William D. Wessinger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

William D. Wessinger, Ph.D.Professor William D. Wessinger, Ph.D., retired on June 30, 2017 from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology after 34 years of service at UAMS.  In addition to a successful research career as a behavioral pharmacologist focused on drugs of abuse, Dr. Wessinger was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (IBS) Graduate Program, track leader of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Track, and director of the MD/PhD Program for the College of Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Wessinger received the Graduate Faculty of the Year Award to recognize his many important contributions to graduate and medical education at UAMS.


Jack A. Hinson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Jack A. Hinson, Ph.D., retired from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology after 25 years of dedicated service.   Dr. Hinson joined UAMS in 1990 as Director of the Division of Toxicology. He was the Director of the Interdisciplinary Toxicology program for 19 years and the founding Director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Program. He was the Principal Investigator of a prestigious T32 Award from NIEHS, in addition to a number of NIH research grants. Dr. Hinson was course director of many graduate classes, a lecturer in the medical school, and has mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Hinson is a nationally acclaimed expert in drug metabolism and drug toxicity and served as a leader in national scientific societies.  Dr. Hinson is also a co-founder of Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC, which is a UAMS Bioventures start-up company.  In 2011, Dr. Hinson was awarded the honor of Distinguished Professor in the UAMS College of Medicine.


Donald E. McMillan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Don McMillanIn 1978, Dr. Donald McMillan was hired as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology. Under his leadership, the department continued to increase in size and extramural research funding. In 1991, Dr. McMillan became the first basic science faculty member in the history of UAMS to receive an endowed Chair when he was named the Wilbur D. Mills Chair for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention. He established the UAMS Substance Abuse Treatment Clinic and served as its director from 1993 until his retirement in 2004. He obtained the second NIH Ph.D. training grant in the history of UAMS to support graduate and medical students in drug abuse research. During Dr. McMillan’s tenure the department rose to the top third of all medical school pharmacology departments in the country in NIH funding.

Galen Wenger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Dr. Galen Wenger recently retired from the department after more than 35 years of service. In addition to his research, Dr. Wenger served as Vice-Chair of the department until 2013, and was course director of Medical Pharmacology until 2014. His research studied drug effects on aspects of cognitive function in laboratory animals, and more recently, included examining the relationship between substance abuse and learning and memory. This included looking at the relationship of alcohol preference and cognitive function in rats that had been selectively bred to exhibit a high alcohol to water preference or a low alcohol to water preference. Dr. Wenger remains involved with the department, serving as the alumni director.

Piotr Zimniak, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Dr. Piotr Zimniak (shown here with his wife, Dr. Ludwika Zimniak), retired from the Department on November 1, 2012. The Zimniaks  joined the department in 2002 with Piotr as a Professor and Ludwika as a Research Associate Professor.  During the past 10 years, their NIH-funded research focused on the physiological and toxicological role of  lipid peroxidation in obesity and aging.   Piotr also was the recipient of a VA Research Career Scientist Award. The Zimniaks retired to California to be closer to family.