His love of science.

Lance Pohl LanceRPohl

First post: Jul 28, 2021 Latest post: Jul 28, 2021
Lance R. Pohl, Pharm.D., Ph.D., passed away peacefully at his home in Kensington, Maryland, on July 29, 2021. Lance is lovingly remembered by his sister Shelly Ugolini, his stepmother Shirley Pohl, and his wife of 50 years Sheila Pohl. 

Lance was born on December 25, 1942 in Long Beach, California, and made newspaper headlines as the first of the Christmas babies, born a minute after the stroke of midnight.  He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966, and from the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center in 1970 and 1975 with a Pharm.D. and Ph.D., respectively. Lance then started as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland and rose through the ranks to become Section Chief in 1982, and ultimately the Chief of the Section on Molecular and Cellular Toxicology, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology. He was a National Institute of Health Scientist Emeritus at the time of his passing.  

During his long academic career, he authored 161 Research Papers, served on multiple editorial boards and committees for scientific societies, received numerous awards for his science and service, including the NIH Director's Award in 1992 and the Society of Toxicology Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award in 2009. Lance is well known for his pioneering work on drug-induced liver injury that led to the development of safer drugs.  Lance loved to solve difficult scientific puzzles and is noted for having a picture of Sherlock Holmes above his desk. He demanded excellence from himself as well as his many students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists that he mentored. Mentoring young scientists was a vital part of his work and watching them grow throughout their careers gave him great joy.  He was equally passionate about his recreational pursuits: a love of photography, listening to the jazz of Miles Davis, and watching classic movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Black Rain, The Godfather, and Dirty Harry. 

Lance will be laid to rest at the Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo, California, at a hilltop location he selected that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  As shown below, there is a website dedicated to Lance:


On this site, you can see the above story under “Home,” the comments from his sister and wife under the section “Journal,” and several cherished photos under “Gallery.”  Everyone is welcome to post comments in his memory under “Well Wishes.”  CaringBridge is the non-profit organization that created this online platform to help families and friends communicate during health journeys. The sections “Ways to Help” and “Tribute” facilitate donations, although Lance did not wish to require or suggest donations on his behalf.

Please feel free to share the above website address with friends and colleagues.