Scott Burchiel
UNM College of Pharmacy's Scott Burchiel has been selected as the 58th Annual Research Lecturer. The Annual Research Lecture award is one of the highest honors that the University of New Mexico bestows on a faculty member, and is selected by the UNM Research Policy Committee, and nominated by peers from across the United States and abroad.

The lecture, titled "ToxicoGenomic Bases for Human Susceptibility to Environmental Injury and Disease," will be presented on Tuesday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m., in the Student Union Building (SUB), Ballroom A&B;, on the University of New Mexico main campus. A reception will be held prior to the lecture at 5:30 p.m. Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited. There is no admission charge.

"Humans are exposed to chemicals in their environment via the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and substances that contact our skin," Burchiel said. "While human allergies to drugs such as penicillin and foods such as eggs and peanuts are well known, there is less understanding of the differences in susceptibility to environmental pollutants."

Burchiel, an expert in the interactions between environmental chemicals and the immune system, will discuss the differences in sensitivity of humans to various drugs, chemicals, and environmental agents that produce injury and disease. Based on an understanding of the human genome, the fields of pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomics seek to identify genetic susceptibilities that lead to adverse reactions. Whole genome sequencing of individuals now permits the identification of certain drug and chemical sensitivities that may lead to the safer use of medications as well as identify persons who might be at increased risk for certain environmental diseases.

"It is hoped that a better understanding of multiple gene and environment interactions will lead to new prevention and intervention strategies that will play an important role in the emerging field of personal medicine," he explained.

Burchiel joined the University of New Mexico in 1977 as a National Cancer Institute NRSA Fellow, and became a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy in 1978. He has a highly distinguished career as a leader in education, research, and administration at UNM.

Burchiel is the Nunzio and Sherolyn DeSantis Endowed Chair of Pharmacogenomics and professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He serves as the associate dean for Research in the College of Pharmacy and has served as the Director of the UNM HSC Signature Program in Environmental Health Sciences and the director of the New Mexico Center for Environmental Health Studies for the UNM Health Sciences Center. He directs the New Mexico Center for Isotopes in Medicine (NMCIM) and has served as an associate vice president for Advanced Studies (UNM Office of Research and Economic Development). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, an active NIH grant reviewer, and is the Editor-In-Chief of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

Burchiel is an expert in immunotoxicology and environmental carcinogenesis and has been continually funded by the NIH for over 25 yrs. Burchiel's laboratory is active in the use of toxicogenomics, pharmacogenomics, and the use of genomic and epigenomic tools to analyze mechanisms of action of xenobiotics. These studies seek to identify human susceptibility factors, such as polymorphisms in receptor signaling, metabolism, and DNA repair genes.

Burchiel is an expert in immunotoxicity testing and his laboratory has been involved in the development of numerous new biotechnology products and has conducted numerous preclinical and clinical trials with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He has served on an FDA Expert Working Group in Vasculitis and on numerous National Academy and Institute of Medicine committees. He currently chairs the FDA's National Center for Toxicologic Research (NCTR) Science Advisory Board.

To view the flyer, visit: 58th Annual Research Lecturer.

The University of New Mexico congratulates Scott Burchiel as UNM's 58th Annual Research Lecturer.