Marion Ehrich, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the prestigious Pfizer Award for Research Excellence during ceremonies associated with the college’s 2010 Research Symposium, held at the college’s Blacksburg campus last month.

“Dr. Ehrich’s research excellence and the impact of her research results on the field have already made her a recognized world leader in the field of neurotoxicology,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the college. “Her career in research epitomizes the excellence in research we all strive to achieve.”

The Pfizer award, established in 1985, is a nationally recognized award sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, a division of healthcare giant, Pfizer Inc. The purpose of this award is to “foster innovative research, on which the scientific advancement of the profession depends, by recognizing outstanding research effort and productivity.”

Ehrich, who serves as co-director of the Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies at the college, is a pioneer in the use of in vitro systems for mechanistic studies and safety assessment in neurotoxicology. Additionally, Ehrich is a well-respected and recognized global leader in the mechanisms of organophosphorus ester-induced delayed neuropathy.

Ehrich joined the veterinary college faculty in 1980, and she has maintained a sustained extramurally funded research program on the acute metabolic and toxic effects of pesticides and mycotoxins. Over the course of her career, Erich has been awarded millions of dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and numerous industry sectors to conduct cutting-edge research in the field of neurotoxicology.  

She has published more than 170 peer-reviewed research articles and reviews in prestigious journals in her field.

Ehrich is past president of the Society of Toxicology, and she has been sought after to serve on many prestigious national advisory committees and panels, such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and to serve as an expert consultant for many government agencies and in industry.

Ehrich holds a master's degree in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Connecticut. She is a member of the Society of Toxicology, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Academy of Toxicological Scientists, the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is certified by the American Board of Toxicology.

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