Joseph Dunbar

Joseph Dunbar

Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,
Chair of Physiology

Joseph Dunbar

Office Address

5374 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201


Jenae’ Conley | 313-577-1520


Charlyce Jackson | 313-577-6744


Joseph Dunbar, Ph.D., is interim vice dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the chair of the Department of Physiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dunbar, a graduate of the WSU School of Medicine, is a professor of Physiology and previous chair of the department. He has also previously been an associate vice president for Research and assistant dean of the Graduate School.

The Charles Gershenson Distinguished Faculty member received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Alcorn College and a master’s degree in zoology from Texas Southern University before earning his doctorate in Physiology and Pharmacology at Wayne State University. He completed postdoctoral training at Sinai Hospital in Detroit as a diabetes trainee.

Dr. Dunbar rejoined WSU as assistant professor in the Department of Physiology. He was appointed professor in 1985, and then chaired the department from 1997 to 2007.

Dr. Dunbar’s research interest involves endocrine mechanisms associated with diabetes mellitus and its complications. He served on the advisory board for the American Physiological Society, was a member of many National Institutes of Health review boards and committees, and has served on the boards of many peer-reviewed national journals, including the American Journal of Physiology.

He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed research articles, seven book chapters and more than 200 abstracts. His research has been supported by multiple National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and other state and national agencies. In addition to his research support, he has been program director for three student-based NIH training grants and a current training grant, the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, which has been continuously supported since 1978. Dr. Dunbar is the past director of the NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and Professoriate, and the McNair Program. He trained 18 doctoral students and a number of master’s students.

Dr. Dunbar received the WSU School of Medicine Lawrence M. Weiner Award in 1996. The award is presented annually to honor exceptional performance in teaching, research and/or administrative duties. He also has received a number of teaching awards and the Wayne State University Mentoring Award.

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