Director Pamela Lein Receives Distinguished Neurotoxicologist Award and Mentoring Award from Society of Toxicology

Picture of Pam Lein

UC Davis CounterACT Center Director Pamela Lein received a Distinguished Neurotoxicologist Award and the Women in Toxicology Mentoring Award at the March 2022 meeting of the Society of Toxicology.

The Distinguished Neurotoxicologist Award is the highest award given by the Neurotoxicology specialty section (NTSS) and recognizes NTSS members who have made important high-impact scientific, regulatory or service contributions to the field over a sustained period of time. 

The Mentoring Award is given for outstanding guidance of young women considering careers in toxicology as well as career support for those that go into the field. Lein has trained over 40 graduate student and post-doctoral fellows combined that work all over the world in various industries, government agencies and academia. 

“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 seizure-inducing chemicals and understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which environmental factors interact with genetic factors to increase risk for neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This work has been achieved by leveraging diverse model systems ranging from primary neuronal cell culture to zebrafish to rodent models and lab techniques ranging from cellular and molecular assays to in vivo imaging to behavioral studies.

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!