Dr. Brian Cummings '99 assumes role as WSU Applebaum dean on August 1

Dr. Brian Cummings, dean of the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Dr. Brian Cummings, dean of the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

On Aug. 1, 2021, Brian S. Cummings, PhD assumes the role of dean of the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

He succeeds Interim Dean and Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Cathy Lysack, who shepherded the college through significant changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic during her three-year appointment.

For the past several months, Cummings has been meeting regularly with WSU Applebaum leadership team members.

“I have spent many hours with Dr. Cummings to ensure a smooth transition,” Lysack said. “I have the utmost confidence that he is ready and absolutely able to take the reins of the college and lead us onward and upward.”

Cummings’ top priorities include:

  • Building on the college’s foundation in alignment with the university’s evolving strategic plan.
  • Ensuring continuing delivery and growth of the college’s instructional mission, with a focus on expanding interprofessional training experiences.
  • Expanding and growing the college’s research mission with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and translational research opportunities.
  • Driving an increase in diversity in the college’s population through growth in targeted recruitment, scholarships, youth programming and community involvement.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead the college at this dynamic time in its century-long history,” Cummings said. “As a native Michigander and Wayne State alumnus, I have always kept the University and the city of Detroit close to my heart, and I look forward to serving the WSU Applebaum family.”

About Dr. Brian Cummings

Brian Cummings earned his PhD in pharmacology from the Wayne State School of Medicine in 1999 and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Medical University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. In 2003, he joined the faculty at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, where he was named a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar. 

In 2012, he was appointed to his first leadership role as director of the University of Georgia’s Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program, a position he held for seven years. From May 2018 through July 2021, he served as department head of the College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services. 

Cummings’ work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. His laboratory has received continuous funding for nearly 20 years. He currently holds two grants from the Department of Defense focusing on novel nanoparticle treatments for prostate cancer. Cummings is also a noted expert in nephrotoxicity (the rapid deterioration in kidney function due to toxic medications and chemicals), especially the mechanisms by which environmental pollutants induce renal cell death. 

An anchor in urban health care 
The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels — from undergraduates to veteran faculty members — translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 26,000 students

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