April 22, 2005

Sanders-Bush honored by Pharmacology association

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Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D.

Sanders-Bush honored by Pharmacology association

Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, Psychiatry, and director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, was named president-elect of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the association's annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month.

Sanders-Bush, an active member since 1971, will serve a one-year term as president-elect, followed by one year as president. She will be the fourth Vanderbilt faculty member to lead the organization, one of the world's oldest and largest pharmacology professional societies.

Research in the Sanders-Bush lab has centered on the neurotransmitter serotonin, a brain chemical that influences cognition, mood and appetite, and is implicated in a number of neuropsychiatric diseases including schizophrenia and depression. Her work has illuminated structural and functional aspects of various serotonin receptor subtypes and delineated the consequences of mutations in this important receptor.

Her research on the biology of the serotonin receptor and its role in human disease and drug abuse has garnered numerous awards, including a Bristol-Myers Squibb Unrestricted Grant for Neuroscience Research and an NIH MERIT Award.

In addition to her research contributions, Sanders-Bush has also been instrumental in graduate training at Vanderbilt by guiding the development of an interdisciplinary neuroscience graduate program, for which she currently serves as director. Sanders-Bush is a past recipient of the Department of Pharmacology Teaching Award and served as associate director for education for the Cellular and Molecular Science Neuroscience Training Program from 1996-1999.

Sanders-Bush, who is also a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt in 1967 and completed her postdoctoral research with Fridolin Sulser, M.D., professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, emeritus, in 1969. Sanders-Bush then joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an instructor in Pharmacology and rose through the ranks to professor in 1980. She served as interim chair of the department from 1999-2000.