Dr. Michael Piascik to Retire after 40 Years with College of Medicine

In his 40 years at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Michael T. Piascik, PhD, has mentored hundreds of medical students and graduate students while bringing key funding to the college as a researcher to help produce groundbreaking discoveries in pharmacology.

After a long and distinguished career, Dr. Piascik has announced he will retire, effective July 1.

“Dr. Piascik’s dedication to and excellence in research and teaching have contributed substantially to our success as a department,” Nada Porter, PhD, chair of the department of pharmacology and nutritional sciences, said. “We will miss these contributions, his keen wit, and insight as well as the camaraderie of a dear colleague.”

Dr. Piascik joined the UK College of Medicine faculty in 1980 following a post-doc at the University of Cincinnati. Along with serving as professor in the department of pharmacology and nutritional sciences, he also served as adjunct associate professor in the UK College of Dentistry.

He played a major role in enhancing the medical student curriculum as the assistant dean for foundational science since 2017. His leadership role encompassed overseeing curricular integration, course enhancement, and the successful re-accreditation of the medical school. 

“Dr. Piascik was vital in helping lead the college’s transition to a systems-based curriculum, and he helped refine and enhance that curriculum year by year as assistant dean of foundational science,” Charles “Chipper” Griffith, MD, vice dean for education, said.

As a researcher, Dr. Piascik’s work focused on vascular regulation of blood pressure. He is well known for his work in cloning an alpha1 adrenoreceptor. His laboratory was continuously well-funded from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, and he has published in many prestigious scientific journals. 

In addition to research, Dr. Piascik’s teaching and educational expertise was greatly lauded as he served as a course director for several medical, dental, and graduate courses. He served on numerous curriculum committees and was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development. Dr. Piascik has received numerous awards during his time at the University of Kentucky, including the Charles T. Wethington Award for Faculty Excellence.

Dr. Piascik earned his doctorate in pharmacology at The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s degree at Hiram College. In 1991, he was a visiting scientist for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The UK College of Medicine and its learners have benefited greatly from Dr. Piascik’s exceptional leadership and mentorship. We wish him well on this new chapter!