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University of Texas director named dean of Pharmacy

PULLMAN — James P. Kehrer, director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Toxicology and Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Professor of Toxicology at the University of Texas at Austin, has accepted the position of dean of the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University. 

Kehrer visited with numerous faculty, staff and administrators during visits to WSU in May and June.

Kehrer, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa. 

At the University of Texas since 1980, he has served as head of the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology from 1991-2004. In 2003, he accepted his current slot as director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Toxicology .

Robert C. Bates, WSU provost and academic vice president said, “I am pleased that such an experienced and energetic individual as Dr. Kehrer will be joining us at WSU to lead the College of Pharmacy. He brings a wealth of experience as a faculty member and administrator in a top-ranked pharmacy program. His commitment to quality education for professional and graduate students, his strong background in basic and applied fields of pharmacy, and his demonstrated success in acquiring external support for research will be great assets as he leads the faculty and staff in Pullman, Spokane and practice sites across the state. Combined with his vision for the college and the support of alumni and friends, I expect that the college will quickly advance in prestige and national standings.”

Kehrer’s research interests involve investigating the mechanisms underlying tumor cell selectivity of certain anticancer agents. This includes studies on the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors that kill cancer cells independently of COX-2. These drugs have novel effects on cellular signaling pathways; both prosurvival and prodeath signals. Kehrer has additional research interests in the field of free radical and antioxidant toxicology. He has also studied the toxicity of acrolein, a widespread environmental contaminant.

Kehrer has received numerous awards including the Society of Toxicology Achievement Award in 1989 and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 2004.  He is serving as the editor for the Americas and Japan of Toxicology Letters, as well as a deputy chair for the Biochemical Journal. He is also serving as a member of the US-EPA Science Advisory Board Environmental Health Committee.

Bill Fassett, dean of the College of Pharmacy rejoined the faculty May 15 and WSU Spokane Chancellor Brian Pitcher is serving as acting dean of the university’s College of Pharmacy.

The search committee was appointed in December 2004. Bates and Nick Lovrich, former interim chancellor of WSU Spokane and professor of Political Science, chaired the search committee. 

The search committee members included:
* Danial Baker, associate dean, Clinical Programs professor, Pharmacotherapy
* Sayed Daoud, associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
* Linda Garrelts MacLean, clinical assistant professor of Pharmacotherapy
* Mel Haberman, associate dean for research, Nursing
* B. Paige Lawrence, associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
* Mark Norris, Beall’s Pharmacy
* Raymond Quock, professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
* Luke Rice, advanced practice experience coordinator, Pharmacotherapy
* Winsor Schmidt, professor and chair, Health Policy and Administration
* Bryan Slinker, professor and chair, VCAPP
* Elaine Vincent, assistant director of development, College of Pharmacy

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