Eric S. Bennett, Ph.D., has been appointed professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology at Wright State University, effective October 1, 2016.
Bennett comes to Wright State from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine (USF MCOM) where he served as professor and vice chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology and associate dean for Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Programs. He was responsible for the development and implementation of new programs at the department and college levels in addition to maintaining significant teaching and course administration duties and an active and well-funded research program.
Bennett arrived at USF MCOM as an assistant professor of physiology and biophysics in 1997. In 2006, as the founding director of the USF MCOM Ph.D. program in integrated biomedical sciences, he oversaw the development and implementation of a new Ph.D. program, including the recruitment and admissions of all Ph.D. students, the curriculum, qualifying examinations, dissertation defenses and graduation publication requirements.
Bennett is highly heralded as an excellent educator at USF, having won many awards from medical students (five), Ph.D. students (two) and the Office of Educational Affairs (two).
In addition to his educational and administrative duties, he developed a federally funded, internationally recognized, independent research program at USF. His research focuses on understanding the control, modulation and pathophysiology of electrical signaling in the body, and how it contributes to cardiac, neuronal and skeletal muscle dysfunction. He is the principal investigator (PI) on multiple research projects — one funded by the National Science Foundation and another by the American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate — and is co-investigator or co-PI on two other federally funded projects.
As the author and coauthor of numerous scholarly papers, Bennett’s work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, FASEB Journal, the Journal of Physiology, Journal of General Physiology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.
Bennett serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals, including the Journal of Physiology, Circulation Research, Journal of Neuroscience and European Journal of Neuroscience and is an editorial board member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
He is a member of the Biophysical Society, the American Physiological Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Heart Association, among others.
“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Bennett to Wright State,” said Margaret Dunn, M.D., dean of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. “His academic and administrative experience, combined with his funded research, make him the perfect choice to lead our Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology.”
After receiving a B.S. in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University, Bennett earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in biophysics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He then moved to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience.