School of

Russell B. Melchert

Russell B.  Melchert
Dean/Professor, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Info
HSB 2315
Pharmacologic and toxicologic effects of xenobiotics on cardiac function during normal and disease states


Dr. Russell Melchert is the dean of the School of Pharmacy, and a professor in the Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prior to joining UMKC in 2010, he was at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, Arkansas, as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2004-2010), and tenured professor of pharmacology (2008-2010). He was also an associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology for the UAMS College of Medicine (2004-2010).

Dr. Melchert earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1990 and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences in 1994 at the University of Oklahoma. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. At UAMS, Melchert gained 15 years experience as a pharmacy academician and administrator. While serving as chair at UAMS, his department experienced significant growth in the number of faculty, research resources and research laboratory renovations. Also during his tenure, the department was ranked among the top five pharmaceutical sciences departments in the country by Academic Analytics, which surveys publication, citation, and grant activity per faculty member.

His community engagement work includes serving as Board of Directors president (2006) and chairman (2008) of the American Heart Association Pulaski County (Arkansas). He also was an active member of the Cardiology Study Section of the Veterans Affairs Merit Review (2004). Dr. Melchert was recognized four times by the UAMS student body as the College of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year (1999, 2002, 2006, 2010), and he was twice chosen (2006 and 2010) as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Faculty Member of the Year. At UMKC, he has been chosen by doctor of pharmacy students as their class’s Teacher of the Year four times (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016) and as a runner-up for the award two times (2015, 2017).

Research interests

Dr. Melchert’s research interests lie in the pharmacologic and toxicologic effects of xenobiotics on cardiac function during normal and disease states including hypertension, remodeling, and aging. Research projects have focused on calcium homeostasis in the aging male and female heart, cardiac remodeling following myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular function following severe hemorrhagic shock. These research projects utilize a variety of tools and models including in vitro cardiac myocyte models, biotelemetry systems for in vivo cardiovascular monitoring in small animals, fluorescent imaging for intracellular calcium measurements, and various biochemical and molecular approaches for the study of cardiac/cardiomyocyte function.