In This Section

Elaine M. Leslie

Current position

Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Canada


  • BSc (Co-op), Biomedical Toxicology, University of Guelph, Canada, 1992-97
  • PhD, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada, 1997-2002
  • PDF, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, RTP, NC, USA, 2003-04
  • PDF, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA, 2004-06

ASPET member since: 2011

Administrative Accomplishments

During my academic career I have been involved in the organization of local and national toxicology and membrane protein meetings. This includes being a member (2016, 2017) and Chair (2018) of the Society of Toxicology of Canada annual symposium program committee. I have also been on the organizing committee for four Canadian Society of Molecular Biosciences annual meetings “Membrane Proteins in Health and Disease” (2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022). I have also co-organized three local Toxicology symposia at the University of Alberta (2013, 2016, and 2018). I also was the Chair of the annual University of Alberta Ethics and Scientific Integrity Day for graduate students (2017- 2021). I have served as a reviewer and Scientific officer on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Pharmacology and Toxicology panel (2019-present), as well as reviewer on Fellowship-Post-PhD committee (2014-18), Doctoral Research Awards committee (2008-11), and Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s award (2008-11). I have served as an external reviewer for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (2018-present). Lastly, I have served as a scientific officer and reviewer on a local foundation (The Women and Children’s Health Research Institute) innovation grants biomedical panel.       

Research Areas

My general research interests are in the area of Molecular Toxicology. The major focus of my research is the biotransformation and membrane transport of the environmental human carcinogen arsenic. Chronic arsenic exposure is a worldwide public health crisis affecting greater than 150 million people. Research in my laboratory includes investigating the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and other transporter proteins as well as phase II conjugating enzymes in the detoxification and elimination of arsenic. Our approach is to use physiologically-relevant human models [e.g., sandwich cultured primary human hepatocytes] in combination with heterologous expression of specific transporters. These approaches are taken to first understand what is happening in a physiological context, then to understand the molecular processes involved for specific proteins. Currently, we are using these approaches to explore how selenium (a proposed palliative for chronic arsenic exposure) changes the metabolism and transport of arsenic in human liver and blood. The long-term goal of my research is to understand how genetic variation in transporters and phase II enzymes influence the inter-individual susceptibility to arsenic-induced carcinogenesis and response to therapeutic strategies.  

ASPET Activities

  • Division for Toxicology
    • Secretary Treasurer (2022-23)
    • Secretary Treasurer Elect (2021-22)
    • Executive Committee Councilor (2017-2021)
    • Reviewer on Abstracts and Awards (2017-present)
  • Drug Metabolism and Disposition, Editorial Advisory Board (2022-present)
  • Drug Metabolism and Disposition, Ad hoc Reviewer (2022-present)
  • Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Ad hoc Reviewer

Other Society Memberships/Activities

  • Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
  • Society of Toxicology of Canada

Last Updated: November 29, 2022

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