Over the Last Two Decades, More Than 90 Students and Postdocs Have Received Guidance in the Laboratory of 2023 SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award Recipient Robyn Leigh Tanguay

By Joshua Gray posted 02-02-2023 14:19


This award recognizes an SOT member who has displayed a commitment to mentoring and whose advice and counsel have substantially enhanced the career development of toxicologists.

Robyn Leigh Tanguay, PhD, has been awarded the 2023 SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award for her commitment to mentoring and advancing the careers of dozens of toxicologists thus far in her career.

Dr. Tanguay is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and Director of the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Program at Oregon State University. She received her BS from California State University San Bernardino and her PhD from the University of California Riverside in biochemistry. She is a leader in the field of systems toxicology and a pioneer in using zebrafish as a model for predictive toxicology.

Over the last 22 years, the statistics on individuals under Dr. Tanguay’s mentorship are as follows: 35 graduate students, 18 postdoctoral scholars, and more than 40 undergraduates conducting research in her lab. In addition, Dr. Tanguay has served on 37 graduate committees. All her trainees have gone on to pursue established careers within government, industry, and academia.

In the past five years, Dr. Tanguay has been working to mentor more individuals into positions in academia. To accomplish this, she has been sharing her experience and journey working in academia with many postdoctoral groups to encourage them to have a career in academia. She educates and explains how the process works and is very forthright about the opportunities, challenges, and personal characteristics necessary to succeed. Dr. Tanguay also is supportive of all postdoctoral scholars who want to write grants. She makes herself accessible to serve on their committee and helps connect them with her network of researchers to facilitate their success.

Also, of note, Dr. Tanguay fosters collaborations across scientific fields in all her projects and makes a point to immerse mentees in collaborative experiences. This has greatly benefited mentees’ scientific knowledge base, ability to communicate across specialties, and networking skills. She encourages her students to pursue leadership positions at the university and in professional organizations such as SOT.

She has been associated with SOT for more than 20 years. She is a member of councils and boards of numerous organizations, including SOT Council.