Michael R. Vasko
Paul Stark Professor of Pharmacology
Dr. Vasko received his B.S. (1970) and Ph.D. (1976) at the University of Michigan. From 1976-1980 he was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a staff pharmacologist at the Southwestern Regional Epilepsy Center in Dallas, Texas. In 1980, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the A.R.C. Institute of Animal Physiology, Babraham, Cambridge, England. From 1981-1988 he was Chief of Clinical Pharmacology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Dallas, Texas and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Science, Dallas, Texas. Dr. Vasko joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Medicine in 1988 as an associate professor, was appointed professor in 1993, and appointed the Paul Stark Professor of Pharmacology in 1994.
Dr. Vasko's research involves examining the cellular mechanisms that mediate sensitization of sensory neurons. The sensitization of small diameter sensory neurons results in enhanced release of neurotransmitters and is believed to be a major component of neurogenic inflammation and enhanced pain perception after injury. Studies center on elucidating the signal transduction cascades that mediate an increase in transmitter release produced by inflammatory mediators and to determine the targets for phosphorylation or dephosphorylation after activation of various transduction cascades.
Dr. Vasko is a member of a number of professional societies including the Society of Neuroscience, the American Pain Society, the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He currently serves on the editorial boards of 3 scientific journals, Pain, The Journal of Pain, and Molecular Interventions.