John Imig, Ph.D., Joins UAMS College of Pharmacy as Chair of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

By Benjamin Waldrum

“I’m excited to welcome Dr. Imig to UAMS and the College of Pharmacy,” said Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “John is a seasoned leader with a strong pharmaceutical sciences research program and a committed desire to advance the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences by developing talent, building fruitful collaborations and providing strategic leadership.”

Imig succeeds Peter Crooks, Ph.D., D.Sc., who has chaired the department since 2011. Crooks, internationally recognized for his research and work in anti-cancer drug discovery, delivery and development, will remain at UAMS and focus on teaching, research and service.

“I wanted to find an opportunity that combined education, research, community engagement and developing therapeutics,” Imig said. “The UAMS College of Pharmacy is a great place for that to occur. It has a strong pharmaceutical sciences department with great faculty and is very highly rated. There is real opportunity for continued growth in education and research.”

Imig joins UAMS from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he is a professor of pharmacology and toxicology, an Eminent Scholar and inaugural director of its Drug Discovery Center. The center, housed within the college’s Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, facilitates and accelerates drug discovery through its Therapeutic Accelerator Program, which develops new therapeutics while reducing risk and increasing the product’s value.

A vascular and renal biologist, Imig has varied research interests that include hypertension, diabetes, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and fatty liver disease. His laboratory is dedicated to understanding the mechanisms by which certain fatty acids, called eicosanoids, influence kidney and cardiovascular function. He and his team have developed novel eicosanoid-based drugs to treat hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, diabetes and kidney diseases.

He has active research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute that he will bring to UAMS. Over his career, Imig has received more than $35 million in grant support as a principal investigator or co-investigator.

Imig has co-founded three therapeutics companies: Nephraegis Therapeutics in Lake Forest, Illinois; Diplos Therapeutics in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and MetaSyn Therapeutics, a cooperative effort between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. He serves on scientific advisory boards for Nephraegis and MetaSyn as well as OROX BioSciences in San Diego. He holds five U.S. patents for treatments including metabolic syndrome, renal and cardiovascular disease, among others, with several pending applications in the U.S. and internationally.

At Medical College Wisconsin, Imig received two Outstanding Medical Educator and three Outstanding Graduate School Educator awards from 2016-2020. He has trained dozens of high school and undergraduate laboratory students and mentored many medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has lectured nationally and internationally since 1991.

Imig is a Fellow of the American Physiological Society, the American Heart Association and the American Society of Nephrology, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therepeutics. He is chief editor of Frontiers in Physiology, an associate editor for Cardiovascular Therapeutics and Frontiers in Vascular Physiology, and serves on seven additional editorial boards. He has published more than 180 original articles and authored or co-authored nine book chapters.

An Illinois native, Imig earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1985 from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. He earned his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics in 1991 from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.