In Memoriam: Pamela L. Chamberlain

Submitted by SOT 2015–2016 President Peter L. Goering, PhD, DABT, ATS and CAPT Estella Z. Jones, DVM, US Public Health Service, Sr. Regulatory Veterinarian, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, Office of the Chief Scientist/Office of the Commissioner/FDA

Pamela L. Chamberlain, DVM, DABT, PhD, Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, and Institutional Official for the FDA White Oak Animal Husbandry and Welfare Program, recently passed away after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

After graduating from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Chamberlain began her career as veterinarian in a small, mixed animal practice in Sturgis, Michigan. She then moved to the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to spend 14 years in the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, Division of Human Safety as a reviewer. While at CVM, Pam developed expertise in food safety toxicology. Notable accomplishments during her tenure at CVM included achieving the credential of Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology, and a PhD in Toxicology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

She then spent a year at the World Health Organization (WHO), International Programme for Chemical Safety, serving as a temporary advisor on several Joint Food Agriculture Organization/WHO expert committees on food additives, and serving as the lead Delegate for the US Delegation, Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods.

She started the next chapter of her career as a Study Director at Covance Laboratories in Vienna, Virginia, designing and providing oversight on preclinical toxicology studies, and she was promoted to Study Director Manager and eventually accepted the challenging role as the Associate Director for Veterinary Services at Covance, Vienna.  Dr. Chamberlain recently rejoined the FDA to apply her diverse background, experiences, and knowledge to help advance the regulatory science mission of the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, leading the Medical Countermeasure initiative public workshop on “Burkholderia: Exploring Current Issues and Identifying Regulatory Science Gaps” in 2012.

Dr. Chamberlain was known for her extensive GLP study conduct knowledge related to animal model data generation, serving as part of the FDA GLP modernization team. She also served as a co-project officer for the FDA cooperative agreement with the University of Texas Medical Branch, “Achieving Data Quality and Integrity in Maximum Containment Laboratories.”  Pam most recently served as the Interim Institutional Official for the FDA White Oak Animal Research Program, assuming the responsibilities for the agency-wide Memorandum of Agreement between the FDA, the US Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare to promote the 3 R’s (replacement/reduction/refinement) and laboratory animal welfare efforts.

The many colleagues who worked closely with her greatly enjoyed her wittiness and benefited from her endless ability to find humor in any situation. Pam was a strong, gentle, sensitive, and fearless individual and always stood up for matters she believed in. She was immensely loyal to her friends. She was extremely dedicated to improving the quality of life of many through the research she supported. It comes as no surprise that she decided to donate her body to science so that she could continue to support the advancement of science.

A Celebration of Pamela’s Life was held at the Montgomery Country Club (20908 Golf View Drive, Laytonville, MD 20882) on Tuesday, July 7. The family requests that donations in Pam’s memory be sent the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1848, Longmont, Colorado 80502 in memory of Pam Chamberlain.

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