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Peter J.R. Cobbett, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology

B305 Life Sciences
1355 Bogue Street
East Lansing, MI 48824

Email: cobbett@msu.edu

Phone: (517) 353-5479 | Fax: (517) 353-8915 | Location:  B305 Life Sciences

Fields of Interest: My major research focus has been on ion channel function in neurons and other cell types.  However, after many diverse and rewarding projects and collaborations, I no longer run a research lab.  Instead, my time is focused on teaching students at all levels.

    • 1977 - B.S., Physiology and Pharmacology, University of St. Andrews/Scotland
    • 1981 - Ph.D., Physiology and Pharmacology, University of St. Andrews/Scotland
    • 1981-1984 - Postdoctoral Associate, Neuroscience Program, Michigan State University
    • 1984-1988 - Beit Fellow, Neuroendocrinology, Agricultural & Food Research Council,Cambridge, England
    • 1988-1992 - Visiting Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Michigan State Univ
    • 1992-1998 - Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Michigan State University
    • 1988-present - Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Michigan State University

    Research Synopsis (Previous)

    My research has previously been directed at understanding the physiology of the neurons and astrocytes of the hypothalamo-pituitary system in mammals and the physiology Calcium channels expressed in the muscle from the parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni and its free-living, non-parasitic relative Dugesia trigina.

    Currently, I have a research collaboration with Dr Steve Suhr of the Department of Animal Science at MSU. We are investigating how fibroblasts may be reprogrammed to become neurons and whether these reprogrammed cells can form functional connections in the mammalian brain.

    Selected Achievements

    • President, Michigan Chapter-Society for Neuroscience, 2005-2007
    • Secretary, Michigan Chapter-Society for Neuroscience, 2000-2001
    • Organizer, Michigan Chapter-Society for Neuroscience, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

    Professional Societies

    • American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    • Brain Research Association (UK)
    • British Neuroendocrine Group
    • European Neuroscience Association
    • Society for Neuroscience

    (Since 2007)


    • Member, Professional Science Masters Program Committee, 2007-present
    • Member, Online Masters Program Committee, 2007-present


    • University Committee on Academic Policy, College Advisory Committee (College of Human Medicine), 2008-2009


    • Neuroscience Program:
      • Neuroscience Program Faculty Advisory Committee, 2007-2009
      • Graduate Affairs Committee, 2005-07, 2010-present
      • Comprehensive Exam Committee, 2001-2008; Chair, 2004-2007
    • University Committee on Academic Policy, 2006-2010
    • Research Integrity Council, 2006-07, 2008-09
    • Ad hoc Investigative Committee for University Intellectual Integrity Officer, Chair, 2006

    Full list of publications at MSU Scholars

    • Role of calcium influx through voltage-operated calcium channels and of calcium mobilization in the physiology of Schistosoma mansoni muscle contractions. Mendonça-Silva DL, Novozhilova E, Cobbett PJ, Silva CL, Noël F, Totten MI, Maule AG, Day TA. Parasitology. 2006 Jul;133(Pt 1):67-74. Epub 2006 Mar 28. PMID: 16566851 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    • NIGMS-sponsored integrative and organ systems pharmacology: synopsis of the 2005 experience/anticipation of the 2006 short courses.Bylund DB, Brunton LL, Cobbett PJ, Persky AM, Preusch PC.Mol Interv. 2005 Dec;5(6):330-3. No abstract available.PMID: 16394246 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]