In This Section

It is our honor to announce this distinguished group of 2021 Scientific Achievement Award winners who are being recognized for their excellence in the pharmacology field.

The 2021 Scientific Achievement Award winners are listed below.

Division-Sponsored Scientific Achievement Awards are listed below.

John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology

Abel_BruchasMichael R. Bruchas, PhD

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Michael R. Bruchas from the University of Washington the 2021 John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology. The Abel Award is named after the founder of ASPET. It was established in 1946 to stimulate fundamental research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics by young investigators.

Dr. Bruchas is receiving this award in recognition of his innovative research and technology advances in the study of GPCR biology and neuromodulatory signaling.

Dr. Bruchas is a professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA. He received his PhD in pharmacology at Creighton University, completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington, and held his first faculty position at Washington University, St. Louis.

The primary goal of Dr. Bruchas’s laboratory has been to dissect the role of GPCR and neuromodulation in affective behaviors and neuropsychiatric disease. He has taken this challenge in many ways, which include studies at all levels of resolutions, from molecular-cellular, circuit, and systems. Dr. Bruchas has developed several wireless optogenetic biological and hardware tools, now becoming adopted by neuropharmacology and neuroscience fields at large, along with several key insights into GPCR biology. He has been a member of ASPET since 2001.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Additionally, Dr. Bruchas has been invited to give a lecture on his work as part of the 2021 annual meeting.

Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology

Axelrod_hellerbrownJoan Heller Brown, PhD, FASPET

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Joan Heller Brown from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) the 2021 Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology. The Axelrod Award was established in 1991 to honor the memory of the eminent American pharmacologist who shaped the fields of neuroscience, drug metabolism, and biochemistry and who served as a mentor for numerous eminent pharmacologists around the world.

Dr. Heller Brown is being recognized for her significant contributions in molecular and cardiovascular pharmacology research, in mentoring and training the next generation of scientists in pharmacology, as well as her contributions to ASPET and the pharmacology community.

She obtained her PhD in pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did her postdoctoral work in the department of pharmacology at the University of Colorado and moved to UCSD in 1975. She served as chair of the UCSD Department of Pharmacology for the last 17 years and directs their NIH T32 in Pharmacological Sciences.  Her seminal early papers on GPCR signaling demonstrated that dopamine receptors are the target of antipsychotic drugs, that muscarinic receptors inhibit adenylate cyclase and that phospholipase C and CaM kinase II activation mediate cardiac hypertrophy. Her current work focuses on the role of RhoA signaling pathways in cancer and of CaMKII in cardiac inflammation and heart failure development. She has been consistently funded by NIH, published 250 scholarly articles, authored chapters in seven editions of Goodman and Gilman, and served as editor of Molecular Pharmacology. Dr. Heller Brown has been an ASPET member since 1978 and was bestowed the honor of a Fellow of ASPET in 2020.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

David Lehr Research Award

Lehr_Maria_CroyleMaria A. Croyle, PhD

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Maria A. Croyle from the University of Texas at Austin the 2021 David Lehr Research Award. The award is intended to extend funding for preclinical or clinical research directed towards improving human health. It was established with generous funding from Mrs. Lisa Lehr in honor of her late husband who was the chair of the Department of Pharmacology at New York Medical College.

Dr. Croyle has been selected to receive research funding to investigate novel regulatory mechanisms of drug metabolism in the context of active infection with SARS-CoV-2 and after recovery.

Dr. Croyle is a professor of molecular pharmaceutics and drug delivery at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research is dedicated to the development of recombinant viruses as medicinal agents and understanding how they impact physiological processes. Early in her career, she challenged the paradigm that cytokines were responsible for suppressing cytochrome P450 (CYP) mediated drug metabolism during infection and was the first to show that a single dose of recombinant adenovirus suppressed renal and hepatic CYP isoforms in rodents and non-human primates for 14 days. More recently, she published a landmark paper identifying integrin receptors as the primary mechanism for alteration of drug metabolism by several different viruses in the absence of inflammation.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Croyle has trained young scientists to sharpen their critical thinking skills through the design of studies for pre-clinical evaluation of virus-based vaccines and vectors for gene therapy. She has been a member of ASPET since 2008.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

The Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics

Pharmacia_SaltielAlan Saltiel, PhD

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Alan Saltiel from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) the 2021 Pharmacia-ASPET Award in Experimental Therapeutics. The Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics recognizes and stimulates outstanding research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, basic laboratory or clinical research that has had, or potentially will have, a major impact on the pharmacological treatment of disease.

