Postdoctoral Members

About the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA)

Postdoctoral membership in SOT provides early career toxicologists with opportunities for scientific growth, networking, and career advancement. All members of SOT who self-identify as postdoctoral scholars are part of the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), which was formed to increase involvement of postdocs in SOT and to address issues related to the postdoctoral experience. The PDA is governed by an elected PDA Executive Board who provide leadership for communications, strategic activities, and events of special interest to postdocs. Postdoctoral members serve leadership roles in the Society by participating as representatives for SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, and to Committees.

How SOT Defines a Postdoc

The Society of Toxicology aligns its definition of a postdoctoral researcher closely with the definition set by the National Postdoctoral Association.

Characteristics that define a postdoctoral position include:

  • The postdoctoral appointment is temporary.
  • Effort is focused primarily on research.
  • The development of professional skills prepares the postdoc to actively pursue a career.
  • The postdoc is supervised by at least one senior scholar.
  • The postdoc is allowed and encouraged to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship.
  • The appointment is not part of a clinical training program.

PDA Executive Board and Representatives

All SOT Postdoctoral members are part of the Society’s Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), which is governed by the elected PDA Executive Board. Postdoctoral representatives are appointed to SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, and some SOT Committees to enhance the involvement of postdoctoral scholars within SOT.

PDA Executive Board

Olawande Olagoke
Esther Omaiye
Shikha Sharma
Dakota Robarts
Frederick Adams Ekuban
Javier Huayta
Chidozie Amuzie

Postdoc Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section Representatives

Each SOT Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section may appoint a Postdoctoral Representative to provide leadership for their group and communication with the PDA. The representative encourages membership in SOT and the Component Group as well as development of activities to enhance involvement of postdocs in SOT.

Postdoc Committee Representatives

Some SOT Committees invite the PDA Executive Board to appoint a Postdoctoral Representative to serve as an ad hoc member of the committee to provide the perspective of, and communication with, SOT postdoctoral scholars.

Career Advancement, Mentoring, and Networking Committee

Anke Tukker
Purdue University

Continuing Education Committee

David Umbaugh
Duke University School of Medicine

Education and Experiential Opportunities Committee

Jephte Akakpo
University of Kansas Medical Center

Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement Committee

Samuel Cochran
The Ohio State University

Best Postdoctoral Publication Award

The Best Postdoctoral Publication Award recognizes outstanding work accomplished during formal, mentored postdoctoral traineeships by recognizing recently published exceptional papers in the field of toxicology. Applications are reviewed by the Postdoctoral Assembly Board and outside reviewers with appropriate scientific expertise, following NIH conflict of interest, confidentiality, and nondisclosure rules.

Andres Henriquez, PhD

Andres Henriquez, PhD

Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Henriquez, Andres, Samantha Snow, Thomas Jackson, John House, Alison Motsinger-Reif, Cavin Ward-Caviness, Mette Schladweiler, Devin Alewel, Colette Miller, Aimen Farraj, Mehdi Hazari, Rachel Grindstaff, David Diaz-Sanchez, Andrew Ghio, and Urmila Kodavanti. 2022.
“Stress Drivers of Glucose Dynamics during Ozone Exposure Measured Using Radiotelemetry in Rats.”
Environmental Health Perspectives 130, no. 12 (December): 127006-1–127006-15.

View abstract
Rebekah Petroff, PhD

Rebekah Petroff, PhD

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Petroff, Rebekah, Raymond Cavalcante, Elizabeth Langen, Dana Dolinoy, Vasantha Padmanabhan, and Jaclyn Goodrich. 2023.
“Mediation Effects of DNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation on Birth Outcomes after Prenatal Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Exposure in the Michigan Mother–Infant Pairs Cohort.”
Clinical Epigenetics 15, 49.

View abstract
Xian Wu, PhD

Xian Wu, PhD

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Wu, Xian, Yichang Chen, Anthony Luz, Guang Hu, and Erik Tokar. 2022.
“Cardiac Development in the Presence of Cadmium: An In Vitro Study Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Cardiac Organoids.”
Environmental Health Perspectives 130, no. 11 (November): 117002-1–117002-11.

View abstract

Postdoc Events and Activities

Upcoming Events

Publishing Your Research to Advance Your Scientific Career

Friday, June 14, 2024, 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)

Hosted by: The SOT Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists Special Interest Group and The Postdoctoral Assembly

This unique webinar is designed for scientists at all levels who wish to advance their careers. Publishing is a critical step on the road to career success—and this webinar will provide a step-by-step process for easily turning research data into publications. Participants will learn easy-to-use hands-on techniques that hundreds of scientists have used to successfully write up their research for prestigious journals. They will learn how to plan, structure, and organize a paper; how to prepare a manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal; where to submit their research in order to have it more likely accepted—and where not. In summary, they learn how to get papers written far more easily and submitted far more quickly—and how to leverage publishing as a reliable career-building strategy.

Participants from the Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists and The Postdoctoral Assembly will benefit by acquiring knowledge on how to publish their research. Particular emphasis will be placed on the needs of non-native English speakers.


  • Ofelia A. Olivero, PhD, ICF ACC Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
  • Lester Hoffman, PhD, ICF ACC Certified Coach, International Coach Federation

Registration required for this free webinar.

Register here

Poster Tours for Trainees

The Postdoctoral Assembly organizes Poster Tours for Trainees at the SOT Annual Meeting for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to participate in a one-hour guided poster tour with a toxicologist guide. These small group tours provide the opportunity for trainees to take part in critical evaluation of cutting-edge toxicology methods and research findings and network with a senior toxicologist.

PDA Luncheon

To encourage increased participation and networking among postdoctoral scholars, the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Board hosts a luncheon at the SOT Annual Meeting exclusively for postdocs to gather in an informal setting to relax, network, and celebrate their achievements others, including PDA officers, Postdoctoral Representatives, and SOT Councilors.

Career Exploration through Speed Informational Interviews

During this career-development event, small groups of trainees rotate through a series of short, timed discussions with career representatives from academia, government, and industry. Trainees can ask the representatives about their background, career path, the hiring process, and other aspects of identifying and pursuing career interests. This event provides an informal opportunity to gain insight about different employment sectors in toxicology.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week

National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) was created by the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) to recognize postdocs and their numerous accomplishments in research and scientific discovery around the globe. SOT appreciates and recognizes postdoctoral scholars as an integral part of the SOT community, who make meaningful contributions to the Society, advance the science of toxicology, and build for the future of the discipline. During NPAW, the Society joins the NPA in focusing attention on all the contributions and accomplishments of postdoctoral scholars through the multiple PDA virtual activities.

NPAW Blogs and Resources


Career Development Sessions and Webinars

The PDA organizes webinars designed to provide postdocs with career tips and advice. The PDA also helps organize Career Development Sessions each year at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.