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Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Meetings

The SOT conducts Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Meetings to achieve the SOT Strategic Objective of providing tools and resources to members that will enhance their professional and scientific development, as well as to provide an opportunity for building improved understanding of and dialog around emerging science critical to advancing the practice of toxicology.

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Upcoming CCT Meetings and Webinars

Ocular Toxicology, Pharmacology and Drug Delivery: An Eye on the Future

June 27 & 28, 2016
South San Francisco, California

This conference will provide a forum for communication and interactions between toxicologists, pathologists, clinicians, pharmacologists, basic scientists, and other professionals working in the field of ocular toxicology. The main focus will be two-fold: to improve our understanding of ocular toxicology, pharmacology, and safety assessment and to increase our understanding of the challenges associated with development of the next generation of ocular drugs and devices. In particular, the committee has focused on the two challenges which were considered to be of the highest importance in the field. The first is immunogenicity of intravitreal therapeutics, which has become a significant issue across the industry as more intravitreal protein (or protein/polymer combination) therapeutics advance to clinical trials. Immunogenicity of these therapeutics is a significant confounding factor and often makes nonclinical risk assessment difficult. The second key issue is the development of locally-administered complex long-acting delivery technologies, including polymer, device, gene, and/or cell-based therapies. The development of these technologies is complicated by their complex and novel composition, the local cellular response often observed against these systems within the eye, and a lack of clear regulatory guidance in the field.

Go to: Ocular Toxicology meeting information and registration

The Use of Cardiomyocytes for the Assessment of Proarrhythmic Risk

October 25–26, 2016
Arlington, Virginia

Human stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte (hiPSC-CMs) are increasingly used in drug discovery, toxicity assessment, and cell-based disease treatment. In vitro screening assays are also used to make decisions about which drug candidates to progress into development. In light of the potential utility of this emergent technology, this workshop will engage experts in presenting and discussing various aspects of the phenotype of these cells (functional, proteins, biochemical) and comparing them to adult ventricular CMs, as a basis for assessing their potential uses in drug and chemical safety testing. Topics covered include description of cell phenotypes from different sources, in vitro culture conditions and quality assessment, assay methods and validation, in vitro/in vivo correlation, current experience and challenges, and outlining and prioritizing the future work needed. This workshop will include domestic and international scientists from government agencies, pharmaceutical industry, and academia to discuss the current state of the art and the path forward.

Go to: The Use of Cardiomyocytes for the Assessment of Proarrhythmic Risk meeting information and registration

Toxicoepigenetics: The Interface of Epigenetics and Risk Assessment

November 2–4, 2016
Tysons, Virginia

The epigenome is a dynamic regulatory framework that controls the use of genomic information to govern the response of cells, tissues, organs, and individuals to their environment. As a master regulator of gene expression, the epigenome is responsive to a diverse range of environmental factors including toxicant exposure, diet, stress, and socioeconomic circumstances. Traditional toxicological paradigms have relied on factors such as age, genetic polymorphisms, and disease status to identify variability in responsiveness to environmental toxicant exposure; however, these factors are neither sufficient to faithfully identify differentially responsive individuals, nor are they modifiable factors that can be leveraged to mitigate adverse health effects of toxicant exposures. An individual’s epigenome, on the other hand, is malleable and shaped by interactions with chemical and non-chemical aspects of the environment, giving it potential as a tool for the promotion of public health. The field of toxicoepigenetics is rapidly evolving to provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying exposure related susceptibility and disease; however, the utility and practicality of using epigenetic data in public health and risk assessment remains unclear. This conference will examine the “state of the science” to identify potential applications and predictable limitations facing the integration of epigenetic data into human health risk assessment paradigms. This conference will begin by presenting cutting-edge research on the role of the epigenome as a central mechanism linking environmental exposures to adverse health outcomes, followed by presentations and discussion outlining models for the use of epigenetic and epigenomic data from mechanistic studies and identifying current perspectives on the incorporation of epigenetic data into future risk assessment paradigms. 

Go to: Toxicoepigenetics meeting information and registration

Recent Past CCT Meetings and Webinars

MiRNA Biomarkers for Toxicology

March 12, 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently shown great promise as non-invasive biomarkers of cell injury. Several consortia efforts have been established to discover and validate miRNA biomarkers that: provide insight into injury mode of action, distinguish the specific injury location and affected cell type, and are more sensitive for detection than “gold standard” protein biomarkers. The goal of this meeting was to communicate recent discoveries and promote discussion of miRNA biomarker research efforts between consortia partners and independent researchers as a critical step toward the streamlined utilization of promising biomarkers for nonclinical and clinical safety assessment.

Go to: MiRNA Biomarkers for Toxicology meeting materials (accessible to miRNA meeting regsitrants)

FutureTox III: Transforming 21st Century Science into Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision-Making

November 19–20, 2015, Arlington, Virginia

The first FutureTox meeting in 2012 focused on challenges and opportunities associated with implementing 21st Century toxicity testing technologies. In 2014, FutureTox II focused on the science to advance an outcome paradigm where improvements to predictivity and concordance are based solely on in vitro/in silico approaches. FutureTox III focused on building the high-throughput risk assessment paradigm, taking the science of in vitro data and in silico models forward.

Go to: FutureTox III meeting materials (accessible to FutureTox III meeting regsitrants)

What is a Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting?

Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) meetings are one- to two-day focused, open registration, scientific meetings in contemporary and rapidly progressing areas of toxicological sciences. CCT meetings may be held as satellites to the SOT Annual Meeting, specialty or regional meetings, or may be held independently. Meetings may also be held virtually. The intent of the CCT meetings is to provide a forum for dissemination and discussion of those developments that are likely to have the greatest importance for advancing the science of toxicology. In order to maintain the quality standards of the Society, only meetings in which SOT maintains scientific and administrative control will be considered as CCT meetings.

