Yamamoto named chair of IUSM Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

April 9, 2015

Bryan Yamamoto, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on the impact of drugs of abuse on the brain, has been named chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the IU School of Medicine.

Dr. Yamamoto, whose appointment is effective July 1, comes to IU from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, where he has served as chair of the Department of Neurosciences since 2008. At IU he will also hold the position of Robert B. Forney Professor of Toxicology.

Bryan Yamamoto, Ph.D., has been named chair of the IUSM Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. His appointment begins July 1. | Photo By University of Toledo

"We are pleased that Bryan Yamamoto has agreed to join us and take this key leadership position at the IU School of Medicine," said Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president for university clinical affairs.

"He brings a powerful blend of strong research skills and accomplishments, coupled with demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring and departmental leadership.” 

"I look forward to leading a dedicated group of researchers and educators in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology as we engage in basic scientific discovery and build on those discoveries to develop new therapeutics while training new generations of physicians and scientists," said Dr. Yamamoto.

Dr. Yamamoto's research has focused on how drugs of abuse affect the neurochemistry of the brain and contribute to brain injury. He has been at the leading edge of research into the neurotoxic impacts of amphetamines, and how their interactions with stress alter brain function and produce toxicity in regions of the brain that are critically involved in controlling movement and cognitive processes.

He has been continuously funded by National Institutes of Health research grants since 1986.

Dr. Yamamoto received his Ph.D. in neurobiology at Syracuse University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He served in research and academic leadership positions at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine before joining the University of Toledo.

Dr. Yamamoto and his wife June have been married 37 years and have two grown children. June Yamamoto is a registered dental hygienist and has worked as a hospice volunteer, as well as a volunteer at a food pantry.  

"We both are beginning golfers, are avid baseball, basketball and football fans and enjoy collecting glass art," he said.

Dr. Yamamoto succeeds Michael R. Vasko, Ph.D., Paul Stark Professor of Pharmacology, who retired as chair in 2013 after 11 years in the position. Theodore R. Cummins, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology, served as interim chair.