Jon C. Cook
SOT celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Annual Meeting, March 6–10, 2011, in Washington, D.C. Several unique activities and programmatic sessions commemorated this milestone. In keeping with our 50th Anniversary theme, Frances O. Kelsey and William C. Hays were presented with SOT Honorary Memberships at our Sunday Awards Ceremony. In 1961, the founding year of SOT, Dr. Kelsey denied the approval of thalidomide because of safety concerns, a decision that prevented the U.S. population from experiencing the birth defects seen across Europe. She was honored by President Kennedy with the Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service and went on to institutionalize protection of the patient in drug investigations by championing issues such as informed consent. We also honored William C. Hays, Esquire, the nephew of founding member Harry W. Hays, who has been SOT legal counsel for the past 50 years. We are indebted to Bill, who has provided sage advice to every Council since 1961 and guided our Society throughout the years on matters from Constitution and By-Laws to shaping the strategic vision of the Society. His son, Andy Hays, who is also an attorney, will continue the family tradition! I also want to highlight the additional awardees: Michael Aschner—Merit Award, Joseph F. Borzelleca—Founders Award, Nathan J. Cherrington—Achievement Award, Michael A. Gallo—Education Award, Oliver Hankinson—Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award, Bette Meek—Arnold J. Lehman Award, Joan B. Tarloff—Endowment Fund Undergraduate Educator Award, Weida Tong—Translational Impact Award, and Masayuki Yamamoto—Leading Edge in Basic Science Award. I extend my hearty congratulations to all of these scientists and the other award recipients who through their contributions are creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.
At Monday’s 50th Anniversary Plenary Lecture, 2010–2011 SOT President Michael P. Holsapple presented a landmark plaque to the National Academy of Sciences, where the SOT was conceived by the nine founding members. At Tuesday’s 50th Anniversary Member Celebration Meeting, Dr. Holsapple presented an overview of SOT’s rich history and exceptional members, and recognized the four Charter members who were attending, John Doull, Bernard E. Hietbrink, Ted A. Loomis, and Bob West. One of the highlights of this meeting was the presentation of memorabilia items that were placed in the SOT Time Capsule. The capsule will be opened in 2036 at our 75th Annual Meeting and is being archived by EPL, Inc. Council donated a bottle of single malt scotch and I plan on being there to drink it when it is opened in 2036!! After the membership meeting, the Celebration Event was held in the Grand Ballroom where we enjoyed food, drink, games, and dance featuring music by BeatleMania Live. As mementos, each SOT member attending the Annual Meeting received a “Benchmarks in Toxicology” poster, a “Snapshots from History” brochure, and a book chronicling the first 50 years of our Society. It is impossible to thank everyone for their contributions to this celebration, but a special “shout out” goes to the members of the 50th Year Anniversary SOT Task Force (FAST): Martin A. Philbert (Chair), Meryl Karol (Co-Chair), Linda S. Birnbaum, James S. Bus, Gary P. Carlson, Jack H. Dean, Dennis J. Devlin, John Doull, David L. Eaton, William C. Hays, Ernest Hodgson, Michael P. Holsapple, Lisa A. Opanashuk, Dennis James Paustenbach, Robert A. Scala, and Ronald B. Tjalkens.
Our Scientific Program Committee (SPC) worked diligently to construct an outstanding scientific program that served as an excellent indication of the strength, breadth, and depth of our science. With significant input from the SOT Specialty Sections, Special Interest Groups, and Committees, the program included more than 210 sessions, over 3,000 abstracts, and 15 Continuing Education (CE) courses. Our CE Committee put together an excellent series of courses that attracted 2,620 attendees. The 2011 meeting also surpassed all attendance records with 8,100 attendees, compared to our previous record of 6,861 attendees, a 20 percent increase despite the economy and the threats of a government shutdown. Other special programs commemorating our anniversary included four plenary lectures, three of which featured leaders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) and six “Meet the Directors” sessions: Linda S. Birnbaum, Director of NIEHS and NTP, Jesse Goodman, U.S. FDA Chief Scientist and Deputy Commissioner for Science, John Howard, Director of CDC/NIOSH, Yvonne Maddox, Deputy Director of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Sy Garte, NIH Director of the Division of Physiological and Pathological Sciences of the Committee for Scientific Review, and Kevin Teichman, U.S. EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science in the Office of Research and Development. I would like to extend my personal thanks to all of the individual members of the Society whose collective contributions made the 50th Annual Meeting such a success!
As I write this message, I know that many of you are already preparing for the next SOT Annual Meeting, which will take place March 11–15, 2012, in San Francisco, California (my home town!!). This year, the six scientific themes are: Aberrant Gene Expression in Toxicity and Disease—Epigenetics and MicroRNAs, Characterizing Toxic Modes of Action and Pathways to Toxicity, Influence of Global Climate Change on Environmental Health Issues, Clinical Toxicology from Bedside to Bench and Back, and Regulatory Science: Bridging the Gap between Discovery and Product Availability. Hopefully, many of you have already submitted proposals aligned with those themes. The stewardship of the Scientific Program Committee is in the capable hands of William Slikker, Jr. (Chair) and Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman (Co-Chair).
Over the next year, I will communicate the Society’s efforts to refresh our Strategic Plan, established in 2008, which was designed to carry us through 2011 and was reviewed and extended through 2012. Under Dr. Holsapple’s leadership, the 2010–2011 Council focused each Council meeting on reviewing one of the Strategic Priorities, by which we captured achievements and opportunities. We shared this information with the committee chairs at the Annual Meeting and sent out a progress report to the membership in May. The 2011–2012 Council spent two days in May updating our Strategic Plan with the help of a professional facilitator. We have sought and will continue to seek input from Committees and the membership on this plan. The direction of the Society is shaped by you so it is critical that you voice your opinion when we survey the membership. We also will remain committed to expanding and deepening member engagement through the implementation of 21st century communications tools, such as ToXchange. By the way, we have just formed a ToXchange Task Force to help us develop strategies to better engage members. The Global Strategy Task Force, under the leadership of Ruth A. Roberts, has been implementing initiatives to solidify SOT as a global organization. Two such initiatives at the 2011 Annual Meeting were the Global Gallery of Toxicology where toxicology societies outside the U.S. had 25 posters describing their activities and a Global Collaboration Meeting that had over 40 scientists participating. Council also has met regularly with IUTOX throughout the year. We had a record of 21 percent international participants at the 2011 Annual Meeting and exhibiting at the ToxExpo™ were international companies from 23 countries including Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Before I close, I want to thank the SOT Councilors whose terms have ended for their exemplary service, including Matthew S. Bogdanffy, Susan J. Borghoff, Lawrence R. Curtis, and Cheryl Lyn Walker, and to welcome the new Council members, Dori R. Germolec, Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, John C. Lipscomb, and Judith T. Zelikoff. I will certainly miss the contributions of the outgoing councilors and look forward to working with the new members of Council. The Society is truly blessed to have these individuals who are willing to give up their personal time to serve in such important leadership positions. Lastly, I want to thank Michael Holsapple for his stewardship of our Society this past year and his wife, Mona, and his sons for their understanding when Mike was away tending to Society business.
Jon C. Cook
2011–2012 SOT President
SOT TSCA Task Force Report—Special Supplement to Communiqué
A special report from the SOT Task Force, established to address the modernization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is included in this issue of the Communiqué. The report was prepared by task force members Daland R. Juberg, Ronald S. Filler, James C. Lamb, IV, and Nancy S. Rachman. The report provides an overview of the issue, a letter sent from SOT to Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) following a hearing on chemical safety on April 14, 2011, and an examination of the major issues being addressed by these representatives of the Society. Other task force members are Dennis J. Devlin, William H. Farland, Michael A. Gallo, George Gray, and Robert S. Skoglund. Martha Lindauer is SOT Staff Liaison to this task force. View the TSCA Special Supplement.
International Participation at the SOT Annual Meeting Continues to Grow
The SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting and ToxExpo™ attracted 8,100 attendees from around the globe, with a record of 21 percent international participants. As the global economy begins to recover, tough decisions regarding meeting attendance is still the rule. Nonetheless, the SOT Annual Meeting continues to grow as the preferred scientific venue for toxicologists.
With significant input from the SOT Specialty Sections, Special Interest Groups, and Committees, the program was structured into more than 210 sessions that included both featured and special lectures, which accounted for more than 3,000 abstracts being presented. In addition, more than 90 scientists were involved in the organization and presentation of 15 Continuing Education (CE) courses that drew 2,620 attendees.
ToxExpo™ has experienced considerable growth this year, despite the global economic challenges, with 365 exhibiting companies participating (up from 350 last year). Exhibitor Hosted Sessions remained popular with exhibitors and attendees alike, with 46 sessions scheduled over three days in Washington, D.C. The ToxExpo™ also continues to attract new companies and gain international attention as demonstrated by the data below:
- 72 first-time exhibitors,
- 83 international companies from 23 countries including Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom, and
- 282 U.S. companies from 37 different states.
This year the keynote plenary lectures were expanded from two to four. Each lecture provided a glimpse into the future of the science of toxicology from the perspective of our dynamic speakers.
- Lawrence A. Tabak, Principal Deputy Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) delivered the Plenary Opening Lecture entitled “Catalyzing Innovation: The View from NIH” and emphasized how NIH is “turning discovery into health.” He spoke on why research matters, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the NIH-U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) partnership, Tox 21, and the vision for NIEHS, NTP, and NIH. At the conclusion of his plenary lecture, Dr. Tabak attended the Postdoctoral Scholars event as a featured guest speaker.
- Margaret A. Hamburg delivered a plenary lecture highlighting the importance of “Increasing the Prestige of Regulatory Sciences.” Dr. Hamburg is the 21st U.S. FDA Commissioner and has an expansive background in infectious disease, bioterrorism, and health policy.
- Stephen P. Jackson, Professor, The Gurdon Institute, presented the MRC lecture entitled, “Cellular Responses to DNA Damage: New Molecular Insights and New Approaches for Cancer Therapy.” Professor Jackson’s interest in the regulation of transcription led him into the field of DNA repair and DNA-damage signaling.
- Bob Perciasepe, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Deputy Administrator, presented the final lecture providing details on several important U.S. EPA initiatives and their impact on the science of toxicology. Mr. Perciasepe has extensive experience in environmental stewardship, advocacy, and organizational management. The Society was honored to welcome these esteemed lecturers to the Annual Meeting.
The 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting Photo Gallery is located on ToXchange. You are encouraged to add photos to this Gallery.
We look forward to seeing you next year in San Francisco, California for the SOT 51st Annual Meeting, March 11–15, 2012. Please visit the SOT 2012 Annual Meeting Web site for more details.
SOT Charter Members Interviewed on the History and Significance of the Society
Following the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting, five charter members who had registered for this landmark event were contacted to share their insights on the reasons for the formation and success of SOT. SOT Charter Members Herbert Christensen, John Doull, Bernard Heitbrink, Ted Loomis, and Bob West provided answers to the questions below:
- Why did the founders feel it necessary to form a unique society for the discipline of toxicology?
- How was the Society an important factor in gaining recognition for and appreciation of the discipline of toxicology?
- What was the impact of your involvement with SOT, both personally and professionally?
- What most surprised you as SOT developed?
- What occurs to you as the main reason why SOT succeeded?
- What does the Society offer to toxicologists as this century begins to unfold?
- If you served on Council, who were the persons on Council on whom you most often relied for help and/or advise and why?
Each of these Charter members will be featured in the Communiqué, beginning with this issue’s article on Dr. Doull. These SOT Charter members graciously agreed to have the interview records and excerpted portions made available on-line. The recordings will be available soon.
SOT Charter Member John Doull: “I Grew up with SOT”
|John Doull, 1987|
For the past 50 years John Doull has played an active role as a member of the Society of Toxicology. It was through SOT members such as Dr. Doull that the Society and the discipline of toxicology grew to the prominence held by both today. When asked why it was important to establish a Society of Toxicology, he noted that toxicologists were having some difficulty in the early 60’s in finding journals in which to publish their studies, particularly chronic studies that were not of interest to pharmacologists. The journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology was the first step and soon toxicology-related articles were being submitted by scientists from a variety of disciplines including pharmacology, chemistry, biochemistry, and pathology. But there was no organization that provided a place for scientists from a variety of disciplines to share their common interest in toxicology. Thus, it became apparent there was a need to establish a unique society that would serve these practitioners of toxicology and the formation of the Society established recognition of the science of toxicology. “From the beginning, SOT has been inclusive in its membership by encouraging scientists from many disciplines to join and participate,” he noted. “SOT has also been forward thinking by welcoming and honoring international toxicologists. SOT has always been global” he said.
|John Doull, 2011
“I was advised to join SOT as a graduate student at the University of Chicago by SOT Founding member, and my mentor, Kenneth P. DuBois,” said Dr. Doull. “SOT was the right society for me and it developed at the right time,” he said, “Since the Society has always been an integral part of my professional life” he stated that “I grew up with SOT.”
He described the fostering of the professional and personal relationships at the early SOT Annual Meetings, which were small enough to be held traditionally in a hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia. “I have been very impressed with the rapid growth of the Society and the recognition of toxicology as an important discipline,” he remarked. As the Society grew and the Annual Meetings became larger, the Specialty Sections evolved to provide a way for scientists who shared a focused interest to engage in networking and program development within SOT.
Dr. Doull was the 1986–1987 President of the Society of Toxicology. “I followed Emil Alvin Pfitzer who was the immediate Past President and I relied on him and Michael A. Gallo, who was also a member of my Council. Over the years, I have consistently relied on former presidents Joseph F. Borzelleca, Robert A. Scala, and Roger O. McClellan for advice. All of these individuals have helped to move the Society forward.” In 2008, the first SOT Founders Award was presented to Dr. Doull “for his illustrious career in toxicology with more than 50 years of productive contributions to teaching, research, and application of toxicological principles to safety evaluation in the support and enhancement of public health.”
According to Dr. Doull, a major challenge for toxicology is to become more effective in communicating the outcome of our risk assessments to the public. “We haven’t figured out how to tell the public about dose response and safe levels and that is extremely important. We need to build trust in the ability and the role of toxicology in improving public health.”
Particularly noteworthy has been Dr. Doull’s leadership in promulgating a most authoritative source of toxicology principles presented in the serial publication of Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. In 1993 he was presented with the SOT Merit Award for his contributions to the use of sound science in safety evaluations that have led to major improvements in governmental and non-governmental initiatives aimed at protecting and enhancing public health.