Dr. Saltiel is receiving this award in recognition of his seminal contributions to our understanding of insulin signaling, pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and for the preclinical development of the first thiazolidinedione, troglitazone, for treatment of type 2 diabetes. His efforts in drug discovery also resulted in the discovery of the first small molecule MEK inhibitors for cancer, now a standard tool in targeted cancer therapy.

Dr. Saltiel is the director of the Institute for Diabetes and Metabolic Health and the UCSD/UCLA Diabetes Research Center as well as a professor of medicine and pharmacology at UCSD. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina, did postdoctoral training at Wellcome Research Laboratories, and was the founding Director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan.  He has made seminal contributions to drug discovery and development, as well as describing specificity of insulin signaling, pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. His laboratory cloned and characterized the first “molecular scaffolding” proteins, explaining how insulin regulates phosphorylation via kinase and phosphatase cascades. He discovered a new signaling pathway controlling glucose transport by insulin. He elucidated inflammatory links between obesity and insulin resistance, uncovering macrophage subtype switching, and mechanisms by which the NFκB pathway influences energy homeostasis. His recently discovered inhibitors of IKKε exert profound antidiabetic effects in animal models and in patients with obesity-related diabetes.

He has been a member of ASPET since 1988.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology

Ruffolo_NicolaCurtinNicola J. Curtin, PhD

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Nicola J. Curtin from Newcastle University the 2021 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology. This award was established in 2011 in recognition of the contributions made to drug discovery and development by Dr. Ruffolo. The award recognizes the scientific achievements of scientists who are at the height of their careers and who have made significant contributions to pharmacology.

Dr. Curtin is receiving this award in recognition of her pioneering discoveries that PARP inhibitors will be therapeutic for cancer treatment of BRCA mutated cancer. Importantly, Dr. Curtin has developed predictive biomarkers based on pathway function, leading to the first discovery that >50% of ovarian cancer have DNA repair defects targetable by PARP inhibitors.

Dr. Curtin is currently a Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapeutics at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. She earned her PhD from the University of Surrey and joined the staff at Newcastle University shortly after.  She was part of the Newcastle Anticancer Drug Discovery Initiative from 1990 until 2009, where, as well as leading the ATM and DNA-PK inhibitor programs, she led the PARP inhibitor (PARPi) program leading to the first clinical trial of a PARPi for cancer. In 2002, she proposed that PARPi may have therapeutic benefit in BRCA mutated cancers and her collaboration with Thomas Helleday led to the seminal publication (Nature 2005). This paradigm-shifting discovery led to the approval of 4 PARPi for cancer treatment of BRCA mutated cancer.  She is a distinguished cancer biologist and pharmacologist as well as an inventor on 15 patents and author of 171 articles.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

The Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine

SpectorAward_GarretGarret A. FitzGerald, MD

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald from the University of Pennsylvania the 2021 Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine. The award was established in 2014 by ASPET in recognition of Dr. Spector's dedication and contributions to clinical pharmacology. The award recognizes excellence in research and/or teaching in clinical pharmacology. This award is made possible by an endowment to ASPET from Dr. Reynold and Mrs. Michiko Spector.

Dr. FitzGerald is receiving this award in recognition of his distinguished career and leadership in research, mentoring, education, and administration in clinical pharmacology. His discoveries are fundamental to the development of low dose aspirin, understanding the cardiotoxicity of other NSAIDs and the role of the molecular clocks in cardiometabolic disease and aging.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. FitzGerald is the founding director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), the Associate Dean for Translational Research, the Robert L. McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, and a former department chair. He also held prominent positions at Vanderbilt University and at the University College Dublin, where he received his MD.  In addition to the above-mentioned discoveries, he has deployed precise quantitative methodology to integrate studies in model systems and humans. He has trained high school students, graduate students, and postdocs. Dr. FitzGerald has been a member of ASPET since 1982.

