Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dean Emeritus, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Behavioral Neuroscience; Behavioral pharmacology; Neuropharmacology
Dr. James M. O’Donnell was appointed as the eleventh Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and served in this capacity from 2013-2021. 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.