Julia Yue Cui, PhD, DABT, has received the 2022 SOT Achievement Award to recognize her early and sustained research in the areas of nuclear receptors, epigenetics, and the microbiome.
Dr. Cui received her PhD in toxicology in 2010 from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also conducted her postdoctoral fellowship in toxicology and therapeutics. She then joined the University of Kansas Medical Center as a Research Assistant Professor until 2014, when she accepted a tenure-track faculty position as the inaugural recipient of the Sheldon D. Murphy Endowed Chair in Toxicology and Environmental Health at the University of Washington.
Dr. Cui studies the interaction of environmental chemical exposures, genetic risk factors, diet, and socioeconomic status in pediatric diseases. Her approach combines nuclear receptors, epigenetics, and the gut microbiome to study the liver ontogeny and early-life environmental chemical exposure–induced adverse health effects using animal models, in vitro cell culture, and a multi-’omics approach. By studying the interactions among environmental chemicals, the gut microbiome, and host epigenetics during the pathogenesis of pediatric diseases, Dr. Cui’s work contributes to a better understanding of the mechanism of toxicity and the development of new therapeutic modalities for disease prevention and management.
Dr. Cui’s success as a productive toxicology researcher is evinced by her sustained record of publishing high-impact papers; since 2014, Dr. Cui’s laboratory has published 77 peer-reviewed papers in top-tier journals, and Dr. Cui has co-authored four book chapters. Also since joining the University of Washington, Dr. Cui has been awarded five National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants as the contact PI or multiple PI in the area of nuclear receptors, epigenetics, and the microbiome as applied to toxicology. In addition, Dr. Cui has been invited to speak at conferences and symposia more than 30 times.
In addition to Dr. Cui’s remarkable accomplishments in the research arena, she is an active contributor to activities of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington and at the national level. She serves on numerous departmental committees and as a primary mentor to six doctoral students, four masters students, three postdoctoral scholars, and numerous undergraduate students. Dr. Cui’s students have received many research awards from the University of Washington, including the Castner Award, the UW Magnuson Scholars Award, and the Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as receiving SOT Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter Best Platform/Poster Presentation Awards and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Presential Poster Award of Distinction. Dr. Cui also excels in the classroom, teaching the first quarter of the department’s three-quarter series in general toxicology. Her graduate-level course Fundamentals of Toxicology has been consistently rated as among the top 10% of all courses taught at University of Washington.
Dr. Cui holds numerous professional memberships, including in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. She also serves as a standing member of the NIH Systemic Injury by Environmental Exposure Study Section.
Dr. Cui has been an SOT member since 2006 and is a past recipient of the Mechanisms Specialty Section Carl C. Smith Award (1st place) in 2008 and Gabriel L. Plaa Education Award in 2011. She serves as the 2021–2022 President of the SOT Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter. In addition to these accolades within SOT, Dr. Cui also received the Novartis Graduate Student Fellowship in 2009 and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Division for Toxicology Early Career Award in 2021.
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