Faculty or Staff Name:

rusyniak_danweb.jpgDaniel E. Rusyniak, MD
Professor of Emergency Medicine

Division Chief, Toxicology
Medical Director, Indiana Poison Center

Office Location & Contact
Faculty Office Building, Eskenazi Health
640 Eskenazi Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Phone: (317) 880-3900

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Toxicology Podcast


Indiana University School of Medicine
Fellowship, Medical Toxicology, 2001
Residency, Emergency Medicine, 1999

Wake Forest School of Medicine
MD, Class of 1996

About me

Dr. Daniel Rusyniak is a Professor of Emergency Medicine and adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He grew up in Bluefield, Virginia a small coal town in Appalachia. After graduating from Villanova University, he worked for Pharmaceutical Giant Hoffman La Roche designing assays for drugs-of-abuse. Dr. Rusyniak received his medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and did his clinical training in the IU Emergency Medicine residency program followed by a fellowship in clinical toxicology. At the completion of his training in 2001, he joined the newly formed IU Academic Emergency Department.

Dr. Rusyniak serves as the Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the IU Department of Emergency Medicine where his work has focused on creating faculty development and leadership curriculum for EM faculty. In addition, he has served as the IU Medical Toxicology Fellowship director and is the current secretary-elect for the IU School of Medicine Faculty Steering Committee.

Dr. Rusyniak’s research and educational focus is on the toxicological effects of drugs of abuse and heavy metal intoxication. He has had numerous grants, including two NIH grants, focused on identifying the neural mechanisms underling amphetamine-related hyperthermia. In addition, he is a national expert in the management of heavy metal poisoned patients and has published numerous articles and textbook chapters on the topic including in the prestigious textbook Cecil’s Medicine.

Dr. Rusyniak has held several national positions including board member and research committee chair for the American College of Medical Toxicology and faculty development chair for the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. He is a reviewer for numerous journals and is an editor for the Journal of Medical Toxicology and the journal Temperature. He is also a co-host of a quarterly podcast on toxicology topics put out by the American College of Medical Toxicology. 

Current Research
Click Here to Learn more about the Rusyniak Lab

My laboratory is committed to understanding the neurobiology of temperature regulation. As amphetamines are known to cause heat stroke, we have researched the neural pathways involved in mediating temperature responses to the drugs MDMA (ecstasy) and methamphetamine. These drugs cause heat stroke in part because they provoke profound locomotion. When animals are given amphetamines in a warm environment they may literally run themselves to death. A question our lab has sought to address is why? Normally athletes and animals develop exhaustion when their body reaches a critical temperature. Amphetamines seem to prevent this. This has led us to focus on brain regions that mediate locomotion and exhaustion in the rat. One such area is the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). Our lab has recently shown that the DMH is involved in spontaneous locomotion provoked by amphetamines and that stimulating the DMH can prevent exhaustion during exercise. How MDMA and amphetamines activate this brain region is not known and is the current focus of our research.e Janet.

Recent Publications

On-Site Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke.
Sloan BK, Kraft EM, Clark D, Schmeissing SW, Byrne BC, Rusyniak DE.
Am J Sports Med. 2015 Jan 28. pii: 0363546514566194.

Acute Methylenedioxypyrovalerone Toxicity.
Froberg BA, Levine M, Beuhler MC, Judge BS, Moore PW, Engebretsen KM, Mckeown NJ, Rosenbaum CD, Young AC, Rusyniak DE; On behalf of the ACMT Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC).
J Med Toxicol. 2014 Dec 3.

Inhibition of the dorsomedial hypothalamus, but not the medullary raphe pallidus, decreases hyperthermia and mortality from MDMA given in a warm environment.
Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Durant PJ, Rusyniak DE.
Pharmacol Res Perspect
. 2014 Apr 1;2(2):e00031.

Synthetic cathinones ("bath salts").
Banks ML, Worst TJ, Rusyniak DE, Sprague JE.
J Emerg Med
. 2014 May;46(5):632-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.11.104. Epub 2014 Feb 22. Review.

Negative predictive value of acetaminophen concentrations within four hours of ingestion.
Froberg BA, King KJ, Kurera TD, Monte AA, Prosser JM, Walsh SJ, Riffenburgh RH, Rusyniak DE, Tanen DA.
Acad Emerg Med
. 2013 Oct;20(10):1072-5. doi: 10.1111/acem.12222.

Independent of 5-HT1A receptors, neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamus mediate ACTH responses from MDMA.
Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Dimicco JA, Durant PJ, Ross CT, Rusyniak DE.
Neurosci Lett
. 2013 Oct 25;555:42-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.07.053. Epub 2013 Aug 8

Neurotoxicology: the ties that bind us.
Rusyniak DE
, Dobbs MR.

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013 Jun;36(2):ix-x. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2013.02.007. Epub 2013 Apr 12. No abstract available.

Neurologic manifestations of chronic methamphetamine abuse.
Rusyniak DE
Psychiatr Clin North Am
. 2013 Jun;36(2):261-75. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Apr 11. Review.

Estimating the weight of children in Kenya: do the Broselow tape and age-based formulas measure up?
House DR, Ngetich E, Vreeman RC, Rusyniak DE.
Ann Emerg Med
. 2013 Jan;61(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.07.110. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Life-threatening hyperkalemia from cream of tartar ingestion.
Rusyniak DE
, Durant PJ, Mowry JB, Johnson JA, Sanftleben JA, Smith JM.
J Med Toxicol
. 2013 Mar;9(1):79-81. doi: 10.1007/s13181-012-0255-x.

The orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 decreases sympathetic responses to a moderate dose of methamphetamine and stress.
Rusyniak DE
, Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Durant PJ, DiMicco JA.
Physiol Behav
. 2012 Dec 5;107(5):743-50. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.02.010. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Hard impact: journal impact factor and JMT.
Jang DH, Rusyniak DE.
J Med Toxicol
. 2011 Dec;7(4):256-8. doi: 10.1007/s13181-011-0171-5. No abstract available.

Increased adolescent opioid use and complications reported to a poison control center following the 2000 JCAHO pain initiative.
Tormoehlen LM, Mowry JB, Bodle JD, Rusyniak DE.
Clin Toxicol (Phila)
. 2011 Jul;49(6):492-8. doi: 10.3109/15563650.2011.587819.

Neurologic manifestations of chronic methamphetamine abuse.
Rusyniak DE
Neurol Clin
. 2011 Aug;29(3):641-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 Jun 24. Review.

Frontiers in Clinical Neurotoxicology. Preface.
Dobbs MR, Rusyniak DE.
Neurol Clin
. 2011 Aug;29(3):xi-xii. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2011.06.003. No abstract available.

Stress-free microinjections in conscious rats.
Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Rusyniak DE, Dimicco JA.
J Neurosci Methods
. 2011 Aug 15;199(2):199-207. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 May 11.

The role of orexin-1 receptors in physiologic responses evoked by microinjection of PgE2 or muscimol into the medial preoptic area.
Rusyniak DE
, Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, DiMicco JA.
Neurosci Lett
. 2011 Jul 8;498(2):162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.05.006. Epub 2011 May 17.

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