Dr. Doull also was a member of the Board of Publicatons and the Education, Finance, Membership, and Program Committees. From 2006–2011 he served as a member of the SOT Fiftieth Anniversary Task Force (FAST) and as an editor of the 50th Anniversary publication: The Society of Toxicology: The First Fifty Years.
SOT Charter Member Dr. Doull Interview
Society of Toxicology (SOT) Charter Member John Doull was interviewed by Marcia Lawson of the SOT Staff on April 21, 2011. Dr. Doull served as the 1986–1987 SOT President.
Sheldon D. Murphy Memorial Fund Established
|Sheldon D. Murphy
SOT Council has approved the establishment of the Sheldon D. Murphy Memorial Fund in memory of this SOT Charter member, and its fourteenth President (1974–1975). The fund was created through the efforts of Joseph F. Borzelleca, Steven D. Cohen, Lucio G. Costa, John Doull, David L. Eaton, J. Daniel Heck, and Rudolph J. Jaeger. This Memorial Fund honors Sheldon D. Murphy’s considerable contributions to the science of toxicology and promotes education and research into mechanisms of toxicant action, and other educational priorities of the Society.
Dr. Murphy was an inspiring leader who made significant contributions in toxicology education, research, and public service. He was instrumental in developing and leading toxicology education and research programs at the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Texas, Houston, and the University of Washington, Seattle. His distinguished career in toxicology has been recognized with SOT’s Achievement Award (1970), Education Award (1979), and Merit Award (1990). During his 27 years as an educator, Dr. Murphy mentored and inspired generations of toxicologists who continue his legacy. His public service to SOT, IUTOX, and both national and international government advisory boards and committees set an admirable standard for those who follow. Proceeds from the fund will be used annually to further the objectives of either or both of the Society’s Education Fund or Student Travel Fund as determined by the SOT Council and, to the extent feasible, be identified as having been funded by the Sheldon D. Murphy Memorial Fund. These funds are two of the four General Purpose Endowment Funds. For additional information and to access the donor form, go to Endowment section of the SOT Web site.
Senator Klobuchar Receives SOT 2011 Science Leadership Award
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) received the SOT 2011 Congressional Science Leadership Award on March 10, 2011, the final day of the SOT 2011 Annual Meeting. Senator Klobuchar became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate in 2006. She has a long history of bipartisan support for science and health research, and for advancing clean and alternative forms of energy. She has taken strong positions on consumer product safety and on breast cancer education. Senator Klobuchar is the author of the EARLY Act, which is designed to provide increased support and awareness to young women about the risks of breast cancer. She has also continuously supported legislation to fund research to our federal agencies and universities. The Senator is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.
SOT and NIOSH Sign Agreement for Partnership to Promote Best Practices
During the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting, John Howard, Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and 2010–2011 SOT President Michael P. Holsapple, signed an Agreement for Partnership that will enable SOT and the agency to work collaboratively to promote best practices associated with exposure science and control.
Nominate an Outstanding Toxicologist: Web Site Open for 2012 Award Nominations July 1–October 9
The Awards Committee encourages you to nominate a deserving scientist for an SOT 2012 award. Criteria for awards presented at the Annual Meeting, as well as awards conferred by other SOT groups, is available on the Awards and Fellowships section of the SOT Web site.
Nominations will be accepted on the SOT Web site beginning July 1, 2011. For most SOT Awards, a primary and secondary sponsor, who are full members of SOT, must each submit a nomination using the Awards Nomination on-line form. The supporting documentation must indicate the candidate’s achievements in toxicology and is critical in the review of each award application. The submission process allows for easy upload of a nominee’s or applicant’s curriculum vitae and the supporting letters that describe the candidate’s achievements. Please see the award description for each award on the Awards and Fellowships section of the SOT Web site for the additional requirements and details. Please note that there are specific applications for Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellowships, Graduate Student Travel Support, and various awards for undergraduate students. The Awards Committee asks that advisors/mentors recommend that their postdocs and students apply for all appropriate awards.
Please nominate a deserving colleague or suggest to a deserving peer that they apply for a 2012 award this summer!
Graduate Student Travel Support Eligibility—Apply for Membership Now
Travel support for the SOT Annual Meeting is provided to graduate students who are Ph.D. candidates in toxicology at the time of the Annual Meeting for which they are applying for travel support. Applicants must be presenting platform talks or posters at the Annual Meeting and be Student members of SOT or have a membership application pending as of October 9 of the previous year. Therefore, if you will be a Ph.D. candidate presenting a platform talk or poster at the 2012 SOT Annual Meeting, and are not yet a student member of the SOT, you should apply for membership in the Society by September 1, 2011, so that your membership application is considered in the September application review by the SOT Membership Committee. Those accepted for membership will become Student members of the Society beginning January 1, 2012, and qualify for “early-bird” discount rates for the Annual Meeting as a Student member. You may still qualify for Graduate Student Travel Support if your application is received by October 9, 2011; however, your application will not be reviewed by the Membership Committee until January 2012 and thus you will be a “pending member” until such time as your application is accepted for membership in the Society. Please also note that recipients are selected by a randomized process with students who have the most seniority in graduate school having the highest priority. The funding amount for this award is determined annually by the SOT Awards Committee. Applicants can only receive this funding once.
|September 1, 2011
||Applications for Membership in the Society DUE
(for membership commencing January 2012).
Note: sponsor letter from your advisor/mentor required.
|October 3, 2011
||Abstract Submission Deadline. Note: you must submit an abstract electronically via Abstract Central and provide the Control ID number for the abstract you submitted in your application for SOT Graduate Student Travel Support.
|October 9, 2011
||Applications for Graduate Student Travel Support DUE
(for travel to the 2012 SOT Annual Meeting).
Three dates to submit applications for the Colgate-Palmolive Awards for Student Research Training
The deadline for the Colgate-Palmolive Awards for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods is June 15. These applications are also accepted October 9 and February 15. Graduate student applicants should submit a proposal for funding of a training experience in in vitro or alternatives methodology to enhance their thesis or dissertation research.
Graduate Advisors—SOT Student Members Are Eligible for Travel Support and Reduced Annual Meeting Registration Fees
Mentors should encourage students to apply for SOT Membership before September 1. Graduate students must be members (or pending members) of SOT and in a doctoral program to receive 2012 SOT Graduate Travel Support. Also, students accepted as members will be eligible to register for the 2012 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California (March 11–15, 2012) at the lower member rate.
The SOT Membership Application on-line is convenient and the only certification required for student membership is one letter from the student’s research advisor or director of graduate studies. Students with questions about membership can e-mail Membership Services.
Call for Nominations for ToxSci and Postdoc Best Paper Awards
The SOT Board of Publications Award for the Best Paper in Toxicological Sciences is presented to the author(s) of the best paper published in the official SOT publication during a 12-month period, terminating with the June issue of the calendar year preceding the Annual Meeting at which the award is presented.
The Postdoctoral Assembly seeks nominations of papers for the Best Postdoctoral Publication Award (PDA). This award recognizes outstanding papers in the field of toxicology by a mentored postdoctoral trainee. Eligible papers are published from June 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011.
The applications and nomination forms are found on the Awards and Fellowships section of the SOT Web site. The deadline for nominations is October 9.
Endowment Awards Conferred by Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups
The SOT Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups confer a number of awards, principally to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Some of these awards are supported through Named Endowment Funds. Deadlines and criteria for these awards vary and are listed on the Awards and Fellowships section of the SOT Web site.
SOT Members Respond to Request for Guidance in Developing 2012–2017 Strategic Plan
On April 20, 2011, SOT Vice President Jon C. Cook reached out to the members of the Society to seek input in preparation for SOT Council embarking on a strategic planning process to guide the Society for the next five years, 2012–2017. Members were asked to provide input regarding the Society’s accomplishments during 2008–2011 as well as thoughts about the future of toxicology. Each SOT member received the survey, a link to the Strategic Plan 2008–2012 Progress Report, and the Society of Toxicology Strategic Map: 2008–2012, which has been essential to the Society navigating its forward progress. Members were asked to provide narrative responses to questions about the significant issues and challenges anticipated in the years ahead. Moreover, respondents were asked to assess the ongoing relevance of the 2008–2012 Strategic Priorities listed below:
- Increase Scientific Impact,
- Advocate the Value of Toxicology,
- Build for the Future of Toxicology,
- Expand and Depeen Member Engagement, and
- Strengthen Organizational Effectiveness.
The results were due to the Society by Tuesday, May 10, for analysis.
The next steps are as follows:
- May: Publish the Progress Report in Spring Communiqué (see link above).
- May–June: Hold a two-day Council Strategic Planning Session.
- July–September: Seek review and input from Key Stakeholders (Committees/Task Forces/Component Groups).
- September–October: Incorporate feedback from Key Stakeholders into the strategic plan.
- November: Disseminate plan to membership for their input.
- January 2012: Incorporate membership comments and review. Engage Committees/Task Forces to conduct a Program Needs Assessment as it relates to current structure.
- March 2012: Finalize plan and revise Committee and Task Force structures.
SOT Plans Education Summit for October 2011
The SOT Education Summit Organizing team is putting together plans for the October Education Summit. As part of the Education Committee discussion of strategic plans, the important objective emerged to conduct a significant discussion of the current state of toxicology education with the goal of identifying strategic initiatives for supporting the educational needs of our members and include cradle-to-grave career development options that insure the strength of the pipeline of future toxicologists and the sustainability of the field of toxicology.
The key areas of focus for the Summit are:
- Undergraduate education and recruiting students to toxicology,
- Training of graduate students (both in general background and specific areas such as regulatory and risk assessment),
- Retraining and professional development of current members, and
- General toxicology training across other disciplines.
Invited speakers and participants will review background information, explore model programs, and discuss alternatives for these four tracks, and then develop strategic plans for SOT to advance educational programming in toxicology that focuses on the critical needs. These initiatives will involve the work of a number of SOT committees (e.g., Education Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Career Resources and Development Committee (CRAD), Committee on Diversity Initiatives, and Communications Committee).
The Education Summit Organizing Team includes representatives from these various committees and task forces, including the Chair, Aaron Barchowsky (Education), Gary P. Carlson (Professional Needs Assessment Task Force (PNATF), Mary Beth Genter (PNATF), Hisham Hamadeh (CRAD), Courtney Sulentic (CRAD), Stephen H. Safe (Continuing Education), Matthew S. Bogdanffy (Council Contact 2010–2011), and Dori R. Germolec (Member 2010–2011, Council Contact 2011–2012). For more information contact Betty Eidemiller, SOT Director of Education.
SOT Global Strategy Task Force Updates
In order to strengthen SOT’s global reach and relevance, a survey was conducted by the Global Strategy Task Force (GSTF) in 2010 to better understand the needs of toxicologists outside of the U.S., particularly those from developing countries. Electronic questionnaires were sent to individuals who attended SOT Annual Meetings from 2008 through 2010 with addresses outside the U.S. as well as international SOT members. SOT Special Interest Groups (SIGs) also forwarded the request to participate in the survey to their international contacts. In addition, paper versions of the survey were distributed at the International Congress of Toxicology (ICT) in Barcelona in 2010.
A total of 267 toxicologists responded to the survey; about 54 percent of these are SOT members. A majority of respondents (47%, both members and non-members) are from the European Union (EU) followed by the Asia Pacific Region (25.5%), Latin America and the Caribbean (8.2%), Africa (7.8%), Middle East (4.5%), and Southern Asia (2.9%).
A majority of respondents came from industry (36.2%) or academia (32.3%) followed by government research laboratories and regulatory agencies (10.4%),
contract research organization (7.7%), consulting businesses (6.5%), and graduate or postdoctoral trainees (4.2%).
Survey respondents noted the following issues and opportunities:
- The SOT Membership fee is considered high,
- Very few SOT members are members of SIGs,
- Annual Meeting registration fees and costs to attend the Annual Meeting are considered high,
- Toxicologists in developing countries need scientific and educational support from SOT, and
- Local universities need support in establishing and strengthening toxicology training programs.
In response to these findings, SOT has reduced the membership fee for scientists from developing countries (low income economies according to World Bank) from U.S. $136 to U.S. $50 per year, and reduced by 50 percent the Annual Meeting registration fee. SOT Council has approved SIG membership for non-SOT members in international countries, and the SIGs have initiated By-Law changes to reflect this decision. Working with the Continuing Education (CE) Committee, GSTF requested transcriptions of several 2010 and all 2011 CE Courses, which will be available to scientists from the developing countries. GSTF also proposed the Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program to facilitate collaborations between scientists from the developing countries and the U.S. This program will be launched by SOT in 2011. These changes represent some of the meaningful steps SOT is taking to ensure that we grow our global base and support the science and practice of toxicological sciences in developing nations.
View the list of Developing Countries.
Keep Your Skills Sharp with SOT On-Line Continuing Education: CĒ-TOX
CĒ-TOX, the SOT On-Line Continuing Education (CE) course program, will soon be adding 15 courses from the 50th Anniversary SOT Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to its line-up, bringing the total number of courses offered to 21. Twenty-four-hour access to CĒ-TOX is a few keystrokes away. The current list of courses:
From Baltimore 2009
- Stress As a Confounding Factor
- Translation of Safety Biomarkers
From Salt Lake City 2010
- Assessment of Ocular Toxicity in Toxicology Studies Conducted for Regulatory Purposes
- Comparative Biology of the Lung
- Mitochondrial Toxicity: Animal Models and Screening Methods in Drug Development
- Segment-Specific Renal Pathology for the Non-Pathologist
From Washington, D.C. 2011 (coming soon)
- Biodegradable Materials for Tissue Engineering: Applications and Safety Assessment
- Best Practices for Developing, Characterizing, and Applying Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Models in Risk Assessment
- Current Nonclinical Strategies and Methods for Evaluating Drug-Induced Cardiovascular Toxicity
- Dealing with the Data Deluge: A Live Data Discovery and Analysis Course
- Epigenetics in Toxicology: Introduction, Mechanistic Understanding, and Applications in Safety Assessment
- Protecting Human Health: Use of Toxicological and Epidemiological Data in Determining Safe Levels for Human Exposure
- Drug Hypersensitivity Reactions: Risk Assessment and Management
- Toxicology and Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures
- Applications of Computational Systems Biology for Toxicology
- Evaluating Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials: Issues with Conventional Toxicology Approaches
- New Technologies and Approaches in Genetic Toxicology and Their Expanding Role in General Toxicology and Safety Assessment
- Practical How-To and Pitfalls Associated with Current Epigenetic Studies
- Quantitative In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation: The Essential Element of In Vitro Assay Based Risk Assessment
- Stem Cells Utility in Toxicology Screening
- The Biology and Toxicology of the Peri- and Post-Natal Development
CĒ-TOX offers a great, low-cost way to expand your professional development or stay current in the field of toxicology.
