Philip R. Mayeux, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Mayeux joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1991 after earning his doctorate in pharmacology at Tulane University and postdoctoral fellowships at Tulane and Medical University of South Carolina. In 2013, Dr. Mayeux was appointed Vice-Chair of the department.
Dr. Mayeux was instrumental in obtaining an NIH/NIGMS T32 Training Award in 2013 and was Director of the award, titled Systems Pharmacology and Toxicology (SPaT) T32 Training Program. He served as director of Systems Therapeutics course and was an instructor of RCR training. He was the Pharmacology Program Director for the department for ten years and Director of Education for seven years, overseeing both Pharmacology and Interdisciplinary Toxicology Programs.
In addition to his leadership with graduate students selected to the program, Dr. Mayeux also served as Ph.D. advisor to ten Ph.D. students and on twenty additional dissertation committees. His Ph.D. graduates have had on average three lead-author papers and four total papers.
Dr. Mayeux was the recipient of a UAMS Red Sash Award in 2011 and was voted Graduate Faculty Member of the Year in 2012 by the UAMS Graduate School for his success in training Ph.D. students. He also received a Murphy Oil Corporation Research Award in 2014. He served on NIH study sections from 2009 until his retirement. His research was funded by both NIH and American Heart Association, which was focused on identifying therapeutic targets to treat sepsis-induced acute kidney injury.
S. Michael Owens, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Michael Owens retired from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in August 2019. Dr. Owens began his career at UAMS in 1985 as Assistant Professor in the department. During his tenure in the department, Dr. Owens served as Director of Graduate Studies from 1993 until 1999. He was appointed Director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies in 2000, a position he held until his retirement. He served as the Interim Chair of the department in 2004 during the transition between Dr. Don McMillan and Dr. Nancy Rusch. Dr. Owens received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Arizona.
In recognition of Dr. Owens’ teaching, mentorship, and campus leadership accomplishments at UAMS, he received the Wilbur Mills Endowed Chair in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention in 2001, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2005 and the College of Medicine Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in 2005. In 2016, he was named an Arkansas Research Alliance Fellow.
Entrepreneurially, Dr. Owens was the Founding Director of Arkansas Biosciences Institute. He also co-founded a biotechnology company in 2004, InterveXion Therapeutics, LLC, for which he serves as Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Owens was continuously funded by NIH/NIDA since 1986 and was the recipient of a NIH Research Career Development Award for 10 years. He served as mentor to thirteen PhD or MD/PhD students and five postdoctoral fellows, the majority of whom had individual training fellowships from NIH. Dr. Owens has authored over 125 papers, reviews, and book chapters.
Paul Gotschall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Paul Gottschall retired in May 2019. Dr. Gottschall served as Professor with the department since 2007. Prior to UAMS, Dr. Gottschall was a Professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He earned his doctorate in neuroendocrine physiology from Michigan State University in 1986 and was an Instructor and Research Assistant Professor at Tulane University from 1986 to 1992.
Dr. Gottschall served on 22 dissertation committees, 20 qualifying exam committees, had 11 graduate students rotate in his laboratory and hosted 9 SURF students during his time at UAMS. Additionally, he mentored young faculty in the INBRE and COBRE programs. He served as course director of the Pharmacology Graduate Program for six years and director of the department seminar series for two years.
Dr. Gottschall’s discoveries in Alzheimer’s research received 4-5 million in research funding during his career. On a national level, Dr. Gottschall gave 50 invited talks at a mix of academic institutions and also industry divisions including at Parke Davis, Pfizer, Abbott, SmithLinke Beecham (GlaxoSK) and NIH workshops. He served on 48 NIH study sections from 1998 to 2007 and continually served on the NIH Clinical and Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumor Study section reviewing over 300 NIH grants. He was also a reviewer for the MS Society, Welcome Trust Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, National Science Foundation, UK Stroke Association, VA Administration, and other organizations and institutions.
William D. Wessinger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Professor William D. Wessinger, Ph.D., retired on June 30, 2017, from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology after 34 years of service at UAMS. In addition to a successful research career as a behavioral pharmacologist focused on drugs of abuse, Dr. Wessinger was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (IBS) Graduate Program, track leader of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Track, and director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program for the College of Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Wessinger received the Graduate Faculty of the Year Award to recognize his many important contributions to graduate and medical education at UAMS.
Jack A. Hinson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Jack A. Hinson, Ph.D., retired from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology after 25 years of dedicated service. Dr. Hinson joined UAMS in 1990 as Director of the Division of Toxicology. He was the Director of the Interdisciplinary Toxicology program for 19 years and the founding Director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Program. He was the Principal Investigator of a prestigious T32 Award from NIEHS, in addition to a number of NIH research grants. Dr. Hinson was course director of many graduate classes, a lecturer in the medical school, and has mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Hinson is a nationally acclaimed expert in drug metabolism and drug toxicity and served as a leader in national scientific societies. Dr. Hinson is also a co-founder of Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC, which is a UAMS Bioventures start-up company. In 2011, Dr. Hinson was awarded the honor of Distinguished Professor in the UAMS College of Medicine.
Donald E. McMillan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
In 1978, Dr. Donald McMillan was hired as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology. Under his leadership, the department continued to increase in size and extramural research funding. In 1991, Dr. McMillan became the first basic science faculty member in the history of UAMS to receive an endowed Chair when he was named the Wilbur D. Mills Chair for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention. He established the UAMS Substance Abuse Treatment Clinic and served as its director from 1993 until his retirement in 2004. He obtained the second NIH Ph.D. training grant in the history of UAMS to support graduate and medical students in drug abuse research. During Dr. McMillan’s tenure, the department rose to the top third of all medical school pharmacology departments in the country in NIH funding.
Galen Wenger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Galen Wenger recently retired from the department after more than 35 years of service. In addition to his research, Dr. Wenger served as Vice-Chair of the department until 2013 and was course director of Medical Pharmacology until 2014. His research studied drug effects on aspects of cognitive function in laboratory animals, and more recently, included examining the relationship between substance abuse and learning and memory. This included looking at the relationship of alcohol preference and cognitive function in rats that had been selectively bred to exhibit high alcohol to water preference or a low alcohol to water preference. Dr. Wenger remains involved with the department, serving as the alumni director.
Piotr Zimniak, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Piotr Zimniak (shown here with his wife, Dr. Ludwika Zimniak), retired from the Department on November 1, 2012. The Zimniaks joined the department in 2002 with Piotr as a Professor and Ludwika as a Research Associate Professor. During the past 10 years, their NIH-funded research focused on the physiological and toxicological role of lipid peroxidation in obesity and aging. Piotr also was the recipient of a VA Research Career Scientist Award. The Zimniaks retired to California to be closer to family.