Jeffrey W. Fisher Receives 2022 SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award

By Ilona Jaspers posted 01-20-2022 13:02


Jeffrey W. Fisher, PhD, has been awarded the 2022 SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award for his exceptional, consistent, career-long body of work on physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) and biologically based dose response (BBDR) modeling tools to improve risk assessment.

Dr. Fisher’s work has influenced many high-visibility risk-based regulatory decisions by both the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), and he has provided training—by coursework, mentoring, and publications—on good practices for the use of PBPK and BBDR models in contemporary risk assessments.

Dr. Fisher received his PhD in zoology/toxicology from Miami University of Ohio in 1987, during which time he also served as a Principal Investigator in the Toxic Hazards Division of Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Dr. Fisher then continued his work with the Air Force as a Senior Scientist and later a Technical Advisor for the Operational Toxicology Branch, pioneering the use of PBPK modeling to examine chemical distribution during pregnancy and lactation. Dr. Fisher’s publications on the pharmacokinetics of trichloroethylene (TCE) in rats during gestation and lactation had a pivotal impact on the acceptance of PBPK modeling in studies of early life and served as the impetus for the subsequent widespread application of PBPK modeling of developmental pharmacokinetics. This resulted in improved risk assessments for many chemicals. During this time, Dr. Fisher also led the research that provided the key experimental data and PBPK modeling approaches that were used in the US EPA evaluation of the potential early-life toxicity of perchlorate.

After joining the University of Georgia in 2000, Dr. Fisher continued his research on perchlorate, which led to the development of the pharmacodynamic model of thyroid function in adult and lactating rats. Dr. Fisher also developed the first PBPK models for pyrethroids and demonstrated the ability of the models to explain and predict differences in the toxicity of pyrethroids during early life compared with adulthood.

During his subsequent tenure as a Research Toxicologist with the US FDA National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), Dr. Fisher continued his work modeling the effects of perchlorate on the thyroid of a pregnant woman, which became the basis for the US EPA BBDR model of perchlorate in their recent assessment of safe drinking water concentrations of the chemical. He also conducted key pharmacokinetic modeling studies to better characterize the potential risk of bisphenol A in infants in a highly politicized environment and provided a needed, scientifically sound basis for the US FDA evaluation of this chemical. Most recently, Dr. Fisher assisted US FDA regulatory scientists in the pharmacokinetic analyses of a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), 6:2 FTOH, in animals and humans. This evaluation elucidated the biopersistence of a metabolite, resulting in voluntary actions by industry. Dr. Fisher recently retired from US FDA/NCTR after more than a decade, and in January 2021, he joined ScitoVation as a Senior Research Fellow.

Dr. Fisher has been an SOT member since 1990 and served twice as President of the Biological Modeling Specialty Section.