THOMAS J FLYNN, PhD. Class of 1965 – BIOCHEMIST
Tom Flynn received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Temple University School of Medicine. After several years as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Temple University, Tom accepted a position as a Research Chemist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1980 and remained there until his retirement in 2018. Tom’s work focused on the development of novel, non-animal safety testing methods for chemicals found in food. Tom’s work was recognized by the Agency when he was presented with the FDA Commendable Service Award in 1990, the FDA Outstanding Achievement Award in 1999, and the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Exceptional Achievement Award in 2011. In 2008, Tom was awarded a grant by the FDA Office of Women’s Health to study, using cultured human liver cells, the role of sex hormones and inflammation as biological factors that contribute to known gender differences in susceptibility to chemical-induced liver Injury. In 2009, Tom was awarded by the FDA/University of Maryland Joint Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition, as co-Principal Investigator, a grant for $250,000 for two years for a study, using cultured human liver cells, to characterize dietary supplement and food components with potential to cause liver toxicity and food-drug interactions.
Over the course of his career in research, Tom authored or co-authored fifty-one original, peer-reviewed research papers, six peer-reviewed scientific review articles, four book chapters, and eighty-five technical abstracts. Tom was an elected member of and participated actively in several professional organizations including The American Chemical Society, The Society of Toxicology, The Society for In Vitro Biology, and The Association of Government Toxicologists
Tom was also actively involved in community outreach oriented professional activities including participation in the American Chemical Society’s “Kids and Chemistry” program, served as a mentor and judge at various high schools for students in senior research programs including the County Public School Science and Technology Fair. He also served as a mentor for students in the University of Maryland’s Gemstone Program and on the Society of Toxicology’s K-12 Outreach Task Force Committee
Tom’s commitment to mentoring, both of junior level scientists within the Agency and of students outside the Agency was recognized by the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in 2017 when he was presented with the Legacy Award “For a legacy of mentoring in areas of research and review.
Tom was married for forty-one years to the late Pat McGuire, he has a son David and a daughter Ellen, and he currently resides in Laurel, Maryland.