UofL professor receives career achievement award from Society of Toxicology Metals Specialty Section J. Christopher States, Ph.D., recognized for research, education and leadership

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    J. Christopher States, Ph.D. and Koren Mann, Ph.D.
    J. Christopher States, Ph.D. and Koren Mann, Ph.D.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky.    J. Christopher States, Ph.D., professor of toxicology and associate dean for research in the UofL School of Medicine, received the Career Achievement Award from the Society of Toxicology Metals Specialty Section. The award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement as a researcher, mentor and leader in the field of toxicology.

    States received the award at the 2017 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Baltimore, March 12-16. The Career Achievement Award recognizes a senior investigator who has substantially advanced the understanding of metals toxicology through scientific contributions, training and mentorship of young scientists, leadership and service to the metals toxicology field, and influence in regulatory and risk assessment decisions related to metals toxicology.

    “Chris is highly deserving of this honor, having made significant scientific contributions to the field of metal toxicology, serving as part of the leadership of the Metals Specialty Section, and mentoring a new generation of metal toxicologists,” said Koren Mann, Ph.D., associate professor of oncology at McGill University of Montreal and director of the Molecular and Regenerative Medicine Axis, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research.

    “He was an encouraging voice when I could easily have turned away from toxicology,” Mann said in nominating States for the award. “He is always eager and willing to discuss science or life-in-general.”

    “He has made a significant impact on the field and on the next generation of metals toxicologists in his more than 35 years in research, education and administration,” said Aaron Barchowsky, Ph.D., professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “Chris has a long held interest in the molecular mechanisms regulating DNA stability and DNA damage repair in response to metals such as arsenic and platinum. He made seminal discoveries identifying how the metals impact mitotic spindle formation and cell checkpoints that result in either promoting cancers in the case of arsenic, or can be targeted for therapeutic treatment of cancers in the case of platinum.”

    States, vice chair for graduate education in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, joined UofL in 1999 and was named a Distinguished University Scholar in 2007. States has served as a peer reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom, the United States Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense and other granting agencies. He is academic editor for “PLOS ONE,” serves on the editorial board of three research journals and is a peer reviewer for more than 40 journals. He has published more than 100 articles in journals or books and more than 125 abstracts. He edited a reference book covering the most current information on the health and environmental risks of arsenic exposure, “Arsenic:  Exposure Sources, Health Risks, and Mechanisms of Toxicity,” released in November 2015.

    States has been principal investigator for federal and national research awards totaling than $4 million. He serves as chair of Research!Louisville and as a mentor for young researchers in the UofL Cancer Education Program, Environmental Health Sciences Training Program, and the Summer Environmental Health Sciences Training Program. At this year’s Society of Toxicology meeting, States co-chaired a roundtable session on “Herbo-metallic mixtures in traditional medicines,” where he discussed arsenic in cancer chemotherapy.

    At this month’s meeting, UofL faculty members and researchers John P. Wise Sr., Ph.D., Daniel Conklin, Ph.D., Shanice Hudson, Ph.D., and Petra Haberzettl, Ph.D., also led sessions and workshops. UofL graduate student Laila Al-Eryani received the Battelle Student Research Award from the Dermal Toxicology Specialty Section. Her award comes with $1,000 to use for her research project, “Differential mRNA and miRNA Expression in Arsenic-induced Skin Cancer In Vivo and in an In Vitro Model,” under the direction of States.

    The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,800 scientists from academic institutions, government and industry in the U.S. and abroad. The Metals Specialty Section is one of the organization’s 28 subgroups.

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    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Health Communications Specialist, working on the Health Sciences Campus with departments in the School of Medicine. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.