I am ASCPT: Lisl Shoda

Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 12/1/2022 12:00:00 AM

L Shodl
Lisl Shoda, PhD, Associate Vice President and Director of Immunology, DILIsym Services Division, Simulations Plus, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC

What are you looking forward to as a new Vice Chair of the Systems Pharmacology Community?
I am looking forward to working with the Systems Pharmacology leadership team, including improving my understanding of ongoing initiatives and how these efforts are impacting the Systems Pharmacology community. I am also looking forward to outreach to the Systems Pharmacology Community to identify areas of interest that may currently be under-represented.

What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned the hard way?
It is worth the extra time to understand the scope of a commitment before making it.

In my first leadership project, our team had done a preliminary analysis of some of the literature to illustrate how evaluating the model against the available therapeutic data would increase confidence in the representation. The scientific advisory board was so interested in this analysis that they suggested we write a review paper, inclusive of all the published therapeutic strategies. We were thrilled and jumped to agree. But that kicked off months of extra work for the team and many sacrificed weekends in what was a far more massive undertaking than we had originally appreciated. Of course, underestimates can happen, but if you can mostly provide realistic estimates of work, your family and your team will thank you.

Who has inspired you in your career?
Polly Matzinger is an immunologist who conceived the danger model as an alternative perspective to the self/non-self philosophy that had previously dominated the field of immunology. I remember hearing her speak on this new model and she was definitely provocative. Her talk inspired many in the audience to jump up and disagree with her findings. I recall her being fearless, including suggesting to one particularly abrasive individual that he might hear a description of bloody clothes and think “victim of violence” but she might think “menstruation.” She was an inspiring example of a woman who was a strong scientist and a strong advocate for her ideas.

When you are not working, how do you spend your free time?
I spend time with my family, throwing the ball for the dog, trying to stay fit, and playing soccer.

How do you keep focused and motivated?
It sounds a little trite, but I love my job and the people I work with. Part of that is that my job is always leading me into new areas of science, and I also have the opportunity to help shape our group's direction.

Dr. Shoda has been a member of ASCPT since 2020.

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