Upcoming Events

Emerging Threats to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Human Health

Monday, June 17, 2024
11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon (US EDT, UTC -4)

Hosted by: The SOT Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Although outdoor air pollution is thought to be a primary public health concern, short- and long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants may have profound effects on human health and wellbeing. Recent studies have shown indoor air contaminants consisting of biological or chemical pollutants can lead to a variety of health conditions including increased susceptibility to infections and chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and lung cancer. In this webinar, speakers will highlight threats to indoor air quality that stem from the use of various consumer products such as emissions from 3D printers and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes. Additionally, they will describe how extreme heat events propagated by climate change may also jeopardize indoor air quality.


  • Cristi Bell-Huff, PhD, Research Manager, Chemical Insights Research Institute of UL Research Institutes
  • Christa Wright, PhD, Research Director, Chemical Insights Research Institute of UL Research Institutes

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For more information, please contact the IRSS Officers.

Past Events

Monday, January 29, 2024

Inhalation and Respiratory Toxicology Career Development

Hosted by: The SOT Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section


  • Beth Tigges, PhD, Professor, University of New Mexico

    Dr. Beth Tigges is a Professor and Regents’ Professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing. Dr. Tigges’ major areas of interest and research are evaluation of research centers, team science, collaboration, community engagement, and mentoring. She will address mentoring trainees and early career faculty and its impact on organizational climate in academic research centers.

  • Laura Van Winkle, PhD, Professor, University of California, Davis

    Dr. Laura Van Winkle is a Professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Van Winkle is an established inhalation toxicologist, the chair of a graduate program, and Director of an NIH T32 grant in environmental health sciences. Dr. Van Winkle will address strategies for good mentoring relationships for both mentees and mentors.


The Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section (IRSS) hosted a webinar on Career Development and Mentoring. Speakers included Dr. Beth Tigges, University of New Mexico and Vice President of IRSS, Dr. Laura Van Winkle, University of California at Davis.

Recording | Tigges Presentation Slides | Van-Winkle Presentation Slides


Monday, September 18, 2023

IRSS Webinar: Air Pollution and Pulmonary Fibrosis


  • Alessandro Venosa, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah

    Dr. Venosa discussed spatial and phenotypic heterogeneity of immune cells during the peak of an inflammatory exacerbation and the fully remodeled lung.

  • Jennifer Larson-Casey, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Dr. Larson-Casey provided data indicating that an activated immune response contributes to PM2.5-mediated acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Recording | Venosa Presentation Slides | Larson-Casey Presentation Slides


June 6, 2023

CVTSS, IRSS, and CCC Webinar: A Clinically Focused and Integrated Look at the Impact of Wildfire on the Cardiovascular-Pulmonary Systems

Hosted by: SOT Cardiovascular Toxicology and Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Sections and The Collaborative Conferences Committee


  • Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, Case Western Reserve University
  • Matt Campen, PhD, MSPH, University of New Mexico
  • Mary Rice, MD, MPH, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Exposure to ambient air pollution is a leading cause of death worldwide. It has been linked globally to 7 million premature deaths and $5 trillion in costs per year. Air pollution exposure emerged as a leading cause of death worldwide that affects lung and cardiovascular functions and increases the risk for pulmonary and cardiovascular events. Although policies on the regulations of air pollution have decreased the levels of polluted air, due to climate change, the abundance of wildfires has increased. In the US, it is expected that, with the continuing climate change, the number of wildfires will increase by 50% by the year 2100. Climate change has not only extended the duration of the wildfire season but also led to more intensive wildfires due to extensive dry periods in the US and Europe. Wildfire smoke consists of a mixture of gaseous components (e.g., carbon monoxide), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, water vapor, and particulates, with particulate matter (PM) air pollution being the main component. These particles vary in shape and size and are made up of different components, such as inorganic and organic compounds, metals, and biological materials. Importantly, the harmful materials that are released by wildfires are not only a local hazard. On the contrary, they spread over hundreds of kilometers such as the wildfires that swept through North America during 2021 which affected many parts of the United States and Canada. This webinar will provide a comprehensive overview that summarizes novel aspects and new clinical insights to understand the adverse effects of air pollutant exposure on cardiovascular and pulmonary health associated with wildfires.

