Dr. Brian S. Cummings has been appointed permanent Department Head for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy. A proven leader in the college, Dr. Cummings previously served as Associate Department Head until his most recent tenure as Interim Department Head of PBS.
As Interim Department Head, Dr. Cummings has advocated for the faculty, staff and students of the department. He has encouraged an atmosphere of inclusivity; engaged in promoting faculty research accomplishments; increased visibility and communication strategies; and cultivated new personnel for the department. Said Dean Kelly Smith, “I am confident his passion and abilities will lead this department into the future.”
A native of Montrose, Michigan, Dr. Cummings received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1999. A member of the UGA College of Pharmacy faculty since 2002, Dr. Cummings focuses his research on molecular mechanisms involved in cell death, with a particular emphasis on the kidney and in prostate cancer. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed documents, as well as numerous book chapters and one book on kidney toxicity. Well-funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, Dr. Cummings is an internationally known toxicologist, and a Past President of the Southeastern Society of Toxicology and the Mechanisms Specialty Section of the National Society of Toxicology. He also is the President-Elect of the Toxicology Division of the American Society of the Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and is a member of the National Programming Committee for this same society. He has excelled in the classroom as well; he is a Lilly Teaching Fellow and a member of the UGA Teaching Academy.
When he is not at the college, Dr. Cummings can be found at home in Athens with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Ashleigh, or mountain biking across North Georgia.
Dr. Cummings said, “This is an great opportunity, and I am honored to be chosen to lead our outstanding faculty, staff and students. What really excites me is the chance to continue to work with faculty who excel in both research and in the classroom. This, combined with a stellar staff and awesome students, creates tremendous potential for PBS.”
Dr. Cummings will be relocating his office to the 4th floor of Pharmacy South to be in closer proximity to key staff in the department – more on that office space shift to come.