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Pharmacology & Systems Physiology 

Photo of  Robert Highsmith, PhD

Robert Highsmith, PhD

Professor, Interim Chair of Physiology, and Interim Chair of Pharmacology

Research Interests

My research interests have focused on mechanisms of blood coagulation / fibrinolysis and vessel wall biology. My major contributions have been in the area of vascular smooth muscle-endothelial cell coupling in the control of coronary blood flow. My laboratory is generally credited with the discovery of endothelin, produced by endothelial cells and one of the most potent endogenous vasoconstrictors yet described, and its mechanism of action in vascular smooth muscle. In my administrative capacity, I am responsible for oversight of research and graduate education at the college of medicine. Current activities are focused on defining research infrastructure needs, strategic planning, curriculum review and external reviews of our doctoral degree programs.

  • Doctoral Degree: University of Cincinnati
Contact Information
  • Medical Sciences Building
  • Room 2005G
  • 231 Albert Sabin Way
  • Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0548
  • Office 513-558-5459
  • Fax 513-558-2850
  • Email

Peer Reviewed Publications

Guard, J Roger; Brueggemann, Ralph F; Highsmith, Robert F; Marine, Stephen A; Riep, Josette R; Schick, Leslie C 2005. Building research administration applications for the academic health center: a case study. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 80 11, 1032-8

Hubel, C A; Highsmith, R F 1995. Endothelin-induced changes in intracellular pH and Ca2+ in coronary smooth muscle: role of Na(+)-H+ exchange. The Biochemical journal, 310 ( Pt 3) , 1013-20

Pollock, D M; Keith, T L; Highsmith, R F 1995. Endothelin receptors and calcium signaling. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 9 12, 1196-204

Heffernan, M; Chance, A; Hess, E V; Highsmith, R F; FitzGerald, O 1994. Alterations in human endothelial cell morphology, proliferation and function by a macrophage-derived factor. Irish journal of medical science, 163 8, 359-65

Highsmith, R F; Blackburn, K; Schmidt, D J 1992. Endothelin and calcium dynamics in vascular smooth muscle. Annual review of physiology, 54 , 257-77

Sawaya, R; Highsmith, R F 1992. Postoperative venous thromboembolism and brain tumors: Part III. Biochemical profile. Journal of neuro-oncology, 14 2, 113-8

Blackburn, K; Highsmith, R F 1990. Nickel inhibits endothelin-induced contractions of vascular smooth muscle. The American journal of physiology, 258 6 Pt 1, C1025-30

Rapoport, R M; Stauderman, K A; Highsmith, R F 1990. Effects of EDCF and endothelin on phosphatidylinositol hydrolysis and contraction in rat aorta. The American journal of physiology, 258 1 Pt 1, C122-31

Highsmith, R F; Pang, D C; Rapoport, R M 1989. Endothelial cell-derived vasoconstrictors: mechanisms of action in vascular smooth muscle. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology, 13 Suppl 5 , S36-44; discussion S

Neely, A N; Nathan, P; Highsmith, R F 1988. Plasma proteolytic activity following burns. The Journal of trauma, 28 3, 362-7

Whitmer, K R; Williams-Lawson, J S; Highsmith, R F; Schwartz, A 1988. Effect of calcium channel modulators on isolated endothelial cells. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 154 2, 591-605

FitzGerald, O M; Hess, E V; Chance, A; Highsmith, R F 1987. Quantitative studies of human monokine-induced endothelial cell elongation. Journal of leukocyte biology, 41 5, 421-8

Ramey, J W; Highsmith, R F; Wilfinger, W W; Baldwin, D M 1987. The effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and estradiol on luteinizing hormone biosynthesis in cultured rat anterior pituitary cells. Endocrinology, 120 4, 1503-13

Ramey, J W; Krummen, L A; Wilfinger, W W; Highsmith, R F; Baldwin, D M 1987. Effects of a low calcium environment on luteinizing hormone biosynthesis in cultured rat anterior pituitary cells. Endocrinology, 120 4, 1514-20

Baldwin, D M; Highsmith, R F; Ramey, J W; Krummen, L A 1986. An in vitro study of LH release, synthesis and heterogeneity in pituitaries from proestrous and short-term ovariectomized rats. Biology of reproduction, 34 2, 304-15

Hickey, K A; Rubanyi, G; Paul, R J; Highsmith, R F 1985. Characterization of a coronary vasoconstrictor produced by cultured endothelial cells. The American journal of physiology, 248 5 Pt 1, C550-6

Marcum, J A; Highsmith, R F; Kline, D L 1982. Streptokinase-dependent delayed activation of horse plasminogen. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 709 1, 19-27

Highsmith, R F 1981. Isolation and properties of a plasminogen activator derived from canine vascular tissue. The Journal of biological chemistry, 256 13, 6788-95

Highsmith, R F; Burnett, C J; Weirich, C J 1979. The interaction of C1-esterase inhibitor and plasmin in human euglobulin. The Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 93 3, 459-71

Highsmith, R F; Rosenberg, R D 1977. A rapid and sensitive proteolytic assay for human plasminogen and plasmin using radioiodinated alpha-casein. Thrombosis research, 11 2, 131-40

Highsmith, R F; Weirich, C J; Burnett, C J 1977. Protease inhibitors and human plasmin: interaction in a whole plasma system. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 79 3, 648-56

Highsmith, R F; Rosenberg, R D 1974. The inhibition of human plasmin by human antithrombin-heparin cofactor. The Journal of biological chemistry, 249 14, 4335-8

Highsmith, R F; Kline, D L 1973. Plasminogen restoration by the kidney mediated by a plasma factor. The American journal of physiology, 225 5, 1032-7

Kline, D L; Highsmith, R F 1973. The regulation of blood levels of fibrinolytic enzymes. Series haematologica, 6 4, 513-27

Highsmith, R F; Kline, D L 1971. Kidney: primary source of plasminogen after acute depletion in the cat. Science (New York, N.Y.), 174 4005, 141-2