Kenny J. Simansky, PhD, is vice dean for research at Drexel University College of Medicine. Previously, he served as director of the graduate programs in pharmacology and in neuroscience and as associate dean for Biomedical Graduate Studies.
After earning is PhD, Dr. Simansky completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neurosciences at the Cornell University College of Medicine, for which he received an individual fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. He has been funded by the NIH as a principal investigator throughout his academic career at the College of Medicine.
His research focuses on the cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of eating. These brain mechanisms are known to be relevant for understanding obesity, drug addiction, and some behavioral disorders. Much of Dr. Simansky’s work contributed to understanding how serotonin in the brain and gut promotes satiation during eating. His current work also focuses on the mechanisms by which cannabinoids and opioids in the brain influence dietary selection, based upon the sensory properties of food.
He has been invited to present his work at numerous universities and conferences, and has organized international symposia, including the prestigious Fuller Symposium of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics on “Obesity: Targets and Tools for the 21st Century.” The National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism awarded him a multiyear conference grant to bring international authorities together to discuss the roles of brain mechanisms of reward in obesity, substance abuse, and other psychiatric disorders. He has chaired peer review panels at NIH for investigator-initiated research and for fellowship training in the neurosciences.
Research Awards and Honors
- Former president, International Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
- Basic Scientist Award, Drexel University College of Medicine