Dr. James M. O’Donnell was appointed as the eleventh Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in October 2013. He is Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences with a joint appointment as Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He received his B.S. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and Ph.D. in Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences from the University of Chicago; he completed postdoctoral training in Neuropsychopharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining UB, he held research or faculty positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee, and West Virginia University; at WVU, he served as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine and Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences Research.
His research has focused on the relationship between the neurochemical and behavioral effects of drugs, primarily those used to treat neuropsychiatric illnesses. This has involved the study of noradrenergic mechanisms in the actions of antidepressant drugs and of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases as potential targets for novel antidepressant, anxiolytic, and memory-enhancing drugs. This work has been supported by the NIH, primarily the National Institute of Mental Health, and has involved collaborations with scientists at other universities and biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. O’Donnell has been active in the teaching of professional and graduate students in the areas of pharmacology and neuroscience and has provided research mentorship to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty members. He served as Director of an NIGMS-supported, T32 predoctoral training grant at the interface of behavioral and biomedical sciences.
He has served on NIH review panels in the neuroscience and drug discovery areas, including founding Chair of the Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions study section, and is Associate Editor for the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a member of a number of scientific and professional societies, including the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Society for Neuroscience, is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and chaired the Gordon Research Conference on Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases.
Education and Training:
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuropsychopharmacology, University of Pennsylvania (1984)
PhD, Pharmacological & Physiological Sciences, University of Chicago (1982)
BS, Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University (1978)
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2021-present)
Dean and Professor, State University of New York, University at Buffalo, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2013-present)
Professor of Clinical and Translational Sciences, West Virginia University, School of Medicine (2012–2013)
Professor of Physiology & Pharmacology, West Virginia University, School of Medicine (2012–2013)
Assistant Vice President for Research, Research, West Virginia University Health Science Center, West Virginia University (2008–2013)
Assistant Dean for Research, West Virginia University Health Science Center (2005–2013)
Professor and Vice Chair for Research of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry, West Virginia University, School of Medicine (2005–2013)
Interim Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Education, West Virginia University Health Science Center, West Virginia University (2011–2012)
Professor of Neurobiology & Anatomy, West Virginia University, School of Medicine (2005–2012)
Interim Chair of Biochemistry, Biochemistry, West Virginia University, School of Medicine (2006–2008)
Professor of Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Tennessee (2000–2005)
Professor of Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (1995–2000)
Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow, Scotland, University of Glasgow, Scotland (1997–1998)
Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (1990–1995)
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine (1988–1990)
Staff Scientist and Neurobiology Section Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Life Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1984–1990)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016)
Research Award, Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry (2012)
Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2011)
Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases (2010)
Vice Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases (2008)
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (2008)
Independent Scientist Award (K02) (2005)
NIH Fogarty Senior International Fellowship (1998)
Ongoing Research: Research focuses on the relationship between the neurochemical and behavioral effects of drugs, primarily those used to treat neuropsychiatric illnesses. This work includes the study of noradrenergic mechanisms in the actions of antidepressant drugs and of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases as potential targets for novel antidepressant, anxiolytic, and memory‐enhancing drugs.
Grants and Sponsored Research:
PDE4B INHIBITORS FOR TREATING MAJOR DEPRESSION NIMH Role: Co-Investigator
PDE4D ALLOSTERIC MODULATORS FOR TREATING COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT NINDS Role: Co-Investigator
DEVELOPMENT OF PDE2 INHIBITORS FOR TREATMENT OF ANXIETY/DEPRESSION IN AUTISM/SCHIZOPHRENIA NIMH Role: Co-Investigator