Winter Issue 2012–2013
As we march toward the winter months and on to the beautiful spring at our Annual Meeting in San Antonio, I would like to keep you informed of the tremendous scientific offerings and opportunities for scientific exchange provided by the Scientific Program Committee led by Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman and Norbert E. Kaminski. The excitement surrounding the plenary speaker, Bruce Beutler, who will deliver the Opening Plenary Lecture on Monday, March 11, Genetic Analysis of Innate Immune Sensing, is building as he is the most recently acclaimed Nobel Laureate to speak to our membership. In addition, on Wednesday, March 13, Jeremy K. Nicholson will deliver the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting MRC Lecture, Phenotyping the Patient Journey: Making Systems Medicine Work in the Real World. These presentations are just two examples of the many scientific offerings including 21 symposia, 24 workshops, and many platform and poster sessions to be enjoyed.
To complement our 12 Continuing Education (CE) Courses and our Sunrise Course skillfully coordinated by our CE Committee led by J. Craig Rowlands, SOT Council has launched a Continuing Medical Education (CME) Task Force, aligned with the strategic priority of increasing the Impact of Toxicology on Human Health, Disease Prevention, and the Environment. The members of the CME Task Force include Chair John G. Benitez, Council Contact Dori R. Germolec, Martin A. Philbert, Kenneth S. Ramos, and Richard Y. Wang. Efforts are underway to seek a partnership with a CME-accredited institution as an important first step. In the months ahead, I will apprise you of the progress made toward providing these courses and a timeline to help you plan how to take advantage of these educational opportunities.
A significant component of the SOT membership and attendees at the Annual Meeting come from outside the United States. Furthermore, many of the issues and opportunities SOT confronts are global in nature. With this in mind, and to increase the visibility of SOT as a global resource and its members as scientific leaders, two well-received international activities will again be held at the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas: the Global Gallery of Toxicology and the Global Collaboration Coffee. Now in its third year, posters showcasing the formation, key accomplishments, strategic initiatives, and current and future activities of these sister societies will be prominently displayed during the meeting. In addition to SOT and IUTOX leaders, scientists representing international toxicology societies displaying posters in the Global Gallery of Toxicology, Special Interest Group Presidents, and the recipients of the SOT/AstraZeneca/IUTOX and SOT Endowment Fund Fellowships (senior scientists from developing countries) are invited to attend a Global Collaboration Coffee. This event offers an opportunity for scientific leaders to meet and make plans for future collaborations. Additional information about these global initiatives is available on the SOT website and by contacting SOT Headquarters.
The ability of SOT members to maintain funding for research and scientific travel to attend the Annual Meeting is an issue of great concern to SOT’s leadership. The role of the Research Funding Committee has become even more important in the wake of current tough economic times. Under the leadership of Chair David C. Dorman, the committee has developed and implemented the SOT Research Funding Blog to meet the needs of the Society. The intent of this blog is to spread the word about funding opportunities and grantsmanship and to bring together individuals who have successfully obtained federal or other grants with other SOT members who would like to learn more about the grant-writing process, including the ins-and-outs of submitting a successful grant. Active participation of SOT members on the Research Funding Blog will help advance the science of toxicology. Collectively, we can help Build the Future of Toxicology. You can access and participant in this blog via the Research and Grant Funding Community in ToXchange.
SOT leadership has again taken the initiative to act as responsible stewards of the Society’s financial health and to lessen our environmental footprint whenever possible. In an effort to reduce cost and resources, the printed Program with an electronic version of The Toxicologist will not be automatically mailed to all registrants and members. If you wish to receive your printed Program before the meeting (request made by February 15), please select the “I want to receive the printed Program before the meeting by mail” checkbox on the registration form, and these items will be mailed in late February (in the US and Canada only). These items also will be available from the SOT website in January and for pickup on-site.
As progress toward the SOT Annual Meeting has marched forward, SOT membership and potential new members have enjoyed three very successful Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology meetings (CCTs), coordinated by the CCT Conferences Committee chaired by Chris Corton. By bridging the scientific gap between our Annual Meetings, these CCTs actively carry out SOT’s commitment to enhancing scientific exchange and consensus building. In May 8–11, 2012, the risk assessment process and its improvement was the topic for a CCT held at the US EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, titled: Building for Better Decisions: Multi-Scale Integration of Human Health and Environmental Data, orchestrated by Co-Chairs Lyle D. Burgoon, Robinan Gentry, and Annie M. Jarabek. Also on May 14–16 there was another CCT focused on developmental insult and adult onset disease titled: PPTOX III: Environmental Stressors in the Developmental Origins of Disease: Evidence and Mechanisms, organized by Co-Chairs Robert Barouki (France) and Philippe Grandjean (Denmark) and held in Paris. And finally, a third CCT was held in Arlington, Virginia, on October 18–19 that featured recent progress in incorporating new technologies into the safety assessment process. Organized by Co-Chairs James S. Bus and J. Craig Rowlands, this CCT was titled: FutureTox: Building the Road for 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices. Additional information about each of these CCTs is available on the SOT website.
Just as these scientific bridging meetings have kept us connected over the last several months, the many bridges and walkways along the Riverwalk in Ole San Anton are waiting to connect us to our scientific colleagues in this warm, inviting, and festive venue. So as we all prepare for our Annual Meeting in San Antonio, we can contemplate the many networking and scientific opportunities that await us.
See you in San Antonio.
William Slikker Jr., PhD, ATS
SOT Welcomes 762 New Members this Year Through September 2012
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) congratulates our members who have upgraded their membership level and welcomes 762 new members this year, including 304 Full members, 69 Associate members, 115 Postdoctoral members, and 274 Graduate Student members. New members are part of the worldwide SOT network of more than 7,500 members from 58 different countries. Members from academic institutions, industry, government, and other scientific organizations are committed to SOT’s vision of “creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.” View the full listing of new members through September 2012.
Thank you to all the Full members who sponsored new Full and Associate members as well as to the research advisors and mentors who sponsored new Graduate Student and Postdoctoral members in 2012. Your sponsorship of these new members continues to build and sustain a strong and vibrant society. I also would like to especially thank the SOT Membership Committee, led by Chair Abigail Jacobs and Co-Chair Michael Dourson, for their wonderful work in reviewing and recommending new and upgraded members to SOT.
John C. Lipscomb, PhD, DABT, ATS
SOT Hosts Two October Events To Address 21st Century Toxicity Testing Challenges and Opportunities
Because of the attention that has been given to the tools and technologies associated with toxicology testing in the 21st Century, the Society hosted two major events in the Washington, DC area to address the challenges and opportunities associated with the explosion of 21st Century toxicity testing technologies and tools. A Congressional luncheon briefing entitled, “FutureTox: Consideration of 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices in Legislation and Regulation” featured a panel discussion about the tools and technologies and the challenges facing regulators and legislators as they work to find improved, science-informed hazard prediction and risk assessment methodologies they can implement. SOT also hosted a two-day seminar entitled, “Building the Road for 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices.” The event focused on four major themes starting with a review and discussion of the various strategies being considered. The two-day event was organized as a workshop to encourage active dialog among attendees about the technically complex and interdisciplinary landscape of new technologies available to toxicology.
Consider Year-End Contributions to the SOT Endowment Fund
During this season of giving, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the SOT Endowment Fund. Your support of the SOT Endowment Fund helps build a sound financial future for the Society of Toxicology and continued development of the field of toxicology.
Over the past six years, over 120 student travel awards as well as other valuable endeavors have been supported via the various Endowment Funds. I encourage you to make a gift to the SOT Endowment Fund in 2012–2013 if you have not already done so.
You can help us by making a tax-deductible donation to one of the many funds that SOT sets aside for special awards and services. Making a contribution is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the future of SOT, toxicology, and your profession.
All contributions greater than $40 are recognized on the Honor Roll of Contributors. We look forward to adding your name to this prestigious list of Endowment Fund supporters.
There are many convent ways to give:
Send a Check: you can give your gift by sending it through the mail.
Credit Card: you can add your support by providing SOT the type of card, account number, expiration date, and the amount of your contribution.
Make a Tribute Gift: honor someone special in your life by giving a gift in their name to SOT. We’ll send that individual a personalized card from you for their birthday, wedding, or any other special occasion.
Why Make a Gift of Stock?
If you itemize your tax returns, gifts of securities currently entitle you to a federal income tax charitable deduction. In the case of appreciated securities, you may deduct the full fair market value of your gift once you have held onto the securities for at least one year. You are permitted to carry any unused deduction forward for up to five additional years. In addition, you will avoid paying capital gains tax on the stock you donated to SOT.
According to IRS regulations, the date of your gift corresponds to the date it arrives in our possession (for transfers from brokerage account to brokerage account).
Society of Toxicology Endowment Fund Federal Tax Identification Number: 52-605-7050
You will receive a letter confirming the value of your tax deduction.
The Society of Toxicology and the SOT Endowment Fund hope you will assist us in kicking off this holiday season and this season of giving by making a donation to the Society of Toxicology Endowment Fund. The Society will match dollar-for-dollar contributions made to the Education Fund, the Global Activities Fund, and the SOT Strategic Priorities Fund.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to making 2013 another successful year for building for the future of toxicology!
Announcing 2013 Spring Deadline for International ToxScholar Outreach Grants
Due to availability of funds, the SOT Education Committee will accept spring applications for the International ToxScholar Outreach Grant, with a deadline of 12:00 pm EST Wednesday, February 27, 2013. This popular grant supports the Society’s objective to build for the future of toxicology by strengthening global participation and outreach. The International ToxScholar Outreach Grant provides funds to awardees to sponsor their travel to institutions in underserved nations and educate students about the profession of toxicology. This opportunity is open to all SOT members, including all levels of career toxicologists as well as postdoctoral trainees and graduate students. Additional information, the application form, and a summary of other campus visits can be found on the ToxScholar page.
Recipients funded in previous years include Linval DePass who visited the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus), Kingston, Jamaica; Erin Hines who presented at five universities and three public health groups in Peru; Thomas Lewandowski who gave lectures at three institutions in Romania; and speaker travel for the Biannual Toxicology Conference for the Africa in Cameroon (request submitted by Chudy Nduaka for the Education Initiative Foundation). Reports on these visits were featured in SOT Global Toxicology Scholars Present Toxicology to International Audiences. The 2012 International ToxScholar Outreach Grants funded the following visits: Patrick Allard, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Nairobi in Kenya (December 2012) and two pending visits, Joseph Bressler to the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology in Harare, Zimbabwe; and James Klaunig to the University of Iban, Nigeria.
Council Supports SOT Toxicology Education Summit Recommendations
Last fall the Society of Toxicology convened the Toxicology Educational Summit to discuss the state of toxicology education and strategically to address educational needs and the sustained advancement of toxicology as a profession.The Summit focused on core issues of building for the future of toxicology by implementing educational programs, defining education and training needs, developing the “Total Toxicologist,” providing continued training and retraining of toxicologists to sustain their careers, and supporting toxicology education and professional development. Outcomes of this meeting include a white paper and strategic recommendations that allow SOT to insure the success and future of toxicology through targeted educational initiatives. Council has endorsed and prioritized these recommendations in accordance with the Society’s strategic goals.
The high priority items are as follows:
SOT Committees and component groups have been charged with reviewing their activities to see how they do or could help move these high priority initiatives forward. In addition, new efforts might be developed to address these educational needs. We all look forward to continuing and creative efforts within SOT to support and strengthen toxicology education and the discipline of toxicology.
SOT Provides Research Experience Opportunities Listing—Is Yours There?
Often acknowledged as the best way to increase interest in graduate school, research internships can be life-changing. SOT tries to make it easy for students to find research experiences related to toxicology by providing listings at Student Research Internships in Toxicology, including the categories Student Research Internships in Toxicology, Governmental Internship Opportunities, and Other Internship Opportunities.
However, we know that many academic institutions and companies have research opportunities that never reach SOT web pages. The listings we do have need updating for 2013. We encourage you to send information immediately to Betty Eidemiller for adding to the SOT website. Even if the student research program in your institution is not solely toxicology-related, we would like information about it.
