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Pathways to Cures:
This award honors the career accomplishments of an investigator who embodies excellence in the broad spectrum of translational science from basic and applied research to implementing biomedical discovery to clinical practice. The common theme of this award is consistent and outstanding achievement in translational innovation that benefits human health.
Dr. Frances Leslie is a Professor in Pharmacology, with a joint appointment in Anatomy & Neurobiology in the UCI School of Medicine. She is also the Dean of the Graduate Division in the School of Medicine. Having published more than 120 papers in prestigious journals, she is the recipient of many awards and distinctions, including Most Highly Cited Original Publication of 2004, and the 2018 Women of Influence Orange County Lifetime Legacy Award. Dean Leslie received her doctoral degree from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977, where she played a role in landmark studies on the identification and mechanism of the action of enkephalin, the first endorphin to be discovered. With over three decades in academia at UCI, Dr. Leslie’s research centers primarily on the effects of drug abuse on the developing brain, largely during the prenatal and adolescent periods. Although the group has worked extensively with other abused drugs (cocaine and amphetamine), the current emphasis is on nicotine, the psychoactive component of tobacco, and nicotine’s effect on the adolescent brain. Their groundbreaking studies suggest that many abused drugs have unique effects during this maturational period, that is, that brief exposure of adolescents to nicotine enhances the rewarding properties of other drugs.
In addition to her scientific contributions, Dean Leslie has been a pioneer and innovator in graduate education. Being Dean of the Graduate Division of the Medical School since 2009, she has spearheaded innovative programs within graduate education and diversity campaigns to foster equity and access for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. She was instrumental in the unveiling of the Graduate Research Center (GRC), one of the first in the nation to support graduate student professional, career, and personal development through a range of workshops and events. She has also established several new competitive fellowship award programs during her tenure. Having been awarded the 2018 UCI Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Mentoring of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Leslie has earned every bit of the recognition and stature she has achieved during her distinguished career.
Join us in celebrating Dr. Leslie at the 11th Annual
Register now as space is limited
Wednesday, May 1, 2019