The Best Biology Class

Professor, department head of pharmaceutical sciences, and director of graduate studies for the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona, Nathan J. Cherrington does not hesitate to wear BYU logos at faculty meetings.

After breaking both arms in a championship church basketball game while at BYU, Cherrington could not take notes or write for exams. It was in a biology class that he met his wife, Jana Willardson, who was an excellent note-taker and pitied boys with broken arms. “I met my wife in Biology 200,” Cherrington says. “We started dating in environmental science. We got engaged in a physiology class.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at BYU, Cherrington pursued a PhD in toxicology at North Carolina State University. His research includes studying molecular mechanisms of liver toxicity and ways individuals with diseased livers could have reduced capacity to excrete toxic substances. The writer of more than 80 research papers, he has contributed to book chapters and abstracts and has a patent for identifying patients with hepatic disorders. His work helps identify patients at risk, potentially improving the long-term health of thousands of patients.

Cherrington has been honored with the 1885 Society Distinguished Scholar by the University of Arizona and is the recipient of the Society of Toxicology Achievement Award. He is also a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He is a member of the National Institutes of Health’s environmental health sciences review committee, serves on the precision health advisory council at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, is the associate editor for Toxicological Sciences, and is a member of the Society of Toxicology.

Cherrington also finds time to serve as a board member for the BYU Alumni Tucson Chapter. “I am far more interested in doing good than I am in continuing any personal success,” Cherrington says. “I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility and willingness to be of service.”

He and his wife, Jana Willardson Cherrington, have four children.    

Full Name: 
Nathan Cherrington
Grad Year: 
BS 1993
College: 
Life Sciences
Major: 
Zoology
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