For her dedication to and record of working to enhance human health and influence decision-making and for her service within SOT, Dr. Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman has been awarded the 2019 SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology).
Dr. Lehman-McKeeman earned her PhD in toxicology from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Through her current position as vice president of Pharmaceutical Candidate Optimization at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Lehman-McKeeman leads a group that integrates toxicology, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutics, and analytical sciences to support the discovery of high-quality drug candidates. Her oversight of this important function is a testament to her leadership ability and her distinction in her field.
Dr. Lehman-McKeeman’s work to test, analyze, and advance new medications has served the toxicological profession and the general public. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, she has conducted and led basic research that supported advancement of new drug candidates, including significant mechanistic work to establish the human safety of Baraclude (an antiviral drug). Additionally, her research efforts to elucidate the mechanism of α2u-globulin nephropathy in inducing male rat renal cell cancer established a mechanism of rodent carcinogenesis that was not human relevant. As a result of this work by Dr. Lehman-McKeeman, many chemicals that induce male rat kidney cancer are now understood not to represent cancer risks in humans.
Outside of the laboratory, Dr. Lehman-McKeeman has played a pivotal role in SOT through her dedication to Toxicological Sciences. She was named as an associate editor when the journal launched and served as Editor-in-Chief from 2002–2011. As Editor, Dr. Lehman-McKeeman guided the publication through several momentous shifts, including its move to an electronic layout, and she developed a special supplement to celebrate the Society’s 50th anniversary. During her tenure as Editor, the impact factor of the journal increased significantly, as Dr. Lehman-McKeeman emphasized the importance of keen editorial judgment in selecting high-quality articles for publication.
Dr. Lehman-McKeeman’s contributions to SOT also are exemplified in her service as the 2013–2014 SOT President and her positions on several SOT committees. In addition to her contributions within SOT, Dr. Lehman-McKeeman is a recognized toxicologist in the field at large, with the publication of more than 100 research articles.