Recorded CCT Webinars

SOT has presentation materials and recorded webinars from the CCT program available on the Webinars page.

Go to: Webinars of previous CCT presentations

Resources and SOT Commitments

In order to facilitate organization of a successful CCT, the SOT assumes all administrative responsibilities with meeting logistics for approved CCT conferences, as well as potential liability for supplementing conference budgets failing to meet an expected objective of break-even financing. SOT will provide the conference organizers with $25,000 in seed money to facilitate securing resources necessary for a successful conference (e.g., conference facility deposits, food/beverage deposits, conference material costs, etc.). It is anticipated that this money serves solely as seed money and, as such, will be repaid to the Society following the completion of the CCT meeting. This allows the Society to continue providing this resource to future CCT meeting organizers and is essential for the success and continuation of this program. In planning the CCT meeting, the goal should be to develop a financially break-even budget based on registration fees and/or additional funding from external sources. Any funds in excess of breakeven are to be co-shared 50/50 with SOT and any endorsing Component Groups (Specialty Section, Regional Chapters, and Special Interest Groups and thus a successfully budgeted CCT can contribute to advancing the activities SOT Component Groups (Specialty Section, Regional Chapters, and Special Interest Groups).

Who Can Submit CCT Meeting Proposals?

Proposals may be submitted to the Society of Toxicology by Specialty Sections, Regional Chapters, individual members, or other not-for-profit organizations.

Proposal Development and Submission Process

The CCT Committee recognizes that organizing a conference can be a daunting task and does not want this concern to prevent individuals from submitting their ideas for unique and important CCT meeting topics. Therefore, the CCT Committee has developed a 2-step process.

Step 1: Submission of the CCT Preproposal

To make it easier for interested parties to develop CCT conference proposals, the CCT Committee has designed a preproposal application. The preproposal application can be completed within a few hours and is intended to provide potential conference organizers a streamlined means of having their ideas reviewed by the CCT Committee at an early stage, before formal budget commitments or other specific details are required. Completed preproposal applications can be submitted to the CCT Committee at any time during the year for review and feedback.

The CCT will review prepoposal applications within 30 days of submission and provide feedback on whether the idea should move to the full proposal stage. The criteria for evaluation can be found here.

Step 2: Development and Submission of a Full CCT Proposal

Organizers who have submitted a successful preproposal and received review comments from the CCT Committee can submit a full CCT proposal by the stated deadlines. Full CCT proposals can be produced directly from the preproposal and with detailed information on the following items:

  1. Proposed title and focus of the meeting, as well as a brief description of the objectives.
  2. Statement of need for a CCT in particular field, justification of the importance to SOT members, evaluation of the timeliness of the topic, and whether a similar course has recently been held (and attendance).
  3. Composition of Organizing Committee (The chair and the co-chair of the Organizing Committee must be full members of the Society and must actively participate in the scientific development of the program). The chair of the Organizing Committee will be responsible for implementation of the scientific program. SOT Council will appoint a liaison from the Council and SOT Headquarters to the Organizing Committee for the purpose of reporting and coordinating program status, fiduciary arrangements, and physical operations.
  4. List of suggested topics and speakers with affiliations. It is important that the representation of all aspects of the topic be well represented. The balancing of the program content should include a diversity of speakers that’s reflective of the diversity of the Society.
  5. Proposed date and projected length of the meeting.
  6. Projected attendance and marketing (note: it is expected the CCT meeting will attract at least 100 participants).
  7. Proposed venue or will the meeting be held virtually. (The Organizing Committee may suggest a site or sites for the proposed meeting. Selection of the site, however, will be managed by SOT Headquarters and will depend on several parameters such as availability, accessibility, and costs.)
  8. Proposed meeting sponsors, both corporate and related societies.

The CCT Committee will work actively with the organizers to ensure that the prospective CCT meeting is as successful as possible for SOT members. In addition, SOT Headquarters will work with the organizer to prepare a budget and establish meeting pricing. (CCT meetings are expected to be revenue neutral or generate a profit for the Society.)

Review Process:

Applications for CCT meetings should be sent to Clarissa Russell. The CCT Conferences Committee strives to provide feedback on endorsement within two months from the date of submission. The CCT Conferences Committee uses this form as part of the review process. 

Submitters of approved applications should allow 12 to 18 months for evaluation, organization, and promotion of the meeting.

Profit Sharing Policy:

CCT meeting proposals developed and submitted by SOT Regional Chapters/SOT Special Interest Groups/Specialty Sections (Component Groups) and approved by the CCT Committee will share 50/50 the profits generated from the CCT meeting. The profit sharing will occur after the initial seed funds provided by the Society are repaid ($25,000). The profits will be shared with the understanding that the funds will go to the respective Component Group and will flow into their general operating funds. If multiple RCs/SIGs/SSs are involved in the meeting coordination, then they will divide the available funds evenly among the Groups. Any CCTs proposed by organizations not affiliated with an SOT RC/SIG/SS would not have the option in sharing in the profits. The Society will continue to underwrite all the liabilities of the CCT meeting with the expectation that the meeting at least breakeven financially. The goal of providing $25,000 seed funds and the profit sharing component is to stimulate the creation of CCT meeting proposals.

Meeting Publications:

Toxicological Sciences retains the first right of publication for all publication materials produced from a CCT meeting. The CCT Organizing Chair should contact the Toxicological Science Editor to discuss publication requirements.