James E. Blankenship, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

  • Affiliations:
    Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology
  • Route: 0625
  • jeblanke@utmb.edu

James E. Blankenship, Ph.D.


B. A. in Biology, Austin College, Sherman, TX 1963, Magna cum Laude

M. S. in Physiology, Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1965

Ph.D. in Physiology, Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1967

General Information

          Dr. Blankenship, a native of Sherman, Texas, earned his B.A. degree in biology from Austin College and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, where, as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, he studied synaptic mechanisms in the mammalian spinal cord. After graduating from Yale in 1967, he became a postdoctoral trainee in the Department of Physiology of the New York University School of Medicine. In 1969, he went to Bethesda as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health.

          Dr. Blankenship came to UTMB in 1970 as a member of the Marine Biomedical Institute and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. For over 30 years he pursued his research interests in cellular neurobiology, synaptic physiology, motor control and the molecular basis of peptide function, using the model marine mollusk preparation Aplysia.

          He also became increasingly involved in teaching and administrative affairs and now pursues these interests full time. He served as the Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and as the Director of the M.D.-Ph.D. combined-degree program; he led the development of the Basic Biomedical Sciences Curriculum in the graduate school as well. He was also the Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Co-Director of the medical school Neuroscience and Human Behavior course. Dr. Blankenship taught in several graduate school courses, and has won numerous teaching awards from both the medical school and the graduate school. He was also honored as the Ashbel Smith Professor and was Executive Vice Chairman in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology.