Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Lectures and Seminars


Fall 2016 Seminars

Seminars are held on Wednesdays, from 10:30-11:30 a.m, in 116 Health Sciences. For more information, contact the department at




Sept. 14
Jeffrey Travers, M.D., Ph.D.

Chris Taylor, Ph.D., Director, Community Standards and Student Conduct; and Holly Allyce Jackson, M.A., MLIS, Humanities Librarian

Academic Integrity and Professional Ethics; How They Can Be Impacted by Plagiarism Both Present and Future

Sept. 28
Host: Jeffrey Travers, M.D., Ph.D.

Tamas Jilling M.D., Associate Professor, Pediatric Division of Neonatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Platelet-activating Factor is a Key to Understand and Treat/Prevent Pulmonary and Gastrointestinal Complications of Premature Birth

Oct. 12
Host: Ji Bihl M.D., Ph.D., and Yanfang Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Jun Chen, M.D., Professor, Neurology and Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh

Microglial/Macrophage Responses After Brain Injury: A Double Edged Sword

Oct. 26
Host: Jeffrey Travers, M.D., Ph.D.

Igor Elman, M.D. , Chair and Professor, WSU Department of Psychiatry

Strategy to Counteract Metabolic Side Effects of Atypical Antipsychotics

Nov. 9
Host: Peter Lauf, M.D.

Gustavo Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.

Pro-cystogenic Effects of Ouabain in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Nov. 23

No seminar

Dec. 7
Host: Courtney Sulentic, Ph.D.

Scott Sieber, M.S., Toxicologist, Environmental Health & Safety, Ashland Inc., Dublin, Ohio

The Role of a Toxicologist in the Specialty Chemicals Industry

Spring 2016 Seminars

April 13, 2016: “Blood Brain Barrier Ion Transporters and Channels in Diabetic Ischemic Stroke”

Speaker: Martha E. O’Donnell, Ph.D.,
Professor, Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California-Davis School of Medicine

Host: Norma Adragna, Ph.D., Professor, WSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

March 23, 2016: “The Pathogenesis of Insulin Resistance: Thinking Outside the Cell”

Speaker: David H. Wasserman, Ph.D.
Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Director, Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nashville, Tennessee

Hosts: Mauricio Di Fulvio, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Khalid Elased, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor, WSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

March 16, 2016: “Critical Role of Immunogenic Cell Death and IL-71 in PDT-Induced Anti-Tumor Immunity”

Speaker: Sandra O. Gollnick, Ph.D.
Director, PDT Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York
Professor of Oncology, Department of Cell Stress Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Professor, Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Graduate Division

Host: Jeffrey B. Travers, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, WSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Fall 2015 Seminars

Seminars are on Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m, in 165 Brehm Lab. For more information, contact Laurie Schoettinger,

Oct. 21, 2015: “Regulation of Skin Regeneration and Repair: The Role of Inflammation”

Speaker: Traci Wilgus, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, Ohio State University College of Medicine

Host: Jeffrey B. Travers, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, WSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Nov. 4, 2015: “Chloride Channels Flirting with Lipids”

Speaker: Criss Hartzell, Ph.D., Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology, Atlanta, Georgia

Host: Mauricio Di Fulvio, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, WSU Department of Pharmacology/Toxicology

Morris Lecture

Anita Aperia, M.D., Ph.D., will present the Earl H. Morris Endowed Lecture Oct. 22

Anita AperiaInternationally known researcher Anita Aperia, M.D., Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Earl H. Morris Endowed Lectureship on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Wright State University.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. in the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building auditorium, room 101. It is free and open to the public.

Aperia, professor of pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, will speak about the “Role of Na/K ATPase in Monogenic Neuronal Disorders and Renal Protection.”

She is known for her research on the energy efficiency of the body and its individual cells. Her pediatric cell and molecular biology lab is focused on understanding the many aspects of Na/K ATPase, which is known as the ion pump that maintains the electrochemical gradient across the plasma membrane. This enzyme has a central role in all mammalian cells and consumes more than 30 percent of all energy in the body.

Aperia’s research group has made several pioneering contributions to the understanding of specific function of neuronal Na/K ATPase. She is studying the functional consequences of disease mutations, using a variety of imaging and modeling approaches. The Na/K ATPase signal has been shown to play a major role in the protection against apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in fetal malnourishment, infections with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and chronic kidney disease.

A native of Sweden, Aperia graduated from the Karolinska Institute Medical School and received her Ph.D. training at Yale University. She has been at the Karolinska Institute since 1976. She was the founder and project leader for the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in Northern Europe.

Appointed in 1987 to the Nobel Assembly for Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm, she served as a member until 2003. From 1991 through 1996, she was the first woman to chair the Nobel Assembly. She has served as a council member of the International Society of Nephrology, the International Pediatric Society of Nephrology and the European Society of Nephrology. She was the 2001 recipient of the Jean Hamburger Award and the first pediatrician to receive the prestigious international award, which recognizes outstanding research in nephrology with a clinical emphasis.

In 2011, she received the Homer W. Smith Award from the American Society of Nephrology, and in 2013, she presented the Robert W. Berliner Endowed Lecture at Yale. She also received the Torsten and Ragnar Soderberg Prize in Medicine from the Swedish Society of Medicine and another Swedish honor, His Majesty the King’s Medal.

A dedicated teacher, Aperia has been a professor for 35 years, training numerous undergraduate students and pediatric residents. She has supervised almost 50 Ph.D. students and 30 postdoctoral fellows. She also has published about 300 original papers, 40 review articles and 10 textbook chapters.

