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.

Celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week
September 20–24, 2021

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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

Joseph Lionel Jilek
Mohamed Ghorab
Dunigan Russell
Kristin Noell

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.

Committee on Diversity Initiatives

Subham Dasgupta
Oregon State University

Continuing Education Committee

Education and Career Development Committee

Sumira Phatak
Utah State University

Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education

Caroline Moore
San Diego Zoo Global

Membership Committee

Brandon Lewis
Nationwide Children's Hospital

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.

S. Martos

Suzanne N. Martos, PhD

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, NC

Martos, Suzanne N., Michelle R. Campbell, Oswaldo A. Lozoya, Xuting Wang, Brian D. Bennett, Isabel J.B. Thompson, Ma Wan, Gary S. Pittman, and Douglas A. Bell. 2020.
“Single-Cell Analyses Identify Dysfunctional CD16+ CD8 T Cells in Smokers.”
Cell Reports Medicine 1, no. 4 (July).

View abstract
J. Nyffeler

Johanna Nyffeler, PhD

US EPA, Durham, NC

Nyffeler, Johanna, Clinton Willis, Ryan Lougee, Ann Richard, Katie Paul-Friedman, and Joshua A. Harrill. 2020.
“Bioactivity Screening of Environmental Chemicals Using Imaging-Based High-Throughput Phenotypic Profiling.”
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 389 (January).

View abstract
E. Pajarillo

Edward Alain B. Pajarillo, PhD

Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL

Pajarillo, Edward, Asha Rizor, Deok-Soo Son, Michael Aschner, and Eunsook Lee. 2020.
“The Transcription Factor REST Up-Regulates Tyrosine Hydroxylase and Antiapoptotic Genes and Protects Dopaminergic Neurons against Manganese Toxicity.”
Journal of Biological Chemistry 295 (March): 3040–54

View abstract

Postdoc Events and Activities

Upcoming Events

Celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week September 20–24!

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) created National Postdoc Appreciation Week to recognize postdocs and their many accomplishments.

The PDA joins with the National Postdoctoral Association in focusing attention on the contributions and achievements of postdoctoral scholars. Visit the NPAW 2021 Calendar for events happening virtually and at institutions across the country. We hope that all SOT members will take time during National Postdoc Appreciation Week to acknowledge the postdocs in your communities and institutions.

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.