Three Pitt Public Health Researchers Recognized with 2017 Toxicology Awards

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The awards recognize excellence in advancing the science of toxicology.

Investigating the health effects of toxicological exposures, whether in the environment, home or work, and making evidenced-based recommendations to prevent them, is a key activity of public health.

Three University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers will be honored at the 2017 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Awards program, which recognizes excellence in advancing the science of toxicology.

“I am proud, but not surprised, that these three outstanding faculty members are being recognized with prestigious awards,” said Donald S. Burke, M.D., dean of Pitt Public Health. “Investigating the health effects of toxicological exposures, whether in the environment, home or work, and making evidence-based recommendations to prevent them are key activities of public health.”

Meryl H. Karol, Ph.D., A.T.S., professor emeritus of the Pitt Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, is the recipient of the SOT Founders Award, which recognizes a member who has “demonstrated outstanding leadership in fostering the role of toxicological sciences in safety decision making.” Karol has published extensively on environmental epidemiology and immunotoxicology, especially chemical-induced asthma and molecular modeling for chemicals responsible for respiratory irritancy, respiratory hypersensitivity and allergic contact dermatitis. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is past president of the society and was the first woman elected to the role.

George D. Leikauf, Ph.D., professor in the Pitt Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, is one of two recipients of the 2017 SOT Honorary Membership Award, which recognizes non-members who “embody outstanding and sustained achievements in toxicology.” Leikauf’s research is primarily in functional genomics of acute lung injury, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as the molecular mechanisms behind air pollutants exacerbating or causing lung disease.

Bernard D. Goldstein, M.D., former dean of Pitt Public Health and professor emeritus of the school’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, is the recipient of the SOT Public Communications Award, which recognizes a researcher who has “made a major contribution to broadening the awareness of the general public on toxicological issues through any aspect of public communications.” Described by a colleague as a “role model for communicating toxicology,” Goldstein has made outreach to both the general public and policymakers a priority throughout his career.

Karol, Leikauf and Goldstein will be recognized during the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Baltimore, March 12 to 16, 2017.

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About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. Pitt Public Health is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems.

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Allison Hydzik
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