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President’s Message

 SOT President Peter L. Goering

President Peter L. Goering

“Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?” Hearing the refrain of this Billie Holliday/Louis Armstrong jazz standard on drive-time jazz radio a couple weeks ago reminded me that it is time to start making plans to attend the 55th Annual Meeting of our Society to be held in one of my favorite US cities—New Orleans, Louisiana. There are several compelling reasons why you don’t want to miss our Annual Meeting and the city itself.

You won’t want to miss the:
  • Stellar and informative scientific program featuring the latest developments in toxicology, including symposia, workshops, roundtables, educational sessions, and debates.
  • New plenary session format. I’m pleased to announce that the Scientific Program Committee has organized not one, but two plenary sessions, each featuring two outstanding, world-renowned scientists addressing cutting-edge, translational science. The new format is consistent with the new SOT Strategic Plan Objectives to promote transformative science in toxicology, further interdisciplinary collaborations in toxicology, and translate the impact of toxicology to improve public and environmental health.
  • Opportunity to share your latest research. Don’t forget the submission deadline for abstracts is just around the corner on October 7.
  • Occasions to network and establish collaborations. Many of you can attest to the value of face-to-face conversations at past Annual Meetings that have led to research collaborations.
  • Rich and unique blend of culture, food, music, and history that is New Orleans.

In addition to the new, two-day plenary session format, other innovative programming for next year’s Annual Meeting also promises to be “too good to miss.” As many of you know, SOT’s Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) meetings offer 1- to 2-days of novel and emerging science focused on high-impact and high-visibility research topics. These conferences seek to address the Central Challenge articulated in our Strategic Plan to “Shape the Future of Toxicology in a Changing Scientific Landscape.”

For the first time, a CCT meeting will convene in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. The miRNA Biomarkers for Toxicology CCT meeting will be held on the Saturday preceding the Annual Meeting. This conference will be followed by a second half-day of related talks in the Continuing Education course Continuing Discovery and Validation of miRNA Biomarkers Bridging Preclinical and Clinical Toxicity: Lessons Learned from Hepatotoxicity. Both the combined CCT meeting and CE course on miRNA biomarkers will bring together stakeholders with a shared interest in the discovery and validation of miRNA biomarkers for use in toxicologic pathology and nonclinical and clinical safety assessment. Special registration fee options will allow you to maximize your participation in both the CCT and Annual Meeting.

SOT also is organizing additional CCT meetings that serve as forums outside of our Annual Meeting that are aligned with the Strategic Objective of keeping toxicology at the forefront of scientific advancements that benefit public and environmental health. I urge as many of you as possible to register for the FutureTox III: Bridges for Translation—Transforming 21st Century Science into Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision-Making conference to be held November 19–20, 2015, at the Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Virginia. FutureTox and FutureTox II meetings focused on advancing Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century science approaches of using high-throughput in vitro data and in silico models to enhance prediction of human health risks. FutureTox III will focus on “where the rubber meets the road,” i.e., how to address the challenges in moving TT21C approaches towards implementation for regulatory decision-making. This CCT meeting is being held in the very backyard of our federal agencies where the impact and value of these approaches will be realized.

We can also look forward to another highly impactful CCT meeting Ocular Toxicology, Pharmacology and Drug Delivery: An Eye on the Future in June 2016 on the Genentech campus, South San Francisco. The overarching objective of this meeting is to improve our understanding of ocular toxicology, pharmacology, and safety assessment and to increase our understanding of the challenges associated with development of the next generation of ocular drugs and devices. This meeting is responsive to the SOT Strategic Objectives of fostering translational science as well as increasing interactions with other scientific societies to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations between the toxicological sciences and other scientific disciplines. A best outcome for this meeting will be to develop strong interactions between researchers working primarily on ocular toxicology and those working in the fields of ocular drug delivery, pharmacokinetics, and translational medicine.

As we plan for the year ahead, we know that now is the time to nominate distinguished scientists for the many and diverse awards to be presented during the 2016 SOT Annual Meeting. The major SOT Awards recognize member contributions to the discipline of toxicology and acknowledge scientific excellence and achievement. Don’t miss the opportunity to recognize your colleagues for their accomplishments—nomination letters and applications for these prestigious 2016 SOT Awards are due by October 9. What an ideal way to begin your New Orleans celebrations by joining in honoring our distinguished colleagues at the annual Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting.

I hope at this point you begin to realize what it will mean to miss New Orleans. See you there for the SOT 2016 Annual Meeting.

Peter L. Goering, PhD, DABT, ATS
SOT 2015–2016 President