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Cathy Pederson, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Elizabeth E. Powelson Endowed Chair in Biology

Neurobiology/Physiology, Human Anatomy & Physiology
Director of Health Science Program
BDK Science Center 217
(937) 327-6481

Dr. Pederson graduated from Wittenberg in 1991 with a B.A. in Biology, and received her Ph.D. in Physiology and Neurobiology from Rutgers University in 1996. As a neurobiologist, her research in graduate school focused on the effect of cocaine on the firing patterns of neurons in the rat brain. She was honored to join her alma mater’s faculty in 1995.

Dr. Pederson teaches a variety of courses that are related to the health professions. While challenging, students enjoy these courses as they hone in on human anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology – all important for students interested in the medical field. Dr. Pederson has incorporated multi-week independent research projects into each of her upper-level laboratory courses to give students experience in experimental design and running their own study. Students who excel in these projects are often invited to present their work at a regional conference which provides an opportunity to speak with colleagues from other universities and make professional contacts for graduate school.

Dr. Pederson’s current research interest is in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) which is a neurological disorder that affects the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. The symptoms of POTS include heart rate >140 beats per minute after two minutes of standing still, dizziness, brain fog, chronic fatigue, and neuropathic pain. She is the founder of Standing Up To POTS, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for POTS research and educating people in the medical profession and in the community about this disorder. You can visit her foundation website at

Courses taught:

  • Biology 120: Human Health and Disease
  • Biology 129/229: The Science Behind Addiction
  • Biology 220: Neurobiology
  • Biology 221: Pharmacology
  • Biology 325: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Biology 326: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Biology 327: Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory
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