At the beginning of next year we will be sending a message to our undergraduate contact list, including SOT Undergraduate Affiliates, directing them to the SOT Internship page so they can apply for opportunities in advance of the deadlines for summer 2013.
Thank you for your assistance in providing research opportunities to students.
Now is the Time to Submit Undergraduate Toxicology Curriculum Materials for SOT Publication
At this point in the academic year, faculty may be thinking about activities that worked especially well in undergraduate classrooms and about new ideas for the future. The new Undergraduate Toxicology Curriculum Resources Collection is building but we need your materials now to share with colleagues. Whether your materials seem basic or innovative, they will be significant contributions to the collection. Some faculty are just getting started and are looking for proven suggestions; others are looking for new ways to enhance their teaching. The Undergraduate Education Subcommittee of the SOT Education Committee believes that this collection is an important resource to support the efforts of educators and is part of our strategic focus of building for the future of toxicology by strengthening undergraduate instruction and recruiting students to the discipline. In addition to increasing educational resources for toxicology, we will provide a network for communication amongst instructors.
A simple web-based form at Undergraduate Toxicology Curriculum Resources Submission allows you to submit syllabi, lecture slides, lab activities, and assessment tools for the teaching of toxicology. This page provides more information and details the necessary information for submission. Materials will be reviewed by resource collection reviewers to assure quality, copyright clearance, and to verify licensing for SOT use. Authors will be notified once their resources have been reviewed. Accepted resources will be posted on our website for SOT member access. In other cases, possible revisions will be discussed with the submitter.
Please contribute now. If you would like to learn more this project, please contact Mindy Reynolds.
Call for Nominations for the 2013 Congressional Science Leadership Award
SOT holds that the support and use of sound science by Congress is vital to the safety and health of all Americans. SOT has presented five separate Congressonal Science Leadership Awards over the past few years to deserving Members of Congress. Information about this award is provided below.
Assist us by submitting your nomination of one or more Members of the Congress to receive the 2013 Congressional Science Leadership Award. Please send your nomination to Martha Lindauer by the close of business on October 9, 2012. Your nomination needs to include:
Thank you for supporting SOT and sound science.
George B. Corcoran
SOT Congressional Science Leadership Award
To provide recognition of a Congressional leader who demonstrates reliance upon sound science in effective decision-making related to protecting or advancing the health and safety of people, animals, and the environment.
A Congressional leader who meets one or more of the following: (1) has consistently pursued public policy or decision-making relating to health and safety that is based upon sound scientific principles; (2) has demonstrated dedication to advancing legislation for the protection of people, animals, and environmental health which is based upon sound scientific principles; and (3) has recognized and supports scientific research that increases knowledge and advances protection of people, animal, and environmental health.
SOT Congressional Science Award Plaque Reads
For enduring vision and preeminent leadership that has fostered recognition across the Congress and the legislative community of the importance of supporting sound science as a basis for effective decisions, policies, and laws that are essential to advancing the health and safety of people, animals and the environment.
Seeking SOT Voting Members Response To Proposed Bylaws Changes
Each year, SOT Council undertakes a complete review of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society of Toxicology (SOT). During its September 2012 meeting, SOT Council approved three proposed amendments to the Bylaws of SOT. Article First and Third are mandatory changes based on the 2012 DC Nonprofit Act (SOT is incorporated in DC). The other two changes for committees are to add flexibility and continuity.
SOT Voting Members may provide comments on the proposed changes, which are due no later than October 26, 2012. After consideration of the comments by SOT Council, the proposed Bylaws changes will be submitted to the membership for a vote. Approval by two-thirds vote of ballots received within 60 days shall be required for adoption.
The proposed changes are as follows, with new text indicated by an underline.
2012–2013 Bylaws Amendment Proposals
Add new section:
Section 11. The Society shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the officers and the Council members who shall be immune from civil liability, except where the injury or damage was the result of willful misconduct, a crime (unless the individual had reasonable cause to believe that the act was lawful), a transaction that resulted in an improper personal benefit to the individual, or an act or omission that was not in good faith.
Section 2. Special business meetings of the Society may be called by the Council or upon written request of
Article Fourth—Standing Committees
Section 6. Education Committee. There shall be an Education Committee consisting of six members who hold no elective office.
Section 8. Awards Committee.
Research Funding Blog Launched—Your Participation Is Essential
The Society of Toxicology now has launched the Research Funding Blog announced by SOT President William Slikker Jr. in his recent President’s Message. As Dr. Slikker noted, “We are aware that sufficient funding to support research and student training for toxicologists may be challenging to secure in the next few years.” Thus, SOT’s Research Funding Committee, chaired by David Dorman, as well as Council recognized the need to develop a new blog site as a gateway to both traditional and nontraditional sources of funding. For this endeavor to be successful, the participation of SOT members is vital. You now have the opportunity to suggest additional sites and provide links to possible funding.
Although the competitive nature of seeking financial resources is readily acknowledged, not every announcement is likely to be aligned with your hallmark research endeavors—but could be vitally important to a colleague seeking to expand scientific understanding in an area different from the one you pursue. In addition to asking you to provide nontraditional funding pathways available at the national level, SOT wants to tap into your knowledge of regional and local funding opportunities. Please share information about these funding sources on the research funding blog as well. Your participation in sharing this funding information will help in advancing the science of toxicology to protect human health and prevent disease. The need is great so let’s help each other meet the challenge of adequate support of toxicology research.
SOT Council Revises Code of Ethics to Reflect Society’s Diversity
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) adopted a Code of Ethics on January 31, 1985, that is reviewed and updated by the SOT Council to assure its currency and relevance to all SOT members. This Code of Ethics was first revised on June 1, 2005, and reviewed and reaffirmed September 14, 2011. On November 5, 2012, the SOT Council agreed on a revision to this Code of Ethics that recognizes the diversity of the Society’s membership. The following language was added:
“Provide equal opportunity and equal consideration to all members without regard to sex, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or veteran status.”
The complete SOT Code of Ethics is posted on the SOT website.
Consider Organizing a Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting
Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Meetings expand the opportunities and forums for members to engage in the exchange of ideas and information relevant to toxicology. CCT Meetings are one- to two-day focused, open registration, scientific meetings in contemporary and rapidly progressing areas of toxicological sciences. CCT Meetings also can be held as webinars.
If you think that your research area could be enhanced by thought leader collaboration or that public health and safety could be improved by disseminating your research findings more broadly, please consider organizing a Society of Toxicology (SOT) CCT Meeting. The CCT Conferences Committee and the SOT Headquarters staff are prepared to help move your meeting forward.
The Society will underwrite all the liabilities of the CCT Meeting (up to the $25,000 in seed money) with the expectation that the meeting at least break even financially. Profit sharing for SOT component groups is available. For more information about CCT Meetings, please visit the SOT website.
In order to sustain the quality standards of the Society, only meetings in which SOT maintains scientific and administrative control will be considered. Meetings developed and administered by other organizations may be eligible for endorsement by the Society of Toxicology.
Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program Host Application Deadline Extended to October 22
The Education Committee has extended the deadline for Host applications for the Global Scholar Program to October 22.
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) has announced the 2013 Global Senior Scholars, Sri Noegrohati at Gadjah Mada University and Sanata Dharma University in Jogyakarta, Indonesia, and Mohamed Mosaad Salama at Mansoura University in Mansoura, Egypt. We now are recruiting applications for SOT member Hosts for each of these Scholars.
The primary goal of the Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program (GSSEP) is to increase toxicology capacity in developing countries by providing opportunities for senior scientists in those countries to develop professional relationships with SOT members in the US and Canada. The award provides logistical and financial support for the Scholars to attend the SOT Annual Meeting and subsequently spend up to four weeks with one or more hosts from academic, government, or industry organization(s) in the US or Canada. The Host will in turn visit the Senior Scholar’s institution to engage in teaching, curriculum development, or other activities intended to build training and research capacity in toxicology. The program provides up to $15,000 for each pair, with up to $10,000 travel support for the Senior Scholar and up to $5,000 for the Host. The award cannot be used for equipment, laboratory supplies, or renovations.
The following criteria will be use to select the Host for each Scholar.
The successful Host applicants will have:
Note that more than one Host at the same or different institutions can submit a coordinated application to host a particular Scholar.
The institution(s) of the Host(s) will:
About the Awardees:
Dr. Noegrohati aims to increase training in risk assessment that is relevant to conditions in Indonesia. For example, she reports that research has shown that pesticides degrade more rapidly in a tropical climate but research on pesticide exposures are largely conducted in nontropical countries. She notes that “...integrated risk assessments in agricultural environments under Indonesian tropical conditions are important in assuring the safety of foods consumed, the continuity of food supplies, and the acceptability of foodstuffs in international trade.” Thus, she says, “training in both human health toxicology and ecotoxicology are necessary to understand the risks posed by the introduction of chemicals (e.g., pesticides) into the environment and that there are currently only a very few accountable personnel who have such training. Since the Indonesian government needs safety assessors to assist in establishing wise judicious regulations, it is expected that the SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program could help us in shaping a Risk Assessment training program, which would motivate younger faculties, both in Gadjah Mada University and Sanata Dharma University, to advance their knowledge in environmental sciences and life sciences, to engage in relevant research, and to use the resulting knowledge to improve public health and environmental health in Indonesia.”
Dr. Salama’s research primarily involves neurotoxicology (i.e., the role of environmental agents in the development of Parkinson’s disease). He envisions that the GSSEP will improve toxicology research opportunities and teaching capacity, both for undergraduates and graduate students, at Mansoura University. “Getting contact with an advanced level toxicology lab in the USA will give our ambitious plans a push. Participation in the GSSEP will increase awareness of toxicology as a multidisciplinary field with important applications both for medicine and biomedical research.” Through the opportunity to travel to the USA and work with other research groups, Dr. Salama will be able to transfer modern technology and up-to-date techniques to his colleagues in Egypt, thereby improving toxicology research capacity. Moreover, he believes the visits funded by the GSSEP will expand his institution’s awareness of potential new areas of toxicology research. He also expects that the exchange will facilitate development of a more advanced toxicology curriculum at Mansoura University, which will in turn allow the institution to attract more students and widen the institution’s impact on toxicology infrastructure in the region. “We hope that through this program, we can improve our competitive profile and make toxicology a more recognized field in developing countries.”
YouTox Video Challenge: Exciting New Contest for Students/Postdocs
The GSLC Communications Subcommittee is announciing an exciting new contest: The YouTox Video Challenge!
The YouTox Video Challenge is a competition for students and postdocs to make a video about toxicology, more specifically, why they became a toxicologist. Videos should be less than five minutes long and will be judged by the YouTox Task Force for creativity, originality, and how well they answer the question, “Why Did I Become a Toxicologist?” These videos will be showcased on the SOT website and at the 2013 Annual Meeting Graduate Student Mixer. Cash prizes will be awarded for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place videos! This is a great opportunity for everyone to get the word out as to what toxicology is and what a toxicologist does! Video submissions can be in any format that contestants wish (i.e., PSA, music video, sitcom, soap opera, interview…the possibilities are endless!) as long as they are appropriate and allow the general public to understand the concept. Videos should not be summaries of any persons’ specific project—that’s what publications and dissertations are for!
Thank you for your help in spreading the word about this exciting new contest! The GSLC Communications Subcommittee YouTox Task Force is excited to see the entries swarming in!
Mentor Match: The SOT Members’ Online Mentoring Program
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) recognizes the importance of mentoring in the scientific and professional development of its members. Mentor Match is the place to find or be a mentor. The objective of this online mentoring program is to provide a service that matches mentees with potential mentors from the SOT membership to provide advice on career path selection, professional development, and life/work balance issues.
Mentor Match is an unparalleled resource for early and mid-career scientists to benefit from the experience and wisdom of established toxicology professionals. SOT members are encouraged to share their professional knowledge by serving as mentors for colleagues and for the next generation of toxicologists. You may realize that you are in a position to be both a mentor and a mentee! Peer-to-peer exchanges can provide useful guidance in seeking opportunities outside your current market sector, and the SOT Annual Meeting provides a great opportunity for the mentor and mentee to meet in person.
