Arizona Health Sciences


Main Faculty - Bios and Contact

John W. Bloom, MD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Medicine
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in the lung; mechanisms of eosinophil apoptosis; effects of genetic polymorphisms on gene expression in asthma.
Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D
Director, Center for Innovation in Brain Science; Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Neurology; Professor Psychology and Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Research Interests: My laboratories research focuses on the role of estrogen and bioenergetics in aging and age-associated neurodegeneration as well as the development of regenerative therapeutics. Over the last thirty years my laboratory has demonstrated that ovarian steroids and neurosteroids are key mechanistic regulators of the bioenergetic and regenerative systems of the brain. We observed that a loss of ovarian hormones leads to activation of a sequence of compensatory...
Qin Chen, Ph.D.
Associate, Center for Toxicology; Professor, Pharmacology; Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology; Professor, Applied BioSciences - GIDP; Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of oxidative injury and adaptation, stress signal transduction pathways, stress gene expression, senescence, apoptosis and cardiac hypertrophy.
Thomas P Davis, PhD
Professor, BIO5 Institute; Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP; Professor, Pharmacology; Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology; Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Research Interests: Pathways discovered where BBB tight junction and transporter proteins can be targeted to improve CNS drug delivery in disease states. We continue to help define the concept that the BBB can be targeted through signaling pathways, specific transporters, and/or drug:drug interactions. These identified pathways point to opportunities to enhance drug delivery in disease states associated with pain and hypoxia.
Edward D French, Ph.D.
Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse, addiction, and CNS responses in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder using electrophysiological and behavioral endpoints.
Rajesh Khanna
Professor, Anesthesiology; Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP; Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Regulation of Trafficking and Functions of Voltage-Gated Sodium and Calcium Channels; Identification of Novel Protein Regulators of Ion channels; Approaches to Targeting the Ion Channel Complexes in Neuropathic Pain and Neurodegenerative Diseases; Discovery of Novel Biologics and Small Molecules Targeting Pain and Neurodegenerative Diseases  
May Khanna, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Structure function of alternatively spliced proteins in neuropathic pain. For more information, please go to
Nam Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pharmacology; Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: My research focuses on transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling, which drives a wide range of cellular and pathophysiologic processes in the mammalian system. One of the major long-term goals is to gain fundamental understanding of how TGF-β-dependent pathways control vascular functions during tumor angiogenesis, particularly as they relate to mechanisms governing acquired resistance to existing VEGF and TGF-β targeted therapies. Another major area of...
Patrick W Mantyh, Ph.D.
Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Cancer, cancer pain and non-malignant bone pain, stem cells and skeletal health in disease and aging.
John D Palmer M.D., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: Cardiovascular and clinical pharmacology; studies of cardiovascular and pulmonary changes associated with acute hypersensitivity responses and systemic anaphylaxis.
Frank Porreca, Ph.D.
Associate Department Head, Pharmacology; Professor, Anesthesiology; Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP; Professor, Pharmacology; Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
Research Interests: Neurobiology of pain.
Kathleen Rodgers, Ph.D.
Senior VP Health Sciences; Associate Director, Translational Neuroscience; Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: My research over the last 30 years has evaluated the ability of angiotensin peptides and small molecule Mas agonists to mitigate injury and regenerate injured tissues and product development. Stimulation of Mas through endogenous peptides, analogues and peptidomimetics has been shown to increase stem cells/progenitors in a number of disease states with a deficit regenerative cells and to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. By targeting these three...
Patrick T Ronaldson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pharmacology; Assistant Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP; Assistant Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Research Interests: Development of neuroprotective and vascular protective therapies for ischemic stroke and cerebral hypoxiaMolecular pharmacology of transportersPhysiology of the blood-brain barrierDrug delivery to the brainIntracellular signaling mechanisms Neurotoxicology
John M. Streicher, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology; Assistant Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
Research Interests: Dr. Streicher is interested in understanding the molecular signal transduction cascades downstream of the opioid receptors. His research program focuses on finding new signaling regulators of the opioid receptors, determining their molecular mechanisms, and then determining how these molecular mechanisms result in changes to opioid-induced analgesia and side effects in different pain states. He further uses this information to create novel drug discovery...
Todd Vanderah, Ph.D.
Department Head, Pharmacology; Professor, Anesthesiology; Professor, Neurology; Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP; Professor, Pharmacology; Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Research Interests: Mechanisms and pharmacology of acute and chronic models of pain; endogenous opioid systems; sensory neural systems; opioid tolerance; antinociceptive synergy between cannabinoids and opioids.
Raymond Kah-Meng Wong
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology; Program Director, Perfusion Sciences
Research Interests: Cardiopulmonary Bypass; ECMO; Mechanical Circulatory Assist Devices; anticoagulation/hemostasis therapy and diagnostic testing; blood management in the cardiac surgery patient population.
Fei Yin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology; Assistant Director of Translational Neuroscience, Center for Innovation in Brain Science
Research Interests: Bioenergetic- and inflammatory determinants, biomarkers and therapeutic targets for brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)Crosstalk between bioenergetic changes and neuroinflammation in aging and AD with redox status as a bi-directional linkCommon mechanisms for neurodegenerative disorders associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, loss of redox homeostasis and chronic inflammation  