The award will be presented at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  Additionally, Dr. FitzGerald has been invited to give a lecture on his work as part of the 2021 annual meeting.

Norman Weiner Award Lecture

Weiner Award Lecture_DubocovichMargarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, FASPET

ASPET is pleased to have Dr. Margarita L. Dubocovich from the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences present the 2021 Norman Weiner Lecture. This lecture was established in memory of Dr. Norman Weiner, past ASPET President and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Colorado. It is in honor of his many contributions to both ASPET and to pharmacology research and education.

Dr. Dubocovich is Professor Emerita of Pharmacology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and is currently SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She received her PhD in Pharmacology, School of Chemistry and Natural Sciences, Buenos Aires University, Argentina.

Dr. Dubocovich, a career pharmacologist, joined ASPET in 1983. She has published more than 400 scientific articles, reviews, book chapters and abstracts on the neuropharmacology of presynaptic monoamine and melatonin receptors. A world leader in melatonin receptor pharmacology, she discovered prototype MT1- and MT2-selective melatonin receptor agonists, antagonists, and inverse agonist that has guided the field in the search for functional melatonin receptor responses. Her findings are key to our understanding on the role of melatonin receptors in circadian rhythms, sleep disorders, depression, and even cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Her dedication and service to ASPET is a fitting tribute to the award lecture’s namesake.

Dr. Dubocovich will deliver the Norman Weiner Lecture during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021.

J.H. Woods Early Career Award in Behavioral Pharmacology

BEH_WoodsAward_Collins_GTGregory T. Collins, PhD

The ASPET Division for Behavioral Pharmacology is pleased to award Dr. Gregory T. Collins from University of Texas Health Science Center the 2021 J.H. Woods Early Career Award in Behavioral Pharmacology. This award recognizes outstanding original research by early career investigators in the area of behavioral pharmacology.

Dr. Collins is receiving this award in recognition of his innovative and multi-tiered approach to understanding how individual differences, including behavioral and drug histories, impact drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors. In addition to developing a strong research program, Dr. Collins has an exemplary service record and shown dedication in his roles as a teacher and mentor of younger scientists.

Dr. Collins is an assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He received a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Michigan and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan and McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at UTHSCSA in 2012.

Dr. Collins heads a research program broadly focused on the behavioral pharmacology of drugs of abuse. Current studies, funded by NIH/NIDA and the VA, are aimed at understanding individual differences in drug-taking behavior, determining how drug-drug interactions impact abuse-related effects, and developing novel pharmacotherapies for substance use disorders.

In addition to maintaining a well-funded research program, Dr. Collins is actively involved in scientific organizations including on the ASPET Program Committee, and he is highly engaged at UTHSCSA in training both graduate students in his position as co-director of the physiology & pharmacology graduate program, and post-doctoral fellows in his position as associate director of a post-doctoral T32 training grant. He has been a member of ASPET since 2004.

The award will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30.

Benedict R. Lucchesi Young Scientist Travel Award in Cardiac Pharmacology

Sarah M. Schumacher, PhDCVP_LucchesiAward_Sarah Schumacher Bass

The ASPET Division for Cardiovascular Pharmacology is pleased to award Dr. Sarah M. Schumacher from the Cleveland Clinic the 2021 Benedict R. Lucchesi Young Scientist Travel Award in Cardiac Pharmacology. This award was established to honor Dr. Lucchesi’s lifelong scientific contributions to our better understanding and appreciation of the pharmacological treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and for his mentoring of countless prominent cardiovascular pharmacologists in translational approaches.

Dr. Schumacher is receiving this award in recognition of her contributions as an early stage scholar to our knowledge of mechanisms and therapeutic targets for heart failure.