Visit Mentor Match on the SOT website and use your email address and SOT password to sign in or create an account. Please note that if your email address has changed recently, you will need to contact SOT Headquarters to update your account information in the Mentor Match system. For more information, please contact Kim von Brook.
Finding Funding Webinar and Blogs Celebrate Postdoc Appreciation Week
The SOT Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Board celebrated the work of its members September 17–21, 2012, in conjunction with National Postdoc Appreciation Week.
SOT PDA published the following blog posts:
Doing What’s Right Even if No One’s Watching by Alicia Timme-Laragy, a postdoctoral fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Exploration of the Government Sector by Gwendolyn Louis, postdoctoral fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Next Step: Private Industry? by Betina J. Lew, Scientist-Toxicologist at Procter and Gamble, former postdoc in Toxicology at University of Rochester Medical Center (New York) and former PDA Chair (2009–2010).
The PDA also hosted a webinar on a topic of great demand by SOT postdocs: “Finding Funding for Early Career Scientists.” The webinar featured Donna Vogel, MD, PhD. Dr. Vogel has extensive experience inside the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serving various roles including Program Director. Outside NIH, she is currently the Director of the Professional Development Office of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In this position, she provides courses, workshops, and guidance on transitioning to independent careers in science. The webinar provided a wealth of information ranging from types of early career awards to the process of applying for this funding. The PDA received valuable feedback from postdoctoral attendees. Access the webinar recording and slide set.
PDA Nominations Open for 2013–2014 Executive Board: Deadline December 7
If you are a Postdoctoral member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), please consider running for one of the officer positions open on the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Executive Board for 2013–2014. The mission of the PDA is to facilitate the professional development of the SOT Postdoctoral Membership in the field of toxicology. The Board, which oversees PDA activities, consists of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, two Councilors, Council Contact, and a Staff Liaison from SOT Headquarters.
Officers make use of their leadership skills to organize events such as webinars during the course of the year and career development and scientific sessions at the Annual Meeting. They also organize the Postdoctoral Luncheon and Poster Tours for Trainees and coordinate the Best Postdoctoral Paper Award. Serving on the PDA Executive Board provides an excellent opportunity to network with other postdoctoral fellows as well as more senior SOT members, and it is a fun way to help other postdoctoral fellows and graduate students develop their own career.
For 2013–2014 the following positions will be open:
Responsibilities for these positions can be found on the PDA Officer web page.
To nominate yourself or an SOT postdoc, please email Susan Simmons, PDA staff liaison with the person’s name, affiliation, phone, and email. For details check out the 2013 Election Brochure or contact Kelly Chandler for further inquiries. Nomination deadline is Friday, December 7.
National Postdoc Appreciation Week Blog: Doing What’s Right Even if No One’s Watching
In recognition of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly is publishing a series of blog articles throughout the week written by postdocs and former postdocs reflecting their experiences and thoughts about being a postdoctoral scholar. Here is the first in the series by Alicia Timme-Laragy. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she uses small fish models to study how chemicals that cause oxidative stress disrupt embryonic development. Dr. Timme-Laragy will be starting as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013.
Doing What’s Right Even if No One’s Watching
I have probably spent way too much time thinking about what postdoc-related topic to blog about here. The most obvious thing for me would be work-life balance, as I have two young children, both of whom I have had during my postdoc. But with the National Postdoctoral Association recently publishing on this topic pretty extensively, that feels a bit redundant. I could recount the serendipitous events that have helped to shape my career, but that would probably not be terribly interesting to anyone but my mother.
Instead, I think I will use this space to reflect on something required of all of us postdocs and students in science: training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). Why must we be subjected to inane online quizzes, workshops that detract from our time spent in the lab, and reiterate points that we already know to begin with (uh, don’t fabricate data? Duh). I was once one of those grumblers huddling at the back table in the room rolling their eyes.
I have a very different perspective now.
RCR is still something that takes away from my time in the lab, but now it is time well spent. So I’d like to tell you why I think RCR training is important, and share my two cents about how I think it can be improved. This opinion has been shaped by the emphasis on RCR training I received during grad school, the RCR education I’ve been able to participate in and teach as a postdoc, and the training I received from the Office of Research Integrityupon receiving a Research Integrity Ambassador Award last year.
For those of you who are tuning out right now, I’ll place my punch-line here: I think RCR training should be required of everyone, not just students and postdocs. Yes, PIs included. And check out this RCR training tool. Now keep reading.
Ok, so why do I think RCR is important? Because when my mother tells her friends that her daughter is a scientist, I want them to react with respect, not with some version of a slimy lawyer joke mutated to make fun of scientists. The fact is the majority of research we conduct is funded by taxpayers. As publically-funded scientists, we have a responsibility and obligation not only to conduct and report the research we are entrusted to do, but also to do so with the utmost and unimpeachable integrity. We are not partisan, not activists; we do our best to make observations and interpret data that in turn stand to benefit the public’s health and well-being. Infringing on this trust by scientific misconduct erodes confidence in the entire profession and could jeopardize the support of the investment in public research.
How do we ensure that we maintain the public trust? First, we decide what behaviors are acceptable (responsible conduct of research) and unacceptable (misconduct). However, consider that society at large has agreed that lying, cheating, and stealing are wrong—but these still occur. So clearly, agreeing on a set of common values is not enough. I’m not going to focus on the role that the justice system or enforcement system has here; just on the communication of what is ethical behavior. One way that a diverse society instills and regularly reinforces its values is through periodic group meetings (e.g., religious organizations or support groups), coming together to reaffirm societal values and an acceptable code of conduct. I see RCR education serving a parallel purpose among scientists. Which is why I find it puzzling that RCR is only required of trainees. Why wouldn’t we want to include the lab-leaders in this? Why not the technicians? Certainly there are exceptions where PIs participate in educating the trainees at RCR workshops or at informal lab meetings, but to me, it just doesn’t make sense as to why only postdocs and students are required to be trained in the responsible conduct of research. Shouldn’t everybody? What do you think?
Those of you who are still reading this might be rolling your eyes at this. But, maybe if the RCR experience improved, there would be more interest in this. Many RCR workshops that I’ve participated in have focused on examining unethical situations in which the infraction is very clear, and the solution is similarly apparent; it’s too easy. In real life, rarely is an event framed in this way, or even pointed out as “hey, this might not be right, pay attention to this!” Not only do we need to learn what is acceptable scientific conduct (particularly around the blurry edges—e.g., what is paraphrasing vs. plagiarism? Where do you draw the line?), but we need to internalize this and practice recognizing ethical dilemmas. And we need to learn about the actions that can and should be taken to (ideally) prevent problems, and what to do if you find one.
To wrap this up, I would like to recommend a fantastic training tool. The Office of Research Integrity has created an interactive training video on RCR called “The Lab.” It’s kind of like an updated version of those paperback books I remember reading in elementary school where if you decide to do X then go to page 176 and you win, but if you decide Z then go to page 188 and you have an alternate ending and wind up falling into a bottomless pit. The decision points in the video are well placed and the consequences sometimes unexpected, bringing in angles that at least for me, were surprising. In the video, you have a chance to be put into the mindset of a busy member or head of a lab, including the professional and personal pressures and stresses that can cloud your view of a situation. The video gives you choices to make along the way, and you can go back and explore the outcomes of different choices at a particular junction. I was surprised to find my own instinct to give a person the benefit of the doubt can sometimes turn out to be the wrong approach. Take a look, it is one of the best RCR instructional tools that I’ve seen so far.
I titled this post “Doing what’s right even if no one’s watching.” It should be “Doing what’s right even if you think no one’s watching.” Someone WILL read your notebook someday, someone WILL try to replicate your experiment. It’s a question of when. In this postdoc’s opinion, it is in your best interest as a scientist, and in the best interest of the profession as a whole, to embrace RCR training.
Next Step: Private Industry?—National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week
This is the third blog in the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly series celebrating National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week.
Betina J. Lew is a Scientist-Toxicologist for the Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs division of Procter and Gamble (P&G) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a native of São Paulo, Brazil and received her BS from São Paulo State University (Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil), a MS from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Campus Rehovot, Israel), and a PhD through a joint program from Michigan State University and São Paulo State University. In addition, Dr. Lew was a trainee for four years in the Postdoctoral Program in Toxicology at the Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center (New York).
Next Step: Private Industry?
Greetings and Happy National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week!
One topic that I frequently discuss with trainees in toxicology is the next step in their professional lives, so here are some of my thoughts on this subject.
Most postdoctoral fellows begin their training with a very clear vision of what they want to do next in their career. However, those plans change for different reasons and when the time to move on to a “permanent position” arrives, the transition is accompanied by a sense of inner turmoil.
Generally, when we think about the next professional step, we divide the possible jobs in three sectors: government, industry, and academia. However, this is an oversimplification because in each of the sectors there are so many possibilities. With all of these options available, it is not surprising that one may feel a little bit “lost”. For example, working in risk assessment at a big company like P&G is very different from working at a Contract Research Organization (CRO) as study director.
For me, there were many deciding factors when I chose to move from academia to P&G (many more factors than the simple “private industry vs. academia”). For example, I liked the idea of working in a global environment, where I am in contact with people from all over the world and have the opportunity of interacting with different cultures. In my job, my work is well balanced between science, business, and organizational responsibilities. Every day I find new and different challenges, and I often have to be a creative thinker and problem solver.
Another factor that was important in my decision was the fact that P&G is actually one company formed by several smaller companies. Once one assignment is completed, the toxicologist can move to another business unit (for example, from Oral Care to Baby Care) or even to other functions.
However, as I mentioned in the beginning, there are many options out there and one way of figuring out if a job is a good fit for you is to find someone in the company (or in a very similar one) and conduct a “reverse interview.” Sometimes little things may change your mind about a specific position or company. That is why it is so important to learn about them before deciding where you want to go next.
During the last year of your postdoc, make a wish list. Think about what is really important for you. Write down what makes you happy and what frustrates you in your personal and professional life. Think about what type of environment is the best fit for you. What type of people do you enjoy working with? Are you a team player or you prefer to work individually? There is no right or wrong, just what fits your personality. Considering these questions can help guide you in making your next professional choice.
Before I finish this piece, there are a few myths and truths about the transition to the permanent position that I would like to share with you.
EVERYBODY knows EXACTLY what to do after his/her training. That is a wrong assumption. Some people do. However, many of the trainees that I have the opportunity of interacting with don’t know exactly what their next career step will be. This is very common and the key is to do the homework. Learn about the different opportunities and talk to people that work in different industries. Sometimes it is the job opportunity and not the sector that really matters. In addition, there are many websites that offer free tools to help in identifying your passions and skills. It is a good idea to explore these tools while job hunting.
You can find more information at the National Postdoctoral Association website about career planning.
The real good postdoc fellow is the one that spends 60 hours a week in the lab. Wrong again. ALWAYS use the 80:20 rule: use at least 20% of your time to do things that are not directly related to your research. Network! Go to conferences and annual meetings, apply for awards, try to get involved in leadership roles, and don’t be shy.
“When I start job hunting, I will be hired and ready to move in a couple of months.” You are exceptional, capable, and prepared, but job hunting is stressful, difficult, and filled with disappointments. Job-hunting can become a full time job. Therefore, focus in what your goals are. Answer questions like: “Where do you want to live? What type of environment do you want to work in? How much money do you want or need to make to live within your expectations?”
“The right job is there, waiting for you.” YES! If you reached the point in your life where you had the opportunity to have wonderful postdoc training, you will find the right job. But you have to be patient, craft the best application package possible (ask for feedback from your peers and your mentors), and don’t give up.
Hope this helps!!! Feel free to send me an email if you want to learn a little bit more about my job, Cincinnati, or P&G.
Exploration of the Government Sector—National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week
This is the second of three blogs that the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) is posting in recognition of National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week.
Gwendolyn Louis is a postdoctoral fellow in the Toxicity Assessment Division at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). She uses a rodent model to study the impact of environmental chemicals on the endocrine system, including reproductive functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axes.
Exploration of the Government Sector
I am starting my third year as a postdoctoral fellow at the US EPA located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. My major reasons for choosing this postdoc were (1) to gain experience in a different sector that will hopefully be a good stepping stone to the industrial world and (2) to acquire expertise in a field that I have always dreamed of working in, but did not have the chance to dabble in during graduate school.
