Burleson Research Technologies President Dr. Gary Burleson, and Director of Operations Dr. Victor Johnson, were honored last week with distinguished immunotoxicology awards from the Society of Toxicology at its 2023 annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. Johnson was named the Immunotoxicology Specialty Section’s Outstanding Senior Immunotoxicologist, which recognizes scientists in academia, industry, or regulatory entities who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their area of immunotoxicology.
Dr. Johnson is the Director of Operations at Burleson Research Technologies, where he also serves as Principal Investigator of the National Toxicology Program immunotoxicology contract and provides scientific leadership in the design and performance of immunotoxicology studies.
Dr. Johnson received his doctorate in Toxicology/Immunotoxicology from The University of Georgia in 2002 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In 2006, Dr. Johnson became Team Leader of the Occupational Immunotoxicology Laboratory at NIOSH conducting research focused on occupational respiratory allergies until joining BRT in 2011. Dr. Johnson served on the NIOSH Skin Notations committee contributing to the dermal hazard identification and classification of occupational chemicals. He is an active member of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) IID Immune, Infectious and Dermal Disease Prevention Cross-Sector Council.
Dr. Johnson has authored numerous research articles and book chapters in immunotoxicology and has been recognized with awards, including the Society of Toxicology Immunotoxicology Specialty Section (ITSS) Outstanding Young Immunotoxicologist Award in 2011, and is the 2023 recipient of the Outstanding Senior Immunotoxicologist Award. He has also served the Society of Toxicology in various capacities, as President of the ITSS in 2017-2018, and organizer, chair and speaker in scientific sessions and continuing education courses.
Dr. Burleson was awarded the Vos Lifetime Career Achievement Award in Immunotoxicology – the highest award in its category.
The Vos Lifetime Career Achievement Award honors one senior scientist whose body of work represents an outstanding career in immunotoxicology through significant scientific contributions, the influence of young scientists through education/training/mentorship, leadership and service involvement in the field, and influence on regulatory and risk/safety assessment decisions related to immunotoxicology.
Dr. Burleson’s career in immunotoxicology started almost 40 years ago when he worked for the EPA evaluating the potential toxic effects of chemicals on immunity. Immunotoxicology had only been recently coined as a field. During this time, his laboratory developed and characterized non-lethal influenza host resistance models in mice and rats, and utilized these, and other infectious disease models, to dissect the effects of potential immuno-toxicants on innate, humoral, and cell-mediated immunity. There were more than 60 publications and poster presentations just from this work. He was a member of the Steering Committee and then President of the Immunotoxicology Discussion Group and served as reviewer and chair of review panels. He was co-editor of Methods in Immunotoxicology, a two-volume publication dubbed by former ITSS president and nominator of the award Dr. Ken Hastings as, “the fundamental text of immunotoxicology”. From 1993-1996, he worked for Procter & Gamble, where he was responsible for evaluating potential antivirals in animal models and led a computer disease modeling effort with a group from Stanford University. In 1996, he returned to North Carolina and, with his wife, co-founded Burleson Research Technologies.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Burleson has served as president and CEO of BRT, been an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, served on advisory boards, chaired and peer-reviewed on panels for the National Institute of Health (NIH), was an organizer, chair and speaker in symposia and workshops, president of the Society of Toxicology’s Immunotoxicology Specialty Section (ITSS), and recipient of the ITSS Outstanding Senior Immunotoxicologist Award. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunotoxicology and the International Journal of Toxicology.