Dr. Schumacher is an assistant professor in the Department of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Sciences at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. She was first introduced to ASPET as an ASPET Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF) at the University of Michigan where she also received her PhD. Dr. Lucchesi was on her thesis committee and was one of her early mentors. She did postdoctoral training at Temple University. She is first author of two seminal papers on the role of GRK2 in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Her independent research continues to be innovative and she has found a potential novel link between GRK2 signaling and cardiac and systemic metabolism, which has significant implications. She has been a member of ASPET since 2004.

The award will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and she will present a lecture on her research.

Scientific Achievement Award in Drug Discovery and Development

DDDAward_WillardFrancis S. Willard, PhD

The ASPET Division for Drug Discovery and Development is pleased to award Dr. Francis S. Willard from Eli Lilly and Company the 2021 Scientific Achievement Award in Drug Discovery and Development. This award recognizes outstanding investigators that have made significant contributions in drug discovery, translational, and/or drug development science.

Dr. Willard is receiving this award in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments to advance drug discovery in multiple therapeutic areas including demonstrating tirzepatide as a biased agonist and describing the novel, drug-like molecule, LSN3160440, that has a unique mechanism to target GPCRs.

Dr. Willard obtained his BSc (Hons) in physiology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, then went on to earn a PhD in neuroscience from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, receiving the 2002 Frank Fenner Medal award for his PhD thesis. Dr. Willard pursued studies in receptor pharmacology at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, first as a postdoctoral fellow then as a Research Assistant Professor, publishing 50 papers during his time in the pharmacology department.

He transitioned to Eli Lilly and Company in 2007, where he has used novel pharmacology concepts to advance drug discovery. Dr. Willard has focused on Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and his recent work has delineated new mechanisms for therapeutically modulating G-protein coupled receptors such as the GLP-1 receptor. Dr. Willard has been an ASPET member since 2002.

Dr. Willard will be honored at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and will present a lecture on his research.

Richard Okita Early Career Award in Drug Metabolism and Disposition

DMDD_OkitaAward_Huichang BiHuichang Bi, PhD

The ASPET Division for Drug Metabolism and Disposition is pleased to award Dr. Huichang Bi from Sun Yat-sen University and Southern Medical University the 2021 Richard Okita Early Career Award. This award recognizes excellent original research by early career investigators in the area of drug metabolism and disposition.

Dr. Bi is receiving this award in recognition of her interdisciplinary and seminal studies to further understand the regulation of xenobiotic and endobiotic metabolism and the subsequent implications on drug metabolism and disease states, as well as for her outstanding publication record and commitment to professional service and mentorship.

Dr. Bi is a professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University and Southern Medical University. She obtained her PhD in Pharmacology in 2007 and worked as a visiting scholar in Dr. Frank J. Gonzalez’s laboratory at NCI/NIH in 2011. Dr. Bi has a continuous interest in understanding the metabolism of xenobiotics and endobiotics and their effects on disease states and therapeutic outcome. Her research also extends to the drug-disease interactions mediated by nuclear receptors, metabolizing enzymes, and transporters.

She has been awarded with 20 major grants as project PI and has published more than 100 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, 70 of which she was first or corresponding author. She has edited four books and authored seven book chapters. Dr. Bi is a member of the editorial board for Drug Metabolism and Disposition and became an ASPET member in 2020.

Dr. Bi will be honored at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and will present a lecture on her research.

James R. Gillette Awards from the Division for Drug Metabolism and Disposition

Bridget L. Morse, PharmD, PhD
Eva Hansmann

The James R. Gillette Awards are presented each year by the ASPET Division for Drug Metabolism and Disposition for two outstanding papers published in the previous year’s Drug Metabolism and Disposition.

The award recipient in the Pharmacokinetics/Drug Transporters category for 2020 is Bridget L. Morse, PharmD, PhD from Eli Lilly and Company for the paper titled "Pharmacokinetics of Organic Cation Transporter 1 (OCT1) Substrates in Oct1/2 Knockout Mice and Species Difference in Hepatic OCT1-Mediated Uptake."

