Wayne Bowen

Wayne Bowen

Title: Upjohn Professor of Pharmacology
Company: Brown University
Location: Cumberland, Rhode Island, United States

Wayne Bowen, Upjohn Professor of Pharmacology, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in pharmacology education.

Dr. Bowen parlays decades of experience in research, science and pharmacology in his current role, as the Upjohn Professor of Pharmacology and Chair of the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University. He previously taught as an adjunct professor of molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry from 1991 to 2004 at the institution. During that same, Dr. Bowen served as the Chief of the Unite on Receptor Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Drug Design and Synthesis Section at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bowen was an assistant professor of biology at Brown in the 1980s and was a tutor and teaching assistant at Cornell University in the last 1970s. Earlier in his career, he worked as a laboratory technician and assistant, as well as a chemistry researcher at General Electric and Morgan State University.

Dr. Bowen became involved in his career due to a summer job he had as a quality control technician at a General Electric plant. In this position, he tested the raw materials that went in to ceramic insulators. This job piqued his interest in chemistry and gave him an appreciation of chemical quality control in manufacturing. In 1974, he earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Morgan State University, summa cum laude. He continued his education at Cornell University, receiving a PhD in biochemistry in 1981. In 1990, Dr. Bowen received an Ad Eundem Honorary Degree from Brown University. With a highlighted by many achievements, he attributes this success to having had the opportunity to work with brilliant students and colleagues in collaborative efforts. Dr. Bowen feels that students are the pulse of research and the classroom serves as an exchange of knowledge and ideas.

In his career so far, Dr. Bowen cites the field of sigma receptor research as the highlight. Dr. Bowen has is most known for three discoveries in this area; the existence of another receptor that was very much related pharmacologically to the sigma receptor, coined as ‘sigma-2’, while proposing that the sigma receptor system was heterogeneous and should be subdivided into subtypes. In addition, Dr. Bowen discovered that both sigma receptor subtypes are expressed in high levels of cancer cell lines form various organ systems. His most important discovery stands as finding that sigma receptor ligands, specifically sigma-2 ligands, bind to receptors on cancer cells and induce apoptotic cell death in several tumor cell lines, even those resistant chemotherapeutic agents. This discovery has resulted in the targeting of sigma-2 receptors for the development of novel anticancer agents and has taken the field of sigma receptors into the realm of cancer biology.

For his achievements, Dr. Bowen has received numerous accolades and grants. These include the Salomon Award from the Office of Vice President for Research from Brown University and the Jack and Linda Gill Lectureship from The Gill Foundation of Texas from Indiana University. Furthermore, Dr. Bowen has received grants from the Ford Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation among others. Looking toward the future, he endeavors to advise young scientists to persevere and keep an open mind.

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