This In Memoriam was co-authored by Shannon Krieger and Jack Harkema, May 12, 2022.
It is with a heavy heart that we share this In Memoriam for Dr. Jon Hotchkiss who passed away at age 67 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is survived by his three loving children as well as many close friends and colleagues.
Dr. Hotchkiss had over 30 years of professional experience in respiratory cell biology and inhalation toxicology. As a graduate student at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Jon developed immunoreagents to label, isolate, and quantitate pulmonary epithelial and endothelial cells. He trained in aerosol science and inhalation toxicology as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lovelace Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at Michigan State University (MSU).
Jon conducted numerous inhalation studies on the toxicology of environmental pollutants (ozone, particulate matter), tobacco smoke, and industrial chemicals to explore and elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms of airway and alveolar epithelial injury, adaptation, and repair. Working with Dr. Jack Harkema, Jon established the first inhalation toxicology laboratory at MSU and participated in the design, construction, and operation of the first mobile air research laboratory (AirCARE1) in the nation. This allowed toxicologists, cardiologists, and aerosol scientists to conduct inhalation toxicology studies of “real-world” concentrated air particulate matter in various urban and rural communities throughout the country (e.g., Detroit and Los Angeles). As an assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, he investigated the role of epithelial and inflammatory cell interactions in upper and lower airway remodeling using rodent models of chronic human respiratory disease.
For 19 years, until his retirement in 2020, Dr. Hotchkiss served as a senior inhalation toxicologist and technical leader of the Respiratory Toxicology Laboratory at Toxicology and Environmental Research and Consulting (TERC), Dow Chemical Company. Under his leadership, the lab conducted acute, subchronic, and chronic guideline and mechanistic studies in support of product registration, product stewardship, and human risk assessment activities for all Dow businesses as well as external consortia. At Dow, Jon led active research programs in allergic asthma, dosimetry, clearance, and dissolution kinetics and the integration of in silico, in vitro, and in vivo studies for in vivo/in vitro extrapolation (IVIVE). He also utilized regional dosimetry to improve the safety assessment of inhaled xenobiotics in humans.
Dr. Hotchkiss served as President of the SOT Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section (IRSS) and a Councilor for the SOT Michigan Regional Chapter.
In addition to his scientific and technical accomplishments, Dr. Hotchkiss touched the lives and hearts of many—as a colleague, friend, and mentor. His genuine kindness, interest in others, and gentle sense of humor will be greatly missed.