Stephanie Wengert Watts

My professional life has always been focused on serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). My graduate training in the laboratory of Dr. Marlene Cohen (Eli Lilly, Indiana University) was my initial interaction with serotonergic pharmacology and systems. Dr. Cohen developed a compound, LY53857, which, to this day, is used experimentally to test involvement of 5-HT2 receptors in a biological process. My interest in 5-HT grew during my postdoctoral fellowship which was dedicated to understanding why vasculature from hypertensive subjects was hyperresponsive to 5-HT. Thus, I have situated myself to be an expert in the cardiovascular function of 5-HT. Upon joining the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at MSU, I joined a group of investigators with real expertise in blood pressure regulation and sympathetic nervous system control. I am blessed to be surrounded by those that make us think, and who are willing to be collaborators. I have been PI of my own laboratory for 24 years and we have situated ourselves to be experts in the field of serotonergic research. My lab is a fabulous team of different, intelligent, hardworking and fun-loving people. I oversee all the individuals in this work, both in terms of practical and scientific/theoretical manners. This is one of the if not THE most enjoyable things I do. Together, we tackle the work in front of us, develop new assays, challenge one another, and constantly refine our approach. Being scholars is at our core.


  • University of Illinois (1988); B.S. in Advanced Chemistry
  • Indiana University (1990); M.S. in Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Indiana University (1992); PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • University of Michigan (1995); PostDoc in Physiology