Two renowned scientists at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) have garnered national recognition from the Society of Toxicology (SoT), which named them recipients of two of its individual annual awards. It is the first time these awards have gone to individuals from the same College.
John Lemasters, SCCP professor of drug discovery and biomedical sciences (DDBS), has been named as the recipient of the SOT 2013 Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award, while Rick Schnellmann, chair of the DDBS department, has been named as the recipient of the SOT 2013 Education Award.
The awards will be presented at the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting on March 10, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.
"We're grateful for the respected standing of our faculty members nationally," said Joseph T. DiPiro, SCCP executive dean. "Their reputations are based on significant contributions to science and education we are proud to claim as part of our College."
Past winners of these awards have included scientists and scholars from the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic, the Karolinksa Institutet (Sweden), Chiba University (Japan), Heriot Watt University (Scotland), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, and other renowned research institutions.
The SOT has a membership of almost 7,000 from more than 50 countries, and one member is selected annually to win each award.
The distinguished scholar award is presented to an active scientist who has made substantial and seminal scientific contributions to aid in understanding the science of toxicology. The education award is presented to an individual distinguished by the teaching and training of toxicologists, and who has made significant contributions to education in the field of toxicology.
Lemasters is a nationally-known expert on the mitochondrial permeability transition, or MPT, which triggers cell death in many diseases and pathological states. His work enables the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to host an international conference on mitochondria that positions MUSC as one of the foremost research centers on the subject, which is increasingly recognized as the ultimate arbiter of cell fate in response to stress. A world-renowned pioneer in laser scanning confocal microscopy-a powerful research tool allowing the visualization of the functioning of single cells with an unprecedented degree of clarity - Lemasters holds five patents, has edited four textbooks and authored more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
In addition to serving as full professor in the DDBS department, Lemasters is a South Carolina Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair in Advanced Cellular Technologies and director of the Center of Cell Death, Injury, and Regeneration.