The Office of the Vice President for Research and the University of New Mexico Research Policy Committee will present Dr. Johnnye Lewis with the Community-Engaged Research Lecture award. Lewis will present her lecture, “Community-Researcher Partnerships Drive Innovative Science to Help Address Decades of Environmental Injustice,” on Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m. in Centennial Engineering Center Auditorium with a reception to follow at STAMM Commons.

Lewis is a research professor and director of the Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP) at the UNM Health Sciences Center College of Pharmacy. CEHP’s primary focus is on risk to Indigenous communities from chronic exposures to abandoned uranium mine waste from Cold War weapons development throughout the Western U.S. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Manitoba, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in inhalation toxicology at the Department of Energy Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.

In the private sector, she became owner and CEO of Environmental Health Associates, an environmental health consulting firm providing risk modeling and assessment methodology development for Indigenous tribes, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She moved to academia in 1996 and developed CEHP to merge her scientific research in toxicology with community concerns, creating partnerships among multidisciplinary researchers, communities, policy and decision-makers, and clinicians to develop creative and integrative transdisciplinary solutions to environmental contamination problems.

Today, Lewis leads, with her team members, multiple center-level programs including the Navajo Birth Cohort Study, Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes, the METALS Superfund Research Center, the Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research and is an active member of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Centers focus on environmental mobility and multigenerational toxicity, engaging teams of trained indigenous community researchers, indigenous language and culture specialists, artists, toxicologists, engineers, mineralogists, geochemists, geographers, statisticians and mathematicians, immunologists, ethnographers, and clinicians. The Centers work with communities to Integrate indigenous knowledge, language, and art into design and implementation of clinical trials and novel risk reduction strategies to form a framework from which to build culturally acceptable solutions.

The annual Community-Engaged Scholarship Lecture Award recognizes exceptional scholarly work that embodies UNM's commitment to community engagement and profoundly and systematically affects the relationship between the university and the larger community in a positive and meaningful way. This is the highest award for community-engaged scholarship bestowed by The University of New Mexico. 

Join the celebration in person for this special presentation at the Centennial Auditorium or virtually on Zoom on April 29. For more information and to register, visit

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