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Steven Leslie named UT Austin dean of pharmacy

Dr. Steven W. Leslie, a University of Texas at Austin pharmacologist whose research specialty is alcoholism and alcohol abuse, has been named dean of the College of Pharmacy. The appointment was made Tuesday (July 14) by UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner and is effective Sept. 1.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Steven W. Leslie, a University of Texas at Austin pharmacologist whose research specialty is alcoholism and alcohol abuse, has been named dean of the College of Pharmacy. The appointment was made Tuesday (July 14) by UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner and is effective Sept. 1.

Leslie replaces long-time pharmacy dean James T. Doluisio, who is stepping down from the position he has held for 25 years.

In addition to his ground-breaking research in the field of alcoholism studies, Leslie has held several administrative appointments at the University, including serving as director of the UT Institute for Neuroscience from 1986 to 1992. The interdisciplinary institute is composed of 45 UT faculty in six colleges who focus on studies of the nervous system.

“Steve Leslie has served the University superbly for more than two decades as a dedicated research scientist and teacher and as an academic leader with a broad knowledge of our campus,” said Faulkner. “He is excellently prepared to lead the College of Pharmacy as it faces the diverse opportunities now available to it. I am truly delighted that he has accepted this challenge.”

With the exception of a two-year post at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center, Leslie has been on the UT Austin faculty since 1974. He received his B.S. degree, master’s degree and a doctorate in pharmacology/toxicology from Purdue University. Leslie currently holds the Bauerle Centennial Professorship at UT.

“I am honored to be selected as dean of pharmacy,” Leslie said. “I look forward to dedicating my efforts to building upon the nationally prominent professional and research programs that already exist in our college.”

Leslie’s laboratory focuses on the effects of fetal alcohol exposure on alcohol-related neurodevelopmental-disorders (ARND). ARND is thought to be responsible for learning disorders, attention deficit disorder and social adjustment problems of children exposed to alcohol inutero. Research by Leslie has shown that a specific receptor protein, known to be critically involved in brain development and referred to as the NMDA receptor, is significantly reduced in function as a result of fetal alcohol exposure.

A committee of faculty members, students and practicing pharmacists from the college’s advisory council recommended a list of finalists to Faulkner after a national search.