We invite you to visit the CĒ-TOX section of the SOT Web site for complete details and registration information.
SOT CCT Meetings Eligible for Seed Money and Profit Sharing
SOT Sponsors two types of meetings outside of the SOT Annual Meeting: Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) and Non-SOT meetings. CCT meetings are one- to two-day focused, open registration, scientific meetings in contemporary and rapidly progressing areas of toxicological sciences. Non-SOT meetings are sponsored by other not-for-profit organizations and SOT will either endorse or provide sponsorship money to toxicology-related meetings.
The Society will underwrite all the liabilities of the CCT meeting with the expectation that the meeting will at least break even financially. The goal of providing $25,000 seed funds is to stimulate the creation of CCT meeting proposals.
For more information about CCT meetings, please visit the SOT Web site.
SOT Job Outlook Survey—We Need Help Identifying Appropriate Individuals to Receive Survey
Submitted by Mary Beth Genter, Chair, Professional Needs Assessment Task Force
The SOT Global Job Outlook Survey now underway is designed to assess the current and future global employment trends for toxicologists as well as to aid the Society in developing future programs for toxicologists throughout their career. Moreover, the survey results will help the Career Resource and Development (CRAD) Committee in identifying the direction of job search resources and professional development opportunities. The Professional Needs Assessment Task Force (PNATF) was instrumental in preparing this survey, which is being implemented by the Society’s Data Task Force.
The SOT Global Job Outlook Survey is being disseminated to employers in phases. During the first phase, the survey was sent to more than 100 U.S. academic institutions, and this was closely followed by requests to U.S. and international industry employers (such as chemical, consumer products, pharma/biotech, and food/agrichem). The next wave will be to contract research organizations, government, and consultants. It can be a multi-step process to determine the most appropriate contact person to receive the survey, and we are seeking your help to facilitate this process going forward. Please advise the hiring manager for your organization that you are sending his/her contact information to Marcia Lawson, SOT Staff Liaison to PNATF, by June 15. To further facilitate the process, please copy the hiring manager on your response to Ms. Lawson.
|Dr. Kerzee explains the Job Outlook Survey Poster
Kevin J. Kerzee, Chair of the Job Market Survey Subcommittee of PNATF, presented a poster, “2010 Society of Toxicology Global Job Outlook Survey: A Preliminary Report,” at the SOT 2011 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 9. Attendees expressed their interest in the outcome of this survey and emphasized its likely impact in helping to build for the future of toxicology. It is anticipated that more robust findings will be presented at the SOT Education Summit to be held in October 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland, and the survey results also will be reported to the SOT membership via upcoming issues of the Communiqué.
The primary goals of the SOT Global Job Outlook Survey are:
- To identify the current and expected number of toxicologists required by market sector and geographical location over the next 3–5 years.
- To determine the anticipated educational level, experience, credentials, and special skills needed by employers over the next 3–5 years.
- To determine the expansion, or contraction, of specific toxicology-related jobs by market sector and global region over the next 3–5 years.
Not only will the data collected help toxicologists seeking jobs to decide where their best geographical options might be, but also the results will help to identify areas in which SOT can meet training needs through the development of educational programs in critical topic areas. We look forward to hearing from you as we move forward on this important initiative.
UNM Pharmaceutical Sciences Is Seeking Toxicology Alumni for Career Update
The University of New Mexico (UNM) Pharmaceutical Sciences Department is interested in learning where the alumni within the Toxicology field are currently working. If interested in providing this information, please contact Bonnie Leigh Reifsteck, Department Administrator, Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNM College of Pharmacy.
SOT Council Appoints a ToXchange Task Force to Promote Participation by All SOT Members
In March 2010, SOT launched ToXchange, a brand-new on-line member resource, to facilitate toxicology information exchange amongst SOT members through a professional, private, and secure social networking collaboration tool. ToXchange is a state-of-the art communications platform designed for SOT members. What distinguishes ToXchange from LinkedIn or Facebook is that ToXchange provides a secure social media site for toxicology members.
This member network was the result of the strategic planning and vision of SOT President Cheryl Lyn Walker and Council in the forming of a Council Subcommittee for Social Networking. This Subcommittee, chaired by Susan Borghoff, included Matthew Bogdanffy, Patricia Ganey, Martin Philbert and SOT Executive Director, Shawn Lamb, and examined how the creation of a new member network would increase the impact and future vitality of toxicology. Utilizing ToXchange, the Society’s strategy is to increase collaboration of members through increased connectivity; increase the awareness of the value of toxicology and vision of SOT; provide SOT members more tools to help achieve their professional objectives; and improve the ability for SOT members to advocate for the value of toxicology.
For the past year ToXchange has been highly used within the collaboration groups, Council, and various committees and task forces. In order to promote and increase usage among the membership in general, it was determined by Council that a Task Force be formed to:
- Review the current use of ToXchange among committees, task forces, and members as a baseline for assessing future recommendations; and
- Develop actionable recommendations to SOT Council on how to embed ToXchange as the communication tool of choice among members
- Items for consideration include marketing campaigns for current features and functionality, and identification and roll-out of software/program changes that may enhance the utility of ToXchange, and approaches to encourage SOT members to routinely utilize ToXchange.
There will be six ToXchange Task Force members, including the Chair, in addition to the Council Contact and Staff Liaison as follows:
- Chair—Robert S. DeWoskin
- Members—Sarah Campion, Anne E. Loccisano, Jessica R. Placido, Peyton Myers, and Betina J. Lew
- Council Contact—Dori Germolec
- Staff Liaison—Matthew Price
The ultimate goal and benefit for all members will be to improve the exchange of information between SOT members that would lead to:
- Increased dissemination of scientific information through multiple media channels,
- Increased collaboration of members through increased connectivity,
- Increased speed of information exchange,
- Increased awareness of the value of toxicology and vision of SOT, and
- Increased participation in (and at) SOT events.
Used to its full potential, ToXchange is every members’ gateway to communicating and collaborating with peers. Members will find several blogs on the ToXchange home page in which they can participate in addition to their community sites. Since its launch, ToXchange has become an effective collaboration tool that provides great benefit to each member in the Society of Toxicology.
Enrich your experience on ToXchange by updating your Profile, uploading your curriculum vitae (CV), and subscribing to your Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, and/or Special Interest Group Forum Discussion. Here’s how you can do so:
Updating Your Profile
- Log in to ToXchange directly or by selecting the ToXchange button on the Scientists/Members page of the SOT Web site. (To make your return to ToXchange easy, bookmark the site!)
- From the ToXchange homepage either click on the “Update Your Profile” button on the right or scroll over “My Options” at the top of the page and click on “My Profile.” You now will be on your Profile page that you can update.
- From your Profile page, click on “Edit ToXchange Profile” to add more detail to your ToXchange MyPage (this is the page that all SOT members can view). Update your ToXchange Profile by adding the following information where indicated:
Click “OK” to accept all updates and the “Accept Changes Now” button on your Profile page to activate your updates.
From your Profile page, click on “Update SOT Profile” to edit your contact information. When you are finished updating, select “Save” and return to your Profile page on ToXchange to further update your Profile.
From your Profile page, click on “Picture” then “Update Picture” to add your picture to your profile. You can easily browse and select a “head shot” or profile picture to do so.
- Research funding source,
- Membership in other societies,
- Year of Ph.D.,
- Ph.D. Institution,
- Name of your Ph.D. mentor,
- Date of Birth,
- Biography, and
- User signature.
Searching/Adding Your CV
- From the Members CV page, select “Search” in the line under the orange navigation bar. You will then be able to search by:
To add your CV to the Member CVs site on ToXchange, simply click on “Member CVs” in the orange navigation bar and select “Add File” (you will want to have the most up-to-date version of your CV available to upload). Fill in the title of your CV and a brief description (i.e., biosketch), set the Category/Topic to Member CVs and the Document Type to “CV/Resume,” click “Add” to upload your CV and “OK” to finish.
- Full-Text search terms—keywords or terms appearing in other members CVs and descriptions will help you find these members,
- Communities—from all Committees to Specialty Sections,
- Posting Group, and
- Document Type—such as CV/Resume.
Subscribe to YOUR Membership Forum Discussion(s) on ToXchange and Join the Discussion
- Go to your Community home site(s) on ToXchange,
- In the Forum section, click on the Discussions headline, and
- On the Discussions page, click on the “Subscribe” button at right.
Once subscribed, any member may begin a discussion thread or respond to an ongoing discussion—and every comment is captured right on the site for fast and easy future reference.
Log into ToXchange today to:
- Access your Profile and MyPage—as an SOT member you already have a Profile and MyPage set up for you to easily update
- Update your Profile/MyPage with a profile picture—the first step in customizing your MyPage
- Upload your CV to the Members CV site—the next step in enhancing your discoverability by colleagues
- Search for SOT Members—via a powerful, enhanced Membership Directory
- Communicate and collaborate via YOUR community sites—subscribe to your Community Forum Discussions
- Update contact links to other social networking sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook
A Man of Many Talents: SOT’s 2011–2012 President
Jon C. Cook
Jon C. Cook, SOT’s 2011–2012 president, is a man of many talents. Not only is he an accomplished toxicologist, a gardener, and a runner, but also he is an avid snow skier who is capable of swishing down expert slopes. Expert slopes or black diamond slopes, as they are commonly called, typically are amongst the most difficult at a given mountain. Black diamond trails tend to be steep (typically 40 percent and up) and may or may not be groomed. Dr. Cook always knew he wanted a career in science. Skiing, on the other hand, was a new sport that he took up when he was 45 years old. “My wife and I decided that because our son loved to snowboard, we should take up skiing to support him and help us deal with the long winter months in Connecticut,” he explained. His family spends a lot of time during the winter months skiing at various ski resorts in Vermont, and he’s also spent time skiing in Colorado and Utah. “It took me five years to become comfortable skiing on those black diamond slopes. I try to avoid moguls, but that’s my next challenge,” he said.
He grew up in northern California and fell in love with science as a result of his physiology teacher, who served as his junior and senior high school science teacher. “I have always enjoyed science. I owe a lot to my teacher, Doug Wong, who owned a red Porsche and was my high school science teacher,” Dr. Cook recalled. “He was a good teacher and I loved his car.” Dr. Cook went on to major in physiology and graduated from the University of California at Davis with his Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. He became interested in toxicology as a result of a survey class he took at Davis that was taught by Robert Krieger, who is still teaching, now at the University of California, Riverside. “I got hooked. I took Bob’s course and knew that toxicology was the field of science I wanted to pursue,” he explained. He took other toxicology classes at UC Davis and then decided to go to graduate school at North Carolina State University. But, before he embarked on this next educational venture, he took off a year to help his father with his plumbing business in the San Francisco Bay area. He also helped his dad restore a San Francisco row-house Victorian on the weekends during this time.
When he entered North Carolina State University, his mentor was Ernest Hodgson. He studied under Dr. Hodgson and received his master’s degree in toxicology in December 1982. He stayed on and received his doctoral degree in toxicology in January 1985. At this point in his career, he was interested in agricultural chemicals. His predoctoral research focused on the mechanism of methylenedioxyphenyl (MDP) induction of cytochrome P-450. MDP compounds are insecticide synergists, which have a biphasic effect on cytochrome P-450 and monooxygenase activity, namely, inhibition followed by induction. This work was done under the direction of Dr. Hodgson and the research resulted in five publications and three awards from the Society of Toxicology and the North Carolina Chapter of the Society.
He continued to follow his passion and became a postdoctoral fellow at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (now the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences) from 1985–1987. “As a postdoctoral fellow for CIIT, I investigated the potential of 2,3,7,8-tetracholordibenzo-p-dioxin to alter the human immune function using cultured human thymic epithelial cells as an in vitro model,” he explained. William Greenlee, a longtime SOT member and SOT president in 2002, was his postdoctoral adviser.
Still pursuing agricultural interests, from 1987 to 1992, he was a research toxicologist for the DuPont-Haskell Laboratory (now The DuPont Haskell Global Centers for Health and Environmental Sciences). From 1993–1998, he was a senior research toxicologist for DuPont. He was a study director on subchronic, multigenerational reproduction, chronic, and oncogenicity studies and wrote more than 23 proprietary reports. In 1988, he became a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and developed an active research program investigating endocrine-mediated mechanisms of toxicity. As a result of this research, DuPont was successful in securing internal and external funding for a three-year research program developing screening tools to identify endocrine-active compounds. This research program was partially funded by the Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC) and Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) (now the American Chemistry Council).
His research took a new turn and he became interested in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1998, he moved to Connecticut and joined Pfizer Inc., where he was a principal research investigator until 2002. From 2002–2004, Dr. Cook was a research fellow at Pfizer and from 2004–2006 a Senior Research Fellow. He then was promoted to senior director in 2006 where he has been ever since. He leads an Investigative Toxicology group and is a member of the team that oversees Pfizer’s external collaborations. During this time he worked on many programs including those to support Celebrex, a SERM, and Lyrica. Celebrex and Lyrica have sells of several billion per year.
Because Dr. Hodgson encouraged all of his students to join the Society of Toxicology, Dr. Cook joined when he was a graduate student, and has been a member ever since. He says he has enjoyed many of the opportunities the Society offers including the diversity, friendships, and leadership challenges. “SOT has always been a welcoming place for me.” he said. “I was introduced to the Specialty Sections and became an active member of the Mechanisms Specialty Section. My junior year, I was the recipient of the Mechanisms Specialty Section Carl C. Smith Graduate Student Award. I really enjoyed the CE courses and became active in the Continuing Education Committee and went on to chair that group. SOT is a great way to learn about toxicology, acquire new friendships, and develop your career path.”
