Society of Toxicology Awards Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award

By Amy Widner

This award recognizes a society member who has made substantial and seminal scientific contributions to the understanding of the science of toxicology and is actively involved in toxicological research. Ho will be formally honored with a plaque, cash stipend and guest lectureship March 15-19 during the society’s 59th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Anaheim, California.

Ho, an internationally renowned scientist, is a professor in the College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. She oversees UAMS’s mission to grow research capacity, improve research infrastructure, promote innovation, and build research partnerships that can be translated to better clinical care and disease control in Arkansas and across the nation.

Her research interests pertain to the role of hormones and endocrine disruptors, and the interplay between genetics and epigenetics, in disease development as well as how early-life experiences can be a root cause in later development of cancers, asthma, neural disorders and other complex chronic diseases.

Her work — published in more than 240 articles — has pioneered the fields of environmental epigenetics and developmental origins of adult disease. This body of highly innovative and paradigm-changing research has advanced basic science and catalyzed major changes in public health and medical practices in the nation and around the globe.

Ho is past president of the Society for Basic Urological Research. She is a member of the American Urologic Society, Endocrine Society, Society for Basic Urologic Research and American Association for Cancer Research. She chairs numerous scientific reviews and policy committees for the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. She is a former member of the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Prostate Cancer Research Program and the National Academy of Science Committee of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. Ho serves as a charter member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences (2016-2020) and a member of the External Expert Panel for the O’Brien Urology Research Centers (U54).

Ho received her doctoral degree from the University of Hong Kong. Prior to coming to UAMS in 2019, she served as director of Cincinnati Cancer Center, where she was also the Hayden Family Endowed Chair for Cancer Research. Previously, she was the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Professor and chairwoman of the Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Prior to Cincinnati, Ho’s experience includes the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she was vice chair for research in the Department of Surgery and director for translational research in urological disorders. She also served Tufts University as associate dean for research in the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Continuing Education.