Robert Speth, M.A., Ph.D., came to Nova Southeastern University in September 2009 as Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Speth's career as a biomedical researcher has taken him many places since he obtained his first post graduate degree, a Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis on Physiological Psychology at Connecticut College in 1972. He went on to Vanderbilt University where he earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in the Neuropsychopharmacology program in 1976. He then moved to Tucson Arizona to do a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Henry I. "Hank" Yamamura. After 3 years in Tucson, Dr. Speth moved to Cleveland Ohio to join the Research Division of the Cleveland Clinic as an Associate Staff. It was during this time that Dr. Speth began to work on the regulation of the cardiovascular system by the renin-angiotensin system with a focus on the brain. In 1984 Dr. Speth took a faculty position in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University teaching Pharmacology and Responsible Conduct of Research, as well as continuing his research on angiotensins and the brain.
While at Washington State University (WSU) Dr. Speth established "The Peptide Radioiodination Service Center" to provide large amounts of unusual compounds tagged with iodine-125 to researchers at affordable costs. This service center shipped more than 1000 batches of radioligand to researchers world-wide during the tme it was in operation. Also while at WSU, Dr. Speth became an outspoken advocate for biomedical research using animal models. Dr. Speth has appeared on television, radio and written numerous op-ed pieces in support of animal research. Dr. Speth was a founding officer of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics, the founding editor of the Newsletter of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics and is a Past-President of this organization. Dr. Speth received the Louis J. Kettel Memorial Award in 1998 by the organization incurably ill for Animal Research in 1998 for his efforts in advocating biomedical research with animals. Dr. Speth also received the Alumni Award from Tuskegee University, the WSU Library Award as well as the WSU Science Library award for his advocacy and service on behalf of the WSU libraries. In 1995 Dr. Speth was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2003 Dr. Speth moved to Mississippi to become Chair of the Department of Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy of the University of Mississippi. Following his retirement from the University of Mississippi, he came to Nova to continue his research and teaching. To honor his commitment to provide affordable radioligands to researchers as well as to prepare radioligands for his NIH-supported research, Dr. Speth also serves as a consultant to American Radiolabeled Chemicals in St. Louis, MO and travels there monthly to prepare radioiodinated drugs and analogs.
In the course of his career Dr. Speth has generated more than one million dollars of funding for his research. While his research focus is primarily on how angiotensin acts in the brain to regulate the cardiovascular system his 200+ scholarly works include a wide range of topics (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez Speth R, for a listing of his peer-reviewed papers). Highlights in Dr. Speth's career include the first report of the benzodiazepine binding site in the human brain the first report of the distribution of angiotensin receptor subtypes in the rodent brain, the discovery of receptors for angiotensins in the ovary and epididymis, the identification of the mas oncogene protein as a receptor for a truncated angiotensin analog (angiotensin 1-7), and the discovery of a novel angiotensin binding protein. Work on this latter discovery is the subject of Dr. Speth's NIH supported research project entitled "Brain-specific non-AT1, non-AT2 angiotensin binding site." In addition to his research activities Dr. Speth will be teaching in the Ph.D. program in the College of Pharmacy as well as mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.