The award recipient in the Drug Metabolism category for 2020 is Eva Hansmann for work done while at the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego for the paper titled "Differential Role of Liver X Receptor (LXR) α and LXRβ in the Regulation of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 in Humanized UGT1 Mice

The Gillette Awardees will be honored at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and will present short talks on their research.

Division for Molecular Pharmacology Early Career Awards

MP_EarlyCareer_Gregory_and_LyonKaren J. Gregory, PhD
Angeline M. Lyon, PhD

The ASPET Division for Molecular Pharmacology is pleased to award their 2021 Molecular Pharmacology Early Career Awards to Drs. Karen J. Gregory from Monash University and Angeline M. Lyon from Purdue University. These awards recognize scholarly achievements of junior investigators early in their independent careers.

Dr. Gregory is an Australian Research Council future fellow and leads the endocrine and neuropharmacology lab at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Australia. Dr. Gregory is an internationally recognized expert in analytical and molecular pharmacology of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), focusing on promising therapeutic targets for neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.  Her research seeks to understand novel paradigms of drug action at GPCRs such as allosteric and biased pharmacology with the goal of using these insights to facilitate rational drug discovery. Her research team explores 1) the structural basis of allosteric ligand-receptor interactions; 2) the full scope of effects of allosteric ligands on receptor function; and 3) the influence of heteromerisation on these behaviors.

She obtained her PhD at Monash University. After successful postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Dr. Gregory returned to Australia to establish her independent program. She has been an ASPET member since 2006.

Dr. Lyon is an assistant professor at Purdue University. She uses a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, and atomic force microscopy to gain structural insights into phospholipase C (PLC) regulation at cellular membranes. One of her key contributions thus far is the atomic structure of PLCe, an isozyme involved in both cardiovascular health and cancer. Her studies shed light on fundamental regulatory mechanisms controlling PLC activity and will aid in the identification and development of novel chemical probes that could be used to study the roles of PLCs in disease.

She obtained her PhD from University of Texas Austin where she used NMR spectroscopy to study the structure of RNA binding proteins. As an American Heart Association-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, her research accomplishments included the first structure of a full-length PLCb enzyme.  She has been an ASPET member since 2009.

The awards will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and both will present lectures on their research.

Division for Neuropharmacology Early Career Award

NEU_Jill-TurnerJill R. Turner, PhD

The ASPET Division for Neuropharmacology is pleased to award Dr. Jill R. Turner from the University of Kentucky the 2021 Division for Neuropharmacology Early Career Award. The award honors a young independent investigator working in neuropharmacology.

Dr. Turner is receiving this award in recognition of her highly impactful research in the field of neuropharmacology, extensive and effective mentoring and service to the profession, and public outreach.

She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University. She completed postdoctoral training in behavioral genetics and pharmacogenomics at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Turner is an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, where her NIDA funded research investigates biological mechanisms underlying high relapse rate among smokers using electrophysiology, behavior, and Next Gen Sequencing technologies.

Dr. Turner’s research combines Next Gen sequencing approaches and behavioral pharmacology to identify candidate molecules for pharmacogenomic evaluation in rodent models and in the human population. For example, sequencing technologies identified a novel molecule, Neuregulin 3, in mechanisms underlying nicotine withdrawal phenotypes. Dr. Turner’s group has now validated this association in two independent cohorts of smokers, demonstrating that possession of a NRG3 risk allele predicts relapse to smoking, an exciting and transformative discovery informing precision medicine and nicotine use disorder treatment.

She has been an ASPET member since 2013.

The award will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and will present a lecture on her research.

Division for Pharmacology Education – Pharmacology Educators Travel Awards

DPE_Mohamed_and_RichardsonIslam N. Mohamed, PhD
Jennelle Durnett Richardson, PhD

The ASPET Division for Pharmacology Education is pleased to award their 2021 Pharmacology Educator Travel Awards to Drs. Islam N. Mohamed from California Northstate University College of Pharmacy (CNUCOP) and Jennelle Durnett Richardson from Indiana University School of Medicine.   The primary goal of these awards is to promote participation in the ASPET Annual Meeting by pharmacology educators and to foster career development in pharmacology education.

