UofL professor to receive education award from Society of Toxicology John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., recognized for efforts to educate students and professionals

    John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D.
    John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville professor of pharmacology and toxicology John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., will be honored by the Society of Toxicology with a 2016 Education Award in March, 2016.

    Wise is being recognized for teaching and training the next generation of toxicologists on a variety of educational levels both in the classroom and in the field. He has taught high school students and their teachers, undergraduate students, graduate students and junior faculty members. Wise has participated in K–12 outreach and lifelong learning programs attended by older students. Wise and his wife, Sandra Wise, Ph.D., joined the faculty at the UofL School of Medicine earlier this year.

    “The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology was thrilled to recruit Dr. John Wise Sr., his wife and research collaborator Dr. Sandra Wise, and other members of his research team to the University of Louisville,” said David W. Hein, Ph.D., chair of UofL’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “Professor Wise’s research program transforms the excitement of a world class research laboratory experience to graduate, professional, post-graduate and undergraduate students. The very prestigious Education Award from the Society of Toxicology reflects the international impact of his research program and training accomplishments.”

    In addition to on-campus instruction and lab work, Wise spends a good deal of time working in the field, testing wildlife for toxic exposures. He, his wife and their adult children spent three summers working aboard a sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico, obtaining tissue samples from whales to test for toxins resulting from the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Most recently, he has been collecting tissue samples from alligators around the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and investigating sea turtle populations on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island. Prior to his arrival at UofL, Wise was a professor of toxicology at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

    “Whether it is our work in the tiny, microscopic world of a cell or out in the wild with some of the most amazing creatures on earth, being a scientist is always a thrill and a privilege, and the most important part of being a scientist is to share all of these discoveries with others and to be an educator,” Wise said. “We all thirst to know more, to understand more. We seek to be amazed and inspired by the world. For me, engaging others in my scientific quests, teaching them and learning from them, is a central part of being a scientist.”

    The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,800 scientists from academic institutions, government and industry. The SOT Education Award recognizes an individual who teaches and trains toxicologists and who has made significant contributions to education in the field of toxicology. The award will be presented to Wise at the 2016 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in New Orleans, March 13–17, in the form of a plaque and stipend. Wise is one of more than two dozen scientists from across the United States and abroad who will be honored at the event.

    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.