Faculty : Departmental- Primary

Thomas H. Champney, Ph.D.

For over 20 years (1980 – 2003), Dr. Champney investigated the role of the pineal gland and its hormone, melatonin, on physiologic function in mammals. Laboratory-based research examined the ability of endocrine or pharmacologic compounds to modify the role of the pineal in seasonal reproduction. Additional experiments investigated melatonin’s anticonvulsant activity in humans and rodent models of epilepsy. The ability of the pineal gland and melatonin to modify reproductive and immunologic competence in rodents was also investigated. Finally, cell culture investigations of melatonin action on dopamine release from PC12 cells were conducted. These studies produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications and provided fundamental information on melatonin’s physiologic role that has lead to its use in clinical medicine.
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This laboratory also provided assay services for the research community through the Neuroendocrine / Neurochemical Core Facility. This facility provided HPLC analysis of catecholamines, indoleamines, amino acids and GABA as well as radioimmunoassay (RIA) and spectrophotometric assays for over 20 serum hormones or metabolic compounds. The facility was utilized by over 40 investigators with more than 20 publications citing the core facility. Funding for the facility came from collaborative arrangements with users of the facility.

In 2003, Dr. Champney closed his research lab and moved to St. George’s University in Grenada where he taught first year medical students and created a scientific ethics course that was required for all graduate students. He reoriented his research interests around scientific ethics and began reviewing grant proposals for the Office of Research Integrity that funded projects in research ethics and collaborated with investigators on objectives for research ethics courses. In 2007, he moved to Newcastle, England, where he helped establish and run a new branch of St. George’s University’s School of Medicine. In 2009, Dr. Champney accepted a faculty position at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine to teach first year medical students. He also joined the University’s Ethics Program and has helped reorganize and teach the Responsible Conduct of Research course for graduate students in addition to publishing commentaries on the ethical use of human tissues.

Professional Affiliations

Willed Body Program for the South Florida Office of the Anatomical Board


1998; Course Coordinator, Medical Gross Anatomy and Embryology, Texas A&M University.
1999 – 2002; Course Coordinator, Medical Histology, Texas A&M University.
2003 – 2006; Histology & Cell Biology, St. George’s University, St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies.
2004 – 2006; Scientific Ethics: Responsible Conduct of Research, St. George’s University, St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies.
2007; Course Coordinator, Histology & Cell Biology, St. George’s Univ at Northumbria Univ, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
2009 – Present; Histology Section Coordinator of Human Structure Module, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL.
2010 – Present; Neuroanatomy Section Coordinator of Neuroscience Module, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL.
2010 – Present; Course Coordinator, Human Structure Module including Cell Biology, Histology and Gross Anatomy, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL.

Teaching Awards

During his 35 year span of teaching, Dr. Champney has received over 30 teaching awards including college-wide and university-wide teaching awards from Texas A&M University. At the University of Miami, he has received the George Paff Award for Excellence in Medical Education every year since his arrival. At all the institutions he has taught, he has consistently ranked in the top five teaching faculty based on student evaluations and peer evaluations.

Select Publications

Champney TH, S Hildebrandt, DG Jones and A Winkelmann, 2018, BODIES R US: ethical views on the commercialization of the dead in medical education and research, Anat Sci Educ, In Press.

Champney TH, 2016, The business of bodies: ethical perspectives on for-profit willed body companies, Clin Anat, 29:25-29.

Champney TH, 2014, Conflicts of commitment, conflicts of conscience, and institutional conflicts of interest. In: Conflicts of Interest (COI) Guide, CITI Program at the University of Miami, Miami, pp 29-42.

Champney TH, 2011, A proposal for a policy on the ethical care and use of cadavers and their tissues, Anat Sci Educ, 4:49-52.

Champney TH, 2010, Cadaver on the Cover, Letter to the Editor, Acad Med, 85(3):390. See also, Kanter, SL, 2010, A Silent Mentor, Editorial, Acad Med, 85(3):389.

Essential Clinical Neuroanatomy August 2015, ©2014, Wiley-Blackwell
champney book cover

View published research articles by Dr. Champney in the National Library of Medicine