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Tom Prisinzano headshot
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Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.
Executive Team
Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bldg, Room 365

Dr. Prisinzano received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Delaware (1995) and a doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA (2000). From 2000-2003, he was an Intramural Training Award (IRTA) Fellow in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In 2003, Dr. Prisinzano began his independent career in the Division of Medicinal & Natural Products Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. From 2007-2019, he was a faculty member in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas. In 2019, he joined the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. He currently serves as Director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI) and Chair of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department.

Dr. Prisinzano has received a number of awards for his research including a Matt Suffness (Young Investigator) Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy (2008), a Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College on Drug Dependence (2011), a David W. Robertson Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (2012), and the inaugural Innovator Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (2018). His research combines medicinal and natural products chemistry and is directed toward elucidation of the structure and function of neurotransmitter systems in the central nervous system in normal, drug-altered and pathological states and the development of medications for the treatment of drug abuse and pain.



Faculty Expertise

  • Drug Discovery & Development
  • Natural Products
  • Substance Use Disorder (Opioids, Cocaine, Methamphetamine)

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.