Dr. Kent E. Vrana is the Elliot S. Vesell Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the Penn State College of Medicine. He received his B.S. with honors in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry (Pharmacology minor) from Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. His post-doctoral fellowship training was in embryology and molecular biology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, MD (on the Johns Hopkins University campus).
Dr. Vrana joined the Department of Biochemistry at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center as an assistant professor and then moved to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine where he rose through the ranks to full professor. In 2004, Dr. Vrana assumed the position of Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the Penn State University College of Medicine.
Dr. Vrana is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals (Associate Editor for Pharmacology (Karger Press), the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (an ASPET journal) and Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids (Karger Press)). He has served as chair (30 times) and/or a member of over 110 scientific review panel meetings for the federal government and non-profit organizations. He has co-authored more than 190 scientific articles, book chapters, and monographs (including two textbooks). In 2009, he was named an honorary professor of the School of Medicine of the Peruvian University of Applied Science in Lima, Peru, and was inducted into the Society of Distinguished Educators at the Penn State College of Medicine. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS). He currently serves the immediate past president of the Association of Medical School Pharmacology Chairs (AMSPC).
2009 - Honorary Professor Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (Peruvian University of Applied Science) College of Medicine, Lima, Peru; 2009 - Distinguished Educator Award Induction into the Society of Distinguished Educators Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; 2015 - Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); 2019 - Elected President, National Association of Medical School Pharmacology Chairs (AMSPC) (2019-2022)