Dr. Cook is also the recipient of numerous awards but three stand out: 1998 Robert A. Scala Award and Lectureship in Toxicology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; 2000 Pfizer Central Research Achievement Award for leadership in the registration of Celebrex in North America and Europe, and, the 2010 Pfizer DSRD Best Scientific Publication of the Year (Laifenfeld et al., 2010). He has authored and co-authored more than 50 scientific publications, has been a member of various editorial boards and professional societies, and has served on various government panels. In 2010 he became a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.
This new leader of SOT is also accustomed to challenges. “We have lots of challenges and with challenge brings opportunity. The globalization of the economy has seen jobs migrate outside the United States, but this also provides an opportunity to guide SOT into becoming a global organization. We need to work with developing countries—need to educate and offer our knowledge so these countries can build capacity in toxicology,” he explained. Cook is hopeful that SOT’s efforts achieve NGO status with the World Health Organization, which will go a long way to facilitating this goal. “If we can achieve NGO status, then we can nominate SOT members for WHO committees and in that way, help these developing countries and grow our influence across the globe,” he explained. He also wants to strengthen ties with IUTOX by partnering with them on the Global Toxicology Scholar Program as well as other programs. On the home front, he wants to continue the momentum from our first strategic plan by increasing our relevance as a Society by being a valued resource for policymakers through Congressional briefings, Government Liaison Groups, and the numerous committee activities such as the TSCA Task Force.
In terms of the science, Dr. Cook believes that recent advances in systems biology, stem cells, omics, and related scientific fields will bring about the biggest changes in the field of toxicology. The challenge for us is how to apply these tools to modernize our testing protocols to achieve the vision of Toxicology in the 21st Century.
Dr. Cook says his advice to young scientists is to embrace being a life-long learner. There is no better way to continue to grow than to consistently publish throughout one’s career. “I would also urge young scientists to get involved in SOT. It is a great way to learn leadership skills as well as developing friendships,” he said.
With Dr. Cook at the helm this next year, we have much to look forward to. Perhaps he might even offer some advice to those SOT members who ski and want to learn more about navigating those black diamond ski slopes.
SOT Members José Manautou and Serrine Lau Appointed to NIEHS Board of Scientific Counselors
The National Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) Board of Scientific Counselors is the main advisory panel for review of research carried out by intramural scientists. In May 2011, José Manautou and Serrine Lau joined this NIEHS board. Just as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grantees are subject to having their progress and research plans peer-reviewed, so do intramural scientists. Every four years, NIH researchers present detailed reports on their scientific activities to this committee of their scientific peers. The Board prepares a report on its findings and makes recommendations to the Scientific Director of the Institute, who is in charge of the Division of Intramural Research (DIR).
Permanent members of the Board of Scientific Counselors serve four-year terms. These members are invited to serve on the basis of their scientific credentials in fields relevant to the mission of the Institute, as well as their breadth of knowledge and their strategic vision of future scientific opportunities. For additional information, visit the NIEHS-NIH Web site.
SOT Member Bruce N. Ames Receives Inaugural ATS Mildred S. Christian Career Achievement Award
|Alan Hoberman, Bruce Ames, and William Brock
On March 9, 2011, at the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS) Annual Business Meeting and Reception, Bruce N. Ames received the first ATS Mildred S. Christian Career Achievement Award. This award was established to honor the memory of Mildred S. Christian for her support of the Academy and to recognize an ATS Fellow who has clearly demonstrated a lasting impact on toxicological sciences, which is the case with Dr. Ames. This award was presented to Dr. Ames by Alan Hoberman, the husband of the late Dr. Christian, and William J. Brock, ATS 2010–2011 President.
Dr. Ames started his career doing innovative work using mutations and biochemistry to elucidate the pathway of histidine biosynthesis, and then to pioneering work on mechanisms of regulation. This fostered an interest in mutagenesis, which led to his developing the inexpensive and rapid “Ames test” for detecting mutagens, which has been used for over 30 years by every major chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the world for identifying mutagenic chemicals, or impurities, before, or after, they enter commerce. This work created a lasting impact on genetic toxicology. Almost every regulatory agency in the world requires his test to be done on new chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He has published over 540 papers in a wide variety of fields, many unusually innovative, which has made him one of the few hundred most cited scientists.
Among his many other honors, Dr. Ames received the SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award in 1994 and the SOT Public Communications Award in 1996.
SOT Members Receive ATS Designation and Recertification
Fourteen SOT Members were certified as Fellows of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS) from July 2010 to January 2011. The new fellows are Herman N. Autrup, Jonathan Benjamin Borak, Leigh Ann Burns Naas, Jon C. Cook, Ann de Peyster, Robert V. House, Virginia (Ginger) F. Moser, Ofelia A. Olivero, Timothy J. Raczniak, Alfred Mario Sciuto, Rosalind A. Schoof, Jane Ellen Simmons, Myra L. Weiner, and Peter K. Working.
During that same timeframe, ATS Fellows who have demonstrated their continued commitment to ATS by seeking and attaining recertification are William T. Allaben, Melvin E. Andersen, Elizabeth L. Anderson, Bruce Kenneth Bernard, Linda S. Birnbaum, Hugh E. Black, Robert L. Bronaugh, Janice E. Chambers, George B. Corcoran, Felix de la Iglesia, Michael S. Denison, Marion F. Ehrich, Jeffrey William Fisher, Donald A. Fox, Shayne C. Gad, David W. Gaylor, Edwin I. Goldenthal, Jay I. Goodman, William F. Greenlee, Joseph P. Hanig, Gordon C. Hard, Bryan D. Hardin, Stephen B. Harris, Mark Hite, Robert W. Kapp, Ali Esat Karakaya, William R. Kelce, Lewis B. Kinter, Ralph Kodell, Edward A. Lock, James N. McDougal, Frederick J. Miller, Richard Miller, Ian C. Munro, Richard A. Parent, Reid Patterson, Robert F. Phalen, JamesA. Popp, Kenneth S. Ramos, Ruth A. Roberts, Colin G. Rousseaux, I. Glenn Sipes, William Slikker, Jr., Keith Solomon, John A. Thomas, Peter T. Thomas, Kendall B. Wallace, and Annetta Watson.
Herman A. Birnbaum
Theodore M. Farber
William E. Field
Ralph W. Fogleman
Geoffrey K. Hogan
Herman F. Kraybill
Marion G. Miller
Ian C. Munro
Robert Alan Neal
Norris Virl Owen
Herman A. Birnbaum
Herman A. Birnbaum passed away on March 31, 2011. He joined SOT in 1970 and was a member of the Long-Range Planning, Regulatory Affairs, and Program Committees as well as the Occupational and Public Health Specialty Section.
Theodore M. Farber
Theodore M. Farber passed away on May 23, 2011. Dr. Farber joined SOT in 1972 and was a member of the Carcinogenesis, Comparative and Veterinary, Food Safety, Occupational and Public Health, and Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Sections.
William E. Field
William E. Field passed away on May 15, 2011. He joined SOT in 1980. Dr. Field specialized in veterinary pathology at Michigan State University with an emphasis on neuropathology and was a research fellow at the Montreal Neurologic Institute. He had many years of experience in industrial toxicology and pathology, particularly in the areas of ethical drug development, food additives, and agricultural and industrial chemicals. He was a decorated veteran of World War II.
Ralph W. Fogleman
Ralph W. Fogleman, an Emeritus member, has passed away. He joined SOT in 1968 and was a member of the Allegheny-Erie and Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapters and the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.
Geoffrey K. Hogan
Geoffrey K. Hogan passed away on February 23, 2011, in Island Heights, New Jersey. He received his master’s degree in public health and his Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. He had a long career as a toxicologist and as the President of Biodynamics in New Jersey. He was a member of SOT for 29 years as well as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter and the Carcinogenesis, Comparative and Veterinary, and Occupational and Public Health Specialty Sections.
Herman F. Kraybill
SOT Charter member (1961) Herman F. Kraybill passed away on February 21, 2011. He served on the Finance, Technical, and Licensure and Accreditation Committees. Dr. Kraybill was the scientific coordinator for Environmental Cancer, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to retirement in 1984, he was the first staff director of the Surgeon General’s Committee on Smoking and Health and the first director of the Public Health Service Office of Pesticides. He also organized and directed a program on Environmental Cancer at the National Cancer Institute. He received a B.S. in biochemistry from Franklin and Marshall College and an M.S. in physical chemistry and Ph.D., in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park Campus. In addition to his career in research, he had interim appointments in teaching at the University of Maryland, University of Denver, and the University of Colorado as a professor of biochemistry and nutrition. He also was an adjunct professor of Community Health at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He received many honors during his life, including “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Maryland for professional excellence in the field of biomedical research and from the National Institutes of Health for his pioneer work and achievements in the field of environmental and occupational cancer.
Marion G. Miller
Marion G. Miller passed away on February 25, 2011. She joined SOT in 1993 and was a member of the Northern California Regional Chapter, Comparative and Veterinary, Regulatory and Safety Evaluation, and Reproductive and Developmental Specialty Sections and served on the K–12 Subcommittee. Dr. Miller was a professor at the University of California, Davis. Her research focused on the effects of occupational and environmental exposures to toxic substances on the male reproductive track.
Ian C. Munro
Ian C. Munro of Ontario, Canada, passed away on April 27, 2011. He joined SOT in 1974 and served on SOT Council and on the Nominating and Finance Committees and was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section. He was the 1975 recipient of the SOT Achievement Award. On April 15 it was announced that a generous gift from Dr. Munro and his wife was presented to McGill University, his alma mater, to establish the Ian and Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety, the first of its kind in Canada. Dr. Munro was the Executive Vice-President and Senior Scientific Consultant of Cantox Health Sciences International based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Robert Alan Neal
Robert Alan Neal, of Ashville, North Carolina, passed away on March 3, 2011. He joined SOT in 1973 and was a member of the Board of Publications as well as the Awards, Membership, and Program Committees and was the 1994 recipient of the SOT Education Award. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and was a teaching member of the medical school. In 1981 he became the President of the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT, now the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He retired from CIIT in 1988 and returned to Vanderbilt University where was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus. During his career he served on a number of committees for the federal government, academic institutions, and industry. He served on the editorial boards of 11 scientific journals in the area of nutrition and toxicology and was the primary editor of two toxicology journals.
Norris Virl Owen
Norris Virl Owen passed away on March 11, 2011. He joined SOT in 1972. Dr. Owen was a graduate of New Mexico State with a Bachelor in Agriculture and received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. in Pathology and Virology from Colorado State. Dr. Owen was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War. He conducted pharmaceutical scientific research for Eli Lilly & Company from 1965–1995.
Lawrence Wallcave joined SOT in 1980 and was a member of the Northern California Regional Chapter.
Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups
MASOT Helps Make Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology Accessible to Blind and Dyslexic Students
SOT Member Juanell N. Boyd is one of a number of volunteers who transformed the pages of Casarett and Doull’s essential toxicology textbook into seven recorded CDs that benefit blind and dyslexic students. “Approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population has learning differences that could be addressed through the use of recorded books, which are frequently read by experts in a particular field,” said Dr. Boyd. She has been a volunteer since 1998 for the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) organization that responds to requests from members to provide recorded textbooks that become part of RFB&D’s holdings.
Learning of the request for a recording of Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, Dr. Boyd was pleased to be of assistance and set about finding other toxicologists willing to participate in this project. She immediately reached out to the Society of Toxicology by contacting SOT’s Director of Education Betty Eidemiller to determine the best approach to solicit volunteer help in the New Jersey area where the recording sessions would be held. Dr. Eidemiller contacted then Mid-Atlantic SOT (MASOT) Regional Chapter President Judy T. Zelikoff and a message was disseminated to all MASOT members seeking their interest and willingness to join in reading this toxicology text that required approximately 400 hours of volunteer time. Joining Dr. Boyd were Jessica C. Graham, Robert J. Szot, and Gloria B. Post. The listening time for these toxicology CDs is 213 hours. The RFB&D collection includes other technical information ranging from biomedical, nursing, and chemistry to histology and surgery. In all there are 64,000 recorded books available ranging from K–12 fiction and non-fiction through life-long professional development resources. The recording of this toxicology text began in December 2008 and was completed in May 2010. During the recent SOT 50th Anniversary Meeting, Marion Ehrich learned of this project and informed Dr. Doull and the SOT staff of its completion.
“I want to encourage other SOT members to consider getting involved in this activity and to spread the word to their local schools, colleges, and universities so that more students can take advantage of this valuable resource. There are branches of RFB&D across the U.S., frequently in close proximity to a college or university, and any educational organization can become an institutional member on behalf of their students” said Dr. Boyd. “Most volunteers spend about two hours a week reading at a session, and the cumulative effect of these efforts has produced more than one-half million copies of 64,000 recorded books for the 250,000 RFB&D members.” Dr. Boyd joined SOT in 1987 and was a member of the MASOT Regional Chapter. She also served on the Public Communications and the Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Committees and was a member of the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section. Moreover, her work with RFB&D underscores her commitment to the importance of toxicology education.
North Carolina Regional Chapter Holds Fall 2010 Meeting
| (l to r): Speakers Dr. Garcia-Martinez and Dr. Baptista, NCSOT President Melanie Louise Foster and NCSOT Vice President Darol E. Dodd
The North Carolina Regional Chapter (NCSOT) held its Fall 2010 Meeting on October 7, at the NIEHS Main Campus, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The theme of the fall meeting was “Bioengineered Cellular and Animal Models for Toxicology.” Featured speakers were Victor Garcia-Martinez, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a presentation on “Humanized Mice As Tools for Basic and Translational Research,” and Pedro Baptista, of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine with a presentation on “How to Make a Liver for Dummies.” According to Dr. Garcia-Martinez, inoculating immune system knock out mice with human stem cells allows researchers to exactly replicate the human phenotype in response to HIV infection, transmission, and treatment in efforts to test safety and efficacy of treatments and aid in drug development. Dr. Baptista discussed efforts underway to use cell therapy to replace damaged urinary bladder tissue or implant a device in the body to take over liver function while waiting for a transplant and increase available options in the treatment of traumatic and battlefield injuries.
|NCSOT President Dr. Foster with PARC Winners Drs. Yin, Sun, and Xu
The meeting had 69 attendees, including 13 students and postdocs who attended the Regional Chapter’s annual Career Lunch event, a forum where students and postdocs meet with local scientists in various fields to discuss career opportunities. Another highlight of the Fall meeting was the announcement of the winners of NCSOT’s Presidents’ Award for Research Competition (PARC Award). These awards recognize the outstanding research of postdoctoral fellows and include cash awards for the winner and runners up. First place winner was NIEHS visiting fellow Yuanyuan Xu, who had the opportunity to give a 20-minute presentation at the meeting of her research project “Epithelia Malignantly Transformed by Arsenic or Cadmium Drives nearby Normal Stem Cells towards a Malignant Phenotype.” Her mentor is Michael P. Waalkes, of the National Toxicology Program Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch. Second-place winner was NIEHS visiting fellow Yang Sun, also a member of Dr. Waalkes group. The title of Dr. Sun’s research project was “Overabundance of Putative Cancer Stem Cells in Human Skin Keratinocyte Cells Malignantly Transformed by Arsenic.” The third place winner, Visiting Fellow Zhengyu Yin, is a member of the NIEHS Cell Biology Group headed by Principal Investigator Anton Jetten. The title of Dr. Yin’s research project was “RAP80 Plays a Critical Role in Maintaining Genomic Stability.”
