Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

March 2016

Society of Toxicology meeting to feature sessions led by NIEHS and NTP

Scientists from NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will be involved in numerous sessions at the upcoming 55th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 13-17 in New Orleans.

Recognizing the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, with millions of barrels of oil released into the Gulf of Mexico, SOT will hold a session of regional interest, “The Toxicological Implications of the Gulf Oil Spill: Research Accomplishments and Research Needs,” on Monday, March 14. The panel will include NIEHS and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.; Bernard Goldstein, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh; Maureen Lichtveld, M.D., from Tulane University; and others.

The special Gulf session is one of more than 150 scientific sessions planned for the meeting focused on toxicological research and the role it plays in protecting health. The event will also include thousands of abstract presentations, several continuing education courses, career guidance and support, student activities, and awards. Among the 350 exhibitors, NIEHS will display its award-winning exhibit showcasing work from NIEHS, NTP, and the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Visit the NIEHS website for a more complete list of the NIEHS and NTP presence at the meeting.

Opportunities to meet NIEHS, NTP, and EHP staff

Each year, the well-attended Meet the Directors session provides attendees the opportunity to hear from agency leaders about new directions and research opportunities, while also providing participants time to ask questions. This year, Birnbaum will be joined by Pamela McInnes, D.D.S., deputy director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), on Monday, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., in Room 220.

Both NIEHS and NCATS are part of Tox21, a multiagency research initiative aimed at improving regulatory hazard assessment of potentially harmful substances. They are working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make toxicology a more predictive science. Bring your questions, and come to hear Birnbaum discuss some of the upcoming 50th anniversary events that NIEHS has planned to celebrate its five decades of environmental health research.

Another popular event offered at SOT is the opportunity to meet one-on-one with staff from the Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT), to talk about funding and training opportunities. Program and review staff will be available in room 204, Monday through Wednesday, to answer questions and provide guidance on the NIH grant process. No appointment is necessary. A brown bag luncheon on Monday, from noon to 1:30 p.m., offers the chance to meet staff, hear some lessons learned about the grant and review process, and network.

The new editor of Environmental Health Perspectives, Sally Perreault Darney, Ph.D., will be available at the exhibit, Monday through Wednesday during the early afternoon, to meet with potential authors and answer questions about the journal.

Continuing education classes and satellite meeting

Some excellent continuing education classes are also being led by NIEHS. Ron Mason, Ph.D., of the Division of Intramural Research, and his team will lead an advanced course, Advancing the Detection, Imaging, and Pitfalls in Monitoring Oxidative Stress in Health and Disease, on Sunday, March 13, from 8:15 a.m.–noon. Mamta Behl, Ph.D., from NTP, will co-chair a basic course, Zebrafish as a Tool in Toxicology and Drug Discovery Screening, on Sunday from 1:15–5:00 p.m.

Lisa Chadwick, Ph.D., from DERT, will help lead a satellite meeting, A Toxicology User’s Guide to the Roadmap Epigenomics and ENCODE Data, from 1:00-6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 17.

(Robin Mackar is the news director in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a frequent contributor to the Environmental Factor.)


Strong presence on SOT governing body

Paul Foster, Ph.D., head of the NTP Toxicology Branch, was elected to a three-year term as an SOT councilor, beginning May 1. Councilors are among the 13 elected officials that control and administer the society. Foster is an internationally recognized expert in developmental and reproductive toxicology, as well as endocrine disruption. He has held numerous SOT positions over the years.

  • Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section 1987-present.
  • Scientific Program Committee 2009-2013.
  • Past President 2000-2001.
  • President 1999-2000.
  • Chair 1998-1999.
  • Vice President 1998-1999.
  • Vice President-elect 1997-1998.
  • Continuing Education Committee 1996-1999.

Foster expressed both surprise and delight at the election. “I am proud to be elected a leader in this organization,” he said. “My vision for SOT is to maintain its preeminent position in the field of toxicology, globally, and to continue the society’s strong emphasis on mentoring and training students in toxicology.”

Michelle Hooth, Ph.D., also of NTP, was elected to serve on the SOT Awards Committee, one of the elected committees that support the society’s mission. As head of the NTP Program Operations Branch, Hooth is committed to making sure that both NTP and SOT are seen as sources of reliable and credible information and data. Hooth says she will work to ensure that scientists representing the full breadth of the diverse disciplines in SOT are recognized for their contributions. Hooth has served on SOT committees before, including a just completed elected role on the SOT Membership Committee.

Two NIEHS grantees were also elected to the SOT council. Mary Beth Genter, Ph.D., from the University of Cincinnati, will serve as a councilor. Genter, a neurotoxicologist who specializes in the olfactory system, also serves on the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors. And, longtime NIEHS grantee and neurotoxicology expert Michael Aschner, Ph.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will serve as Treasurer-elect.

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