Having worked in academic research for nine years in Boston and in Michigan, I had a pretty good feel for how things worked in academia. Government jobs were an unexplored area to me, as was living in the warm southern states. So, switching to the government sector and moving to North Carolina was a dramatic change from day one. For one thing, I moved in mid-August, so it was hot. But it was great to get away from the single-digit, blizzard-filled winters of the north. Secondly, the type of research was different. What do I mean? The actual lab itself with the pipettes, tubes, and equipment in it were all familiar (with maybe the exception of the fancy, high-tech equipment I now had at my fingertips), but the research here is more applied and public health related. In the past, my research in academia was more basic, cutting-edge research. “This protein involved in cancer is very interesting because of XYZ. Let’s study it and see what it does.” This was fulfilling because I was studying something new and fascinating.
My research now is mainly based on the goals of the program office and addressing the public’s concerns about environmental issues. My current work may directly impact people’s lives, which also makes this work rewarding, but in a different sense. The structure of my current lab is different in that each lab consists of three to four individuals, but several labs in a branch work closely together and collaborate routinely. I belong to a small branch of four investigators, who report to the branch chief, who reports to a division head, who reports to a program director, and so on. The agency’s structure is more complex than the academic labs that I was accustomed to that had 10+ members (including postdocs, grad students, medical fellows, etc.), who belonged to one department, and reported to one principle investigator. The benefit of the large trickle down structure of the agency makes it easy for us to interact and collaborate with scientists in various fields who have an array of skills.
Of course, there are the infamous government bureaucracies, to which I was oblivious before I started, so it was surprising to me. At the start of my postdoctoral career, I attended many training sessions (most required, some optional) for lab safety, environmental safety, radiation safety, quality assurance (QA), voicemail, animal handling, etc., not to mention the annual re-certifications that needed to be completed. Along those lines, the formalities required for ordering lab supplies, for submitting abstracts or manuscripts, or for proper QA of records can be daunting. But from keeping these careful records, I feel I have become a better, more thorough, and more organized scientist.
On a side note, the national economy and political environments naturally impact the US EPA with it being a government agency. This, in turn, may or may not affect postdoctoral fellows.There are different types of postdoctoral positions at the US EPA that vary depending on the source of funding and each has their own requirements. As a contractor, I am exempt from some technical meetings, yearly evaluations, and other official procedures.
In this current position, I have gained much insight into the workings of research in the government and more information about industrial jobs. In attending career seminars offered on-site and speaking with local scientists, I have learned the steps that I need to take to reach my next destination. I have acquired many new skill and knowledge sets that will hopefully be beneficial for my near future. I have learned to effectively plan my own experiments, to grow as an individual researcher, and to maintain balance with work and life. I am glad that I decided to explore new geographical regions, new fields of research, and a new sector of science. You never know what valuable information you may learn from these new experiences.
Martin A. Philbert Elected to the Institute of Medicine
Martin A. Philbert, Dean and Professor of Toxicology of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. This award is considered to be one of the most prestigious in the health and medical fields and is presented to those health leaders who have demonsrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Dr. Philbert has worked much of his professional career to inform policymakers and key decisionmakers in government agencies about topical scientific issues and the science of toxicology in general.
A neurotoxicologist, Dr. Philbert is internationally recognized for his expertise in neurotoxicology and experimental neuropathology. He maintains a continuously federally funded portfolio of basic research activities, focusing on the development of flexible polymer nanoplatforms for the optical sensing of ions and small molecules and the early detection and treatment of brain tumors. Additional research includes the mitochondrial mechanisms of chemically induced neuropathic states.Dr. Philbert is a national advisor and consultant, widely respected for his expertise in neurotoxicology and experimental neuropathology. He chairs the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) Science Board, and chaired the US FDA Science Board Subcommittee on Bisphenol A. He also has served on the National Advisory Environmental Health Council of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and provides consultation to federal agencies on a variety of issues surrounding emerging nanotechnologies. He is a standing member of the US FDA Science Advisory Board and served as chair and standing member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors. Among his publications in Toxicological Sciences, Dr. Philbert was an invited contributor to the 50th Anniversary Supplement of this official journal of SOT, co-authoring with Andrew B. Maynard and David B. Warheit, “The New Toxicology of Sophisticated Materials: Nanotoxicology and Beyond.”
Stephen M. DiZio
SOT Member Stephen M. DiZio passed away in October 2012. Dr. DiZio was Chief, Human and Ecological Risk Office, California Environmental Protection Agency-Department of Toxic Substances, Sacramento. Dr. DiZio joined SOT in 1994 and he was the Chair of the Animals in Research Committee and a Toxicology Specialist. In addition, Dr. DiZio was an active member of the Northern California Regional Chapter Board and served as the 2010–2011 President of this region. In addition, he was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary, Reproductive and Developmental, and Risk Assessment Specialty Sections.
Ruben J. Guzman
Emeritus Member Ruben J. Guzman passed away on November 16, 2011. Mr. Guzman joined the Society of Toxicology in 1963 and was a member of the Northern California Regional Chapter.
Ralph E. Hartnagel
Ralph E. Hartnagel passed away on April 26, 2012. He joined SOT in 1979 and was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.
Jerome J. Kamm
Jerome J. Kamm joined the Society of Toxicology in 1982 and was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.
SOT member Fumio Matsumura passed away on December 6, 2012. He was a distinguished professor of environmental toxicology and entomology at the University of California, Davis, (UC Davis) and known internationally as “one of the masters of insect toxicology.” He was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.
He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1987 and was the former director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. He was the editor-in-chief of the journal Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, and wrote the classic textbook, Toxicology of Insects. He was born in Japan in 1934 and received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural biology in 1957 from the University of Tokyo; his master’s degree in entomology in 1959 from the University of Alberta; and his doctorate in entomology from the University of Western Ontario.
A tribute to the many and diverse accomplishments of Dr. Matsumara is posted on the UC Davis website.
Submitted by John Doull
Stata Norton passed away on August 25, 2012. Dr. Norton was the former Dean of the School of Health Professions and Professor Emeritus of pharmacology, toxicology, and therapeutics. While at the University of Kansas, Dr. Norton served as Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Dietetics and Nutrition, and as Dean of the School of Health Professions (formerly the School of Applied Health). In addition, she held a professorship at the Institute for Cell Biology in Valencia, Spain.
Born in Mount Kisco, New York, in 1922, Dr. Norton received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in zoology and physiological chemistry from the University of Connecticut (BA), and Columbia University (MA), and the University of Wisconsin (PhD). After working for 13 years at Burroughs Wellcome Research Laboratories in Tuckahoe, New York, Dr. Norton joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1962, where she was employed until her retirement as Emeritus Professor in 1990.
According to a tribute by University of Kansas Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Steven Stites and Karen L. Miller, Senior Vice Chancellor, Dr. Norton was “esteemed by students and colleagues who recognized her passion for improving clinical practice through application of research principles and evidence supporting quality improvements.” She was the author of over 150 research articles and reviews and was recognized internationally for her work on characterizing the effects of drugs and toxins on animal behavior. She joined the Society of Toxicology in 1974 and was a member of the Ethics and Membership Committees and previously chaired the Education Committee.
Thomas E. Shellenberger
SOT Emeritus Member Thomas E. Shellenberger joined the Society in 1965. He previously served on the Technical and Program Committees and was a member of the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section. The Society recently received news of his passing in March 2011.
Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections
SOT Global Initiative Funds Support HOT SIG Outreach in Argentina
Submitted by Alvaro Puga, Ofelia A. Olivero, and Marta A. Carballo
In recent years, it has been a mandate from SOT Council and a continued key mission of the Society to increase the efforts to establish strong global ties with its world-wide counterparts. Through conversations with the Special Interest Group (SIG) Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists (HOT) dating back to the 2010 SOT Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, it was agreed that an outreach program where SOT scientists would participate as speakers at regional toxicology meetings in developing countries would be a good place to start. Several regional Toxicology societies in Spanish-speaking countries were contacted by HOT members and the Argentinian Toxicology Association (ATA) was the first to invite a group of SOT scholars, including Ofelia A. Olivero, Braulio D. Jiménez-Vélez, Julio C. Dávila, José E. Manautou, and Alvaro Puga, to present their research at its annual 2010 meeting. Last October, with the invitation of the President of the Argentine Toxicology Association (ATA), Marta A. Carballo, and the support from the Global Strategy Task Force and the SOT Council Subcommittee for Non-SOT Meeting, Component, and Global Funding, Ofelia A. Olivero and Alvaro Puga returned to Buenos Aires to attend the XXX Jornadas Argentinas Disciplinarias de Toxicología, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the creation of the first hospital unit on Clinical Toxicology in Argentina. For this opportunity ATA supported the lodging of the SOT scholars, as well as others invited speakers as Graciela Spivak and Phil Hanawalt from Stanford University, María Eugenia Gonsebatt from UNAM (México), and Julie Dutil from the Ponce School of Medicine (Puerto Rico). For additional information about SOT Global Initiative Funding, visit the SOT website.
The meeting program included several Symposia, with presentations on Ecotoxicology, Radiotoxicological Protection, Clinical and Legal Toxicology and Environmental Catastrophes. Dr. Puga opened the program with the Keynote presentation discussing the current understanding of arsenic methylation and its role in epigenetics. An international panel of presenters on Cellular Responses to Genetic Damage included Dr. Olivero, who described her current work on DNA repair of damage caused by anti-AIDS drugs. She also chaired and conducted a workshop on Peer Instruction and Mentoring that attracted a large number of attendants. Considering the successful results, Dr. Carballo is planning for the next year to develop a full-day workshop on this subject for the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, the University of Buenos Aires.
There was ample opportunity to network with the more than 300 scientists that attended the meeting, not just from Argentina, but also from neighboring countries, such as Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil and to talk about participation in SOT, the SOT Annual Meeting, and the benefit of SOT membership. The recently formed Chilean Society of Toxicology was represented by Lucía del Carmen Molina Lagos who was invited to join HOT.
It is expected that contacts such as this will lead to long-lasting relationships with toxicology scientists in other countries.The ATA is confident that SOT will have a presence at the next XVIII Argentinian Congress of Toxicology that will take place in Buenos Aires in September of 2013.
South Central Regional Chapter Celebrates a Milestone at its 30th Anniversary Meeting
Submitted by SCCSOT President Barbara L. Parsons
The South Central Regional Chapter (SCCSOT) held its Annual Fall Meeting on November 1–2, 2012, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The title of the meeting was “Advancing Toxicology for 30 Years,” and marked the 30th Anniversary of the founding of this Regional Chapter. The meeting began with an opening reception at Juanita’s, which was sponsored by the Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health LLC (CTEH) of Maumelle, Arkansas. Additional meeting sponsors were the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the US Food and Drug Administration, Xenometrics, Charles River, and SOT (as funding for student travel).
William Slikker Jr., current SOT President, Director of the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), and one of the founding members of the SCCSOT, was on hand to welcome attendees at the reception. The scientific sessions were held at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging on the UAMS campus. The 105 registrants came from 10 different institutions within the South Central Region.
The opening keynote lecture was given by Russell S. Thomas, of the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, entitled “Incorporating New Technologies into Toxicity Testing and Risk Assessment: Moving from 21st Century Vision to a Data-Driven Framework.” Dr. Thomas’s talk was followed by platform presentations by Jone Corrales of the University of Mississippi, Syed Z. Imam of NCTR, Sarah J. Blossom of UAMS, and Peer W.F. Karmaus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This year’s SCCSOT meeting reflected the Chapter’s ongoing commitment to prepare the next generation of toxicologists. A highlight of the meeting was a platform session composed entirely of oral presentations given by graduate students from the region. During lunch, students had the opportunity to interact with several senior members of the South Central Regional Chapter, including Martin J. Ronis of UAMS, Kenneth E. McMartin of Louisiana University Health Science Center—Shreveport (LSUHSC), and Asok K. Dasmahapatra and Deborah K. Hansen of NCTR. Another highlight of the meeting was the poster session, which included 62 different posters covering a broad range of topics.
