this tenet by going beyond their university appointments to serve as leaders for national organizations.

These individuals are:

  • Susan Barman, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and past president of the American Physiological Society. Her research focuses on central neural control of rhythms in sympathetic nerve activity and how neurotransmitters modulate these rhythms and blood pressure levels.
  • Gregory Fink, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and chair of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research of the American Heart Association. His research focuses on systemic high blood pressure in the arteries – a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease – with the goal of finding drugs or genomic methods for treatment.
  • J.R. Haywood, MSU assistant vice president for regulatory affairs and former chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, is president-elect of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology. His research has focused on the role of neurotransmitters in the brain in controlling blood pressure.
  • Norbert Kaminski, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the MSU Center for Integrative Toxicology, is president-elect of the Society of Toxicology. His studies shed light on the behavior of genes and molecules when lymphocytes, important cells in the immune system, are activated by drugs and chemicals.
  • Richard Neubig, chairperson of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, who is president of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. His research deals with G proteins and their receptors – important as targets for nearly half the drugs on the market – and novel therapeutic approaches to scleroderma and cancer.

Learn more about the work of these and other faculty members by visiting the department website at


By: Tom Oswald