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UB pharmacy dean James M. O’Donnell named AAAS Fellow

Release Date: November 22, 2016

James M. O’Donnell, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – James M. O’Donnell, PhD, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

O’Donnell, honored in the Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recognized for his distinguished contributions to the field of molecular and translational neuroscience, particularly for using modern approaches to study allosteric modulators for psychiatric disorders.

He is among 391 members who will receive the distinction on Feb. 18, at the AAAS Fellows Forum held during the 2017 AAAS annual meeting.

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and is the publisher of the journal Science, one the world’s leading academic journals.

“I have a longstanding interest in understanding the relationship between the neurochemical and behavioral effects of drugs used to treat psychiatric and neurological diseases, and have had the good fortune to work with many talented faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students,” says O’Donnell.

“Recent collaborations with biotech companies have allowed us to advance our research toward clinical application.  I’m honored that this work has been recognized by my appointment as an AAAS Fellow.” 

O’Donnell was appointed the 11th dean of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2013. He holds joint appointments as professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and of pharmacology and toxicology.

An internationally recognized scholar, his research focuses on the relationship between the neurochemical and behavioral effects of drugs, primarily those used to treat neuropsychiatric illnesses.

O’Donnell is the principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has also authored or co-authored nearly 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented numerous scientific papers and is a reviewer for 25 journals, among them Brain Research, the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Metabolic Brain Disease, Neuroscience and Science.

Since 2009, he has served as associate editor of the prestigious Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, which has been publishing for more than 100 years.

He is a member of a number of scientific and professional societies, and is also a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has worked on NIH review panels in the neuroscience and drug discovery areas as well, including serving as founding chair of the Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions study section.

Prior to joining UB, O’Donnell held research or faculty positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee and, most recently, West Virginia University, where he served as associate dean for research in the WVU School of Medicine and assistant vice president for research in the WVU Health Sciences Center.

O’Donnell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in pharmacological and physiological sciences from the University of Chicago. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychopharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.

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