News Release: People

Oct. 11,  2010

Institute of Medicine Elects School of Medicine Research Dean, Pharmacology Chair

News Article ImageRaymond J. Dingledine, PhD, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has elected Raymond J. Dingledine, PhD, to its new class of 65 leading health scientists. Dingledine is executive associate dean for research and professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology in Emory University School of Medicine.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Dingledine’s election brings Emory’s IOM membership to 22.

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Dingledine and his election to this prestigious and influential organization,” says Wright Caughman, MD, interim CEO of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center. “Ray has been a national scientific leader for many decades and this honor underscores his stature in medical research.”

As one of the nation’s leading molecular pharmacologists, Dingledine has devoted more than three decades to studying the pharmacology of neurotransmitter receptors, including glutamate, which are responsible for communication between neurons in the brain. His work has contributed significantly to the current understanding of seizure development in brain cells and has laid the foundation for new approaches to drug therapy for epilepsy.

This research also has broad implications for other brain disorders including stroke and schizophrenia. Within the past few years Dingledine has helped lead a team of researchers investigating new drugs that would lessen the impact of strokes by reducing the damage that occurs when blood flow to the brain is obstructed.

Dingledine joined Emory University School of Medicine in 1992 as professor and chair. In 2008 he also was appointed as the School’s executive associate dean for research.

“Since joining our faculty nearly two decades ago, Ray Dingledine has been an important force in leading Emory School of Medicine into a position of national research prominence,” says Dean Thomas J. Lawley. “His passion for collaborative discovery has resulted in significant scientific breakthroughs that hold great promise for the future of neuroscience, and he is extremely deserving of this honor.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1971 from Michigan State University and his PhD in pharmacology in 1975 from Stanford University, Dingledine was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge from 1975-1977 and at the University of Oslo from 1977-1978. He held a research associate position at Duke University and was a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining Emory. He studied at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in 1990-1991.

Dingledine was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was appointed to the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in 2003. He has received numerous scientific awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Klingenstein Fellowship, the Bristol-Myers Neuroscience Award, the American Epilepsy Society Basic Research Award, the PhRMA Foundation Career Award in Excellence and the Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences.

He has been awarded many scientific lectureships and serves in leadership roles for national scientific organizations, including the Society of Neuroscience and the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the American Epilepsy Society.

He has been editor of Molecular Pharmacology and associate editor for the Journal of Neuroscience, and has served on the editorial boards of Neuropharmacology, the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Epilepsy Research and NeuroMolecular Medicine.

He has received more than $45 million in research funding and has been the principal or co-principal investigator on 23 grants from the National Institutes of Health. He has trained 13 PhD students and 32 postdoctoral fellows.

In 2001, Dingledine co-founded NeurOp, Inc., a preclinical stage pharmaceutical company developing compounds that target a specific subunit of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor, a neurotransmitter receptor for glutamate in the brain. Potential disease targets are ischemia, depression and pain. The company has received approximately $2 million in funding under multiple SBIR awards and has obtained over $500,000 in funding from angel investors and the State of Georgia. NeurOp was recognized as 2009 “Startup of the Year” by the Emory Office of Technology Transfer in its annual awards celebration. NeurOp has recently signed a deal with Bristol Myers Squibb to co-develop drugs for CNS disorders.

New IOM members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

The Institute of Medicine is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer on IOM committees, boards and other activities.


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