History of the Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists
In the mid-1980s, toxicologists in the Pacific Northwest region began to meet informally to exchange information and network. Toxicologists were from institutions such as the University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Washington, Oregon State University, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, and Washington State University. Early meetings covered a broad range of toxicology, including energy, environmental, pharmaceutical, and wildlife toxicology. The aim of the group was to build the core of toxicology within the Pacific Northwest region.
At the time, this region was considered part of the SOT Mountain West Regional Chapter and required SOT membership. To include more environmental toxicologists from UBC and members of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and to build a strong local toxicology hub, the Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists (PANWAT) was formed independent of both SETAC and SOT. Original officers included James Woods (the first President of PANWAT) and Bruce Kelman (Councilor). PANWAT today serves as the SOT Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter.
Christopher Carosino, PhD, DABT
Dr. Chris Carosino is an Associate Director of Toxicology at Seagen where he contributes to the selection, strategy, and development of novel anticancer therapeutics. In addition to his role as a program toxicologist, Dr. Carosino also leads the Investigative Toxicology group which works to help elucidate mechanisms of toxicity and contributes to lead optimization and selection of early-stage assets. In addition, Dr. Carosino holds a role as a late stage translational sciences lead, integrating the preclinical and translational components of programs to support new opportunities and continued advancement of clinically validated molecules to bring better treatment options to patients. Dr. Carosino received a PhD in Toxicology from the University of California, Davis (2012) with a research focus in nanotoxicology and inhalation toxicology. Dr. Carosino is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and has been an active member of the Society of Toxicology since 2005. In addition to serving previously as a Councilor and Secretary/Treasurer for PANWAT, Dr. Carosino has also served SOT as a representative for the Biological Modeling Specialty Section, Northern California Regional Chapter, and the Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Sections. His interests include biotechnology and drug development including safety assessment, pharmacokinetics/modeling, and enhancing local development of toxicology-oriented professionals across all levels of education and professional science.
John Clarke, PhD
Dr. Clarke is an Assistant Professor at Washington State University Health Sciences campus in Spokane, WA. He received his B.S. in biology from Brigham Young University-Idaho and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arizona. His research interests and expertise are focused on elucidating the mechanisms of inter-individual variability in xenobiotic metabolism, disposition, and toxicity. This includes research with environmental contaminants and pharmaceuticals. He has been funded through the Department of Defense pre-doctoral fellowship program, through the NIEHS-funded Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center pilot project and career development awards, and through an NIEHS-funded R00. He has previously served in SOT as the Postdoctoral Representative to the Mechanism SS (2012–2013) and as a Councilor for the SOT Postdoctoral Association Executive Board (2014–2015). He earned 1st and 2nd place for the prestigious Mechanisms SS Gabriel L Plaa Education Award in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He served in the Councilor chain (Junior to Senior) in the Mechanisms Specialty Section (2019–2021).
Lisa Truong, BS, MS, PhD
Dr. Lisa Truong is currently an Assistant Professor (Senior Research) in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, the Deputy Director of the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory, and Director of Zebrafish Biomedical Research Core at Oregon State University, where her research program goal is to utilize the zebrafish model to build computational models to be less reliant on animal testing and conduct toxicity-testing based on toxicity pathways. She received her Ph.D. in Toxicology at Oregon State in 2012 and was a postdoctoral fellow at US EPA-National Center for Computational Toxicology. Lisa has been conducting research utilizing the zebrafish model for the last 15 years. Dr. Truong is author/co-author of 56 publications and has mentored over a dozen students. She has been a member of SOT since 2007 and has served as the graduate student representative and councilors of PANWAT.
Tyler Nicholas, PhD
Dr. Nicholas is a toxicologist at Seagen, where he works with the Translational Sciences team to accelerate the development of targeted cancer therapies. He also collaborates with the Environmental Health and Safety and Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls teams to support product quality and occupational toxicology efforts throughout the drug development process. He received his PhD in Toxicology from the University of Washington School of Public Health in 2019 and was previously a toxicologist at Exponent (2019–2021), where he performed risk assessments on drug products and medical devices. Dr. Nicholas is author of five peer-reviewed publications on the use of tissue engineered airway organotypic cultures as an in vitro model to evaluate the effects of gene-environment interactions on engineered nanomaterial toxicity in the respiratory system. He has been a member of the SOT since 2014 and served the SOT as a founding member of the Executive Board for the Out Toxicologists and Allies Special Interest Group (Junior/Senior Councilor, 2019–2021).
Julia Yue Cui, PhD
Dr. Julia Yue Cui is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. She is also the Sheldon D. Murphy Endowed Chair in Toxicology and Environmental Health. She earned her PhD in toxicology under the mentorship of Dr. Curits D. Klaassen in 2010 at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Cui conducts research in areas of early life exposure to environmental chemicals, gut microbiome, and epigenetic reprogramming of the developmental trajectory in liver. Specifically, Dr. Cui specializes in using toxicogenomic and toxico-epigenomic approaches to determine the effects of environmental chemical exposure and reprogramming the gut microbiome on the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of genes involved in drug metabolism and obesity during development. She utilizes and teaches new technology including RNA sequencing, germ-free mice, ChIP-sequencing, epigenetics, and ultra-performance liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS). Dr. Cui is the Director of the Environmental Health and Microbiome Research (EHMiR) Center at University of Washington, the Director of the Functional Genomics Core of the NIEHS-funded Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics and Environment (EDGE). Her research is currently supported by 2 NIEHS R01 grants, the Sheldon Murphy Endowment, and EHMiR Center. Julia currently serves on the executive committee of the NIEHS-funded EP/T (Environmental Pathology/Toxicology) T32 Training Grant, the NIEHS-funded SURE-EH (Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences in Environmental Health) R25 Training Grant, and as as a standing member on the NIH SIEE (Systemic Injury by Environmental Exposure) Study Section. Dr. Cui has published 72 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 3 book chapters and received 20 research awards from SOT and other scientific societies.
