Dr. B. Paige Lawrence is an Associate Professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where she holds appointments in the Departments of Environmental Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology. She earned a B.A. from Skidmore College (1986), where she concentrated in biology and chemistry, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology at Cornell University (1993). She received specialized training in immunology and toxicology during a post-doctoral fellowship at Oregon State University. Her research addresses problems of human health and how our environment influences our health. Much of her work focuses on the impact of pollutants on our ability to fight infections, such as influenza viruses. Other work centers on understanding how signals from the environment affect proper development in early life, and how these developmental changes adversely impact health later in life. She is a member of the Society of Toxicology, American Association of Immunologists, and American Association for the Advancement of Scientists, and currently serves on the Editorial Boards for Toxicological Sciences, Toxicology, The Journal of Immunotoxicology, The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, and The American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. She provides ad-hoc peer review service to the National Institutes of Health and many other scientific journals, and currently serves on a National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine panel evaluating adverse reactions to vaccination.
Dr. Lawrence's expertise is in the disciplines of immunology and toxicology. Studying whether chemicals (e.g., pollutants, pharmaceuticals) affect the way the immune system works is the primary area of her expertise. The immune system is the part of our body that helps us fight infections and detect and destroy tumor cells before cancer gets a chance to take hold. There is growing evidence that many chemicals that are found in the environment adversely impact the development and function of the immune system. In contrast to pollutants, which we generally perceive as 'bad' chemicals, some pharmaceuticals are used to deliberately modulate the immune system in order to treat a disease. Studying how these drugs carry out their function gives us a lot of insight into how chemicals (good ones and bad ones) affect the development and function of the immune system. A website describing her research interests in more detail is @ http://lifesciences.envmed.rochester.edu/test/index.html
She has had a long-standing interest in public outreach and science education. She has served on the Society of Toxicology's Education Committee, sponsored high school biology teachers through the John H. Wallace High School Teachers Summer Research Program of the American Association of Immunologists, and participated in other science education projects. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, hiking, camping and losing herself a really good book.