Ten of the posters were presented by undergraduates, who had been mentored by toxicologists from the region. In addition, the chapter provided financial support for six undergraduates to attend the meeting as $150 Poster Presentation Awards were presented to Lionel Brown of Southern University and A&M College (Southern), Annie Clark of Southern, Christina Collins of LSUHSC, Tess Dupre of LSUHSC, Kia Graham of Southern, and Rohan Prabhu of NCTR. A number of outstanding presentations were recognized with awards.
Ms.Collins of LSUHSC received the first place award for Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation for her poster entitled “An evaluation of the PKM2 inhibitors, Compound 3 and Shikonin, in neuroblastoma.” Pranapda (Katie) Aumsuwan of the University of Mississippi received the first place award for Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation for her poster, entitled “Evaluation of wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) root extract as a potential epigenetic agent in breast cancer cells.”
Aril Yurdagul of LSUHSC received the first place award for Outstanding Graduate Student Platform Presentation for his talk entitled “Matrix composition tunes the endothelial response to oxidized LDL between inflammation and apoptosis.” Finally, Si Chen of NCTR received the first place award for Outstanding Non-Student/Non-Faculty Poster Presentation for her poster, entitled “Silence of SOX2 induces apoptosis through both mitochondria and death receptor signal pathway by activating the RAS/MAPK signals in human lung cancer cells.”
Northland Annual Meeting Attracts Scientists from Across the Region
The Northland Regional Chapter (NLSOT) held its 2012 fall meeting on Monday, October 22 at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul, Minnesota. The title of the meeting was Things Alchemists, Assassins and Mad Hatters Didn’t Know about Metal Toxicology. The meeting was very well attended with 80 participants, including nine students.
Jessica Nelson, environmental epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, started off the morning session by describing the Department’s human biomonitoring programs for arsenic in young children in Minneapolis neighborhoods and mercury in newborns in the Lake Superior basin. The second morning speaker was Scott Garrett from the Pathology Department at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Garrett described his laboratory’s investigations into gene expression profiles of multiple independent cadmium- and arsenite-transformed human urothelial cells and their hunt for specific gene markers of injury. In the afternoon, Curtis D. Klaassen from the University of Kansas Medical Center gave an interesting overview of his laboratory’s research on the transcription factor Nrf2 as a protective pathway against the toxic effects of a number of chemicals, including cadmium. Next, Aaron Mehus, a PhD candidate at the University of North Dakota, presented his thesis research to develop a MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry method for quantifying specific metallothionein isoforms in human kidney cells and described some potential uses for the method in diagnosing and treating human disease. The final speaker was Russell Erickson from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth who described his laboratory’s work to understand the role of exposure route, fish species, and chemical form in the toxicity of arsenic to fish.
In addition to these presentations, we were pleased to have a number of research posters displayed at the meeting. Brent Voels, PhD candidate at the University of North Dakota, received the award for best student poster for his poster titled, “The Unique N- and C-Terminal Domains of Metallothionein-3 Influence the Growth and Differentiation of MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells.” Andrea Slusser, Aaron Mehus, and Jamie Van Gieson, all from the University of North Dakota, also were awarded prizes for their posters. NLSOT wishes to thank Charles River Laboratories for providing funding for the student poster awards.
The business meeting included presentations by the NLSOT Graduate Student Representative, Holly Hewitt, on the “YouTox Challenge” and by Teri Fick on current activities of the K–12 Outreach Committee. A very popular event at the meeting was the “Lunch with an Expert” which provided students an opportunity to eat and speak with more seasoned toxicologists about career options and other topics. Also popular was the post-meeting social hour with build-your-own ice cream sundaes!
NLSOT wishes to thank the Society of Toxicology for providing financial support for speaker and student travel to the meeting. NLSOT serves toxicologists in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. For more information about NLSOT, please visit our website on the SOT website or contact the NLSOT President Steven C. Gordon.
NCSOT Fall 2012 Meeting Promotes Graduate Student and Postdocs Career Development
Submitted by Christie Sayes, NCSOT Vice President-Elect
The North Carolina Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (NCSOT) held its Annual Fall Meeting on October 4, 2012, on the campus of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Approximately 90 area professionals and students attended this year’s meeting themed, Back to the Basics: Whole Organism Toxicity Assessments.
As conducted in previous years, NCSOT hosted a lunch and career panel discussion for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.The panelists included Marla Goonan, Rajendra Chhabra, National Toxicology Program; Tammy Collins, NIEHS; Stephanie Padilla, US Environmental Protection Agency; Gerald LeBlanc, North Carolina State University, and Victor Johnson, Burleson Research Technologies, Inc.
Immediately after the luncheon, Michael Hughes, the current NCSOT President, opened the meeting with introductory remarks and review of recent business. He then announced the 2012 President’s Award for Research Competition (PARC) winner: Benjamin Moeller, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As part of the award ceremony, Benjamin presented his more recent findings in a keynote presentation, entitled “Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Human TK6 Cells Following [13C2]-Acetaldehyde Exposure.”
The meeting then moved on to the plenary session that was organized by Jamie DeWitt, the current NCSOT Vice President. Speakers and presentation titles included: Dr. Padilla, “Reeling in the Data: Chemical Screening for Neurotoxicity Using Larval Zebrafish;” Dr. LeBlanc, “Complexity and the Need for Whole Organism Testing in Endocrine Toxicology,” and Dr. Johnson, “Host Resistance Models: Investigations into the Overall Health of the Immune System for Risk Assessment.”
Overall, the NCSOT Annual Meeting was successful by promoting career development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and because of the three-cutting edge presentations on whole organism toxicity assessments of critical organ systems.
Society of Toxicology Sponsors Fall and Spring Webinars Organized by ELSI Specialty Section
Does your Regional Chapter (RC), Special Interest Group (SIG), or Specialty Section (SS) have a topic that you would like to present to the entire Society of Toxicology (SOT)? Is it a topic that will not be presented at the SOT Annual Meeting, but is still worthy of dialogue? One option open to all RC, SIG, and SS members is to request support for a webinar, sponsored by SOT. This year, the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) SS has proposed two topics that the SOT Council Subcommittee for Non-SOT Meeting, Component, and Global Funding was happy to approve and support. In the fall, the ELSI-sponsored webinar is titled “Pesticides and Pollinator Health.” This webinar will explore the current evaluation of pesticides in risk assessment paradigms, as they apply to pollinator bees, an insect important to the life cycle of modern agriculture. “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor and share very current topics with the greater SOT in a webinar format,” remarked Sol Bobst, ELSI President. “Webinars offer the opportunity to invite participation from Society members, who may not be able to attend the SOT Annual Meeting, or for special topics more suited for a short, focused event than for an annual meeting session.” Coming in January, ELSI is sponsoring another webinar, titled “Impact of Toxicology and Three Interactive Texas State Regulatory Programs to Decrease Ambient Air Toxics Level.” The panel will include staff members of the toxicology section of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ). “I am so pleased to have staff of the TCEQ be willing to present and have dialogue on the regulatory process,” said Dr. Bobst. SOT Headquarters can assist with promoting awareness of webinars and registering participants.The process and instructions for applying for a webinar are available on the SOT website.
The submission of the proposal should include a support statement, explaining how the webinar aligns with the Society’s mission and Strategic Plan 2012–2015. The deadlines for submission are January 1, April 1, July 1, and September 1 of each calendar year. For additional information, webinars, please contact Marcia Lawson.
Invitation to Submit Late-Breaking Abstracts for SOT 2013 in San Antonio
More than 2,500 presentations are already scheduled for the Society’s 52nd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in San Antonio, Texas. We now invite you to submit abstracts during the late-breaking submission phase. This final submission phase will open Wednesday, December 12, 2012, and close Sunday, January 20, 2013. All abstracts must be submitted online by 11:59 pm EST on the posted deadline.
Please select the Late Breaking Submission option in the submission section of the website. (The “Abstract Submission” option applies to the October deadline and is now closed. If you do not see the Late Breaking option, please click on Modify Your Account and go to Step 4 to add the appropriate role to your account.)
Important criteria for abstract submission during this time are that the research must be new and should describe high impact original research that could not be completed prior to the original deadline.
Additional criteria that qualify an abstract to be accepted during this final submission phase include:
All abstracts accepted during this final submission phase will be programmed for Thursday, March 14 from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon. These abstracts will not be printed in the Program, but will be accessible through the SOT mobile event app and online event website. A printed supplement of the accepted abstracts will be available to attendees in the registration area at the Annual Meeting.
We look forward to welcoming you to San Antonio, Texas, and hope that you will consider submitting your abstracts.
Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, Chairperson, SOT Scientific Program Committee, SOT 2012–2013 Vice President
Norbert E. Kaminski, Co-Chair, SOT Scientific Program Committee, SOT 2012–2013 Vice President-Elect
Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler Is the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting Opening Plenary Lecturer
The abstract of his lecture states that: “Microbes were known to be the causative agents of infectious diseases since the mid-nineteenth century, and infections were known since antiquity for their inflammatory character. However, the molecular interactions through which microbes were recognized, and through which they triggered an inflammatory response on the part of the host, remained unknown until much more recently. A genetic approach was required to elucidate them. Applying a positional cloning approach to mice that were refractory to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we identified the LPS receptor, and with it, a family of receptors responsible for sensing diverse molecules of microbial origin. These, the Toll-like receptors, signal by way of a system of adaptors, protein kinases, and transcription factors to induce the biosynthesis of hundreds of cytokines that orchestrate inflammation. Subsequently RIG-I-like helicases, NOD-like receptors, and C-type lectin receptors also were found to respond to infection. A number of common inflammatory diseases appear to depend upon these molecular pathways, which evolved to check the spread of micro-organisms prior to the advent of adaptive immunity.”
Dr. Beutler received his MD from the University of Chicago in 1981. As a postdoctoral associate at Rockefeller University (1983–1986), he isolated mouse tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and discovered its importance as a mediator of inflammation. Subsequently at UT Southwestern he analyzed mammalian responses to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. This work culminated in the discovery of Toll-like receptors as key sensors of the innate immune system, capable of detecting infection within minutes of the time the host is inoculated with microbes. In further studies, Dr. Beutler has used a forward genetic strategy to elucidate many aspects of mammalian immunity. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received numerous awards for his work, among them the Balzan Prize (2007), the Albany Medical Center Prize (2009), the Shaw Prize (2011), and election to the US National Academy of Sciences (2008), the Institute of Medicine (2008), and EMBO. Dr. Beutler also will be holding a discussion with postdoctoral and graduate student SOT members following his lecture. This will be a ticketed event, limited to 40 participants.
Jeremy K. Nicholson to Deliver 2013 SOT Annual Meeting MRC Lecture
Jeremy K. Nicholson will deliver the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting MRC Lecture, “Phenotyping the Patient Journey: Making Systems Medicine Work in the Real World,” on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, from 8:00 am to 9:00 am in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Nicholson is head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. He also is a consultant for many pharmaceutical/healthcare companies in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, and is a founder director of Metabometrix, an Imperial College spin-off company specializing in molecular phenotyping, clinical diagnostics, and toxicological screening via metabonomics and metabolomics.
The abstract of this lecture states that “Systems biology tools can be applied at both individual and population levels to understand integrated biochemical function in relation to disease pathogenesis. Metabolic phenotyping offers an important window on systemic activity and both advanced spectroscopic approaches can be used to characterize disease processes and responses to therapy. There is now wide recognition that the extensive cross-talk and signalling between the host and the symbiotic gut microbiome links to both the responses to therapy and disease risk factors and indeed these also modulate drug toxicity. Such symbiotic supraorganismal interactions greatly increase the degrees of freedom of the metabolic system that poses significant challenges to fundamental notions on the nature of the human diseased state, the aetiopathogenesis of common diseases, and current systems modelling requirements for personalized medicine. We have developed scalable and translatable strategies for phenotyping the hospital patient journey using top-down systems biology tools that capitalize on the use of both metabolic modelling and pharmaco-metabonomics for diagnostic and prognostic biomarker generation to aid clinical decision making at point-of-care. Such diagnostics (including those for near real-time applications, as in surgery and critical care) can be extremely sensitive for the detection of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in a variety of conditions and are a powerful adjunct to conventional procedures for disease assessment that are required for future developments in precision medicine including understanding of the symbiotic influences on patient state. Many biomarkers also have deeper mechanistic significance and may also generate new therapeutic leads or metrics of efficacy for clinical trial deployment. Furthermore, the complex and subtle gene-environment interactions that generate disease risks in the general human population also express themselves in the metabolic phenotype, and, as such, the Metabolome Wide Association Study approach gives us a powerful new tool to generate disease risk biomarkers from epidemiological sample collections and for assessing the health of whole populations. Such population risk models and biomarkers can also feedback to individual patient healthcare models thus closing the personal and public healthcare modelling triangle.”