Dr. Mohamed is receiving this award in recognition of his outstanding teaching performance in the classroom and his creative aspects of pharmacology education.  He is an assistant professor at CNUCOP. in his first independent faculty position, where he also chairs the curriculum committee. Dr. Mohamed earned his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Ain-Sham University in Egypt, followed by his MS degree in Neuroscience as a Fulbright scholar from SUNY at Buffalo and his PhD from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia in the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics program. He did his postdoctoral training at the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, where in parallel, he also finished his additional training as an In-Patient Pharmacist Intern at Emory University Hospital Midtown towards obtaining his national Pharmacy licensing exam (NAPLEX) and board certification before joining CNUCOP. As an international pharmacy education professional with 15 years combined experience in both the USA and abroad, his teaching, scholarship, and academic service activities include team-based and problem-solving based case studies and learning pedagogies (TBL & PBL), 12 high impact original research publications, more than 25 international conference presentations, several outstanding awards, extra-mural research support and hands-on experience in PharmD curriculum and assessments design and ACPE accreditation. He has been a member of ASPET since 2019.

Dr. Richardson is receiving this award in recognition of her outstanding abstract in pharmacology educational research and her exceptional teaching performance in the classroom. She currently serves as vice chair of education for the department of pharmacology and toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is the statewide pharmacology discipline consultant for the medical school and directs pharmacology courses for physician assistant, anesthesiologist assistant, and graduate programs. She has contributed to the development, oversight, and continual improvement of the pharmacology curriculum. Dr. Richardson is particularly interested in increasing student engagement and has been innovative in her incorporation of technology in lectures and small group sessions. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota with concentrations on pharmacology and neuroscience and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She has been a member of ASPET since 2014.

The awards will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021.

Division for Toxicology Career Award

TOXCareer_D LaskinDebra L. Laskin, PhD

The ASPET Division for Toxicology is pleased to award Dr. Debra L. Laskin from Rutgers University the 2021 Division for Toxicology Career Award. The award recognizes outstanding original research contributions to toxicology by an established investigator.

Dr. Laskin is receiving this award in recognition of her substantial and seminal scientific contributions to our understanding of inflammatory mechanisms of tissue injury induced by chemical toxicants, and her outstanding and highly regarded activities related to education and training. Dr. Laskin’s most significant mechanistic contributions to toxicology have been in the areas of hepatotoxicity induced by acetaminophen and pulmonary toxicity induced by environmental pollutants, including ozone and particulate matter, and chemical warfare agents.

Dr. Laskin is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Roy Bowers Endowed Chair of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. She joined the faculty of Rutgers in 1982 and established a research program investigating inflammatory mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Dr. Laskin has championed the premise that there is a “dark side” to the innate immune system that can impact chemical toxicity outcomes. For over 35 years, Dr. Laskin has led the fields of immunotoxicology and mechanistic toxicology with numerous seminal scientific contributions; she has also been recognized for her achievements by several other major scientific awards, including the Burroughs Welcome Toxicology Scholar Award. Over this same time period, her laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH for her research, including a grant from NIEHS for 25 years, and a grant from NIAMS for 15 years, which supports the Rutgers University CounterACT Center of Excellence. Dr. Laskin publishes her team’s high impact research in top tiered journals and disseminates their findings in numerous invited presentations around the world.

Dr. Laskin earned her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University and did her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has been a member of ASPET since 2010.

The award will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30.

Division for Toxicology Early Career Award

TOX_EarlyCareer_JuliaYCuiJulia Yue Cui, PhD, DABT

The ASPET Division for Toxicology is pleased to award Dr. Julia Yue Cui from the University of Washington the 2021 Toxicology Early Career Award. The award was established to recognize excellent original research by early career investigators in the area of toxicology.

Dr. Cui is receiving this award in recognition of her record of scholarship, quality of publications, the creativity and novelty of her research, and her contributions to the field of toxicology as an educator.

