Maureen R. Gwinn, PhD, DABT, ATS, is the recipient of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2018 Public Communications Award. Dr. Gwinn serves as a senior science advisor in the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD). In her more than 10 years at the US EPA, she also has worked on human health hazard assessments for the agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program and served as the associate national program director for community public health research in the US EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program.
Dr. Gwinn is a very productive and well-respected scientist internationally, who is renowned in nanotoxicology, asbestos research, and chemical risk assessment. She was on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for other journals, such as Cancer Research, Toxicological Sciences, and the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.
Demonstrating her dedication to the accurate communication of toxicology to raise public awareness, especially to the next generation of toxicologists, Dr. Gwinn actively participates in public outreach efforts. Within the US EPA, she has spearheaded several initiatives to broaden the reach of toxicology. She was the lead for the ORD’s hands-on activity for EPA@40, a US EPA-sponsored, two-day celebration of Earth Day and the US EPA’s 40th Birthday, training volunteers and conducting an “Assuring the Safety of Chemicals” activity where more than 1,000 children and adults participated. Since 2009, Dr. Gwinn also has participated in the US EPA Summer Educational Development Program, as well as represented the agency at the USA Science and Engineering Festival. She also has participated in the “Every Girl Can—Smart Image” conference at Bowie State University to inspire young women to consider science careers.
An SOT member since 2005, Dr. Gwinn has been very active in numerous elected and nominated capacities related to toxicology education and public awareness of toxicology. She served as president of the Allegheny-Erie Regional Chapter and was the task force lead for K–12 outreach activities in conjunction with the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in 2009 and 2011. She has served on the SOT Education K–12 Subcommittee, as well as the Education Committee, and worked with the National Capital Area Regional Chapter to support an annual event to bring toxicology-rich science to Girl Scouts in the region for more than seven years.
She also worked with the Northern California Regional Chapter to co-host an “Open Science Day” at the University of California-Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science during the free public event “What Do Snow White, Romeo and Juliet, and The Mad Hatter Have in Common? ... Toxicology!” Through the SOT ToxScholar Program, Dr. Gwinn has visited multiple undergraduate institutions underrepresented in toxicology to encourage students to consider toxicology education or careers. She also has authored or co-authored multiple toxicology education outreach posters presented during SOT Annual Meetings.