Walter E. Horton Jr., Ph.D., is dean of the College of Graduate Studies and vice president for research. In addition, Dr. Horton holds a tenured professorship in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.
Dr. Horton has a distinguished career as a biomedical scientist. He received his undergraduate degree in zoology at Kent State University and his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Cincinnati followed by postdoctoral training in molecular biology at the National Institute of Craniofacial and Dental Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Horton and his research team carried out pioneering research that identified the basic mechanism controlling the gene that codes for one of the major proteins in cartilage. In addition, he has made discoveries that help explain how cartilage ages and what goes wrong in the formation of osteoarthritis. Dr. Horton worked at Eli Lilly in the osteoarthritis drug discovery program and later spent 10 years in the intramural program at the National Institute on Aging, NIH.
Dr. Horton began at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) by serving in a faculty role, teaching medical students and mentoring graduate students, including serving as the primary advisor for five Ph.D. students. His research program was continuously funded by the NIH along with the Arthritis Foundation and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation.
In his capacity as dean and vice president, Dr. Horton has facilitated extensive growth of the research and sponsored program portfolio at the University and has helped to develop the University’s public-private partnership strategy to facilitate commercialization and economic development linked to university innovation. Dr. Horton is the inaugural dean of the College of Graduate Studies at NEOMED, which includes innovative masters, doctoral and graduate certificate programs related to biomedical research, public health and ethics.
Dr. Horton lives in Stow with his wife, Dr. Sara Carlson, who is on the faculty in the Department of Biology at the University of Akron. Their son, Daniel, is a high school teacher in Akron.