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Pamel  Janet Hornby

Current Position

  • Senior Principle & Fellow (retired), CV & Metabolic (CVM), Janssen R&D, LLC. Spring House PA;
  • Professor (ADJ), Dept of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA


  • BSc(honours) Zoology Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1979
  • PhD School of Biological Sciences (Physiology) University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1984

ASPET member since: 1994-2004; 2012-present

Administrative Accomplishments

ASPET/External: As Division chair, Dr. Hornby focused on Pharmacology Trainees exposure to Translational and Clinical Pharmacology careers by initiating (1) mentoring luncheons and (2) site visits to non-academic institutions.  She brings a balanced academic/industry perspective to help drive discussions towards ‘out-of-the-box' thinking at Program committee and Major Awards committee meetings.  She successfully mentors trainees towards career choices for the Mentoring Big Ideas program.  As Drexel adjunct professor, she teaches drug discovery pharmacology and provides research opportunities in the industry.

Janssen: As a Janssen Fellow, the following examples illustrate how Dr. Hornby advocates for scientific development.  She initiated Pharmacology Workshops, e.g. by Prof. Terrence Kenakin (UNC) and Profs. Ken Korzekwa and Swati Nagar (Temple). As 2022 Ambassador for CVM- Diversity Engagement Program, she enabled diverse trainee recruitment for industry mentors. She also co-founded several courses for bench scientists - Technical Writing, Manuscript Writing and Presentation Skills - that have impacted over 150 employees. 

Community: In support of STEM career outreach, for 6 years she led “Bridge to Employment”, a year-long program for Wissahickon High School sophomores, jointly supported by Janssen and Montgomery County Community College. She volunteers at the New Orleans Bioinnovation Center meetings and serves as Technical Reviewer for Congressionally-Directed Biomedical Research Funding.

Research Areas

Dr. Hornby applies her knowledge of translational pharmacology to helping patients and to mentoring the next generation of scientists who also strive to serve them. 

Her NIH-funded laboratory at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans was focused on the role of the Gut-Brain axis in Functional Bowel Disorders. In 2002, she joined Janssen R&D to lead a newly-formed GI Research Team.  This resulted in the discovery and characterization of eluxadoline (Viberzi®), which was ultimately launched in 2016 for patients with diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  In 2006 she joined Biotechnology (Centocor/JBio), where she led incubator-funded high-risk, high-reward research initiatives in protein oral delivery. Most recently, she has focused on gut microbial-derived metabolites, over-nutrition and gut-liver signaling in metabolic diseases.  

Throughout, she has gained experience in the pharmacology of different therapeutic modalities and her publications demonstrate an increasing level of integration of the neural, immunological and metabolic pathways in the field of gastrointestinal pharmacology and pathophysiology. 

ASPET Activities

  • ASPET Fellow, Class of 2022
  • Translational & Clinical Pharmacology Division Exec committee, 2014-present
    • Chair, 2014-2017
    • Annual TCPD trainee career mentoring luncheon & Janssen site visits
    • Representative to Program Committee, 2021-2024
  • Mentoring and Career Development Committee, 2018-present
    • Mentor for the Big Ideas mentoring program, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2022-2023
    • Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast co-coordinator with Janet Clark, Orlando, 2019
    • Panel Member for several Focus-on-Pharmacology sessions
  • Major Awards Committee, 2020-2023

Other Society Memberships/Activities

  • American Gastroenterological Association, 1996-present
    • AGA Fellow, 1991-present
  • American Physiological Society, 2002-2007;2012-2014
    • Industry Liaison Committee member, 2012-2014

Personal Statement

As Secretary/Treasurer I am excited about helping to build a stand-alone ASPET society that seeks to understand and meet the needs of the early career and trainee pharmacologists. Implementing the ASPET strategic plan by representing diversity of careers for next generation of pharmacologists, by promoting ASPET, and by reimagining the annual meeting experience are my highest priorities. 

There is a growing gap of trainees needed to meet the demands of drug discovery, from Government (NCATS) to Academic Centers, Biotechnology to Pharma.  There are few opportunities for PhD’s to connect their skills in basic design and interpretation of pharmacology to therapeutic programs moving towards the clinic. One reason for this gap is that the exposure of trainees to many non-academic roles is still relatively limited. As TCPD Chair, and as MCDC member, I have promoted pharmacology as a set of skills applicable to many different careers.  I would like to further spread this knowledge through greater involvement in ASPET.  

To promote pharmacology we must be able to communicate our ideas.  My experience with Bridge to Employment high school students and their parents has demonstrated how big this shortfall of communication is. The pandemic has further confounded the ability to share with our communities how they can benefit from what we do.  Training in communication skills is essential to reduce barriers and build trust. The Pharmacologist is a great resource for providing historic examples of benefits to health, but I would like to work with members to explore more communication avenues.

Re-imagining the meeting experience is something I am passionate about and have thoroughly enjoyed.  Pitch competitions in scientific entrepreneurship (Young Scientist Committee), datablitz, ‘fireside chat’ and panel discussions with active audience participation must take their place beside the traditional discipline-based invited speaker symposia.  This will not only engage attendees but will also expand our membership.

Finally, being elected Treasurer/Secretary would help advance my own career goals by enabling me to gain insight into fiscal oversight of ASPET and contribute to strengthening the society for future members.   

Last Updated: November 29, 2022

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