About the Morris Lectureship

An endowed lectureship was established by the family of Dr. Mariana Morris, former chair and professor of pharmacology and toxicology, in honor of her grandfather, Dr. Earl H. Morris. The first invited speaker was Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who came to Wright State in May 2000. In May 2002, the Earl H. Morris Stress Symposium was held with guest speaker Paul Plotsky, Ph.D., of Emory University, who addressed "Early Adverse Experience as a Developmental Risk Factor."

Rodolfo Llinas, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas and Suzanne Murphy professor of neuroscience and chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine, presented the Earl H. Morris Lecture on Oct. 17, 2004. A world renowned neuroscientist who pioneered important concepts of neural circuitry and communication within the brain, Dr. Llinas presented "The Neurobiology of Consciousness."

Salvador Moncada, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., director of The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at the University College London, presented the Earl H. Morris Lecture on June 22, 2005. Professor Salvador Moncada has revolutionized understanding cardiovascular function and pathology through his research on the role of nitric oxide as a signaling molecule. He presented, "Nitric Oxide, Mitochondria and Cell Signaling."

About Earl Morris, M.D.

photo of earl morrisphoto of earl morrisDr. Earl H. Morris was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, in 1872 and received his M.D. From the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1903. The Montgomery County and Ohio State Medical Societies honored him in 1954 for 50 years of medical practice. The annual lecture series was endowed by his son and daughter-in-law, Herbert C. and Marion Morris.

"An avid learner throughout his lifetime, he was keenly interested in medical research and advances in clinical practice," explains his granddaughter, Mariana Morris, Ph.D., former chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. "This lectureship is a tribute to his lifelong dedication to the science of medicine."

Past Lectures

2009 Earl H. Morris Endowed Lectureship brings Nobel Prize-winner

photo of oliver smithiesNobel Prize-winner Oliver Smithies, D.Phil., Excellence professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, was the keynote lecturer at the Earl Morris Symposium on July 10, 2009, at Wright State University.

On October 8, 2007, the Nobel Foundation announced that Smithies, along with Mario R. Capecchi of the University of Utah's Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sir Martin J. Evans of the United Kingdom, would share the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The scientists were selected "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells."

In the mid-1980s, while at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Smithies co-discovered a technique to introduce DNA material in cells, replicating a natural process called homologous DNA recombination. He thought that genetic disorders could be treated by correcting mutations in bone marrow cells, or stem cells. This "gene targeting" led to the creation of transgenic mice, or "designer mice," that replicated human disease. Smithies' lab produced the first animal model of cystic fibrosis, a disease caused by one defective gene.

This method also enabled scientists to study specific genes by creating "knock-out mice." By targeting and removing, or knocking out, a specific gene, researchers can find out what happens when it's missing. Smithies has used the analogy of removing a steering wheel from a car; without it you soon find out why it has a steering wheel. Now this research method is commonplace in biomedical research and has been the basis for thousands of published papers.

According to the Nobel committee, "gene targeting in mice has pervaded all fields of biomedicine. Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come."

Visiting Professors

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Visiting Professorship

Established in 1999, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Visiting Professorship in Basic Medical Sciences was designed to promote interaction between basic and clinical scientists in the area of cardiovascular sciences. The professorship is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation established to advance the medical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.

photo of debra dizDebra I. Diz, Ph.D., professor of surgical sciences in the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center and Burroughs Wellcome professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, served as visiting professor for the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Department of Pediatrics in May 2002.

Her talk on "Aldosterone Blockade: New Insights into Cardiovascular Protection" focused on an important new drug that can be used to treat hypertension and heart failure. She also presented "Brain Angiotensin Peptides and Reflex Regulation of the Circulation," which examined the use of a new rat model which was genetically engineered to secrete large amounts of a hormone that causes hypertension.

Diz earned her bachelor's from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a Ph.D. In pharmacology from the University of Tennessee. Her research interests focus on the brain and kidney renal systems that participate in blood pressure regulation. A widely recognized scientist and educator with an extensive research background, her studies have been funded continuously since 1986. She is an active participant on national and international committees for numerous scientific organizations. Diz has published more than 80 articles, and is on the editorial board of the journals Hypertension and General Pharmacology: the Vascular System.

photo of peter arvanPeter Arvan, Ph.D., M.D., was the Burroughs Wellcome Visiting Professor in May 1999. The title of his lecture was, "Molecular Chaperones that Regulate Export of Secretory Proteins from the Endoplasmic Reticulum: an Important Role in Thyroid Disease." Dr. Arvan focused on a disease that results from misfolding of the protein thyroglobulin in the thyroid. The molecular chaperone BiP is directly involved in preventing movement of proteins from the ER to the Golgi apparatus until the proteins are folded correctly. In this ER storage disease, thyroglobulin builds up in the ER, causing cell death.

Dr. Arvan is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. He holds a joint appointment as associate professor in the Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology at Albert Einstein. Dr. Arvan received both his M.D. And Ph.D. from Yale University in 1984. He completed a research-residency program in 1988 at Yale, and was a research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Rasmussen (Section of Endocrinology) Yale University School of Medicine (1985-86). He was also a clinical fellow in Endocrinology at Yale-New Haven Hospital from 1987-88.

Prior to moving to Albert Einstein College in 1996, Dr. Arvan was an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received the Van Meter Award from the American Thyroid Association in 1997. He has served as a reviewer for NIH study sections on endocrinology and on the NSF cell biology study section. He has been a regular journal reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, and Journal of Cell Biology, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. He has numerous publications in leading journals and is the principal investigator for numerous research grants. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Arvan has established his career around the process of insulin secretion from pancreatic islet cells and thyroid hormone synthesis by thyroid epithelial cells.

Last edited on 10/10/2016.