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. They have helped us grow to the point where we have expanded our interests into perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) and the world of chemerin. I have been PI of my own laboratory for almost 25 years and we have situated ourselves to be experts in the field of vascular 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