Allegheny-Erie Chapter of the Society of Toxicology
As the A-E SOT regional chapter approaches its 20th year anniversary, looking back at the changes that the chapter has experienced over the years reminds us how the science and educational impact of toxicology continues to change rapidly. The first years of A-E SOT focused on public outreach to educate how toxicology and risk assessment affects public and private sector life; and issues surrounding animal welfare and regulatory affairs. The chapter leadership quickly established student research awards and support as a mechanism to elevate “new blood” in the toxicological sciences to tackle present issues of the day.
At present, some of these same issues continue to be a long-term and never-ending goal. New challenges have emerged, including limited budgets and an increasing distrust of science when more of our lives are dependent on past scientific breakthroughs. As scientists, we all must forge new collaborations and strive to improve how we present our research, both to our colleagues, but more importantly, to the public and students in STEM disciplines. Our chapter is in good health with 72 active members, a strong budget, two large events per year, and a strong core of enthusiastic and motivated students. Our chapter is in a great position to take on these challenges.
In turning our heads to what the immediate future holds, A-E SOT is poised to 1) improve undergraduate student and mentor training experiences by supporting quality experiences in toxicology, 2) maintaining and expanding upon the contacts between academia, industry, government, and non-profit entities engaged in toxicological sciences to improve collaboration, 3) continue to recruit and foster training future toxicologists.
All these efforts will need people behind the scenes. The strength and impact of this chapter has and continues to be its members and student involvement. I highly encourage each of you to get involved in A-E SOT activities, committees, and outreach. If you have ideas, feel free to get a hold of an A-E SOT Officer or Councilor. Please stay on the lookout for updates to this website and in your email as the chapter moves forward!