Research Track Faculty

Sally Dickinson, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology and Pharmacology
Research Interests: Etiology of UV-induced non-melanoma skin cancerUV and ROS-induced stress signaling in the cellChemoprevention of skin cancerTLR4 and skin cancer
Kevin J Gaffney, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Yeon Sun Lee, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Peptide and Peptidomimetic Drug Design Peptide Structure-Function Topographical Considerations in Molecular Recognition Organic, Amino Acid and Peptide Synthesis Pain mechanisms and Drug Abuse
Jeffrey J. Lochhead, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Inflammatory pain induced alterations in the blood-brain barrier including brain uptake of opioid drugs and paracellular permeability changes due to tight junction modifications. Mechanisms governing intranasal drug delivery to the CNS. Pathophysiological changes affecting intranasal drug delivery to the CNS.
Tally Largent-Milnes, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Blood Brain Barrier Chronic Pain Headache Drug Delivery Drug Discovery Neuroscience/Neuropharmacology Sex Differences Synaptic physiology TBI
Edita Navratilova, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Neuropharmacology of pain; brain circuits for pain, relief of pain and reward; opioid neurotransmission; mechanisms of acute and chronic pain.
Jennifer G. Schnellmann, PhD
Associate Professor
George Watts, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
Research Interests: Currently Dr. Watts is utilizing next-generation sequencing to perform whole genome analysis of pathogens in clinical infections to improve diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Watts has developed methods to isolate pathogens from samples types such as swabs, tissue, and whole blood that allow both 16s rRNA sequencing and whole genome sequencing without the need for culture. In collaboration with Dr. Bonnie Hurwitz (Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering), Dr. David Armstrong (Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance) and Dr. Lee Cranmer (University of Washington, Seattle), and Dr. Faiz Anwer (UA Cancer Center), Dr. Watts is testing next-generation sequencing in diabetic foot ulcers and neutropenic fever patients.
Yanhua Xie, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Pharmacology; Neurobiology of pain. Behavioral, neurochemical and neuroanatomical tools to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the sensory, and especially the affective, dimensions of pain in the preclinical settings in order to facilitate the identification of new drug targets relevant to pain relief in humans and to improve translation from the research lab to the clinic.