Dr. Nicholson has won many accolades and international prizes for his work, which spans three decades, and is the author of over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many other articles/patents on the development and application of novel spectroscopic and systems biology approaches to the investigation of disturbed metabolic processes in complex organisms. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010 and currently holds honorary professorships at eight overseas universities and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is on the editorial board of eight international scientific journals. Dr. Nicholson will be holding a discussion with postdoctoral and graduate student SOT members following his lecture. This will be a ticketed event, limited to 40 participants.
Hosts for SOT Global Senior Scholars Announced
The Education Committee is pleased to announce the selection of the US Hosts for the recently announced 2013 Global Senior Scholars. Sri Noegrohati of Gadjah Mada University and Sanata Dharma University in Jogyakarta, Indonesia, will visit Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). Hosts are Michael Dourson and Bernard K. Gadagbui. Mohamed Salama of Mansoura University in Mansoura, Egypt, will be hosted by Mohamed Abou-Donia at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Both Scholars will participate in the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting and spend time at the Host’s institution investigating areas of interest and how to incorporate these new ideas into toxicology training at their home institutions. Hosts will in turn visit the Scholars’ institutions to engage in teaching, curriculum development, or other activities to strengthen training and research.
The goal of the Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program (GSSEP) is to increase toxicology capacity in developing countries by providing opportunities for senior scientists from those regions to foster professional relationships with SOT members in the US and Canada. This is the second year for the program, and information about the previous recipients, as well as additional program details, can be found on the GSSEP web page. Applications for the 2014 program will be available in summer of 2013 with application deadlines for Scholars and Hosts in the fall.
This is one of several SOT Global Initiatives to enhance interaction among toxicologists in all areas of the world. The Education Committee also sponsors the International ToxScholar Outreach Grant to assist with travel costs for scientists making campus visits outside North America to recruit students into toxicology. Funding for international projects can be obtained through the Global Initiatives Fund. The SOT/AstraZeneca/Endowment Fund/IUTOX Travel Fellowships supports travel to the SOT Annual Meeting, where the Global Collaboration Coffee and Global Gallery of Toxicology posters are among the specific activities designed for international networking. Reduced membership and meeting registration fees plus access to online Continuing Education courses are provided to members from a defined list of countries that have low levels of socioeconomic and science infrastructure.
Invitation to Participate in “Chat with an Expert” in San Antonio
The Graduate Student Leadership Committee is extending an invitation to participate in this year’s “Chat with an Expert (CWAE)” program. This program provides the opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to meet with expert toxicologists at the 2013 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. Feedback from participants is very positive every year, and we encourage your participation as an Expert or graduate student/postdoc.
A small group of graduate students and postdocs (preferably no more than three) will be matched with an Expert based on research and professional interests. The Expert will determine a date, time, and location for the meeting and notify group members by email in February.
The meeting can be an informal chat over a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) or coffee, or simply a casual meeting in a relatively quiet area of the Convention Center. If the Expert decides to meet during meal times, each person in the group is responsible for his or her meal expense.
Experts: Please sign up by January 9, 2013.
Students and Postdocs: Please sign up by February 11, 2013.
For more information about CWAE, please visit the SOT website.
The Graduate Student Leadership Committee
Science the San Antonio Way—So Much To See and Do!
Bound Outdoors—San Antonio offers some extraordinary opportunities to explore science outside of the SOT 2013 Annual Meeting. With Bound Outdoors, you can explore the newest area of the San Antonio Riverwalk through a team building program that is part adventure and part discovery. Your program begins aboard the San Antonio River Taxi, where the Bound Outdoors guides will greet everyone as the boat glides upstream towards the starting point. From there, a handheld GPS takes each team to build bridges, solve a water shortage, unlock riddles inside the San Antonio Museum of Art, and much more. Along the way, guides from Bound Outdoors will work with each team as they explore nature, history, and technology together.
Bracken Bat Cave—Bracken Bat Cave is the summer home of the world’s largest bat colony. With millions of Mexican free-tailed bats living in the cave from March thru October, Bracken holds one of the largest concentration of mammals on earth. The cave and 697 acres of the surrounding Texas Hill Country are owned and protected by Bat Conservation International.
Natural Bridge Caverns in the Heart of San Antonio—Experience a thrilling and physically demanding 3- to 4-hour excursion into one of the world’s premier caverns. Climb, crawl, rappel, explore—with only the light of your helmet to guide you. Once outfitted with caving gear, you’ll be lowered by rope through a 160-foot well shaft.Travel approximately one mile, going down to 230 feet below surface level to the Fault Room that features one of the longest soda straw formations in North America—14 feet in length.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)—Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, SwRI is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by Thomas Baker Slick Jr., an oilman and philanthropist, SwRI provides contract research and development services to industrial and government clients in the United States and abroad. Mr. Slick’s goal was to establish an internationally known scientific research center in San Antonio and he challenged a group of pioneer scientists and engineers from around the nation to move to the new center to seek revolutionary advancements in many areas by developing and applying technology. He also founded the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which conducts biomedical research and is home to the world’s largest nonhuman primate colonies used to study human diseases.
SOT 2013 Annual Meeting—Get Acquainted with Host City San Antonio
San Antonio,Texas is the site of the SOT 2013 Annual Meeting, March 10–14, 2013. We know that you will be attending this international conference to hear presentations on new and emerging areas of science, to learn about cutting-edge innovations in the ToxExpo Hall, and to reunite with your fellow scientists for whom this is the “go to meeting” each year. In addition, you will want to take time to explore this urban, culturally diverse city.
San Antonio sweeps you up in a fiesta atmosphere, culture and history threaded by the meandering river. From the modern hotels to historic lodgings, walks along the River Walk, cool drinks at a riverside table watching and being part of the tableau, the aroma of southwestern food, shopping at the international market, seeing the bullet holes in the adobe of the Alamo, admiring the unique architecture of the King William Historic District, golfing in the expanses of greens, and exploring the chain of Missions—San José, San Juan Capistrano, and Conception—this is one of the most unique destinations in the US. San Antonio is a city of contrasts between the old world and the new, the quaint and the contemporary.
Native Americans living near the Sanf Antonio River Valley called it “Yanaguana,” meaning “refreshing waters.” In 1691 a Spanish expedition arrived on the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, and left the legacy of the name San Antonio. The beautiful Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, at which the SOT scientific program will be held, displays the unique feel of San Antonio throughout the meeting space.
Reminder: Invitation to Submit an Abstract
We look forward to receiving your research results for inclusion at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in San Antonio, Texas. The deadline to submit an abstract is Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 11:59 pm (Eastern Daylight Time), and the cost is $50. The 2013 abstract submission site can be accessed on the SOT website.
We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. As a reminder, as an SOT member there is no limit on the number of abstracts that you can sponsor, but you may only be listed as a presenting author on one abstract.
On behalf of the SOT Council and Scientific Program Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to San Antonio, Texas for the Annual Meeting which will take place from March 10–14, 2013.
Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, PhD
Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD
Undergraduate Travel Funding for 2013 SOT Meeting—October 3 Deadline
SOT strongly supports efforts to recruit undergraduates to graduate school in toxicology and provides travel awards for undergraduates to attend the SOT Annual Meeting. Do encourage undergraduates who have been engaged in research in your lab to submit an abstract for the meeting by October 3. They then also would be eligible to apply for the Pfizer Undergraduate Travel Award. Other travel funding is available for those selected for the Undergraduate Education Program. This 2.5 day program provides an introduction to toxicology for students who may not know much about the discipline or graduate school; students with more experience also may apply. Students are eligible: (a) if they are a member of a group underrepresented in the sciences (for example, African American, Hispanic, Native American) or (b) if they attend a school that receives a low level of science, technology, engineering, and math funding. For more information about all these programs see Resources for Undergraduate Students.
Undergraduates who become SOT Undergraduate Student Affiliates will receive communications from SOT about these and other SOT programs.
2013 SOT Sponsorship Opportunities Available Now
The SOT Annual Meeting is the largest scientific meeting of toxicologists in the world and the 52nd Annual Meeting is sure to draw thousands of attendees. There are many opportunities to become a sponsor for the Annual Meeting to be held March 10–14, 2013, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. 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.”
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:
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 2013 SOT Annual Meeting website, and in the acknowledgement 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.
Sponsorship also enables SOT to fund such programs as: Minority Student Program, Undergraduate Program, Student/Postdoctoral Scholar events, Continuing Education Program, Public Outreach, and much more! If you are interested in SOT Sponsorship, contact Tina Giovanini or at 703.438.3115 ext. 1454.
Tox ShowDown Seeks Contestants for 2013
The ever popular (okay, okay, so we’ve only done it once before) Tox ShowDown, sponsored by the Graduate Student Leadership Committee, will be back on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 7:30 pm, at the SOT Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. As always, we are looking for intellectually astute, or at least mentally competent, or at the very least awake, contestants to handle an onslaught of challenging toxicological questions, ranging from the serious and significant to the obscure and frivolous. You, too, can say you successfully completed game play as a member of the Endocrine Disruptors, Free Radicals, or Toxic Metabolites, our three teams, and maybe even come away as a member of the winning team.*
Prizes are awarded to all contestants.This is your chance. The prestige which will accrue to you as a result of listing Tox ShowDown Contestant among your curriculum vitae credits cannot be over exaggerated. Well, maybe a Nobel Prize is slightly better.
Some sample questions from the 2012 game, challenging teams’ knowledge of toxicological fact and fancy include:
By some accounts, the word “toxicology” derives from the Greek “toxon,” which is one component of an ancient two-piece weapon. What is the English name of this weapon?
What protein binds metals such as cadmium and zinc in the liver and kidneys?
Christopher P. Wild of the International Agency for Research on Cancer coined this term to encompass the concept, now gaining an increasing prominence in toxicology, of life-course environmental exposures from conception to death. What is the term?
See this Communiqué Blog for a review of the 2012 Tox ShowDown.
Please send expressions of interest with your full name, affiliation, Specialty Section membership(s), contact information, and a brief statement about why you want to join to Phil Wexler by December 15, 2012.
* The 2012 winning team was The Free Radicals (Peter Goering, US FDA; Lou Trombetta, St. John’s University; and Toni Hayes, Pfizer)
SOT Annual Meeting 2014 Plans Are Underway: Consider Presenting a Scientific Session or CE Course
Do you have an idea for a Scientific Session or Continuing Education (CE) course that should be presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting? It is not too early to start thinking about ideas and making plans.The Annual Meeting program for the Society of Toxicology provides attendees with an opportunity to learn about emerging fields and how they apply to toxicology. Why not position yourself to deliver an informative basic or advanced CE course, or a cutting-edge session that will be delivered at the leading international forum for toxicologists.The 2014 proposal submission site will open February 20, 2013.
All scientific session and CE proposals are evaluated on their merit. All topics for proposal submissions are welcome and will be reviewed under the current criteria for their timeliness and relevance to the field of toxicology. If you wish to submit a proposal for consideration, we encourage you to begin working with your Specialty Section, Special Interest Group, SOT Committee, or Task Force.
We hope you will consider developing a proposal for the 53rd Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in 2014! All proposals must be submitted online by April 30, 2013.
ToxSci December 2012, Vol. 130, No. 2 Now Online
The December 2012, Vol. 130, No. 2 issue of Toxicological Sciences is now available online. To have the email Table of Contents (eTOC) alerts delivered to you as well as Advance Access notification of the latest papers and research in Toxicological Sciences as soon as they are accepted and posted to the website, register online.
