New TTUHSC Research Leader Named

Following a national search, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., announced the appointment of P. Michael Conn, Ph.D., as TTUHSC senior vice president for research and associate provost. Conn also will serve as a professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry.

Mitchell said many of Conn’s students and fellows have gone on to become leaders in industry and academia, and his leadership and expertise will help heighten TTUHSC research.

“His passion for the discovery of knowledge will set a great course in our quest to become a comprehensive research university,” Mitchell said.

Conn comes to TTUHSC from the Oregon Health and Science University where he currently serves as the director of research advocacy and professor of physiology and pharmacology, obstetrics and gynecology and cell biology and development. In addition, he serves as senior scientist of the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Conn received a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification from the University of Michigan, a master’s of science from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. Conn completed a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before joining the faculty at the Duke University Medical Center Department of Pharmacology. From 1984 to 1994, he led the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Best known for his research on the cellular and molecular basis of action of gonadotropin releasing hormone and its receptor and therapeutic approaches that restore misfolded proteins to function, Conn’s work has led to the formulation of drugs benefiting both humans and animals. He has authored or co-authored nearly 350 publications in this area and written or edited more than 200 books, including texts in neurosciences, molecular biology and endocrinology.

Conn has served as the editor of many professional journals and book series including Endocrinology, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Endocrine, Methods, Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, Contemporary Endocrinology, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. He served on the National Board of Medical Examiners, which included two years as chairman of the reproduction and endocrinology committee.

The work of his laboratory has been recognized with a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, the J.J. Abel Award of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Weitzman, Oppenheimer and Ingbar Awards of the Endocrine Society, the National Science Medal of Mexico (the Miguel Aleman Prize) and the Stevenson Award of Canada. He is the recipient of the Oregon State Award for Discovery, the Media Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and he was named a distinguished alumnus of Baylor College of Medicine in 2012.

A former member of the Council for the American Society for Cell Biology and the Endocrine Society, Conn served as president of the Endocrine Society, founded the Hormone Foundation and worked with political leadership to heighten the public’s awareness of diabetes. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Conn will begin his new role effective Dec. 1.

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