Dusty received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Idaho-Moscow, his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri and practiced large animal veterinary medicine in southern Wisconsin for two years. He then returned to the University of Missouri Campus and pursued his PhD in cardiovascular physiology in the laboratory of pioneering biophysicist, Dean Franklin. He subsequently applied his knowledge and experience of chronically instrumented animal models to preclinical safety assessment at Eli Lilly and Company, in Greenfield Indiana, where he was responsible for cardiovascular safety pharmacology, for 15 years. While at Lilly, his activities have bridged the nonclinical/clinical interface through his activities on the Lilly corporate guidance committee on cardiac safety. In December 2004, Dusty retired from Eli Lilly and Company to relocate to Wisconsin where he joined Covance Laboratories as the Director of Safety Pharmacology in 2005. In 2007, he was promoted to Executive Director of Safety Pharmacology, Science & Technology where he oversees the Safety Pharmacology department and has overall responsibility for leading nonclinical innovation and technology development within the Early Development group Covance, and is the scientific liaison for potential operations in China.
He is a past Chairman of the General Pharmacology/Safety Pharmacology Discussion Group Steering Committee, was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Safety Pharmacology Society where he recently served as President. In addition, he has served as a member of the ILSI/HESI Cardiovascular Safety Committee and the Nonclinical Cardiovascular Studies Subteam, which pursued an understanding of the role of preclinical assays in predicting clinical QT interval prolongation by pharmaceuticals.
In addition to his professional activities, Dusty served as a flight engineer on reconnaissance aircraft with the US Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War, holding a Top Secret security clearance. He is an instrumented-rated commercial pilot, and is the founder and former leader of the Indiana Chapter of Angel Flight, a nationwide nonprofit volunteer organization that provides free air transportation to people in need throughout the United States. Dusty has personally flown 30 volunteer Angel Flight missions. Dusty currently volunteers as a jump pilot for a skydiving club in Wisconsin. Dusty and his wife Leslie are Gold-level ballroom dancers and have performed several choreographed exhibitions, including rumba, bolero, foxtrot, swing, and Viennese waltz. Dusty and Leslie have two sons, Aaron and Zaq. Aaron is a computer scientist at Cisco Systems in North Carolina and Zaq is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he majors in biology.