The paper chosen for the Editor’s Highlight in this issue is “A Performance Evaluation of Three Drug-Induced Liver Injury Biomarkers in the Rat: Alpha-Glutathione S-Transferase, Arginase 1, and 4-Hydroxyphenyl-Pyruvate Dioxygenase” by Wendy J. Bailey, Dan Holder, Hima Patel, Pam Devlin, Raymond J. Gonzalez, Valerie Hamilton, Nagaraja Muniappa, Diane M. Hamlin, Craig E. Thomas, Frank D. Sistare, and Warren E. Glaab.
ToxSci Editor-in-Chief Michael L. Cunningham notes in his Editor’s Highlight that “Detection of hepatobiliary toxicity by traditional serum biomarkers alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) lack sensitivity and specificity and do not detect biliary injury well. The current study evaluated the novel biomarkers alpha-glutathione S-transferase (GSTA), arginase 1 (ARG1), and 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPD) across 34 acute toxicity rat studies. They concluded that these biomarkers were more sensitive at detecting single cell necrosis in rat liver and were able to detect biliary injury better than by using existing biomarkers. These novel biomarkers may be useful in the clinical detection of liver and biliary damage in humans.”
Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of SOT, is among the most highly cited original research journals in Toxicology with an impact factor of 4.652.
ToxSci Table of Contents for November 2012, Vol. 130, No. 1
Dear SOT Member,
The November 2012, Vol. 130, No. 1 issue of Toxicological Sciences is now available online. To have the Email Table of Contents (eTOC) alerts delivered to you as well as Advance Access notification of the latest papers and research in Toxicological Sciences as soon as they are accepted and posted to the website, register online.
The paper chosen for the Editor’s Highlight in this issue is “Three-Dimensional HepaRG Model As An Attractive Tool for Toxicity Testing” by Sofia B. Leite, Iwona Wilk-Zasadna, Jose M. Zaldivar, Elodie Airola, Marcos A. Reis-Fernandes, Milena Mennecozzi, Christiane Guguen-Guillouzo, Christopher Chesne, Claude Guillou, Paula M. Alves, and Sandra Coecke.
Editor, Michael L. Cunningham notes that “MicroRNAs are non-coding RNAs that regulate target genes. This report demonstrates that microRNAs are differentially expressed by genotoxic versus nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogens.These data present a new class of biomarkers for the early evaluation of hepatocarcinogenicity of chemicals by both genotoxic as well as nongenotoxic mechanisms.”
Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of SOT, is among the most highly cited original research journals in Toxicology with an impact factor of 4.652.
ToxSci Table of Contents for October 2012, Vol. 129, No. 2
Dear SOT Member,
The October 2012, Vol. 129, No. 2 issue of Toxicological Sciences is now available online. To have the Email Table of Contents (eTOC) alerts delivered to you as well as Advance Access notification of the latest papers and research in Toxicological Sciences as soon as they are accepted and posted to the website, register online.
The paper chosen for the Editor’s Highlight in this issue is “Using Novel In Vitro NociOcular Assay Based on TRPV1 Channel Activation for Prediction of Eye Sting Potential of Baby Shampoos” by Anna Forsby, Kimberly G. Norman, Johanna EL Andaloussi-Lilja, Jessica Lundqvist, Vincent Walczak, Rodger Curren, Katharine Martin, and Neena K. Tierney.
Editor, Michael L. Cunningham notes that “Replacing animal testing for pain induction by chemicals is a goal of animal welfare research. Forsby et al. make a significant advancement in this field by the development of the NociOccular test for baby bath and shampoo formulations. This assay is a recombinate neuronal in vitro model of activation of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid type 1 channel, a well characterized pain-inducing receptor. This research opens the way for the development of future assays to predict pain induction without the use of animals.”
Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of SOT, is among the most highly cited original research journals in Toxicology with an impact factor of 4.652.
Scientific Liaison Coalition Holds Fifth Face-to-Face Meeting in Washington, DC
The Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC) held its fifth face-to-face meeting on November 14, 2012, in Washington, DC. In the interim between meetings, the SLC has convened monthly conference calls and several work groups that have developed scientific sessions and free-standing meetings (i.e., SOT Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Conferences, “Future Tox II: In Vitro Data and In Silico Models for Predictive Toxicology” and another on “Metabolic Syndrome”). The SLC meeting provided an opportunity to update the SLC representatives on the activities and accomplishments of this ad hoc coalition and to prepare for the future of this group.
SLC Chair Tom Knudsen (US EPA-ORD, Society of Toxicology, SOT) led the meeting of assembled representatives, including Sally Darney via phone (US EPA-ORD, Society for the Study of Reproduction, SSR); Kenneth Hastings (Sanofi, Society of Toxicology, SOT); Mary Jeanne Kallman (Covance Inc., Safety Pharmacology Society, SPS); David Kaufman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, SOT); Shawn D. Lamb (Executive Director, SOT); Lois Lehman-McKeeman via phone (SOT Council Contact); James Madsen (US Army-MRICD, American College of Medical Toxicology, ACMT); Tonia Masson (Executive Director, Teratology Society, Teratology and Environmental Mutagen Society, EMS); Kevin McDorman (Charles River Laboratories; Society of Toxicologic Pathology, STP); Donna Mendrick (US FDA-NCTR; SOT Disease Prevention Task Force); John Miller (American Chemical Society, ACS); Ofelia Olivero (NIH-NCI, EMS); Sue Pitsch (Executive Director, STP); S. Rutherfoord Rose (Medical College of Virginia; American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, AACT), Paul Watkins via phone (Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, SOT); Clarissa Russell Wilson (Interim Executive Director SPS); and Marcia Lawson (SLC Administrator). SLC Representatives from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), The Endocrine Society (ENDO), International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), and Society of Risk Analysis (SRA) were not in attendance at this meeting.
The mission of the SLC is directed toward: Improving the ability of societies to partner with other domestic and international organizations that have objectives consistent with the goal of increasing the impact of the science of toxicology to improve public health by:
Established in 2010, the SLC was the constituted through the efforts of the Scientific Liaison Task Force under the auspices of SOT. With this fall 2012 meeting, a multi-society SLC Governance Committee has been comprised that includes Dr. McDorman to serve as the 2013-2014 Chair of the SLC with the term to begin April 1, 2013. Also on this group are Incoming Chair Dr. Kallman, Immediate Past Chair Dr. Knudsen, Coalition Representatives Drs. Olivero, Hastings, and Ken McMartin (ACCT), and SLC Administrator Ms. Lawson. A fourth SLC representative also will serve on this committee.
The next SLC face-to-face meeting will be held from 8:00 am–12:00 noon, Sunday, March 10, 2012, San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the 2013 SOT Annual Meeting. For further information, please contact Marcia Lawson.
Richard Nakamura Named Director of the Center for Scientific Review
Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has named Richard Nakamura the new Director for the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR). Dr. Nakamura has been with the NIH for the past 32 years and has served as acting director since September 2011. In his new position he will have authority over CSR’s 450 scientists and administrative staff in their efforts to manage 80,000 incoming NIH grant applications a year.
Dr. Nakamura joined NIH in 1976 as a postdoctoral fellow. He later coordinated the National Institute of Mental Health’s Biobehavorial Progam and was then named Chief of its Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch and served as the Institute’s Deputy Director. From 2007–2011, he was the Institute Scientific Director. He has also served as Associate Director for Science Policy and Program Planning; Chief, Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch; and Coordinator, ADAMHA Office of Animal Research Issues.
His areas of expertise include cognitive and comparative neuroscience, science policy/funding, and ethics in science. Dr. Nakamura has a PhD in Psychology from the State University of New York in Stony Brook.
SOT Research Funding Blog
Critical functions of the SOT’s Research Funding Committee include developing mechanisms to increase funding for toxicology in all sectors, identifying conventional and alternative sources of funding for toxicology research, and providing grantsmanship training for SOT members. The role of the Research Funding Committee has become even more important in the wake of current tough economic times and the growing likelihood that federal research spending may be reduced following the 2012 Congressional elections.
To meet the needs of the Society, the Research Funding Committee develops an annual strategic plan and works with SOT Council to develop appropriate implementation plans. A new 2012–2013 strategic effort identified by the Committee and SOT Council is the development and implementation of the SOT Research Funding Blog. The intent of this blog is to bring together individuals who have successfully obtained federal or other grants with other SOT members who would like to learn more about the grant writing process including the ins and outs of submitting a successful grant. This communications tool is now available to every SOT member. The Research Funding Committee welcomes everyone to take advantage of this tool and to use it to spread the word about funding opportunities and grantsmanship. Active participation of SOT members on the Research Funding Blog will help advance the science of toxicology. Collectively we can help Build the Future of Toxicology. To participate in the blog go to the Research Funding Blog.
David C. Dorman, DVM, PhD
NCATS Holds First Meeting—Commits $10 Million in Grants
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) met recently for the first time and focused much of their discussion on funding concerns and the challenges that the Center must meet. The Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) was in attendance and expressed US FDA’s support for NCATS’ mission.The Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy of the National Institutes of Health Cures Acceleration Network reported that the Network has been granted “other transactions authority” similar to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and with this designation hopes to enable the Center to develop new colloborations with industry and research organizations. Other speakers including the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research of Vanderbilt University and others from the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award Program indicated they would be a resource to NCATS and NCATS committed approximately $10 million for FY2013 to fund up to 18 awards in response to recently released funding opportunities. Applications are due January 8, 2013.
Science Alert—Upcoming Meetings
Below are a number of meetings and events that may be of interest to you. To learn more about these SOT-sponsored meetings and events of interest, contact the organizers directly.
SPS 12th Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona—October 1–4, 2012
The SPS 12th Annual Meeting, which will be held October 1–4, 2012, in Phoenix, Arizona, provides a dynamic forum for sharing the latest in safety pharmacology. The scientific program offers in-depth discussion of relevant topics to keep you “in the know.” This meeting will feature a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two thematic tracks, covering issues specific to important therapeutic areas, new regulatory developments, and new technologies. The meeting will kick off with a full day of Continuing Education courses in a broad range of topics.
FutureTox: Building the Road for 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices—October 18–19, 2012
In just a few weeks, scientists will gather to participate in the “FutureTox: Building the Road for 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices” meeting. FutureTox will address the challenges and opportunities associated with effective and efficient implementation of cutting-edge toxicity testing technologies and tools that will inform hazard prediction and risk assessment. This SOT Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology meeting will be held on October 18–19, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to SOT, the Dow Chemical Company, US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute Risk 21, Human Toxicology Project Consortium, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) are sponsors. FutureTox will provide information of great relevance to scientists in academia, government, and industry.
The Organizing Committee includes James S. Bus and Craig Rowlands, The Dow Chemical Company; Kim Boekelheide, Brown University; Russell S. Thomas, The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences; Vicki L. Dellarco, US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA); Marty Stephens, Human Toxicology Project Consortium; George P. Daston, Procter & Gamble; Suzanne Compton Fitzpatrick, US Food and Drug Administration; Raymond R. Tice, NIEHS; Robert J. Kavlock, US EPA; and Laurie C. Haws, ToxStrategies.
IUTOX Upcoming Meetings
1st Malaysian Congress of Toxicology—October 2–3, 2012
The Malaysian Society of Toxicology, one of the newest members to join IUTOX, is holding the 1st Malaysian Congress of Toxicology in Kuala, Lumpur, October 2–3, 2012. The theme of this meeting is “From Mechanistic to Regulatory Toxicology.” For additional information, please visit the meeting website.
ICTXIII, Seoul, Korea 2013—Session Proposal Deadline December 31, 2012
The IUTOX 13th International Congress of Toxicology (ICTXIII), which includes the IUTOX General Assembly, convenes in Seoul, Korea, June 30–July 4, 2013, at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center. The meeting, titled Translational Toxicology from Basic Science to Chemical and Environmental Outcomes, will offer the latest advances in the science of toxicology. Eminent international speakers and leading researchers will discuss the complex issues that arise when drugs or chemicals adversely impact humans, animals, and the environment. January 31, 2013, is the deadline for abstract submissions as well for early registration. For more information, please visit the ICTXIII website.
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.
