Susan Leeman, PhD

Brief Biographical Statement

Dr. Susan E. Leeman is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, and the Director of the Neuropeptide Laboratory in the Pharmacology Department at the Boston University School of Medicine. She received her B.A. degree in Physiology at Goucher College in 1951 and her M.A. degree in Medical Sciences at Radcliffe College in 1954 where she also completed her PhD studies in the field of Physiology in 1958. Dr. Leeman has been a Member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1991. Dr. Leeman’s laboratory achieved the first isolation and chemical characterization of the peptides substance P and neurotensin, characterized the full length and truncated receptors for substance P, and recognized that the differences in their lengths lead to their differences in their intracellular signaling pathways. More recently, she has been interested in pharmacological intervention in inflammatory responses with particular emphasis on the role of these 2 peptides in immune cells. She and colleagues have recently demonstrated that truncated neurokinin-1 receptor is increased in colonic epithelial cells from patients with colitis-associated cancer.

Dr. Leeman began her professional career as an Instructor in the Phsyiology Departmenof the Harvard Medical School in 1958. In 1959 she became Postdoctoral Fellow for the Neurochemistry Training Program in the Graduate Department of Biochemistry of the Brandeis University until 1962 when she was promoted to Senior Research Associate until 1966. Dr. Leeman in 1966 became an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Graduate Department of Biochemistry of the Brandeis University until1968 when she was promoted to Assistant Research Professor until 1971. That year Dr. Leeman became Assistant Professor of Physiology for the Harvard Medical School (L.H.R.R.B.) until 1973 when she was promoted to Associate Professor of Physiology until 1980. During the years 1980 to 1992 Dr Leeman was a Professor of Physiology for the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as Director of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program for the University of Massachusetts Medical School since 1984. Finally from 1992 and on Dr. Leeman is employed as a Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics for the Boston University School of Medicine.

In recognition of her efforts Dr. Leeman has received many awards and honors including: Charles C. Pinderhughes Lecture, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (1984), Christianna Smith Lecture, Mt. Holyoke College (1984), American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Fellow (1987), National Academy of Sciences, Member (1991), Burroughs Wellcome Visiting Professorship Award, University of Kentucky (1992), Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, State University of New York, Institute of  Technology at Utica/Rome (1992), FASEB, Excellence in Science Award (1993), Honorary Degree, Goucher Gollege, Towson, Maryland (1993), Fred Conrad Koch Award (1994), 197th Lilly Lecture (1994), Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence (1994), 14th Annual Isadore Rosenberg Lecture (1994), American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow (2005) and lastly the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award 2005.