Dr. Nicole C. Kleinstreuer has received the 2019 SOT Achievement Award to recognize her leadership and distinction in contributing to the field of toxicology, particularly in the areas of alternative toxicological methods and computational toxicology.
Dr. Kleinstreuer earned degrees in mathematics and biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her PhD in bioengineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and subsequently performed her postdoctoral research in computational toxicology at the US EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology (US EPA/NCCT). In addition to her current, principal role as deputy director of the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), Dr. Kleinstreuer also serves as principal investigator of the Computational Toxicology Group within the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch in the Division of Intramural Research at NIEHS. Additionally, she holds adjunct positions at the Yale University School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Kleinstreuer has been furthering the toxicological field since early in her career. Her postdoctoral research was with the US EPA/NCCT virtual embryo project, which focused on predictive modeling and computer simulation of developmental toxicity. Currently, Dr. Kleinstreuer is at the forefront of her field, leading diverse and numerous projects to find alternatives to animal testing methods. Notably, her leadership of the NICEATM effort supporting the US EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program largely contributed to the US EPA replacing the rodent uterotrophic assay with in vitro and in silico methods to screen chemicals for estrogenic activity. Further, Dr. Kleinstreuer’s work is changing the global landscape, as evidenced through her direction of the OECD work group to establish an internationally harmonized test guideline for defined approaches to skin sensitization, which has resulted in a US EPA draft policy to accept these methods.
Dr. Kleinstreuer’s tireless efforts to develop scientifically robust, human-relevant alternative methods to animal testing have been widely recognized, both through her extensive publication repertoire and through the many toxicological recognitions she has been awarded, including several US EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards and the Teratology Society F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award. Her involvement in the toxicological field is further exemplified through her participation on several editorial boards. Dr. Kleinstreuer also is an active SOT member, having served as a speaker during many SOT Continuing Education courses and as a chairperson of multiple SOT Symposia and Workshops.