North Carolina Regional Chapter Commemorates 30th Anniversary at Spring 2011 Meeting
|Spring meeting speakers (from left) Drs. Brown, Zamboni, and Walker with NCSOT President Melanie Louise Foster
SOT’s North Carolina Regional Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary at their annual spring meeting on February 17, at the U.S. EPA Main Campus, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The theme of the meeting was “Nanoparticles: Good and Bad” with speakers Nigel J. Walker from the National Toxicology Program, Jared M. Brown from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at East Carolina University, and William Zamboni from the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). The presentations addressed both the uses of and potential health concerns of nanoparticles starting with Dr. Walker’s presentation on assessing the health hazards of nanoparticles, followed by Dr. Brown’s presentation on mast cell directed toxicity, and ending with Dr. Zamboni’s talk concerning pharmacological methods for the translational development of nanoparticle agents.
|Student award winners (from left) Jonathan Shannahan, Chris Grigsby, Katie Paul, and Nour Abdo
There were 128 attendees and 30 poster presentations at the celebration meeting. The meeting also included the annual Student Poster Competition. Nineteen student posters representing North Carolina universities and institutes participated in the competition. This year’s winners were (1st ) Katie Paul, UNC-CH, “Triclosan Decreases Rat Thyroxine: Mode-of-Action, Developmental Susceptibility and Human Relevance” (co-authors: J.M. Hedge, S.O. Simmons, M.J. DeVito, and K.M. Crofton); and a three-way tie for second place—(2nd) Jonathan Shannahan, UNC-CH, “Libby Amphibole-Induced Inflammation Is Modulated by Iron In Vitro and In Vivo” (co-authors: M.C.J. Schladweiler, J.K. McGee, J.H. Richards, S.H. Gavett, A.H. Ghio, and U.P. Kodavanti; (2nd) Chris Grigsby, Duke University,“Reduced Toxicity of Nanocomplexes Synthesized with Microfluidics-Assisted Confinement” (co-authors: Y.P. Ho, and K.W. Leong); and (2nd) Nour Abdo, UNC-CH, “Population-Based Quantitative High-Throughput Screening (QHTS) for Chemical Toxicity” (co-authors: S. O’Shea, O. Kosyk, E. Lock, F. Wright, R. Huang, M. Xia, C. Austin, R. Rice, and I. Rusyn).
|Annual Meeting & ToxExpo™
50th Annual Meeting Photos Available for Purchase
SOT members are invited to go to the Annual Meeting photographer’s Web site and browse through the Annual Meeting photos by date and event and order any photos you would like. To place your order, simply copy the photo number and send your request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pricing for the photos is as follows:
Low resolution images can be sent to you via e-mail at a price of $10 per photo. These images can be used for PowerPoint presentations or for the Web.
When you place your order, be sure to give your credit card information, which should include: Name on the card, type of card, address of cardholder, and expiration date. Convention Photo will not process your order without credit card information.
SOT’s Endowment Funds Support Annual Meeting Travel Awards and Toxicology Educators
The SOT Education and International Activities Endowment Funds provided financial support for travel awards which brought two international scientists and ten graduate students to the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
SOT Endowment Fund/IUTOX Travel Fellowship
In 2011, the SOT International Activities Endowment Fund sponsored two travel fellowship awards. The two awards were administered by IUTOX and available to junior and senior scientists from a country where toxicology is underrepresented. The 2011 awards assisted with travel to the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting. The award recipients were Daam Settachan (Thailand) and Omoniyi Kayode Yemitan (Nigeria). See the historical list of SOT/Astra Zeneca/IUTOX Travel Fellowship winners.
Graduate Student Travel Awards
The Education Endowment Fund provided support for an additional ten Student Travel Awards. Graduate students in a postdoctoral program who have submitted an abstract through the established SOT process and are SOT members (or pending) are eligible to receive this award. These awards also assist with travel to attend the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting.
Both of these awards programs help to build for the future of toxicology nationally and internationally.
SOT 2011 Endowment Fund 50th Anniversary Undergraduate Educator Award
Joan B. Tarloff, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, was the recipient of the SOT 2011 Endowment Fund 50th Anniversary Undergraduate Educator Award.
Endowment Fund Promotional Information
SOT Hosts Great Debate on Capitol Hill
|(l to r) Dr. Gray, Dr. Lamb, and
More than 200 Annual Meeting attendees visited the Russell Senate Office Building on Monday, March 7 for the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section’s (RSESS) lively debate on the proposition that, “Hazard Information Provides an Adequate Basis for Restricting Chemical Use.” The debate was hosted by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and moderated by RSESS Past President James C. Lamb, IV, of Exponent. He organized this classic debate between two outstanding speakers, George M. Gray, George Washington University, and Lorenz R. Rhomberg, Gradient Corporation, who are widely acknowledged as excellent and entertaining speakers, and extremely well informed on the subject. Through a top-secret flip-of-the-coin, Dr. Gray spoke in favor of the proposition, and Dr. Rhomberg spoke in opposition. They both faithfully, even aggressively, defended their assigned perspectives. But in the end, the final vote by the audience was for Lorenz Rhomberg’s side of the proposition.
View the full video of the Great Debate.
Past Presidents Fun Run a Great Success!
SOT Past Presidents James S. Bus (1996–1997), Jay I. Goodman (1999–2000), Daniel Acosta, Jr. (2000–2001), David L. Eaton (2001–2002), George B. Corcoran (2007–2008), and Kenneth S. Ramos (2008–2009) hosted the SOT 2011 Past Presidents’ 5K Fun Run at scenic Hains Point in East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Camaraderie ran high amongst the 30 toxicologists who on March 6 braved the hour (6:00 AM) and the rain, and everyone reported having a great time! A grand prize of a shirt signed by the Past Presidents in attendance at the Annual Meeting went to the fastest runner.
|Fun Run fastest male runners (l to r): Matthews, Peterson, and Munoz
For the male runners, the top three fastest race times were clocked by:
- Jason Matthews, University of Toronto
- Shane Peterson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Bernabe Munoz, Chevron Energy Technology Company
For the top female runners, the three fastest race times were clocked by:
- Monika Rönn, Uppsala University
- Christi Schulte, Iowa State University
- Kristy Kutanzi, U.S. Food and Drug Administration National Center for Toxicological Research
Thanks to all who participated and celebrated 50 years of moving the Society of Toxicology forward!
Smithsonian Course, “When Good Chemicals Turn Bad” Well Received by D.C. Audience
More than 80 people participated in the one-day seminar entitled, “When Good Chemicals Turn Bad,” which the Society and the Smithsonian Associates hosted on March 5, 2011, at the S. Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C. The seminar covered a range of topics including “Poisoning Through the Ages,” “The Nature of Poisoning,” “The Dose Makes the Poison,” “Cutting-Edge Research,” “Epigenetics: The Software of Our Genome,” and “Toxicology for the 21st Century.” SOT speakers included: Marion F. Ehrich, Michael A. Gallo, Thomas Hartung, Martin A. Philbert, Cheryl Lyn Walker, and Philip A. Wexler.
SOT K–12 Outreach Activities Encourage Toxicology Awareness
Several activities sponsored by the Education Committee and K–12 Task Force in conjunction with the SOT 2011 Annual Meeting encouraged awareness of toxicology and toxicology as a career path.
Paracelsus Goes to Washington
|Kathy Gabrielson, assisted by Michael Coronado, explains pathology slides to visitors.
“Protecting You and Your Pet through the Science of Toxicology: Paracelsus Goes to Washington” was the title for the event held Saturday, March 5, during which SOT provided free admission to the Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Science (KSM). Toxicologists and engaging demonstrations were stationed among the interactive KSM exhibits. Included in the activities were the Love & Cures animal research trivia game (Americans for Medical Progress); a demonstration of lung capacity with discussion of how air pollution can impact our health (NIEHS); details on the impact of water pollution on whales and other marine life (University of Southern Maine); understanding heavy metal toxicity (Joanna Matheson); pathology demonstrations (Kathleen Gabrielson, with the loan of a Nikon microscope from Stan Midy of Morrell Instrument Company, Inc.); hands-on assay of antimicrobial action of natural products (Towson University); and many “Meet the Toxicologist” stations (nanotoxicology, vaccines, Tox Testing in the 21st Century, microbiology) staffed by SOT members.
Renate Reimschuessel gave a formal presentation “Poisoned Pet Food—Unraveling the Melamine Mystery,” providing a practical example of how toxicologists provide protection for the health of humans and pets. Several comments on the evaluation echoed these: “Dr. Reimschuessel was a very good presenter” and “the pet food poisoning talk was great.”
View the Koshland Pet Food recorded presentation.
Other feedback from the participants was enthusiastic, with 97 percent indicating that the event was “very useful” (51 percent) or “useful” for learning about toxicology in everyday life. Concerning familiarity with toxicology before the event, most of the visitors had “minimal” knowledge (35.7 percent) or considered themselves “familiar with” (40.5 percent). The internet was the source of event information for 36 percent and word-of-mouth and e-mail attracted 32 percent each to the event. Comments included, “I enjoyed the exhibits, would be great for kids,” “Very creative exhibits,” “Great information, great presentation of information, wonderful exhibits,” “This was so fun and interactive for our six-year-old son! He loved the Gulf oil spill, dermal testing demonstration, and the antimicrobial experiments,” “Valuable information to share with family/friends,” and “Great exhibit and knowledgeable staff/scientists.”
High School Student Posters
Twenty-four high school students presented posters in the SOT Pavilion, including posters on the toxicity of bisphenol A, tetrachloroethylene, and vanadium pentoxide; see the full list of High School Student posters . All students were matched with SOT member mentors in order to learn more about SOT, the SOT Annual Meeting, and careers in toxicology while also having an opportunity to discuss their own research.
Toxicology Education: K–12 and Beyond
|K–12 Task Force Chair Dr. Gwinn talks with one of the high school students who presented a poster in the SOT Pavilion.
Numerous presenters in the poster session “Toxicology Education: K–12 and Beyond” focused attention on K–12 outreach activities at the national and regional level, including outreach collaborations with Frederick County Girl Scouts, SOT Science Day at Port Discovery Museum, Mid-Atlantic SOT Regional Chapter (MASOT’s) Inspector Tox, and the Idaho Science and Engineering Festival. Additional informal talks on K–12 outreach were given by Maureen R. Gwinn, Mary Stapleton, Tony Schatz, Diane Hardej, Virunya Bhat, and Erica N. Rogers in the SOT Pavilion.
The K–12 Task Force includes K–12 Chair Maureen R. Gwinn, Suzanne Compton Fitzpatrick, Dori R. Germolec, and Joanna M. Matheson, with help from National Capital Area (NCAC) SOT Regional Chapter Thomas J. Flynn and the Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists (HOT) Pedro Del Valle.
We encourage members to be involved in schools and informal science education activities and SOT provides resources for K–12 Outreach for Scientists. Please share your science outreach activities and resources by sending information to Betty Eidemiller.
50th Anniversary Publications—Available on the SOT Web Site
In recognition of the Society’s 50th Anniversary, a number of publications were developed and have been posted to the SOT Web site. Many SOT members already received the first compilation at the 2011 Annual Meeting, the 50th Anniversary Book, Society of Toxicology: The First Fifty Years. By no means do these vignettes cover the entire history of the Society of Toxicology or the science of toxicology, but they give everyone a flavor of the rich history that makes up this dynamic and ever changing scientific discipline and the people who have helped shape it. Written by the Society’s Past Presidents and leaders, this book is but a slice of the history of the society. If you would like to order a hard copy of this publication, please contact SOT Headquarters or visit the SOT Web site for a number of electronic formats at Anniversary Publications.
Building for the Future: Toxicology Training Centers
A publication entitled Building for the Future: Toxicology Training Centers describes the history of a number of toxicology training centers and was written by a group of dedicated educators who have devoted their careers to training future toxicologists. The collection does not cover all of the toxicology centers around the world, but is representative of the vast array of programs that are available to undergraduate and graduate students everywhere. Access Building for the Future: Toxicology Training Centers .
The Historical Perspectives publication brings to light a multitude of perspectives about the science of toxicology and people who have dedicated their careers to it. These stories cover everything from risk assessment, genotoxic and epigenetic carcinogens, and microsomal enzyme induction to toxicologic pathology, along with the National Library of Medicine and its toxicology and environmental health program. Access Historical Perspectives .
SOT’s Archives Will Be Enriched by Your Contributions—
Please Send Your Memories and Reflections
The Society of Toxicology is developing a Historical Archive and recognizes that SOT’s members are the best resource for providing details and insights about the past that will illustrate and illuminate the major events and accomplishments of the Society. For example, you may choose to share a brief observation, description of an SOT member who served as a mentor, or reminiscences of past or very recent celebrations, such as the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. All submissions are welcomed, from a one-sentence anecdote to a fully developed essay. Please include your complete contact information for future reference. These materials are being gathered on an ongoing basis to chronicle the Society by those who know it best—its members. Please e-mail these contributions to SOT Headquarters.
SOT Time Capsule to Be Opened at 75th Diamond Anniversary of the Society of Toxicology
A highlight of the 50th Anniversary Member Celebration Meeting on Tuesday, March 8, was the ceremonious placement of objects into an SOT Time Capsule that will not be opened until 2036 at the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the Society. Over the course of this 50th Anniversary Year, SOT Committees and Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups will continue to add to the capsule. To see the objects submitted thus far and to follow ongoing activities, go to the Time Capsule section of the 50th Anniversary Web site.