Recording | Rajagopalan Presentation Slides | Campen Presentation Slides | Rice Presentation Slides


July 28, 2022

IRSS Webinar: Wildfires and the Urban Interface


  • Olorunfemi (“Femi”) Adetona, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
  • Amara Holder, Mechanical Engineer, EPA

Wildfire smoke is a health hazard for emergency responders, cleanup workers, outdoor workers, and the public. Evidence indicates both pulmonary and extra-pulmonary health effects. The talk by Dr. Femi Adetona discussed the evidence and vulnerabilities related to the adverse effects of wildfire smoke exposures. It is a serious global public health issue that impacts communities for days, weeks, or even months every year. The presentation by Dr. Amara Holder covered what is known about the chemical composition of wildfire smoke and explored its impact on air quality.

Recording | Presentation Slides


March 2, 2022

IRSS Webinar: Introduction to Extracellular Vesicles and their Role in Respiratory Toxicology


  • Angelica Ortiz, PhD, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Gregory Smith, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are different types of lipid-bound vesicles secreted into the extracellular space from almost all host cells and are found widely distributed throughout the body. They have recently been found to play a myriad of roles in normal human physiology, including intracellular communication. This IRSS-sponsored webinar will provide an introduction to EVs and expand upon their role in pulmonary events in relation to respiratory toxicology. Dr. Angelica Ortiz will provide a background and overview of EVs including their origin, composition and purpose, as well as their role in signaling and mediation of toxicological effects. Dr. Gregory Smith will provide a case study of how ozone exposure alters EV release and EV miRNA expression, leading to immune cell dysfunction and respiratory inflammation. We believe this webinar will be of great interest to all respiratory and inhalation toxicologists, researchers of pulmonary infection and those toxicologists interested in mechanisms, translational medicine, drug discovery or exposure assessment, among other multi-disciplinary groups.

Recording | Intro Presentation Slides | Ortiz—Presentation Slides | Smith—Presentation Slides


January 6, 2022

IRSS Webinar: Role of Inhaled Pollutants in Risk of Pathogenic Infection


  • Stephania Cormier, PhD, Wiener Chair Professor at University of Louisiana
  • Sarath Raju, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University school of Medicine

Environmental pollution and inhaled toxicants are prevalent in every society, and it is understood that such pollutants may predispose or exacerbate infection in the lung. This IRSS sponsored webinar will focus on the Impact of inhaled toxicant exposure on response to infection.

Dr. Sarath Raju will provide an epidemiological overview of air pollution as an example of an inhaled pollutant that can lead to increased susceptibility of infection. Dr. Stephania Cormier will present on a mechanistic viewpoint on early life exposure to inhaled pollutants and immune modulation leading to increased infection susceptibility. We believe this webinar will be of great interest to inhalation toxicologists and researchers of pulmonary infection.

Recording | Cormier—Presentation Slides | Rajuo—Presentation Slides


September 9, 2021

IRSS Webinar: Intersection of Environmental Justice, Air Pollution and Climate Change: We are All in this Together


  • George Thurston, ScD, Professor, Departments of Environmental Medicine and Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • Jada Brooks, PhD, MPSH, RN, FAAN Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing

A variety of factors such as climate change, natural disasters, occupations, and other societal activities can cause us to be exposed to inhaled toxicants. We are all at risk, but it has become evident that the resulting impacts are often disproportionate, whereby the health of specific populations and/or marginalized communities are most adversely affected. This webinar on Environmental Justice features two expert panelists who will provide insight on how various groups are differentially impacted from the perspective on inhalation-based toxicity. Dr. George Thurston will introduce the nature, complexities, and disparities in how different communities are subject to greater environmental risk and health impacts. Dr. Jada Brooks will provide a case-study focusing on American Indians and women of color, and how they are disproportionality susceptible to inhaled pollutants.

