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Highlights of the 49th Annual SOT Meeting

By Ed Kang
April 2010

Shown, left to right, are Kevin Dreher, Ph.D., Arun Sreekumar, Ph.D., Nadadur, Steve Hamilton, M.D., Ph.D., Mary Jane Cunningham, Ph.D., and Steve Belinski, Ph.D.
Nadadur, third from left, posed with colleagues from other groups and institutions who shared his interests in the promise of new technologies. Shown, left to right, are Kevin Dreher, Ph.D., Arun Sreekumar, Ph.D., Nadadur, Steve Hamilton, M.D., Ph.D., Mary Jane Cunningham, Ph.D., and Steve Belinski, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Ed Kang)

Hooth, with microphone, talked with aspiring members of the next generation of toxicologists about the future of the discipline.
Hooth, with microphone, talked with aspiring members of the next generation of toxicologists about the future of the discipline. (Photo courtesy of Ed Kang)

Birnbaum, left, is shown with one of the many people she talked with about one of her favorite topics.
Birnbaum, left, is shown with one of the many people she talked with about one of her favorite topics - the importance of NIEHS efforts in the quest to improve public health. (Photo courtesy of Ed Kang)

Leading toxicologists and environmental health scientists shared their latest findings, discussed funding and training opportunities, received input on future research priorities, and more at this year's Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting in Salt Lake City. NIEHS and NTP led the way at the 49th annual SOT conference with investigators and program officers hosting more than 30 sessions and 60 posters.

Among the highlights of this year's conference were the Live Updates(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/) provided by attendees. NIEHS and NTP representatives, including Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., and guests, such as Cheryl Walker, Ph.D., outgoing president of SOT and an NIEHS grantee(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/portfolio/sc/detail.cfm?appl_id=7856402), posted nearly 100 real-time updates. These unscripted postings, viewable in a day-by-day account, gave web viewers a unique "behind the scenes" perspective of the conference.

Next year's meeting is the Society's 50th and will be held in Washington, D.C. It promises to be a spectacular event with more of what makes this gathering of the toxicology community such an amazing experience.

Some of the highlights about NIEHS scientists at the 2010 conference:

  • A View from the Top (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=a-view-from-the-top) - Birnbaum recapped the Institute's successes for the past year and her thoughts for the future. She talked about the link between environmental health and prevention, and the connection between bench, policy, and public health.
  • Promises, Pitfalls and the Potential of High Throughput Technologies (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=promises-pitfalls-and-the-potential-of-high-throughput-technologies) - Sri Nadadur, Ph.D., co-chaired a discussion of technologies to better understand toxic responses and for generating global molecular profiles.
  • The Best of Toxicology (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=the-best-of-toxicology-1) - [SOT] recognized some of the very best in our profession: Mike Waalkes was elected to the SOT Council, and Rick Paules, Ph.D., was awarded the Leading Edge in Basic Science Award for his contributions to understanding fundamental mechanisms of toxicology (see related story)(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2010/april/spotlight-paules.cfm).
  • The Future of Toxicology (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=the-future-of-toxicology) - Students were able to enjoy an opportunity to network with professionals. A panel of experts including NTP Toxicologist Michelle Hooth, Ph.D., spoke to 200 students about opportunities, successes and lessons-learned. Hooth also co-chaired a collaborative informational session(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=informational-session-on-tungsten) on tungsten and tungsten alloys.
  • Herbals and Women's Health Discussion (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=herbals-and-womens-health-discussion-for-lunch) - Nigel Walker, Ph.D., of NTP, reviewed dietary supplements, with Retha Newbold, recently retired from NIEHS, speaking on developmental exposure, and Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., of Wake Forest University speaking on adult exposure to soy.
  • Immunotox Specialty Section Celebrates Its Silver Jubilee (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=immunotox-specialty-section-celebrates-its-silver-jubilee) - The Immunotox Specialty Section celebrated 25 years at SOT. The highlight of the event was the "Paper of the Year" award won by a project funded by an NTP-NIOSH interagency agreement.
  • Organize It and They Will Come (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/post.cfm?entry=sot-update-organize-it-and-they-will-come) - Ray Tice, Ph.D., of NTP, and Bob Kavlock, Ph.D., of EPA, organized "The Tox21 Community and the Future of Toxicology." Related presentations included efforts to develop a 10,000 compound library for testing by Cynthia Smith, Ph.D., and insights into the future of toxicology from Birnbaum.

These and many other updates are available through the end of April at http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sot/2010/).

(Ed Kang is a public affairs specialist in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)



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