Department News

Faculty News and Events

Rob headshot

Dr. Robert McCullumsmith has accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Neurosciences and Research Director of the Neurosciences Institute in the College of Medicine & Life Sciences.  He comes to The University of Toledo from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he has served since 2013 as an Associate and now Full Professor (with tenure), Director of Psychiatric Residency Research Education, and Associate Vice Chair for translational research. Dr. McCullumsmith also has served as the Medical Director of the Outpatient Mental Health Division at the Cincinnati VAMC. 

Dr. McCullumsmith did his undergraduate work in biochemistry at Indiana University, and completed MD and PhD (Pathology) degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Michigan, with honors in research. , with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an M.D. He completed the research track psychiatry residency at the University of Michigan Hospital. He also served as Director of Outpatient Clinics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Dr. McCullumsmith is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a member of the Society for Neuroscience, a member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and a member of the Schizophrenia International Society. He currently serves on the Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders NIMH study section. 

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. David Giovannucci for his dedicated leadership to the Department of Neurosciences.  Dr. Giovannucci’s steady leadership as interim chair has advanced the growth and success of our University and serves as a demonstration of our mission to achieve better health outcomes through impactful translational research programs. My thanks also to those who made thoughtful recommendations for the leadership of the department and referring to us an outstanding candidate. 

Dr. Mccullumsmith's appointment takes effect August 1, 2018.


Dr. Ruili Xie, Assistant Professor of Neurosciences, received a R01 award titled “Cellular mechanisms of age related hearing loss” to study one of the most prevalent health conditions that affect the elders.  This project investigates the consequences of aging on hearing in the central auditory nervous system, and aims to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of ARHL at the synaptic, cellular and circuit levels.  The knowledge will provide guidance and new strategies for the development of clinical interventions in treating ARHL and other hearing impairments. Total direct cost for the 5-year grant that starts September 2017 is about $1.9 million.

Marthe Howard, professor of neurosciences, received an extremely competitive award from the office of the Director of the NIH through the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. Her project, “Anatomical-Functional Mapping of Enteric Neural Circuits,” was one of the few projects in the entire country funded under this prestigious program, and was awarded over $2.3 million for the first year of activity.  Total if funding for the proposed period will be about $7 million.

Joseph Margiotta, professor of neurosciences, has accepted the position as chair of the College of the Appointments, Promotions & Tenure Committee.  All recommendations for promotion or appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor are reviewed by the committee and determinations are based on the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of The University of Toledo College of Medicine.

 Joshua Park, assistant professor of neurosciences, received a NIH R21 award to develop an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a devastating neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 27 million people worldwide. The study will examine the efficacy of a novel BBB-permeable polysaccharide, midi-GAGR (from human food additive), in slowing AD pathogenesis in AD animal model.  Dr. Park also received an Ohio Third Frontier  – Phase I grant to develop a novel gel device for bone defect treatment and for commercialization of the device.

 Joseph Lee, Ph.D. candidate in the Giovannucci lab, recently published an article in the Toledo Blade newspaper titled “University of Toledo students studying how to prevent dry mouth” on his research in medication induced salivary gland dysfunction.

October 2016 - Joint Appointment Researcher (Dr. Xin Wang, Associate Professor of Psychiatry) receives $3.38 million grant to study PTSD.


Last Updated: 6/18/18