A UF professor became the fourth woman to receive an environmental science award in recognition of her decades long career.
Nancy D. Denslow, a professor of environmental toxicology in both the UF College of Medicine and College of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2016 Founders Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry on Aug. 26.
“I was surprised and very happy, because it really puts into perspective all the hard work that the students have done over the years,” Denslow said. “It really validates the whole area of research that we’ve been doing.”
The international group gives the award to “an individual with an outstanding career in the environmental sciences,” according to its website.
In the mid-1990s, she studied fish with tumors and discovered biomarkers, or substances that indicate disease or infection. She found indications that the fish had been exposed to environmental estrogen.
The findings sparked her curiosity in studying and focusing on marine pollutants like pesticides, she said. She’s studied wildlife that have formed mutations or cancerous cells by using molecular biomarkers to analyze changes in the genes that cause them.
Stephen M. Roberts, the program director of the UF Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology, said he admired Denslow for her hard work over the years.
“I think it’s a wonderful award for her, and we’re very proud of her,” Roberts said. “Other faculty at this center think the world of her.”
Denslow said she’s proud of the breakthroughs she and her team have had so far, and they’re looking forward to more progress in the future.
Although Denslow is unsure if she’s the first UF professor to win the award, she said being the fourth woman to receive it reflected well on her accomplishments.
“It just shows that good science triumphs, and it doesn’t matter what sex you are,” Denslow said.