Rick Schnellmann, PhD

Dean, R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy
National Advisory Board Member
Howard J. Schaeffer Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology

Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD, is dean endowed chair of the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy and holds the Howard J Schaeffer in Pharmaceutical Sciences Endowed Chair. A leading pharmacologist, researcher and drug discovery entrepreneur, he joined the UA in August 2016 from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Schnellmann earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine in 1984. At the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, he was an eminent scholar and distinguished university professor and was chair of the college’s Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences from 2001 to 2015. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Schnellmann assisted in the merger of the colleges of pharmacy at the University of South Carolina and MUSC, facilitating the transition to distance education on campuses 100 miles apart. Under his guidance, his department’s NIH grant funding increased, and in 2014 the school was ranked 11th in NIH funding to colleges of pharmacy.

Dr. Schnellmann’s research is focused on identifying and developing drugs to treat acute kidney injury, diabetic kidney disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. His research has been funded continuously since 1987 and includes NIH grant funding totaling more than $30 million. He has been instrumental in founding three MUSC spin-off biotechnology companies focused on drug discovery and development, including a drug for acute kidney injury, molecular compounds that could lead to new treatment for kidney failure and a compound being tested for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

He has a strong commitment to education and mentoring future researchers. He has taught pharmacology and toxicology to pharmacy, medical and veterinary students and has served on the Society of Toxicology Education Committee and the Subcommittee on Minority Education Initiatives. In 2013, Dr. Schnellmann received the Society’s Education Award for “his distinguished teaching and training of toxicologists and for his significant contributions to education in the broad field of toxicology.”

Dr. Schnellmann was the editor of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from 2004 to 2009. He also has served as associate editor of the American Journal of Physiology and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and reviews and authored more than 28 book chapters. Dr. Schnellmann received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in renal toxicology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

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Education & Post Graduate Training: 

BS, Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy (Missouri), 1980
PhD, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arizona, 1984
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Renal Toxicology, Duke University, Durham, N.C,