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Gary A. Oltmans, PhD

Gary A. Oltmans, PhD
Professor Emeritus

Gary A. Oltmans, PhD, was appointed to the College of Pharmacy on July 1, 2009 as the founding Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College. Dr. Oltmans has extensive experience at the helm of different departments in this University, serving for 12 years as Interim or Vice Chair of the Departments of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, and Psychology. He has, therefore, gained extensive administrative experience working with faculty, budgets and Deans. In addition, he has been a leader in curriculum reform in the Medical School, and has had seven years experience in interprofessional education.

Dr. Oltmans received his PhD in Physiological Psychology and, following a postdoctoral period, he joined the pharmacology faculty at RFUMS as Assistant Professor in 1976. He became Associate Professor in 1980 and was promoted to full Professor in 2010. He conducted basic pharmacological research and was continuously funded by NIH or private foundations for 15 years. He directed the Medical Pharmacology course for 17 years. He has served on numerous University committees, and has chaired the University Senate‘s Faculty Affairs Committee during an active transitional period in the University‘s history. He has received several awards for his teaching and service. He is a member of national professional societies, including the AACP. Dr. Oltmans experience in hiring and supervising faculty is vital for COP development. He became Professor Emeritus on July 1, 2014.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Marijuana: Its History, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Medical Uses, Politics - Elective


Dr. Oltmans’ research interests focus on the mechanisms by which drug effects are mediated in the brain by modifying neurochemical or genomic brain features.  His more recent research interests include the scholarship of education and curriculum development.


  1. Drengler, S.M., Lorden, J.F., Billitz, M.S., and Oltmans, G.A. (1996)  Adrenergic Agents inhibit rapid increases in cerebellar Purkinje cell glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) mRNA levels after climbing fiber lesions or reserpine treatment.  J. Neuroscience, 615:1844-1851.
  2. Drengler, S.M. and Oltmans, G.A. (1993)  Rapid increases in cerebellar Purkinje cell glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) mRNA after lesion-induced increases in cell firing.  Brain Research, 615:175-179.
  3. Lutes, J., Lorden, J.F., Davis, B.J., and Oltmans, G.A. (1992)  GABA levels and GAD immunoreactivity in the deep cerebellar nuclei of rats with altered olivo-cerebellar function.  Brain Res. Bull., 29:329-336.
  4. Litwak, J., Mercugliano, M., Chesselet, M.-F., and Oltmans, G. (1990)  Increased glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) mRNA and GAD activity in cerebellar Purkinje cells following lesion-induced increases in cell firing.  Neuroscience Letters, 116:179-183.
  5. Beales, M., Lorden, J.F.,Walz, E., and Oltmans, G.A. (1990)  Quantitative autoradiography reveals selective changes in cerebellar GABA receptors of the rat mutant dystonic.  J. Neuroscience, 10:1874-1885.