Joint Faculty

Edward J Bilsky
Research Professor, Pharmacology
Peter B. Chase, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Emergency Medicine
Torsten Falk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Neurology and Pharmacology
Research Interests: 1) Novel pharmacological treatments for L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias, a major side effect of Parkinson’s disease treatment, 2) Novel neuroprotective (growth factor mediated) gene therapy approaches to Parkinson’s disease, and 3) Development of pharmacological neuroprotective treatments for Parkinson’s disease. 
Jorge Gomez, MD., Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Translational Research in Special Populations; as well as the Associate Director of the Center for Elimination of Border Health Disparities at The University of Arizona Health Sciences; and he is also the Assistant Director for Cancer Research at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. ; In addition, Dr. Gomez is an Assistant Professor in the Community, Environment and Policy Department at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona.
Ronald Hammer, Jr., PhD
Professor, Basic Medical Sciences; Professor, Pharmacology
Research Interests: Research My laboratory studies plasticity and neural adaptation in mesocorticolimbic systems. We have focused on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) due to its involvement in addiction and certain symptoms of schizophrenia (i.e., sensorimotor gating deficits), but we are currently developing strategies for elucidating caudate dysfunction which may afford a more unified model of etiology in schizophrenia. Furthermore, the lack of plasticity and consequent behavioral...
Mohab M. Ibrahim, PhD, MD
Program Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship; Director, Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic
Ronald Lukas, Ph.D.
Professor, Barrow Neurological Institute
Research Interests: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor biology using clonal lines and transgene expression systems; neurotrophic factors; neurodegenerative diseases; neuronal differentiation.
Ron Lynch, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology and Biomedical Engineering, Director, Arizona Research Institute for Biomedical Imaging (ARIBI)
Research Interests: Multivalent Approaches for Cell Specific Targeting of Image Contrast and Therapeutic Agents.  Metabolism; Diabetes and its Complications
Amol Patwardhan, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, College of Medicine; Co-Director, Comprehensive Pain Management
Sangita Pawar, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Mechanisms of cancer metastasis, Adaptation of cancer cells for migration
Robin Polt, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Research Interests: Synthesis and new synthetic methods, drug design and transport. Neuropsychopharmacology and the blood-brain barrier.
William R. Roeske, MD
Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology; Associate Chief for Finance, Cardiology; Allan C. Hudson and Helen Lovaas Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Imaging
Research Interests: Cardiovascular pharmacology; regulation, characterization, and identification of autonomic receptors; neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse.
John-Michael Sauer
Research Professor
F. Mazda Shirazi, M.D.
Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine - (Clinical Scholar Track); Associate Professor, Pharmacology; Clinical Investigator, Viper Institute; Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice-Science; Associate Clinical Professor, Pharmacy Practice-Science
Research Interests: CV Pharmacology, Electrophysiology, Messenger Systems, CV Emergencies, Environmental Emergencies, Metabolic Disorders, Emergency Medicine Education, Technology Assessment, Toxicology, Pain, Sedation/Analgesia  
Josef Vagner, Ph.D.

Research Interests: Intergated synthetic core facility that provides drug discovery services, including rational design and synthesis of ligand arrays for various biological targets Education:PhD: Institute of Pharmacology & Biochemistry, Prague, Czech Republic, 1990

Emeritus Faculty

Robert T Dorr, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: Toxicology systems and mechanisms of action of cytotoxic anticancer agents; the pharmacology of cancer chemopreventive agents.
Marilyn Halonen, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita
Research Interests: Immunopharmacology; cytokine regulation of IgE synthesis; cell biology of cytokine and receptor differences as a result of naturally occurring polymorphic genes related to asthma or allergy in the population; immune responses in infancy to respiratory viruses and allergens and immune alterations in asthma.
Victor Hruby, Ph.D.
Regents' Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry
Research Interests: The chemistry of human behavior especially peptide hormones and neurotransmitters; drug design, discovery and development; pain, addiction, feeding behavior, sexual behavior, pigmentation disease, cancer, diabetes, immune response; GPCRs; biophysics/biochemistry of health and disease.
Ryan J. Huxtable, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: "Taurine and related sulfur amino acids, herbal toxicities, the neurochemistry of amino acids, and the pharmacology and toxicology of plant alkaloids”.
Josephine Lai , Ph.D.
Professor Emerita; Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular and Cellular Biology
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of neuropathic pain; opioid receptor pharmacology; gene targeting, drug discovery.
Douglas F. Larson, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Surgery
Research Interests: Immunopharmacology: pharmacology and design of selective immunosuppressive therapies for solid organ transplantation and auto-immune diseases.
Michael H. Ossipov, Ph.D.
Research Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: Pharmacology; neurophysiology, pharmacology and neuroanatomical pathways of acute and chronic pain states; isobolographic and statistical interpretation of drug-drug interactions.
John D Palmer M.D., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: Cardiovascular and clinical pharmacology; studies of cardiovascular and pulmonary changes associated with acute hypersensitivity responses and systemic anaphylaxis.
I Glenn Sipes, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Research Interests: Mechanism of tissue injury induced by drugs or other xenobiotics; mechanisms by which one chemical modulates the toxicity of another; carcinogenesis, human metabolism of environmental pollutants.
Eva Varga, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor Emerita
Research Interests: Molecular pharmacology of drugs of abuse; cellular mechanisms of drug tolerance; design and characterization of non-addictive analgesics, cardioprotective agents, and immunomodulators.