Funding Resources Featured at the SOT Annual Meeting and Beyond
The Research Funding Committee sponsored two activities at the SOT Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to provide increased access to research funding resources for toxicologists. The Research Funding Resource Room was open on Tuesday and Wednesday for scientists to drop by or schedule appointments with representatives from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies. Several NIEHS program officers were frequently in the room ready and waiting to answer questions from SOT members who were current or prospective NIH grantees. Plan to drop by the Research Funding Resource Room at next year’s SOT meeting in San Francisco, California.
The New Investigator Lunch continued the practice of a brown bag lunch for early career investigators to promote informal conversations with funding agency staff. Sally Rockey, Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH, presented: “What’s New with New Investigators ,” an overview of current funding, grant opportunities, and grantsmanship issues with emphasis on new investigators. Among the take-home messages were that there are lots of directions and opportunities at NIH, it is important to get to know the program director in your area, and participation in workshops and symposia is also important. Program and review officers, Research Funding Committee members, and other seasoned investigators were stationed at each table to answer questions and facilitate discussion, including conversations that continued one-on-one. This activity also will be held at the SOT 2012 Annual Meeting.
A new initiative of the Research Funding Committee this year is to provide supplemental travel awards for early career investigators to attend NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration. The first two recipients of the funding are Jun Gao, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Yunfeng Zhao, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport. The purpose of these seminars is to help demystify the application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars serve the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical scientists. The second seminar for this year will be June 22–24, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center and Spa in Weston, Florida, with NIH Seminar registration open now. SOT members can access information and the application via the SOT Awards and Fellowships link by selecting the award name “NIH Regional Seminar Travel Award” in order to apply for future seminars.
Other resources linked through SOT include Grant and Funding Opportunities and Research Funding Information.
Postdoctoral Scientist Activities at the 50th Annual Meeting
Submitted by Sarah Campion, Marie Fortin, Michele La Merrill, and Anne Loccisano, 2010–2011 PDA officers.
The Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) organized several exciting events at the 2011 Annual Meeting. These events included a scientific session, a career session, “Trainee Discussions” with SOT Keynote Plenary Lecturer Lawrence A. Tabak, the PDA Luncheon, and the 50th Anniversary Silent Auction. The scientific session that featured postdoctoral and student speakers was co-hosted with the Student Advisory Council. Below is an overview of the main events that were developed and organized by the PDA based on a needs assessment from the postdoctoral community.
Trainee Discussions with Plenary Speakers
|Dr. Tabak was the first speaker in the new program TDPS.
This year the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) piloted a new program called “Trainee Discussions with Plenary Speakers” (TDPS). The goal of the TDPS is to give trainees the opportunity for less formal conversation with the plenary speakers in a small group setting. Lawrence A. Tabak was the first speaker in this pilot. The session was a great success, with high attendance of the ticket holders and 100 percent of those responding to the feedback survey indicating that they are interested in participating in the event again. This informal one hour session included discussion of experimental techniques, career advice, and other topics one would discuss with a mentor. Participants enjoyed the informality, the interaction, the content, the candor, and the small size of the event. The Scientific Program Committee will be continuing this program as part of the Annual Meeting, with invitations to the designated plenary speakers. Students and postdocs should watch for the opportunity to request tickets for the 2012 events.
Postdoctoral Assembly Luncheon
The 2011 SOT Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Luncheon was held on Tuesday, March 8 of the Annual Meeting. The PDA Luncheon is the one event at the Annual Meeting dedicated primarily to postdocs. It provides an opportunity to network with other postdocs and to meet the postdoctoral representatives from the Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups and the officers of the PDA Board. The President of SOT, Michael P. Holsapple, gave the welcoming address, during which he thanked postdocs for all of their hard work and urged them to continue their involvement in SOT. Several members of SOT Council also attended this luncheon, and these guests provided postdocs with insight into the inner workings of SOT and career advice through informal conversations at their tables.
During the luncheon, Sarah Campion, 2010–2011 PDA Chair, discussed the PDA activities over the past year and presented the Best Postdoctoral Publication Awards to Dieldrich S. Bermudez, Joshua A. Harrill, and Jordan Ned Smith. Postdoctoral representatives and postdoctoral award recipients were also recognized for their efforts. Following comments from Michele La Merrill, the incoming PDA Chair, about activities that postdocs can look forward to over the coming year, there was a drawing for an exciting list of door prizes. The luncheon was enjoyed and greatly appreciated by all attendees, who look forward to meeting with their fellow postdocs again in 2012 in San Francisco.
Education-Career Development Session
Although not specifically dedicated to postdoctoral members, the Postdoctoral Assembly also hosted a career and development session on the Wednesday morning of the meeting. This session, prepared by Marie Fortin (PDA Treasurer), Anne Loccisano (PDA Councilor), and Sheppard Martin (Former SAC officer), was entitled “From Pilot Grants to High-End Journals: The Science of Writing.” The session was very well-attended and well-received despite the early time. Deborah Cory-Slechta, a prolific scientific author and professor at the University of Rochester, Jerrold Heindel, a Health Science Administrator at NIEHS, and Angela K. Eggleston, a senior editor and biology team leader for the scientific journal Nature, provided the audience with hands-on strategies to improve scientific writing skills. They also reviewed common mistakes, provided advice on how to convey ideas in an efficient and convincing way, and insight as to what makes a paper or a grant a winning one. Your PDA officers are already working on another career session for next year.
50th Anniversary Silent Auction
|PDA officers show off a highly desired prize from the Silent Auction. From l to r, Vijay Kale, Larissa Williams, Michele La Merrill, Anne Loccisano, and Sarah Campion.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of SOT, the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Board held a Silent Auction at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. We had many wonderful donations for this event, and the PDA Board would like to extend our thanks to both the item donors and bidders for their contributions and for supporting the PDA. All proceeds from the Silent Auction will go to the SOT Strategic Priorities Endowment Fund, which will build for the future of SOT. Contributions totaled about $6,433, and since SOT is matching contributions to the Strategic Priorities Endowment Fund, this amount will be doubled!
We would like to extend a special thanks to Jim Luyendyk and Mona Holsapple, who both volunteered their time at the live event, and we are also grateful to all of the PDA volunteers who assisted with the event.
Postdoctoral Scholar and Student Scientific Session
The Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) and the Student Advisory Council (SAC) collaborated again this past year to again develop a successful scientific symposium session for the SOT Annual Meeting. This year’s symposium, entitled “Developmental Exposure to Environmental Toxicants: From Persistent Toxicities to Diseases,” highlighted novel research involving how exposure to environmental toxicants disrupts developmental pathways and causes adult diseases. The postdoctoral scholar and graduate student presentations included a wide variety of toxicants and disease models to complement the diversity among SOT members. Overall, the symposium was well-attended and well-received. The PDA and SAC will continue to develop scientific symposia to provide students and postdoctoral scholars future opportunities to enlighten the SOT community about their cutting-edge research.
Thank you to all postdocs, SOT staff, and meeting attendees who made these exciting events a success. Postdocs who have suggestions or ideas for events implemented at the 2012 Annual Meeting are invited to contact the PDA officers.
Watch for the Post-y, the Postdoctoral Assembly newsletter, that will be distributed soon.
Finally, we hope you picked up your SOT Postdoctoral Scientist pin already, but if not, we’ll have one waiting for you in San Francisco!
If you are in a formal mentored postdoctoral position but are not receiving messages from the Postdoctoral Assembly, please send an e-mail to SOT Headquarters.
SAC Continues to Advance SOT’s Strategic Plan to Enhance Student Experience in the Society: 2010–2011 Highlights
Submitted by Ofek Bar-Ilan, 2010-2011 SAC Chairperson and RC/SIG-GC Chairperson; James Michael Berg, 2010-2011 RC/SIG-GC Secretary
One of the major goals of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) is to play an integral role in advancing the SOT Strategic Plan 2008–2012. Members of SAC include Ofek Bar-Ilan (Chair), Jessica R. Placido (Chair-Elect), Michael G. Borland, James Michael Berg, and Thomas Simones. The objectives that the SAC set as highest priority include increasing scientific impact; building for the future of toxicology; expanding and deepening member engagement; and strengthening organizational effectiveness. SAC is working with specific objectives that are encompassed by these goals to further enhance the student services SAC provides. SAC has accomplished a number of milestones already, including recognizing contributions of student members via the Outstanding Leadership Award, including a Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, or Special Interest Group specific list of events that improve the visibility of each group in the Student Event Planner for the Annual Meeting, and conducting surveys that allow student members to provide us with useful feedback on areas where we have met their needs as well as recommendations for program enrichment. SAC continues to submit scientific session proposals, manage the Lunch with an Expert (LWAE) program (which was expanded in 2011 to include “Lunch with a Grad Student” and “Lunch with a Postdoc”), and host the popular Student/Postdoc Mixer. The SAC also has begun work on a new initiative to offer a webinar series this year covering topics related to career development and networking with expert speakers.
SAC submitted a proposal to Council for a restructuring of its By-Laws for more effective operation, which includes changing the name of SAC to “Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC).” Another proposed change will be the overall structure of the Graduate Committee groups.
Outstanding Leadership Award
|Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient Ms. Bolstad
The SAC’s success is the result of hard work from each graduate student representative. To recognize the contribution of graduate student representatives who go beyond their expected duties proactively identifying student needs and using innovative methods to improve students experience in SOT, the SAC established the Outstanding Leadership Award. This year the SAC recognized Heather M. Bolstad and James Michael Borland as outstanding leaders within the Graduate Committees.
Ms. Bolstad is the student representative of the Northern California (NorCal) Regional Chapter as well as the student representative for the SOT Communications Committee. Some of her many accomplishments as student rep for NorCal include hosting a table representing NorCal SOT and SOT at the University of California, Davis, Environmental Internship and Career Fair in November 2009; serving as Web liaison by maintaining the NorCal SOT Web site; producing a chapter poster for each SOT Annual Meeting; preparing articles for the NorCal SOT newsletter; and sending NorCal event announcements to campus listserves. As student rep for the SOT Communications Committee, Ms. Boldstad has provided input concerning the interaction of SOT with the media, and in July 2010, met face-to-face with Congressional staffers for House and Senate Subcommittees that focus on environmental issues. The purpose of the meetings was to make them aware of SOT and its value as a source of toxicological expertise.
|Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient Mr. Borland
Mr. Borland has held the position of student representative for the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section (CSS) for two years. In addition to his duties as student representative for CSS, Mr. Borland has collaborated with the Dermal Toxicology Specialty Section (DTSS) to co-sponsor a symposium entitled Mechanisms of Inflammation in Skin Carcinogenesis at the 2011 SOT Annual Meeting. Mr. Borland also has made strong contributions with initiatives to increase student involvement with Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, Special Interest Groups, and SAC. The overall objective was to help standardize the involvement of student representatives with their component groups. Mr. Borland also sparked the expansion of the Lunch with an Expert program to include “Lunch with a Grad Student” and “Lunch with a Postdoc.”
Congratulations to Ms. Bolstad and Mr. Borland as the 2011 SAC Outstanding Leadership Award recipients!
SAC/PDA Joint Research Symposium Session
The Student Advisory Council (SAC) collaborated with the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) to develop the symposium titled Developmental Exposure to Environmental Toxicants: From Persistent Toxicities to Diseases for the 2011 Annual Meeting. Michele La Merrill from PDA and Thomas Simones from SAC chaired this session. Planning is currently underway for another joint symposium to be held at the SOT 51st Annual Meeting and ToxExpo™ in San Francisco.
Regional Chapter/Special Interest Group Graduate Committee
|Attendees socializing and enjoying the Mixer.
The Regional Chapter/Special Interest Group Graduate Committee (RC/SIG-GC) was responsible for the organization of the Student/Postdoc Mixer and developing the 2011 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting Student Event Planner.Thanks to the hard work of the Mixer Task Force and volunteers, the Mixer was a success yet again with more than 330 students and postdocs attending this function. Taking the lead on the Mixer Task Force were: Jessica R. Placido, Ofek Bar-Ilan, Kevin Beggs, Josephine Bonventre, Chad Brocker, Tammy Elmergreen, Senthilkumar Parumal Kuppusamy, Richard Salisbury, and Parissa S. Solaimani. The Mixer Task Force and volunteers were busy moving the 50th Anniversary Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, and Special Interest Group posters from the main bridge of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to the ballroom where the Mixer was held, and then moving them back to the bridge late in the evening when the event was over. It was a long night but a great time was had by all.
This year the Annual Meeting Student Event Planner included announcements of Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups events. The document was available on-line and in a print version to more effectively support student member interests, especially first-time attendees, as they navigate the Annual Meeting. Members of both SAC and the Graduate Committees assisted in the production of this document, including Ms. Bar-Ilan, Ms. Placido, Mr. Berg, Ms. Bonventre, Ms. Elmergreen, and Ms. Solaimani.
Specialty Section Graduate Committee
The Specialty Section Graduate Committee (SS-GC) organized the Lunch with an Expert (LWAE) program for the 2011 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. This program provides student participants with a great opportunity to network and gain insights from seasoned toxicologists. The LWAE program was another great success this year, with nearly 70 experts volunteering to meet over 130 students during the Annual Meeting. We greatly appreciate and thank the experts for their continuous support for the program. SS-GC representatives took the initiative to introduce LWAE to new students and encouraged their participation in the program. The LWAE team members Thomas Simones, Andrea DeSantis, and Xiaochu Zhang worked hard in matching the students and experts, establishing communication between the students and their experts, and facilitating the event at the SOT 2011 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. In addition to the LWAE program, the SS-GC along with the PDA introduced “Lunch with a Graduate Student” and “Lunch with a Postdoc” programs during the meeting. Both programs were a success and we plan to continue these programs to provide students more opportunities to network with graduate students and postdocs.
Proposed SAC Restructure
As previously mentioned, SAC proposed a restructuring of its By-laws to SOT Council. The proposal included changing the name of the committee to Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC). The GSLC will include the members who were previously in the RC/SIG Graduate Committee and Specialty Section Graduate Committee. The five members of the GSLC Executive Board will be responsible for determining and directing strategic activities for the entire GSLC. The approved guidance document, as well as a key points summary, will be posted on the Graduate Student section of the Web site.
