Kent E. Vrana, PhD is the Elliot S. Vesell Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He received his BS with honors in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 1978, and his PhD in Biochemistry (Pharmacology minor) from Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1983. His post-doctoral fellowship training was in embryology and molecular biology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, MD (on the Johns Hopkins University campus). Following faculty positions at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center and the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Dr. Vrana went to Penn State in 2004.
Dr. Vrana is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals and has served as chair and/or member of over 100 scientific review panel meetings for the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration (VA), and the Department of Defense. He has co-authored over 150 scientific articles, book chapters, and monographs. He is active in medical education and currently serves as co-director of the Clinical Learning and Competency courses (Problem-Based Learning) for the first and second years of the medical curriculum.
In 2009, Dr.Vrana was named an honorary professor of the new School of Medicine of the Peruvian University of Applied Science in Lima, Peru. In recognition of his work in education, he received the 2009 Distinguished Educator Award and was inducted into the Society of Distinguished Educators at the Penn State College of Medicine.