Title:Professor of Pharmacology & Windsor Distinguished Professor of Science
Rank:Professor of Pharmacology
Department:Pharmaceutical & Admin. Sciences


My role as a college professor is to help students become critical thinkers. Teaching is not simply delivering information to students since this rarely leads to a deep understanding of the material presented. Rather, it must be a process that can actively engage students to acquire new knowledge that can be applied and transferred to new situations. I try to challenge students to integrate their knowledge of biology, physiology, chemistry, and pharmacology in order to critically assess and apply the material we cover in class. I also advise students that it is okay to be confused in my courses - as long as they are confused at a higher level by the end of the semester.


College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University.

Associate Scientist, Division of Experimental Pathology, Methodist Research Institute,Indianapolis, IN.

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anatomy Department and The Cardiovascular Center, University of Iowa.

Department of Internal Medicine Research Fellow, Anatomy Department and The Cardiovascular Center, University of Iowa.

  • Hartig Distinguished Professor Award 2016-17
  • Windsor Distinguished Professor of Science, 2006 - 2016
  • Hartig Distinguished Professor Award 2007
  • College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Teacher of the Year 2002-03, 2007-2008, 2011-12, 2015-16

  • Fellow - American Heart Association
  • Fellow - American Physiological Society, Cardiovascular Section
  • Iowa Physiological Society
  • Iowa Academy of Sciences


2006-2011 - Editorial Board, American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology

2008-2009 President, Iowa Physiological Society

2009-2010 Chair, Physiology Section, Iowa Academy of Sciences


Work in my laboratory is focused on the regulation of vascularity in tissues:

1) Expression and function of Placenta Growth Factor (PlGF) in heart tissue. Development of a competent collateral circulation can limit the extent of tissue damage during myocardial ischemia. However, our understanding of the mechanism(s) that control angiogenesis in heart tissue is limited. One attractive hypothesis is that increased expression or bioavailability of endogenous angiogenic growth factors during ischemia may facilitate angiogenesis/vascular remodeling in ischemic tissue. Our research is designed to determine the expression and function of a potent angiogenic protein, PlGF, and its receptors during myocardial ischemia.

2) Role of angiogenic growth factors in abnormal pregnancies. Preeclampsia remains one of the leading causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Although an understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the disease is not known, one hypothesis is that these placentae suffer from inadequate vascular development. Our research is designed to determine the role a naturally occurring angiogenic protein, placenta growth factor (PlGF), and its receptors have in the stimulation of blood vessel growth and function in the human placenta. Our ongoing studies are designed to determine the molecular regulation of PlGF and its receptor (Flt-1) expression in normal and abnormal placentae.

Quick Facts

Ronald Torry, Ph.D

Year Began At Drake

Bachelor of Science, Western Illinois University
PhD - Physiology, Southern Illinois University
Post Doctorate, University of Iowa

Current Classes I Teach
PHAR-114 Advances in Cardiac Diseases
PHAR-134 Principles of Drug Action II
PHAR-132 Pathophysiology

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