Recording | Thurston—Presentation Slides | Brooks—Presentation Slides


April 13, 2021

IRSS Webinar: Microplastics and Pulmonary Risk: Environmental Prevalence, Exposure and Mechanisms of Pulmonary Action


  • James McGrath, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester
  • Eliseo Castillo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology University of New Mexico

As a rapidly growing field of study, plastics in the environment are being assessed for their impact on ecosystems and their potential impact on human health. Microplastics (plastic less than 5 mm in size) in the environment consist of various types, prevalence and by extension, risk of inhalation and/or the toxicological impact on the respiratory system. This webinar will have two panelists covering different aspects relevant to this topic. Dr. James McGrath will review the different types of microplastics and their prevalence in the environment (e.g., bodies of water) and refer to those of inhalation concern. Dr. Eliseo Castillo will discuss the mode of action-based toxicity of these particles on a cellular level and how they relate to inhalation or respiratory toxicology. The webinar will provide the audience with the current understanding of the concerns of microplastics in the environment and the potential consequences of inhalation exposures or system effects on the respiratory system.

Recording | Intro Presentation Slides | McGarth—Presentation Slides | Castillo—Presentation Slides


March 17, 2021

IRSS Reception and Awards Virtual Meeting



November 18, 2020

IRSS Webinar: Inhalation Toxicology of COVID-19

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, it has impacted nearly every country and has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. A COVID-19 infection is characterized by flu-like symptoms, progressing in some cases to acute respiratory distress syndrome and other clinical manifestations. This webinar will review COVID-19 and the pediatric population: risk factors for severe infection and hospitalization (Dr. Matthew McGraw), and then examine the inhalational exposures as potential risk factors for COVID-19 in adolescents (Dr. Ilona Jaspers). The webinar will review the current understanding of the COVID-19 respiratory toxicities to date.

IRSS Card | Recording | Jaspers—Presentation Slides | McGraw—Presentation Slides


May 21, 2020

IRSS Reception and Awards Virtual Meeting

The IRSS executive committee has updated the timeline of events for the Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section members.

IRSS Poster


August 5, 2020

IRSS Webinar: COVID-19: Impact of Inhalation Based Exposures on Respiratory System

Speaker(s): Robert Foronjy, PhD and Gagandeep Kaur, PhD, University of Rochester

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, it has impacted nearly country and has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. A COVID-19 infection is characterized by flu-like symptoms, progressing in some cases to acute respiratory distress syndrome and other clinical manifestations. This webinar will review the pathophysiology of COVID-19 (Dr. Gagandeep Kaur), and then examine the clinical aspects of COVID19 disease based on one of the epicenters in New York City (Dr. Robert Foronjy). The webinar will review the current understanding of the COVID-19 respiratory toxicities from basic mechanisms to clinical toxicology.

Recording | Foronjy—Presentation Slides | Kaur—Presentation Slides


December 13, 2019

Webinar: Smoke Signals: Respiratory Toxicities of Wildfire Exposures


  • Dr. Mary B. Rice, MD MPH, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Director, BIDMC Institute for Lung Health Pulmonary & Critical Care Physician, BIDMC; and
  • Dr. M. Ian Gilmour, PhD, DABT, Public Health & Integrated Toxicology Division, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment

Recording | Rice—Presentation Slides | Gilmour—Presentation Slides


October 8, 2019

Webinar: The Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Health Effects of E-Cigarettes

Speaker(s): Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

IRSS Webinar: Novel Applications for a Non-invasive Sampling Method of the Nasal Mucosa in Inhalation Toxicology