Dr. Cui is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. She is also the Sheldon D. Murphy Endowed Chair in Toxicology and Environmental Health. She earned her PhD in toxicology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and did postdoctoral training there in both the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics. 

She specializes in using toxicogenomic and toxico-epigenomic approaches to determine the effects of environmental chemical exposure and reprogramming the gut microbiome on the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of genes involved in drug metabolism and obesity during development.  She utilizes and teaches new technology including RNA sequencing, germ-free mice, ChIP-sequencing, epigenetics, and ultra performance liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS). 

She joined ASPET in 2017.

The award will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30.

Division for Translational and Clinical Pharmacology Early Career Awards

TCP_Raghu_and_SnookRaghu Ganugula, PhD
Adam E. Snook, PhD

The ASPET Division for Translational and Clinical Pharmacology is pleased to award their 2021 Translational and Clinical Pharmacology Early Career Awards to Drs. Raghu Ganugula from Texas A&M University and Adam E. Snook from Thomas Jefferson University. These awards recognize excellence in translational and clinical pharmacology research that comes from early career scientists.

Dr. Ganugula is receiving this award in recognition for his contributions in elucidating the transport mechanisms and kinetics of next generation nanosystems intended for receptor mediated drug delivery. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy at Texas A&M University and has accepted a tenure track faculty position at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, which he will start on January 14, 2021. He earned his PhD from Acharya Nagarjuna University in India and did postdoctoral training at both the National Institute of Nutrition in India and at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Ganugula’s expertise includes in vitro and in vivo pharmacology testing of novel bioactives and dosage forms. He has developed various biochemical and cell-based functional assays and has used various in vivo models to further test the efficacy of the bioactives or their dosage forms, e.g., diabetes, retinopathy, cataract, nephropathy, lupus, cancer, obesity. He has been a member of ASPET since 2015.

Dr. Snook is receiving this award in recognition for his work in defining the events underlying colorectal cancer development to identify new strategies to prevent or treat gastrointestinal cancers across the tumorigenesis continuum. He is an assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He earned his PhD in immunology and microbial pathogenesis from Thomas Jefferson University and also did his postdoctoral training there.

Dr. Snook’s work has led to 7 investigator-initiated clinical trials examining chemoprevention, cancer vaccines, and, in the near future, CAR-T cell therapies. He has authored over 80 book chapters and papers in several prestigious journals. His work has also been featured in Nature, Forbes, Reuters, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and others. He has been a member of ASPET since 2020.

The awards will be presented during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021 on Friday, April 30 and both will present lectures on their research.

Division for Translational and Clinical Pharmacology Ray Fuller Award Lecture

TCP_FullerAward_BrownsteinMichael J. Brownstein, MD, PhD

The ASPET Division for Translational and Clinical Pharmacology is pleased to have Dr. Michael J. Brownstein, the Senior Vice President for Drug Research at Azevan Pharmaceuticals, present the 2021 Ray Fuller Lecture. This lecture was established to honor the achievements of Ray W. Fuller, PhD in applying an improved understanding of the central nervous system to discover better treatments for the mentally ill. Dr. Fuller was one of the triad that discovered fluoxetine (Prozac), leading to an entire new approach to the therapy of depression.

Dr. Brownstein has more than 40 years of research experience in the fields of endocrinology, pharmacology, genetics and genomics and has made significant contributions to drug discovery and development across a broad range of research areas. After earning MD and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago he joined the NIH in 1972 and eventually served in roles as chief of the Laboratory of Genetics of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute and as the Scientific Director of the Intramural Research Program of the NIMH. After leaving NIH Dr. Brownstein initially directed the functional genomics program at the J. Craig Venter Institute and later went on to co-found several biotech and drug development companies. Dr. Brownstein has served on many journal editorial boards, numerous public and private scientific advisory boards, and is an author on over 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  He has been a member of ASPET since 2020.

Dr. Brownstein will deliver the Ray Fuller Lecture on Friday, April 30 during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2021.



Last Updated: March 3, 2021

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