John P. Wise Sr. Receives 2022 SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award

By Ilona Jaspers posted 02-03-2022 14:45


John P. Wise Sr., PhD, has been awarded the 2022 SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award for his exemplary mentorship of the next generation of toxicologists at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.

Dr. Wise received his PhD in pharmacology from the George Washington University, after which he conducted his postdoctoral training in molecular epidemiology at the National Cancer Institute. He then joined Jonathan Borak & Company Inc. as a Senior Toxicologist in occupational health and risk assessment.

Dr. Wise has taught classes for 24 years, most recently serving as Professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. A Distinguished University Scholar, Dr. Wise also is the Director of the Center for Environmental and Occupational Health; Deputy Director of the Center for Integrated Environmental Health Sciences; and multi-PI of the Environmental Health Sciences Training Program.

As head of the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, Dr. Wise leads a team of faculty, staff, and students who conduct state-of-the-art research aimed at understanding how environmental toxicants affect health and cause cancer. He directs a strong toxicology research program focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms in cancer biology that includes human and wildlife studies.

Dr. Wise has mentored more than 250 individuals in biomedical and environmental health research at various levels, including faculty; postdoctoral fellows; and graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. His mentees represent a spectrum of backgrounds, and individuals from over 30 different countries have trained with him. With these students, Dr. Wise has published 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts and over 500 abstracts at national and international scientific meetings, with another 200 abstracts at the university’s student research days.

Outside the lab, Dr. Wise conducts outreach in K–12 schools and lifelong learning programs attended by retirees. He also serves as an active mentor for the National Institutes of Health–funded Toxicology Mentoring and Skills Development Training Program, designed to build a pathway for undergraduates from underrepresented populations to enter graduate school and the toxicology workforce.

Dr. Wise’s mentees have enjoyed exceptional personal and professional success while working with him, receiving many local, national, and international awards and grants. They have advanced to successful careers in academia, government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations, reflecting Dr. Wise’s skill in mentoring across fields. In 2021, the student body of the University of Louisville selected Dr. Wise as a Student Champion to recognize his mentoring excellence and the School of Medicine honored him with its Career Achievement in Education award.

Dr. Wise’s commitment to mentorship and leadership extends also to his service to SOT, of which he has been a member since 1995. For many years, Dr. Wise served on the SOT K–12 Subcommittee, helping to run the Paracelsus program that brought K–12 teachers to the SOT Annual Meeting to introduce them to toxicology. He also is a Past President of the Northeast Regional Chapter and the Metals Specialty Section, which awarded him its Career Achievement Award. Reflecting his commitment to effective communication, Dr. Wise was among the first recipients of the SOT Science Communication Training Award. Dr. Wise’s trainees are well represented during the SOT Annual Meeting, where he also regularly chairs Scientific Sessions.