“Integrating Environmental Health Data to Advance Discovery” Meeting/Webcast: January 10–11, 2013
The National Research Council’s Standing Committee on Use of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions is holding a meeting and webcast on “Integrating Environmental Health Data to Advance Discovery,” January 10–11, 2013, Keck Center, Washington, DC. The stated objective of this meeting is “to foster discussion about the need for enhanced data integration in environmental health sciences, evaluate the lessons learned from integrative initiatives in other scientific domains, and strategize about how the community can take major steps toward improving data coordination and access to advance understanding about environmental effects on human health.” This committee was formed at the request of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. For additional information, please view the Integrating Environmental Health Data to Advance Discovery meeting website.
ICT 2013 Seoul, South Korea: Abstract Submission Deadline January 31, 2013
The International Congress of Toxicology 2013 (ICT 2013) will be held at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul, South Korea, June 30–July 4, 2013. The conference is co-organized by the Korean Society of Toxicology (KSOT)/Korean Environmental Mutagen Society, the International Union of Toxicology, and the Environmental OMICS. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the 2nd International Conference on Environmental OMICS.
The theme for the conference is “From Basic Science to Clinical and Environmental Outcomes” and abstract submissions are due by January 31, 2013. This conference encompasses novel approaches and technologies being used to properly assess the safety, toxicity, and risk for human health. The scientific program will consist of keynote/distinguished lectures, symposia, workshops, roundtable discussions, debate, and poster sessions. This meeting will provide attendees with ample opportunities to exchange the ideas and to launch collaborations. For additional information, please visit the ICT 2013 website.
Cellular and Molecular Mechanism of Toxicology GRC—August 11–16, 2013—Save the Date
A Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity will be held August 11–16, 2013, at the Proctor Academy, Andover, New Hampshire. Chair José E. Manautou and Vice Chair Dana C. Dolinoy are organizing this SOT-sponsored conference that will bring together experts from around the globe working on areas of investigation that are highly relevant to environmental, industrial, and pharmaceutical toxicology. Applications for this meeting must be submitted by July 14, 2013. For additonal information, please vist the GRC website.
US EPA Region 1 Sponsoring Conference on Toxicology and Sustainable Molecular Design
Officials of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Region 1 are sponsoring a Conference entitled, “The Essential Role of Toxicology in Designing Safer Chemicals.” The conference will be held Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the University of Connecticut with the goal of exploring opportunities for linkage and integration in order to strengthen sustainability of molecular design and achieve greater impact in the implementation of the principles of green chemistry across the scientific community.
Speakers include Society of Toxicology members Thomas Hartung, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Frederick Guengerich, of Vanderbilt University. Organizers hope the conference will result in development of a plan of action to further integrate and institutionalize the relationship between toxicology and green chemistry in education, research, and industry. For more information go to, the US EPA website.
Now Accepting Nominations—Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is now accepting nominations for assistant professors to study infectious disease pathogenesis, with a focus on the intersection of human and pathogen biology. The program is designed to shed light on how infectious disease systems work by encouraging assistant professors to take on fundamental biological questions at the intersection of human and microbial biology. The program provides $500,000 and the application deadline is November 1, 2012. For information about candidates elibility and institutional requirements see the Fund’s eligibility information website. For additional information about other grant programs offered by the Wellcome Fund see the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website.
2012 AAALAC International Annual Report
Submitted by Loren Koller, SOT Representative, AAALAC Board of Trustees
AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. AAALAC stands for the “Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.” AAALAC International currently has 871 Accredited Units, of which 98 percent are fully accredited. During the past year, 54 new applicants were awarded accreditation with 30 being located in countries other than the United States. AAALAC currently has accredited facilities in 36 countries including the addition of three countries this past year, i.e., Cambodia, Chile, and Scotland. The 56-member Council on Accreditation (COA) is divided into the North American, European, and Pacific Rim Sections. This past year the COA conducted 282 site visits in 25 countries implementing many of the changes recommended in the 8th Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2011). More than 300 individuals from 27 countries who serve as ad hoc consultants/specialists assist the COA in conducting site visits. The Pacific Rim countries are nearing the milestone of 100 accredited units. For more information, visit the AAALAC International website.
Glossary of Common Toxicology Terms Available on SOT Website
The SOT website is a rich resource of materials that you will find useful. For example, there is Glossary of Common Toxicology Terms that provides clear and concise definitions to assist in communicating about the discipline of toxicology. Please review the terms and feel free to suggest any changes and to provide new terms with a brief definition to Martha Lindauer.
ATSDR Consolidates and Revamps Organization in Line with Potential Budgets Cuts and Demands
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently announced their reorganization. The reorganization according to ATSDR officials is necessary due to the increasing demand for their services at the community level and decreasing funding over the past decade. Since the establishment of ATSDR in 1980, this agency has been working to keep America safe from hazards in the environment. ATSDR scientists have worked in more than 8,000 US communities assessing health risks from hazardous exposures and educating Americans so they can keep themselves and their families safe.
The new structure consolidates four divisions into two, which permits ATSDR to focus more on communities while supporting greater collaboration in science. In brief, the new divisions and their mandates are as follows:
The Division of Community Health Investigations (DCHI): The DCHI will support healthy environments in communities by identifying chemical exposures and recommending actions to protect human health. The new division will focus on regional and community issues and enhancing partnerships with other agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, states, and communities themselves.
The Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences will focus on research and translation of complex environmental health science in order to respond to community concerns. This new division will improve transparence and coordination of ATSDR’s scientific guidance for communities and health. The division also will unify expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, and environmental medicine.
For more information about the reorganization, please visit the ATSDR website.
US EPA Invites Submission of Data and Research on Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Water Resources
In response to public concern, the United States Congress urged the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. US EPA is undertaking a study to understand the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts.
The scope of the study includes the full hydraulic fracturing water lifecycle—from water acquisition, through the mixing of chemicals and injection of fracturing fluids, to the post-fracturing stage, including the management of flowback and produced water and its ultimate treatment and disposal. The study will include a review of the published literature, analysis of existing data, scenario evaluation and modeling, laboratory studies, and case studies.
US EPA is soliciting public involvement in identifying relevant data and scientific literature specific to inform US EPA’s research study on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. While US EPA conducts a thorough literature search, there may be studies or other primary technical sources that are not available through the open literature. US EPA would appreciate receiving information from the public to help inform current and future research and ensure a robust record of scientific information. US EPA prefers information that has been peer reviewed.
For more information see the Federal Register for November 9, 2012. Submissions will be accepted until April 30, 2013.
SOT Signs Letter to House and Senate Subcommittees to Increase FY 2013 Funding Level for NIH
The Society of Toxicology was one of several professional societies and nongovernmental organizations to sign a letter to the chairmen of both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees that deals with funding for the Department of Health and Human Services. In brief, the letter urged the Subcommittees to craft bills for fiscal year (FY) 2013 that will help the US compete in a global world in terms of medical and scientific research. In part, the letter reads as follows:
“The undersigned organizations and institutions, which represent patients, scientists, health care providers, and industry, wish to express their concerns about provisions for the National Institutes of Health that were included in the bill adopted by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies on July 18.”
The organizations went on to say that while there are difficult decisions facing Congress in these economically challenging times, “We believe the funding level provided for NIH in the legislation falls short of ensuring US global competitiveness in medical research and advancing critical scientific discoveries that improve human health.”
AAAS Adopts Policy on Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods
The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently adopted a policy on the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods, which in part states that,
“In order to receive regulatory approval in the US, each new GM crop must be subjected to rigorous analysis and testing. It must be shown to be the same as the parent crop from which it was derived and if a new protein trait has been added, the protein must be shown to be neither toxic nor allergenic. As a result and contrary to popular misconceptions, GM crops are the most extensively tested crops ever added to our food supply. There are occasional claims that feeding GM foods to animals causes aberrations ranging from digestive disorders, to sterility, tumors, and premature death. Although such claims are often sensationalized and receive a great deal of media attention, none have stood up to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Indeed, a recent review of a dozen well-designed long-term animal feeding studies comparing GM and non-GM potatoes, soy, rice, corn, and triticale found that the GM and their non-GM counterparts are nutritionally equivalent.
It is the long-standing policy of the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) that special labeling of a food is required if the absence of the information provided poses a special health or environmental risk. The US FDA does not require labeling of a food based on the specific genetic modification procedure used in the development of its input crops. Legally mandating such a label can only serve to mislead and falsely alarm consumers.”
Call for Nominations for the 2013 Congressional Science Leadership Award—November 16 Deadline
SOT holds that the support and use of sound science by Congress is vital to the safety and health of all Americans. SOT has presented five separate Congressonal Science Leadership Awards over the past few years to deserving Members of Congress. Information about this award is provided below.
Assist us by submitting your nomination of one or more Members of the Congress to receive the 2013 Congressional Science Leadership Award. Please send your nomination to Martha Lindauer by the close of business on November 16, 2012. Your nomination needs to include:
Thank you for supporting SOT and sound science.
George B. Corcoran
Congressional Committees Circulate Discussion Draft on Drug Distribution
A draft bipartisan discussion draft of legislation to set standards on tracking drugs through the supply chain is now circulating so that the two Congressional committees in the House and Senate can gain input on an array of policy options before they formally introduce any bills in the House and Senate. These Committees looking for input include the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. For more information, go to the Draft Proposal to Improve Drug Distribution Security website.
NIH Clarifies Misconceptions about NIH-Supported Postdoctoral Activities
In the October 23 blog titled “Rock Talk,” Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey makes some clarifying remarks about National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported postdoctoral activities when they are performing their official duties. The following is a summary of those remarks:
Postdocs supported by research grants are employees of the institution. The guidelines allow compensation for all activities that contribute to and are intimately related to the work supported by the award, and that are consistent with the institution’s employment agreements with individuals in comparable positions. Delivering special lectures, writing reports and articles, participating in seminars, consulting with colleagues and graduate students, and attending meetings and conferences can be supported according to these guidelines.
Postdocs supported by their National Research Service Award (NRSA) receive stipends set by NIH, and they are expected to devote their full time to the proposed research training, as outlined in Section 11 of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Since the purpose of an NRSA postdoctoral traineeship or fellowship is to continue training for a career in research, all activities that contribute to this goal are permissible under these awards. Such activities might include laboratory research, writing research reports, reviews and journal articles, and attending and presenting at scientific conferences and seminars. Other training-related activities that would enhance a future scientific career might include teaching or overseeing students on projects related to the fellow’s or trainee’s research training experience.
SOT FutureTox Congressional Briefing on October 17—You Are Invited!
SOT invites you to attend a Congressional Lunch, “FutureTox: Consideration of 21st Century Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practices in Legislation and Regulation,” to be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2168, Washington, DC, 12:00 noon–1:30 pm. Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 10 to Martha Lindauer. The briefing will address the challenges and opportunities associated with effective and efficient implementation of the explosion of twenty-first century toxicity testing technologies and tools into improved, science-informed hazard prediction and risk assessment. The speakers, who are listed on the invitation, will address common themes and key considerations and requirements essential to an ordered and rational implementation of the new paradigm.
You are welcome to send this information to others you think would be interested in attending.
US EPA Posts List of Safer Chemical Ingredients As Part of the Design for the Environment
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) recently posted a list of safer chemical ingredients that contains chemicals that meet stringent criteria applied by the Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program. US EPA’s program recognizes products that are high-performance and cost-effective while using the safest chemical ingredients. At present, more than 2,800 common household and other products carry the DfE Safer Product Label. This list of safer chemical ingredients will help product manufacturers identify chemicals that the DfE program has evaluated and identified as safer alternatives. This list only includes chemicals in products that were voluntarily submitted for evaluation through the DfE Safer Product Labeling Program. There may be other chemicals not included in this list that also are safer. For more information go to the US EPA website.
Visit the Online Job Bank—A Service Free to SOT Members
The SOT Job Bank links job candidates with available positions in toxicology and related sciences.
Current positions include the following:
You can browse all open positions or search by specific fields such as job type, location, or salary range. You also can post your resume for potential employers who are seeking qualified candidates.
The SOT Job Bank makes it easy for candidates and employers alike to access this year-round service any time through the SOT website. Simply visit the Job Bank and use your email address and SOT password to sign in or create an account. Up-to-date information regarding candidates and employment positions is provided on an ongoing basis. For additional information, please contact Kevin Merritt.