Jessica R. Placido will serve as 2011–2012 GSLC Chair, and Kevin Beggs has been elected as secretary of GSLC. The restructure includes the creation of three subcommittees which will replace the RC/SIG Graduate Committee and Specialty Section Graduate Committee. The subcommittees are 1) Communications Subcommittee, 2) Professional Development Subcommittee, and 3) Programming Subcommittee. Each Subcommittee will have a chair and a secretary. The five members of the GSLC Executive Board would be the GSLC Chair, GSLC secretary, and the three subcommittee chairs.
The Subcommittees will be responsible for various GSLC functions throughout the year. Some examples of the roles played by the subcommittees are as follows: The Communications Subcommittee will develop the Graduate Student e-Letter in the summer and fall and coordinate posts on ToXchange; the Professional Development Subcommittee is spearheading the graduate student/postdoc symposia at the SOT Annual Meeting in 2012 and planning a webinar this summer; and the Programming Subcommittee will be responsible for the Lunch with an Expert and Student/Postdoc Mixer at future SOT Annual Meetings.
More information on the SAC restructure, including the names of the subcommittee chairs and secretaries, will be forthcoming.
|(l to r): Donald A. Fox, Council Contact for SAC; Jessica R. Placido, 2011–2012 SAC Chair; Michael P. Holsapple, 2010–2011 SOT President; Ofek Bar-Ilan, 2010–2011 SAC Chair; Thomas Simones, 2010–2011 Specialty Section Graduate Committee Chair; David Rossé, SOT Staff Liaison.
Commissioner Hamburg Highlights Importance of Regulatory Science
Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), told toxicologists at the SOT 50th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo™ in March that while great strides have been made in the biomedical field, “we are neither effectively translating these scientific discoveries into therapies nor fully applying our knowledge to ensuring the safety of food and medical products.” Speaking to a packed room at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Dr. Hamburg explained that regulatory science is “needed to assess and evaluate the product’s safety, efficacy, quality, and performance. It involves the development of new methods, standards, and models to speed the review, approval, and ongoing oversight of medical products.” She went on to say that this science has been “under appreciated, under developed, and under funded.” Dr. Hamburg noted that advancements in regulatory science can help facilitate the development of cost-effective and accurate product evaluation, increase capacity for post-market safety assessments, detection of product-associated adverse events, and the resolution of incidents involving product contamination. She reported that the U.S. FDA has several ongoing projects that will advance regulatory science including one in nanotechnology that is designed to characterize sunscreen and assess its penetration through the skin and another to develop screening methods for the detection of nanoscale silver in U.S. FDA-regulated products. She also talked about the importance of extensive collaboration and partnerships noting that “As the world becomes smaller, and products and ideas travel seamlessly across borders and time zones, it is essential that we consider the implications of this new reality for the scientific community—and more importantly, how to take advantage of it.” Finally, she urged toxicologists to “continue talking and asking questions—and pushing each other to bring us into the new toxicology paradigm that we need in the 21st Century.”
Undergraduate Students Learn about Toxicology and Career Options during SOT’s Special Program
Submitted by Adrian Nanez, CDI Chair
|Dr. Nanez presents the Perry J. Gehring Diversity Travel Award to Ms. Amouzougan
The Committee for Diversity Initiatives (CDI) would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2011 Undergraduate Education Program (UEP) for Minority Students at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. 46 students and six undergraduate faculty advisors began their introduction to toxicology with lectures from John Doull and José Manautou. The night continued with the third presentation of the Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Travel Award to Eva A. Amouzougan from Boise State University for her work entitled Regulation of Carbonyl Reductase Activity by Ah Receptor Ligands.
|UEP founder Marion F. Ehrich chats with Dr. Doull, featured speaker Saturday night
The opening night celebration concluded as UEP alumni, current students, and CDI friends participated in the 3rd Annual CDI Reunion. The CDI would like to welcome any SOT members who have participated in the UEP as a student or volunteer to join us and continue the tradition at the 2012 reunion, which will be the Saturday night (March 10, 2012) before the Annual Meeting.
The pool of applicants for the 2011 UEP boasted some of the brightest students from across the country, several of whom were already presenting abstracts. The students funded through the formal program were joined on Sunday by other undergraduates who registered for the Sunday session along with their Annual Meeting registration. The program was officially kicked off Sunday morning by an address from SOT President Michael P. Holsapple. Judith T. Zelikoff followed with an eye-opening look into the effects of maternal smoke on fetal injury that was complemented by SOT Achievement Award winner Nathan J. Cherrington who covered the principles of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Martin A. Philbert provided a glimpse into the potential of nanoparticles for neurologic cancer therapies and Lauren Aleksunes finished the morning session with an interactive case study in toxicology.
|Kristini Miles (left) mentored a group of undergraduate students.
On Sunday afternoon the students were divided into groups and given an insider’s perspective on graduate school by graduate students and academic advisors including Charlene A. McQueen, Katherine S. Squibb, James P. Luyendyk, Michael Joseph Coronado, Vanessa De La Rosa, and Natalie Malek Johnson. Students met with future mentors during a recruiting session with representatives from about 40 academic toxicology programs and internships. Some of the student program participants displayed their research posters during this time.
Monday morning the UEP began with the SOT 50th Anniversary Plenary Lecture delivered by Lawrence A. Tabak. The program continued with a special poster session in ToxExpo™ showcasing the breadth of toxicology. Lunch included an entertaining overview of the potential for in vitro technologies given by Robert E. Chapin and discussion of challenging related questions at each table. As always the program concluded with plenty of photos, goodbyes, and the promise of newly burgeoning careers in toxicology.
As outgoing CDI chair, I would like to thank all of the volunteers, participants, and SOT staff for making the 2011 UEP a success and look forward to your continued support. See you next year in San Francisco!
Dedicated Volunteers Coordinate CE Courses at the Annual Meeting
The Continuing Education (CE) Committee would like to extend its appreciation and thanks to everyone who participated in the 2011 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting this year. Ninety dedicated scientists came together to present and organize these excellent courses, along with 38 on-site volunteers. Registration was approximately 2,620 for the 15 courses that were offered!
The high number of registrants reflected the interesting and varied course offerings and the hard work and efforts put in by the speakers, course chairs, and CE Committee course liaisons. The CE Committee would like to thank the course chairs and the speakers, who generously contributed their time in organizing these courses and preparing presentations and course handouts.
Special thanks goes to our graduate student and postdoc volunteers, listed below, whose participation and assistance on-site were important in helping to keep the courses running smoothly, and SOT staff members who quietly took care of the myriad of details involved in planning and executing this program.
Ayse Basak Engin
Felcy Selwyn Samraj
Christina DeStefano Shields
The high-quality educational courses that are presented at the SOT Annual Meetings come directly from our members. The CE Committee appreciates new and interesting ideas for courses from the membership, and continued member involvement is vital to the success of this program.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this year’s program such a great success!
2011 Annual Meeting Lost and Found
At the conclusion of the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., several items remained unclaimed in the SOT Headquarters office lost and found. These items include three jump drives, three pairs of glasses (rose tone half frames, gray metallic, and gold rimmed), two pairs of gloves (black/red and blue), three single black gloves, one silver drop earring, Samsung cell phone, blue striped glass case, beige and navy umbrella, pink cloth tote bag, blue mesh backpack, black women’s blazer (size 10), silver bangle bracelet, and a black blue-tooth headset with an USB charger. To retrieve an item you have lost, please contact SOT Headquarters.
51st SOT Annual Meeting Plans Are Underway—Mark Your Calendar!
The 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology will be held March 11–15, 2012, in the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California. The 2012 Annual Meeting Web site is open and is a vital resource for preparing you to attend this meeting. This is a Web site you will want to bookmark: SOT 2012 Annual Meeting Web site.
||October 3, 2011
||October 9, 2011
|Early Bird Registration
||January 27, 2012
||February 9, 2012
||February 17, 2012
||February 17, 2012
SOT 51st Annual Meeting Sponsorship Opportunities Are Available
The SOT Annual Meeting is the largest scientific meeting of toxicologists in the world and the 51st Annual Meeting is sure to draw thousands of attendees. Becoming a sponsor of this important event demonstrates your organization’s commitment to SOT’s mission of “creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.” The Society appreciates the generous contributions of the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting Sponsors.
There are many opportunities to become a sponsor for the 51st SOT Annual Meeting to be held March 11–15, 2012, in the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California.
Being a sponsor provides an opportunity for better name recognition of your organization among SOT members and the Annual Meeting attendees and helps keep registration fees low, enabling the Society to attract nearly 7,500 scientists from academia, industry, and government—at all stages of their careers—and from around the globe. Many of these attendees are directly involved in the application of toxicology and related sciences to human health and disease prevention. Five levels of sponsorship are offered, with the higher levels providing greater visibility for your organization. The categories are indicated below as follows:
- Diamond ($10,000 and more)
- Platinum ($5,000–$9,999)
- Gold ($2,500–$4,999)
- Silver ($2,000–$2,500)
- Contributor ($1,000–$1,999)
Acknowledgement signs, on which sponsors are grouped by the level of sponsorship for those at Silver Level and above, will be displayed prominently on-site. In addition, sponsors will be recognized in the Preliminary Program, Program, the pre-and post-meeting newsletters, ToxExpo™ Directory, on the SOT 2012 Annual Meeting Web site, and in the PowerPoint presentation shown in each session room. In appreciation for this contribution, Annual Meeting Sponsors at the Silver Level and above are invited to attend the SOT President’s Reception.
Your sponsorship also will help offset the cost of functions such as the Minority Student Program, Undergraduate Program, K–12 and other Public Outreach activities, Student/Postdoctoral Scholar Events, Continuing Education Program, refreshments, and the Welcoming Reception. If you are interested in SOT Sponsorship, contact Liz Kasabian at 703.435.3115 ext. 1454.
Scientific Liaison Coalition Members Identify Areas of Mutual Interest—Planning for Next Steps Underway
| David G. Kaufman
The recently established Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC) convened a half-day meeting on March 6, 2011, in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the SOT 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. SOT Scientific Liaison Task Force (SLTF) Chair David G. Kaufman convened the SLC Meeting of fourteen societies. He summarized the overarching goals for the SLC as follows:
- Strengthening partnerships among scientific and health-based organizations to increase awareness of the impact of toxicology and related subjects on human health, and
- Functioning as a means to enhance cooperation among societies as equals with the goal of accomplishing tasks benefiting human health and disease prevention through joint and several shared activities.
In addition, James P. Luyendyk represented the SOT Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Conferences Committee and Thomas W. Kensler the SOT Disease Prevention Task Force. SOT Vice President Jon C. Cook provided an overview of the topics to be covered during this meeting, including:
- New Risk-Based Standards—High Throughput Testing in Regulatory Decision-Making,
- The Metabolic Syndrome As a Risk Factor for Injury by Environmental Exposures—and Exposure to Environmental Agent Injuries As a Risk Factor for Metabolic Syndrome; and
- Epigenetics and Developmental Programming of Cells: Their Relationship to Environmentally-Induced Disease.
Dr. Cook articulated the mechanisms that the SLC might pursue to address issues of importance to scientific, regulatory, and public policy thought-leaders and decision-makers, such as:
- Symposia/Free-Standing Conferences,
- Position Paper Development, and
- Congressional Science Briefings.
Two representatives of the Environmental Mutagen Society addressed the SLC. Ofelia A. Olivero recommended adding the issue of mentoring to the SLC coalition activities and a number of the other participating societies shared ongoing initiatives that could be coordinated among several organizations. Jeffrey Schwartz described congressional outreach approaches, including letter-writing campaigns and Hill visits, that the SLC might consider. In addition, SOT Executive Director Shawn Douglas Lamb described the social media platform that has been established for the SLC on ToXchange, now relied on by many SOT members as a primary source for intra-society communications.
The societies self-identified for participation in breakout groups aligned with the three topic areas noted above. SOT President Michael P. Holsapple provided a charge to these groups to actively develop next steps related to these areas. He encouraged each group to consider the following objectives toward implementation:
- Determine a better defined focus of activity,
- Determine societies to participate,
- Determine the steps to implementation,
- Identify activity leaders, and
- Establish milestones and deadlines.
The SLTF members who helped to facilitate these breakout discussions included David S. Kaufman, John M. DeSesso, Jeffrey I. Everitt, Kenneth I. Hastings, Thomas B. Knudsen, John B. Morris (SOT Council Contact), Qiang Ma, and Dennis J. Naas.
Following the meeting, the breakout group members invited representatives of their organizations to join in the efforts to develop these topic areas, and the SOT Specialty Section leadership was contacted to seek interest in participation. The forward progress of these initiatives will be reported in upcoming issues of the Communiqué. If you or your Specialty Section would like to be involved in these activities, please contact Marcia Lawson, SOT Staff Liaison to SLTF and SLC.
The SLC participating groups include the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Endocrine Society (ENDO), Environmental Mutagen Society (EMS), Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS), Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR), Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP), Society of Toxicology (SOT), and the Teratology Society (Teratology). The International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) are also members of the SLC and have representatives involved in the Scientific Liaison Coalition Advisory Group (SLAG). It is anticipated that the SLC meetings will be convened in early September 2011 and at the SOT 2012 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.
SOT Has a Limited Number of March 2011 Special Anniversary Supplement Print Copies Available
In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Society of Toxicology, a Special Supplement to the March 2011 issue of Toxicological Sciences was issued that can be accessed on-line at Special Anniversary Supplement. SOT Headquarters now has a limited number of print copies that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Special Anniversary Supplement represents areas that are, or have been, a major focus and impactful areas in toxicology with forward-looking topics, including reviews on carcinogenesis, toxicogenomics, nanotoxicology, and synthetic biology. The articles provide historical perspective on the subject matter, major advances in the field, and thoughts on the future of toxicology. If you would like to receive a copy of the Special Anniversary Supplement, please contact SOT Headquarters.
Approximately six times a year SOT publishes the Science News Alert that includes brief descriptions of SOT-sponsored meetings that may be of interest to SOT Members. The April issue is posted on the E-News Alerts section of the SOT Web site.
|Legislative and Regulatory Update
SOT Signs Letter Regarding Lead in Children’s Products
SOT was one of more than 50 national organizations that recently signed a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which is chaired by Mary Bono Mack, to urge the Subcommittee not to mark up legislation that would weaken the standards that are in place to protect children against the hazards posed by unsafe products. The letter sent a powerful message to the Subcommittee about the depth of support for strong laws that ensure the safety of toys and other children’s products.
