John R. Martin, PhD

Professor of PharmacologyJohn R. Martin, PhD
Interim Chair, Department of Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology
Phone: (434) 582-8507


  • PhD, University of Minnesota
  • MS, University of the Pacific
  • BS, University of California


Prior to joining LUCOM in 2016, Dr. Martin served for three years as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assessment at California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy, a start-up college of pharmacy, and as the interim chair for the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Department.

Before moving into administration, Dr. Martin was a faculty member of the Department of Pharmacology at A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, for twenty years. Dr. Martin earned a MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences (emphasis in pharmacology) from University of the Pacific, College of Pharmacy, a PhD from the University of Minnesota, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Martin graduated with a BS in Animal Physiology from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Martin’s research interest is in the regulation of the cardiovascular system by specific regions of the brain thought to be involved in the control of blood pressure, particularly the posterior hypothalamic nucleus, the neurotransmitters of this region, and the connections of this nuclei with other brain areas, especially the descending cholinergic projection from the anterior hypothalamic nucleus. These studies include the modifying effect that cannabinoids have on changes in blood pressure evoked by administration of serotonergic, cholinergic or NPYergic agonists into these various regions. In addition, Dr. Martin’s laboratory is also interested in the potential neuroprotective effect of cannabinoids on ischemia and reperfusion following middle cerebral artery occlusion.

Dr. Martin has an interest in innovative teaching methods that engage students in active learning, particularly Team-Based Learning (TBL). He has used TBL for the last ten years as the preferred method for facilitating the learning of pharmacology by students in the health care professions. He has given workshops to faculty on the delivery of course content using TBL, the evaluation of student learning through formative and summative assessments, and the development and use of rubrics.