Dr. Pamela Lein Honored as Distinguished Neurotoxicologist
Dr. Pamela Lein has been honored with the 2022 Distinguished Neurotoxicologist Award. It is the highest award given by the Neurotoxicology specialty section (NTSS) of the Society of Toxicology and recognizes those who have made important high-impact scientific, regulatory or service contributions over a sustained period of time (>15 years post-training to the field of Neurotoxicology. In addition to an engraved plaque, the awardee will give a brief speech about their experience as a neurotoxicologist at the annual meeting.
“It means a lot to me to be recognized by my colleagues and peers, which include individuals I’ve looked to as role models throughout my professional career,” said Lein who serves as a professor in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s department of Molecular Biosciences and director of the CounterACT Center of Excellence. “This recognition is a reflection of not only my accomplishments, but also those of my mentors and the very talented and hardworking staff and trainees with whom I have been privileged to work since I was a graduate student in pharmacology and toxicology.”
Research studies in Lein’s laboratory include identifying novel therapeutic approaches for preventing brain damage following exposure to chemicals that cause seizures; understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which environmental factors interact with genetic factors to increase risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and determining how pesticides alter communication between nerves and immune cells in the lung to cause airway hyperreactivity, which is a major symptom of asthma.
Her research involves diverse model systems ranging from primary neuronal cell culture to zebrafish to rodent models, and multiple techniques ranging from cellular and molecular techniques to in vivo imaging to behavioral studies. She has mentored numerous graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in her laboratory, many of whom have gone on to leadership positions in pharmacology and toxicology. Lein was one of 34 faculty members honored in 2020 by UC Davis Graduate Studies with a Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award.
Colleagues describe Lein as “an incredible leader and scientist who goes above and beyond,” and “a passionate neurotoxicologist who holds her students to very high standards.” Her students share that “her excitement for science is inspiring and infectious, and she consistently encourages our professional and intellectual development.”
Congratulations, Dr. Lein!