Kari Gaither, PhD
Dr. Kari Gaither received her BSc in biology from The Evergreen State College and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Washington State University, where she studied the interplay between cellular stress and microRNA modulation of a transcription factor important in cancer. Her current field is Exposure Sciences. She uses activity-based proteomics and pharmacokinetics to assess interindividual differences in phase I and II metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in human liver and is also interested in the contribution of epigenetics to human health exposure risk. As a graduate student Dr. Gaither served in a variety of leadership roles advocating for increased diversity in STEM and participated in STEM outreach activities whenever possible. Dr. Gaither joined SOT in 2021 and attended her first annual meeting. She is excited to become involved in PANWAT, particularly in a capacity to further outreach efforts to undergraduate students. In doing so, she hopes to attract diverse individuals in the region to consider the exciting field of Toxicology as a future career option.
Josi Herron, PhD
Dr. Josi Herron is a Toxicologist at Boeing where she provides technical expertise in chemical hazard and risk assessment to support occupational health and product safety, and ensures compliance with chemical regulations. She has a PhD in Environmental Toxicology with an emphasis in human health risk assessment from the University of Washington, where she investigated the effects of quaternary ammonium compound disinfectants on neurodevelopment. Dr. Herron has been an active member of SOT and PANWAT since 2012 and has served as the PANWAT graduate student representative in 2017–2019 and as a volunteer for the Occupational and Public Health Specialty Section award review panel in 2021. Her interests include occupational toxicology, product stewardship, identification of safer chemical alternatives, and promoting the field of toxicology through outreach activities.
Subham Dasgupta, PhD
Dr. Dasgupta is a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University, where he uses zebrafish as a model to understand molecular pathways targeted by environmental stressors. He received his doctorate in Marine Sciences from Stony Brook University in 2016 and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at University of California Riverside from 2017–2019. Dr. Dasgupta is on the advisory / early career review editor of several journals, including Environmental Advances, Frontiers in Water, Frontiers in Analytical Science and has served on a review panel for National Science Center, Poland. He is author/co-author of 30 peer-reviewed publications to-date. He has been a member of the SOT since 2017 and has served the SOT as a postdoc representative in the following groups: PANWAT (2020–2021), Molecular and Systems Biology Specialty Section (MSBSS: 2021–2022), and the Committee for Diversity Initiatives (2020–2022).
Lindsey St. Mary, PhD
Dr. St. Mary is a NIEHS postdoctoral trainee at Dr. Robyn Tanguay’s lab in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University (OSU). Her current work consists of screening and categorizing 9,000 distinct chemicals found in the environment, consumer products, or used in manufacturing processes in order to assess phenotypic and transcriptional changes relevant to human disease. Additionally, she is collaborating with AsedaSciences to integrate their high throughput in vitro screening system (SYSTEMETRIC®) and the Tanguay Lab's zebrafish screening assay to predict chemical developmental/neurotoxicity. Her previous work as a postdoctoral research associate at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) in Scotland involved investigations into the health and environmental risk which may result from exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) through the use of various laboratory models (zebrafish, algae, daphnia) within the EU Horizon 2020 PATROLS project. During her PhD, she studied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and how the presence of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) altered PAH photochemistry and photoproduct formation by employing gene expression and analytical chemistry techniques. Both her PhD and postdoctoral research in the UK/EU prepared her for culturally diverse working relationships and communicating complex concepts/ideas while doing so among diverse fields of research. Work in her master’s, and as a research assistant, included assessing immunotoxicity of inorganic arsenic (iAs) through suppression of the innate immune response, developmental toxicity of high-nitrogen compounds, silver/gold NPs, and studying the ability of chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables to prevent/mitigate T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (TALL) metastasis, along with other studies involving diverse environmental contaminants.
Yvonne Rericha, BS
Senior Graduate Student Representative
Yvonne is a PhD candidate at Oregon State University in Dr. Robyn Tanguay's lab, where she studies the toxicity and mode of action of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances using zebrafish as a model. She received her BS in biology, with minors in chemistry and environmental studies, from St. John’s University in 2016. She worked as a Biological Fieldwork Technician for several Fish and Wildlife agencies and as a Laboratory Technician for The Clorox Company before beginning her graduate degree. She is an active member of the Trainees of the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (TEAM Tox) student organization at OSU and a member of the Corvallis branch of the 500 Women Scientists organization. Yvonne has been a member of SOT since 2019 and is serving her first officer position in SOT as a Graduate Student Representative for PANWAT.
Christian Rude, BS
Junior Graduate Student Representative
Christian Rude is a second-year PhD student and T32 trainee at in Dr. Robyn Tanguay’ s lab at Oregon State University. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma Washington with a BS in chemistry in 2017 before spending a few gap years in professions ranging from youth ministry to quality control in the essential oils industry. His current research focuses mainly include characterizing the toxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons using omics approaches in zebrafish embryos. Christian became an SOT member in 2021. He also serves as the outreach chair for Teamtox, a student organization with an emphasis on scientific communication and professional development.
View PANWAT Past Presidents.
View the PANWAT Regional Chapter Bylaws.
View PANWAT Annual Reports.