School of Pharmacy Names Interim Department Head

After several successful years leading the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Debra A. Kendall, Ph.D., announced her intention to return to the faculty on February 1st. Dr. Kendall is a prolific researcher focusing on the structure and function of membrane-interactive proteins including mammalian signal transduction via the cannabinoid receptor, a G protein coupled receptor. She is widely recognized for her recent work on the identification of allosteric modulators of GPCRs and ligand-biased signaling. She has published over 90 papers describing her work and has given numerous invited seminars and lectures. As part of her funding, Kendall has held several National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, one of which she has had continuously renewed for over two decades. Her research was awarded an individual NSF Career Advancement Award.

While carrying out her research program Kendall served as the chair of the University Senate Executive Committee and spent four and a half years as associate dean for Research and Graduate Education. She is an UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor.

Interim Dean John Morris praised Kendall for her tireless efforts on behalf of the department over the last several years. “Deb has helped to advance our efforts in many areas, but most especially in engaging our Ph.D. alumni and in attracting and recruiting top-notch faculty members. I have valued her loyalty and dedication to the school during my tenure.”

Interim Dean Morris has appointed Amy Anderson, Ph.D. to an 18-month term as interim department head citing the need for a smooth transition while the school welcomes a new dean. Dr. Anderson also runs an extensive research program focusing on developing therapeutics to treat infectious disease, including antibiotic resistant strains such as MRSA. She was first named to the departmental administration in 2008. “In addition to her teaching and research, Amy has been a member of the school’s leadership team for over five years. She’s the perfect person to work with Dean Halpert to lead the department into Next Generation Connecticut initiatives,” said Morris.

Morris thanked both professors for their service to the school and noted their support in the last year. “I particularly want to acknowledge the work of both Deb and Amy in stewarding the department. Our research and graduate education programs are flourishing and we owe this, in part, to their dedicated leadership.”