Shows NorthernCal Main Header

President's Message

Dear NorCal SOT Regional Chapter Members,

It is truly my pleasure to serve as the President of the Northern California Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology. A warm welcome to all of our new members and newly elected board members for 2019–2020! I would like to personally welcome our new (or returning in new roles) board members Andrea Kim (VP), Chris Frantz (VP Elect), Donna Lee (Councilor), Ray Zhang (Treasurer), Hemant Chavan (Secretary), and Bianca Yaghoobi (Student Representative). Kathryn Page (2018–2019) will serve this year as our Past President. Continuing board members are Will Proctor (Councilor) and Alexandra Colón-Rodriguez (Postdoctoral Representative). I would like to sincerely thank outgoing members Andrea Kim (Secretary, but coming on as VP!), Cleo Leung (Treasurer), Chris Frantz (Councilor, but coming on as VP Elect!), Julie Rider (VP), and Rosemarie de la Rosa (Student Representative). You’ll notice that several board members coming on have previously served in other roles, and I want to express my gratitude for their continued service to this Board and maintaining continuity to provide support for all the events throughout the year. The Board spends many hours throughout the year, and with that dedication we are able to continually provide support to students/post-docs, as well as to current and new members to network and participate in fantastic events!

It has been an exciting year already, and we are only just getting started with plans for 2019–2020! The NorCal SOT Regional Chapter continues to provide a variety of opportunities for the membership. The chapter is the 2nd largest in SOT, with 505 members! We have already kicked off this 2019 year with a successful NorCal Reception at the Annual SOT Meeting in Baltimore (special thanks to our Alexandra and Rosemarie!). The reception was well-attended, with over 200 members and Sponsors in attendance! At the Reception we introduced the winners of the student and postdoctoral awards (special thanks to Chris Frantz and Will Proctor and the Past President Awards Committee). We also had a landmark Spring Symposium this past April where we joined forces once again with the Pharmaceutical & BioSciences Society International (PBSS) to bring our member presentations on “Tox 21 and New Approach Methodology (NAMs): Using Emerging Technologies to Improve Translational Research and Safety Assessment Predictions” (special thanks to our President Kathryn Page and Treasurer Cleo Leung with organizing). This joint symposium was a huge success! We hope to see you all again in the Fall!

We continue to provide strong student outreach with our K-12 Education Outreach Events, as well as various mentoring opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. Our Past Presidents Doris Zane and Toufan Parman have done a fantastic job on promoting K-12 Education Outreach, and I look forward to working with Alexandra on continuing the tradition. Keep a look out for upcoming K-12 Education Outreach events this year. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to start or need help with a local K-12 event in your area. Additionally, please check out upcoming mentoring and professional development events brought to us by Alexandra and Bianca this fall!

The NorCal SOT Board is extremely grateful for the significant support of all of our Sponsors. Without their support we would not be able to continue with our outreach and scientific programs. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, please contact Ray Zhang to learn more about how your Sponsorship can contribute to the growth and success of the chapter.

On a personal note, I have been a member of NorCal SOT for many years and have met so many people through the organization that I now call friends and mentors. One of the things that has always stuck with me was how involved the leadership was in the chapter, their dedication to involving and engaging students and postdocs, and connecting people in Northern California through meetings and events. When an opportunity arose to run for the board, I eagerly accepted, seeing how much I have benefited over the years, and hope to encourage others to carry on the tradition and keep giving back! My favorite memories are from all the fun receptions we hold at the national SOT meeting every year, and constantly meeting new people there—I look forward to Anaheim in 2020!

In closing, I encourage you all to continue your involvement with the chapter's program, in any way you can and provide feedback on any ideas you may have or ways we can continue to grow and improve. We look forward to your continued participation and support in 2019–2020.

Best wishes,
Dinah Misner, PhD, DABT, DSP
President, Norther California SOT Regional Chapter