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Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy

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David  Hurley 

Professor and Vice Chair
423-439-2069 /
Building 7, Room 330

David Hurley grew up in Dunwoody, GA, then earned a BS in Biology and Physics from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, in 1979. He received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Penn State University in 1986. He joined the faculty in Cell and Molecular Biology at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1992. He developed "Cellular Biochemistry" as a senior-level course for premedical students, while maintaining a research focus on the regulation of gene transcription of the Growth Hormone gene in the pituitary. Dr Hurley was an National Science Foundation CAREER program awardee from 1996-2004, and was co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant for 17 years. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he joined the Gatton School of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University as an inaugural faculty member in July, 2007, as Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has 45 publications, is a member of The Endocrine Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the AACP, and has been a grant reviewer for 6 years with the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Education, Degree, & Post Graduate Training:

  • Guilford College, Greensboro, NC B. S. with High Honors, Biology and Physics, 1979
  • The Pennsylvania State University M. S., Molecular and Cell Biology, 1981
  • The Pennsylvania State University Ph.D., Molecular and Cell Biology, 1986
  • University of Rochester Postdoctoral, 1985-1988 University of Rochester School of Medicine Postdoctoral, 1988-1990
  • Tulane University School of Medicine Research Assistant Professor, 1990-1991
  • Tulane University Assistant Professor, 1991-1997
  • Department of Cell & Molecular Biology Associate Professor, 1997-2003
  • Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry Course Director, "Biochemistry of Human Disease" Associate Professor, 2004 - 2007

Career highlights:


  • Graduation with High Honors, Guilford College May 1979
  • Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1979-1984
  • Lilly Teaching Fellowship, Tulane University, 1993-94 academic year.
  • Sheldon Hackney Award for Teaching Excellence, Faculty of LAS, Tulane Univ., 1999 – 2000.
  • President's Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching, Tulane University, 2000.
  • Honors Program Professor of the Year, Tulane University, 2000 – 2001.
  • Professor of the Year, Owl Club First Year Class, Tulane Medical School, 2005 & 2006.
  • Gloria P. Walsh Teaching Medal, Tulane Medical School, Spring 2007.


  • National Science Foundation grant IBN 0820321, "Regulation of Pituitary Somatotroph Differentiation by Zn-16", Principal Investigator, 05/2004 – 06/2009.
  • National Institutes of Health grant NS25987-17, "Hypophysiotropic neuron differentiation: target feedback" Carol Phelps, Department of Structural and Cellular Biology, Tulane Univ. School of Medicine, P.I.; 25% effort as co-investigator; 12/1988 - 06/2007.
  • Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation, Research Travel Grant #1002026, David L. Hurley, P.I., "Pituitary-specific transcription factors in the dwarf (dw/dw) rat"; 01/2001 - 06/2001 for sabbatical with Dr. Iain C.A.F. Robinson, Division of Molecular Neuroendocrinology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, UK.
  • NSF IBN-9600805, CAREER (formerly Presidential Young Investigator) Program "Neuroendocrine Regulation of a Zinc Finger Protein, Zn-15, Which Synergistically Activates GH Expression"; Principal Investigator, 08/1996 - 07/2001.

Teaching specialty:


Classes taught:

Pharmaceutical Biochemistry

Research Interests:

Neuroendocrine control of Growth Hormone transcription

Selected Publications:

(graduate authors underlined; undergraduate authors italicized)

  1. Parks, J.S., M.R. Brown, D.L. Hurley, C.J. Phelps, and M.J. Wajnrajch. 1999. Heritable disorders of pituitary development. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (84) 4362-4370. [invited review]
  2. VanderHeyden, T.C., P.W. Wojtkiewicz, T.C. Voss, T.M. Mangin, Z. Harrelson, K.M. Ahlers, C.J. Phelps, and D.L. Hurley. 2000. Mouse growth hormone transcription factor Zn-16: Unique bipartite structure containing tandemly-repeated zinc finger domains not reported in rat Zn-15. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (159) 89-98.
  3. Voss, T.C., M.P. Flynn and D.L. Hurley. 2001. Insulin-like growth factor-1 causes an ultrasensitive reduction in GH mRNA levels via an extracellular mechanism involving insulin-like growth factor binding proteins. Molecular Endocrinology (15) 1549 – 1558.
  4. Flynn, M.P. and D.L. Hurley. (2006). Growth hormone transcription factor ZN-16 genomic coding regions are composed of a single exon and are evolutionarily conserved in mammals. Gene (386) 78-83.

Significant Regional, State, or National Service:

  • Chair, Research Development Committee, ETSU, July 2009 to present, overseeing review and administration of Interdisciplinary, Major and Small Grant applications (≈75/year).
  • NIH Special Emphasis Panel DDK-B review, permanent member, July, 2004 to June, 2008.
  • Reviewer for Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, 6th edition, 2013.

Organizational Involvement/Membership:

  • The Endocrine Society, 1993 – present;
  • Pituitary Society, 1999 – present;
  • Society for Neuroscience, 1991 – present;
  • Rho Chi Honor Society, 2012 – present:
  • American Association for Colleges of Pharmacy, 2007 – present.

Personal motto or favorite quote:

"My name is Michael Westen, I used to be a spy."

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