Speaker(s): Meghan Rebuli, PhD and Ilona Jaspers, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


  • Irfan Rahman, PhD, Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • Matthew J Campen, PhD, MSPH, Regents’ Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Chair, Environmental Health Signature Program KL2 Program Director University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

The webinar entitled, “Non-invasive Nasal Mucosa Sampling Technique: Uses in Toxicology,” presents and demonstrates the non-invasive nasal mucosa sampling technique described in Rebuli et al (2017) Novel applications for a non-invasive sampling method of the nasal mucosa. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. doi: 10.1152/ajplung. 00476.2016. This method was specifically designed to collect concentrated and replicable samples from the nasal mucosa and improve on the current gold standard, nasal lavage. This method because of its quick and non-invasive nature is easily adaptable to epidemiological studies as a biomarker collection technique, field studies because of its stable capture of proteins, and in the clinic in a variety of populations. This webinar will allow us to share this technique with others in the field of respiratory toxicology and potentially facilitate new translational research.

The second part of the webinar will describe current research using the technique and innovative ways to utilize the technique to answer research questions. Examples include detection of low abundance cytokines and chemokines, detection of viral particles, and analysis of nasal microbiome, protease activity, and proteomics.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

IRSS Webinar: 3D Organ-on-Chip Framework and Translational Research by Environmental Exposures in Inhalation Toxicology

Chair: Irfan Rahman, PhD, Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; and Matthew J Campen, PhD, MSPH, Regents' Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Chair, Environmental Health Signature Program KL2 Program Director University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Speaker(s): Kambez H. Benam, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

No Recording Available for this Webinar

Development of new therapeutics for pulmonary disorders, and advancement in our understanding of inhalational toxico-pathology have been significantly hindered by challenges to study organ-level complexities of human lung in vitro. Moreover, clinical relevance of widely used animal models of respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which poses a huge public health burden, is questionable. Here, we applied a tissue microengineering approach to create a human lung “Small Airway-on-a-Chip” that supports full differentiation of a pseudostratified mucociliary bronchiolar epithelium from normal or diseased donors underlined by a functional microvascular endothelium.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

IRSS: Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework in Inhalation and Respiratory Toxicology

Speaker(s): Sabina Halappanavar, PhD Research Scientist, Genomics and Nanotoxicology Laboratory Mechanistic Studies Division, Health Canada


Monday, October 16, 2017

IRSS: E-Journal Club

Ozone Exposure Increases Circulating Stress Hormones and Lipid Metabolites in Humans.
Miller DB, Ghio AJ, Karoly ED, Bell LN, Snow SJ, Madden MC, Soukup J, Cascio WE, Gilmour MI, Kodavanti UP.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Jun 15;193(12):1382–1391. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201508-1599OC

Speaker(s): Urmila Kodavanti

Moderators: Andrea De Vizcaya-Ruiz, PhD; and Irfan Rahman, PhD

Webinar Recording (Unavailable) | Presentation Slides


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

IRSS Webinar: Exposomes and Exposomics in Inhalation Toxicology

Chair: Irfan Rahman, PhD, Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Co-Chairs/Moderators: Dean Jones, PhD, Professor, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and Gunter Oberdorster, PhD, Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Speaker(s): Gary W. Miller, PhD, Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Webinar Recording (Unavailable) | Presentation Slides

Exposome is defined as the measure of all the exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health (CDC). The exposome encompasses life-course environmental exposures (including lifestyle factors) from the prenatal period onwards. It is the cumulative measure of environmental influences and associated biological responses throughout the lifespan, including exposures from the environment, diet, behavior, and endogenous processes. This webinar will provide the state-of-the-art approaches as well as the recent developments on exposomes and exposomics in inhalation toxicological sciences. Further, it will provide the information on the role of the exposome and genome (exposomics) and their interplay in life-course health and disease by integrating inhalation toxicology.

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For more information, please contact the IRSS Officers.