SOT Responds to NIH Adoption of the Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Lab Animals
SOT has submitted a set of comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the Director to consider endorsing the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International’s (AAALAC) Council on Accreditation (COA) approach, which emphasizes performance in its interpretation of the eighth edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Lab Animals. SOT advised the NIH on the eighth edition of the guide includes a number of technical requirements that raise serious financial concerns and asked that NIH give the regulated community a longer period of time to comply with the final requirements.
SOT Asks Congress to Curb Cuts on Poison Control Centers in FY 2011 Budget
This April, SOT called on members to send letters to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations requesting that they reject efforts to eliminate or substantially reduce funding for the nation’s network of poison control centers. The legislation that was ultimately signed into law cut the funding for the poison control centers by 25 percent.
Supplement to the Spring 2011 Communiqué
SOT Task Force on TSCA Modernization
Daland R. Juberg, Ronald S. Filler, James C. Lamb, IV, and Nancy J. Rachman
Background on TSCA
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the statute by which many chemicals in commerce are regulated in the United States, has been the focus of Congressional attention. Congress has considered how well the existing statute reflects current scientific knowledge and societal needs.
TSCA, passed into law in 1976, authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to require reporting, record-keeping and testing, and to place restrictions on, chemical substances and/or mixtures in commerce in the U.S. TSCA addresses production, importation, distribution, discharge, use, and disposal of chemicals. Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including, among others, food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides, which are regulated under other statutes and regulatory programs. Some of the substances that have been specifically addressed under TSCA include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, radon, and lead-based paint.
Various sections of the original Act provided U.S. EPA with authority to:
- Require, under Section 5, pre-manufacture notification (PMN) for “new chemical substances” before manufacture. A PMN contains data and information that enables U.S. EPA to conduct screening evaluations for health and environmental risks.
- Require, under Section 4, testing of chemicals by manufacturers, importers, and processors where risks or exposures of concern are found.
- Issue Significant New Use Rules (SNURs), under Section 5, when it identifies a “significant new use” that could result in exposures to, or releases of, a substance of concern.
- Maintain the TSCA Inventory, under Section 8, which currently contains more than 83,000 chemicals. As new chemicals are commercially manufactured or imported, they are placed on the list.
- Require those importing or exporting chemicals, under Sections 12(b) and 13, to comply with certification reporting and/or other requirements.
- Require, under Section 8, reporting and recordkeeping by persons who manufacture, import, process, and/or distribute chemical substances in commerce.
- Require, under Section 8(e), that any person who manufactures (including imports), processes, or distributes in commerce a chemical substance or mixture and who obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment to immediately inform U.S. EPA, except where U.S. EPA has been adequately informed of such information.
Current Status and Engagement of SOT
The statute is more than 30 years old. There is increasing public pressure for modernization, along with the essential need to review the existing statute in light of advancements in the science of toxicology and health risk assessment that have occurred over this time period. During the 111 Congress, Senator Frank Lautenberg introduced a version of the Safe Chemicals Act and similar legislation was introduced on the House side. Senator Lautenberg recently reintroduced his Senate bill, “The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.” Co-sponsors include Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), one of SOT’s 2011 Science Leadership Award recipients.
In line with SOT’s stated mission of “Creating a Safer and Healthier World by Advancing the Science of Toxicology,” SOT is taking a proactive role in this important societal issue by making its expertise available to support the redefinition of TSCA-related issues for policymakers and the public. In addition, because so much of the foundational aspects and issues related to TSCA deal with chemicals, risk, and protection of public health, themes which are central to the toxicological community, it became clear that the SOT can have an important role in contributing to future revisions and modernization of this law. Therefore, at the request of SOT Council, Michael P. Holsapple, the SOT President, working with the SOT Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section, established the TSCA Task Force (TF). The TF first convened in the Fall of 2010 and is comprised of the following SOT members: Dennis J. Devlin (Exxon Mobil), William H. Farland (Colorado State University), Ronald S. Filler (consultant), Michael A. Gallo (Rutgers University), George M. Gray (Georgetown University), Daland R. Juberg, (Chair, Dow AgroSciences), W. Mark Lafranconi (Procter and Gamble), James C. Lamb, IV (Exponent), Nancy J. Rachman (Grocery Manufacturers Association), and Robert S. Skoglund (3M). Martha Lindauer, Director of Communications for SOT, serves as the liaison and aide to the TF.
The original mission of the SOT TSCA TF was to review the various provisions of the 2009–2010 Senate and House bills, and to develop a communication outreach strategy with two targeted audiences. One audience is the SOT membership, who will need to be informed about the implications of TSCA reform for toxicity testing. The other audience is Congressional staffers, who conveyed to SOT the need for technical information about provisions of proposed bills as they proceed to amend the current statute. The TF will not advocate for or against any specific legislative proposal.
Since its formation, the TF has convened monthly conference calls and held a face-to-face meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2011. To fulfill the two goals of this TF, the group reviewed the prior Senate and House bills. Additionally, the TF met with representatives of six different Congressional member and committee offices on January 26, 2011. These meetings provided a better understanding of how the SOT and its members/representatives could optimally assist Congressional members and staff. These meetings were uniformly positive and demonstrated the desire of Congressional staff to learn more about the science of toxicology. We explored opportunities for SOT members to work with Congressional staff on a range of topics directly related to toxicology and risk assessment as they come up in TSCA legislation. The original TF mission to review previous House and Senate versions of TSCA reform bills continues and now, Senator Lautenberg’s staff has asked SOT to host three educational sessions for committee staff on some of the basic concepts of TSCA. The Task Force may also sponsor a Congressional briefing on testing tools later this year. In the course of discussions with Congressional staff, it became apparent that the TF should establish criteria or rules of engagement to assure consistency with SOT’s mission to educate and assist, but not advocate. Accordingly, these standards were communicated to Senator Lautenberg following the first hearing of 2011 on TSCA reform. The letter submitted follows:
February 15, 2011
The Honorable Frank Lautenberg, Chairman
Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health
of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
The Society of Toxicology is a broad-based, multidisciplinary organization whose members share the common goal of “Creating a Safer and Healthier World by Advancing the Science of Toxicology.” The Society includes more than 6,800 members from more than 60 different countries. Members are drawn from academic institutions, industry, government agencies, and other organizations.
A priority and one element of the Society’s strategic plan is to advocate the value of toxicology through (1) increasing the reliance of decision-makers on the science of toxicology and (2) increasing the Society’s role in proactively defining issues and bringing forth toxicological knowledge for policymakers and the public.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the primary mechanism and statute by which chemicals in commerce are regulated in the United States, has been the focus of former and current Congressional efforts relative to reform, motivated primarily by the question of how well the existing statute reflects current scientific knowledge and societal needs.
Because of its commitment to “Creating a Safer and Healthier World” and owing to the depth of knowledge amongst its membership relative to chemicals, toxicology, and the assessment of human health risk, the Society has created a TSCA Task Force that is committed to providing the U.S. Congress with science-based assistance regarding future TSCA reform. Specifically, the TSCA Task Force is committed to providing (1) education and discussion on scientific topics that are directly related or tangential to legislation and (2) insight on how transformations in toxicology and risk assessment may influence future chemical regulation such that legislative expectations and implementation are scientifically feasible. Consistent with this objective and the expertise of the Society’s members, the following guidelines have been established regarding engagement on TSCA reform with Congressional representatives.
- We are willing to explain and clarify the science of toxicology and methodologies for assessing hazard and risk to anyone representing Congress, regarding TSCA reform. Our engagement may take the form of personal visits, training sessions or briefings, non-confidential and transparent written responses to questions, or expert testimony.
- We will facilitate engagement between Congressional representatives and members of the Society who have specific expertise that may be needed. To the extent that there may be a range of views on any particular topic, we will seek to represent the full range of scientifically-credible views.
- We will avoid any attempts to advocate for specific positions, interpretations, or application of the science when scientific consensus is lacking. As warranted, consensus may be tested via a subset of members representing the range of views within the Society.
- We will avoid engagement on issues that are not scientific in nature; e.g., issues involving legal principles, costs, administration, and specific drafting of legislative language.
The Society of Toxicology appreciates the opportunity to advance science and protection of public health through the application and incorporation of toxicological principles in legislation and decision-making.
2011 and Beyond: Relevance of Toxicology and Risk Assessment to TSCA Legislation
It is not known when TSCA legislation will be considered, but TF review of the existing law, along with House and Senate bills that have been introduced last Congress and this Congress, reveal many issues that are the subject matter of toxicology and risk assessment, including: (1) the interpretation of a safety standard in practical scientific terms; (2) weight of evidence as an established approach to evaluating safety; (3) prioritization of chemicals for testing and evaluation and how and by what means this is accomplished; (4) sensitive subpopulations and how their protection is incorporated in risk evaluation; (5) approaches to tiered toxicological testing and risk screening; (6) animal and alternative means of testing; (7) safety determination and what this means relative to chemicals and exposure; (8) minimum data set and what constitutes such for risk assessment purposes; (9) safer alternatives, risk reduction, and “green chemistry” and (10) mixtures and articles, how these are defined and how their safety is determined.
In reviewing the House and Senate bills, the TSCA TF has identified the following key areas that they believe represent foundational aspects of future TSCA legislation:
Examples of General Topics and Talking Points for TSCA Reform and Legislation
Topic 1: Science as an underpinning tool to support the legislative intention, with recognition of current state-of-the-art toxicology and flexibility to incorporate advancements
Legislative revisions to TSCA should recognize the iterative and evolutionary nature of science/research and allow the flexibility to utilize advancements in science to inform chemical regulation; however, science cannot be forced or put on a timetable. Thus, TSCA should be written so as to leverage current knowledge and anticipate future advancements without creating expectations of specific scientific research outcomes that may not come to pass.
Topic 2: Importance of toxicology fundamentals
The science of toxicology and its application to risk assessment is one of the cornerstones to chemical regulation. The SOT TSCA TF believes there is value in assuring that fundamental principles of the science of toxicology underpin legislative language so that TSCA revisions benefit from the knowledge from this applied discipline and gain acceptance within the scientific, international governmental, legal, and regulated communities.
Topic 3: Scientific clarification of language and definitions (examples in former bills include):
- Adversity/adverse effects (how are these distinguished from non-adverse effects?)
- Toxicological property (is this “hazard?”)
- Biomonitoring (relation to exposure; potentially useful concepts, e.g., biomonitoring equivalents)
- Aggregate exposure/cumulative risk (does this refer to exposure and/or risk?)
- Clarity on language (e.g., how is “sufficient” defined? Toxicological context of terms used in bill language)
Throughout the two former bills, there are scientific/toxicological/risk terms used that would benefit from clarity of context. The SOT TSCA TF can be a resource to Congressional members and their staff by contributing perspective on the scientific use of these terms and how this use may differ from a legislative use or intent.
Topic 4: Perspective on emerging Tox21 technologies and thinking (including alternative test methods) and opportunities and limitations relative to TSCA reform
There has been a proliferation of new tools and technologies associated with evaluation of toxicity potential of chemicals and there may be an assumption that these tools are ready to replace current approaches. Some of the language in the former bills assumes that current science and scientific tools can provide accurate, complete, and defensible proof relative to information needed for effective chemical regulation. The SOT TSCA TF can provide insight on what aspects of the bill language is aspirational and can help distinguish between what can be delivered presently versus what is hoped might be available in the future. Differentiation of aspiration from reality is important when emerging scientific tools and approaches are being considered for use in chemical regulation.
Topic 5: Hazard vs. risk-based statute
There is a fundamental difference in chemical regulation and regulatory approaches based on hazard versus risk. Clarification, definition, and recognition of the fundamental meaning of hazard, exposure, risk, and dose-response should be considered in legislative language. Hazard-based approaches do not consider exposure, which is a critical component of assessing risk (hazard in conjunction with exposure). It is important that legislative initiatives and language recognize these fundamental differences in approach and how the principles of toxicology and risk assessment can aid in differentiating the two which ultimately may assist in legislative intent.
Topic 6: Aggregate/cumulative exposure/risk
Historically, aggregate/cumulative risk and the assessment of such have been sectored within the agricultural chemical (e.g., pesticides) world and within the domain of the U.S. EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). However, there is discussion of the expansion of this risk approach and how it may extend to many other chemicals and even include non-chemical stressors/influencing agents. The SOT TSCA TF believes there is merit in further discussing the opportunities and limitations of this approach in conjunction with recognition of the state of the science and whether supportive tools and data are presently in place.
Path Forward and SOT Membership Engagement Opportunity
While the future of any national legislation, including TSCA, is never certain and influenced by many factors, including the key agendas and priorities of our elected lawmakers, based on the engagement and interest from various Congressional committees and their staffs, as communicated to the TF representatives who met with them in January, it is hoped that these committee sessions will set the stage for continued discussions with Congressional staff. The first such opportunity is a briefing with Senate staffers in late May to share fundamental concepts on risk assessment. It is anticipated that there will be future meetings with House and Senate staffers working on this issue. The TSCA TF is represented by a small number of SOT members and it is anticipated that depending on the nature of the discussion and what respective expertise and disciplines are needed, the TF will reach out and enlist the help and support of those members who have a willingness and the depth of experience and expertise to serve the SOT and the TSCA TF in its effort to inform, educate, and assist.
Faculty Position in Toxicology—Department of Physiological Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
The Department of Physiological Sciences at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for a 12-month, state-funded, tenure-track faculty position in toxicology. Faculty rank and salary will be commensurate with experience of the successful candidate. Applicants should hold a doctoral degree in a relevant discipline and have significant postdoctoral research training. The successful candidate will be expected to establish an independent, externally-funded research program and teach in both the professional and graduate programs. Strong preference will be given to applicants with current extramural research funding.
The successful candidate will join the toxicology faculty in the campus-wide Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology. This is an outstanding collaborative environment, both within the toxicology faculty and the university as a whole. The University of Florida is a Comprehensive Research I Institution, and is among the few in the United States with all of the health professions on a single campus. Individuals with expertise in all areas of toxicology are welcome to apply.
The University of Florida is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the USA. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Applicants should submit electronically a letter of interest that specifies research accomplishments, teaching background and future goals, along with a cv and the names of three references to Steve Roberts, Search Committee Chair. Applications will be evaluated as they are received, beginning June 15, 2011, until such time as the position is filled.