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Kenny Simansky

Kenny Simansky, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology; Senior Vice Dean for Research

Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • PhD in Biopsychology - University of Iowa (1979)
  • MA in Biopsychology - University of Iowa (1975)
  • BA in Psychology - Queens College of CUNY (1972)

Awards & Honors

  • Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Transformational Leadership Award, Drexel University College of Medicine (2024)
  • Former president, International Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
  • Basic Scientist Award, Drexel University College of Medicine

In addition to serving as the senior vice dean for research, Dr. Simansky is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He has mentored graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who have begun careers in the academy, in the pharmaceutical industry and in education. He received the Graduate Student Association Teaching Award from the College of Medicine.

Research Interests

Cellular mechanisms involved in regulation of eating


Kenny J. Simansky, PhD, is senior vice dean for research at Drexel University College of Medicine. Previously, he served as director of the graduate programs in pharmacology and in neuroscience and as associate dean for Biomedical Graduate Studies.

After earning is PhD, Dr. Simansky completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neurosciences at the Cornell University College of Medicine, for which he received an individual fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. He has been funded by the NIH as a principal investigator throughout his academic career at the College of Medicine.

His research focuses on the cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of eating. These brain mechanisms are known to be relevant for understanding obesity, drug addiction, and some behavioral disorders. Much of Dr. Simansky's work contributed to understanding how serotonin in the brain and gut promotes satiation during eating. His current work also focuses on the mechanisms by which cannabinoids and opioids in the brain influence dietary selection, based upon the sensory properties of food.

He has been invited to present his work at numerous universities and conferences, and has organized international symposia, including the prestigious Fuller Symposium of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics on "Obesity: Targets and Tools for the 21st Century." The National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism awarded him a multiyear conference grant to bring international authorities together to discuss the roles of brain mechanisms of reward in obesity, substance abuse, and other psychiatric disorders. He has chaired peer review panels at NIH for investigator-initiated research and for fellowship training in the neurosciences.

In the Media

"Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Research Consortium: Committed to Changing the Cancer Landscape in Philadelphia"
Pulse (Spring 2024)

"Cancer Groups Celebrate Pa. Program That Helps Taxpayers Donate to Research Programs"
CBS Philly (March 3, 2015)

Department of Health Awards Research Grants to Drexel
(July 19, 2013)

"Vice-Chair Homeless Children Education Task Force" (April 2, 2013)


  • Israeli Digital Health Summit
    Drexel's University (November 12, 2015)

Contact Information

Office of the Vice Dean for Research
Mail Stop 400
245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.8949
Fax: 215.762.8972