The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) has chosen two PhRMA Foundation alumni as recipients of its prestigious Scientific Achievement Awards.
Jeffrey Conn, PhD, of the the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, and S.J. Enna, PhD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center were chosen for their significant contributions to pharmacology. Dr. Conn received a Research Starter Grant in Pharmacology/Toxicology from the PhRMA Foundation and Dr. Enna is a recipient of the PhRMA Foundation Excellence Award.
Both will be honored at the at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2020 in San Diego in April.
Dr. Conn received the 2020 Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology. The Axelrod Award was established in 1991 to honor the memory of the eminent American pharmacologist who shaped the fields of neuroscience, drug metabolism, and biochemistry and who served as a mentor for numerous eminent pharmacologists around the world.
Dr. Conn was honored for his commitment to academic mentoring of trainees and his cutting-edge research in developing therapies for psychiatric diseases in an academic setting.
Dr. Conn is the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University and Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. He received his PhD degree from Vanderbilt in 1986 and pursued postdoctoral studies at Yale University before joining the faculty at Emory University in 1988. Dr. Conn served as head of the Department of Neuroscience at Merck and Company, and then moved to Vanderbilt University, where he founded the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, and where he has advanced multiple drug candidates into development for neurological and psychiatric indications. His research is focused on understanding the pathophysiology changes that contribute to serious brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, and using this understanding to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of these devastating disorders. Dr. Conn served as Editor in Chief of Molecular Pharmacology.
Dr. Enna received the 2020 Otto Krayer Award in Pharmacology. The Krayer Award commemorates the legacy of Otto Krayer’s personal qualities: his ethical behavior, his commitment to teaching, his high standards of scientific scholarship, publication and editorship, his promotion of interdisciplinary research to reveal the actions of drugs or other chemicals, and his guidance and support of younger scientists.
Dr. Enna was recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions to the field of GABA receptor pharmacology, his commitment to the mentorship of young scientists, and his leadership in advancing the discipline of pharmacology.
After receiving a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Missouri, Dr. Enna completed postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, at F. Hoffmann La Roche in Basel, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following a decade on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School-Houston, he spent six years as Scientific Director of Nova Pharmaceuticals. He now serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Kansas Medical School, and is also Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology and Chair of pharmacology.Dr. Enna is currently on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and served for four years as the IUPHAR president. He also served as Editor of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.