Show Preview: 49th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo of the Society of Toxicology

Annual SOT meeting to be held March 7 to 11 at Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center

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Talking the tox talk

Society of Toxicology brings its annual meeting to Utah and promises a plethora of offerings

SALT LAKE CITY—The 49th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is shaping up to not just be "the largest exposition of its kind," SOT organizers say, but also one packed with numerous opportunities to connect and learn.

"We're excited about Salt Lake City. The scientific program is particularly strong this year and it is our annual opportunity to showcase toxicology's novel discoveries and the work we've done over the past year," says Michael Holsapple, SOT's vice president and scientific program committee chairperson for the event, which is being held March 7 to 11 at Salt Lake City's Salt Palace Convention Center.

"It's been my experience that toxicologists come first and foremost for the science and secondarily for the opportunity to interact with their colleagues from around the globe," says Shawn Douglas Lamb, SOT's executive director. "This is the No. 1 meeting of the year for toxicologists. It is a time when they can come together and hear what is new and what advances are being made in a multitude of areas. They have a chance to hear from Nobel Laureates, who give the keynote plenary lectures and other internationally acclaimed scientists in sessions such as the Opening Plenary and the Medical Research Council Lectures. The meeting also features an awards program, which attracts a lot of attention and interest."

More than a dozen symposium sessions are planned, plus another 12 topics to be handled as part of SOT's thematic tracks, with those additional offerings covering five areas: cell signaling, gene-environment interactions, metabolic disease, the mitochondrial basis of disease and translational toxicology. In addition, nearly a dozen workshop sessions on various topics are on the agenda, plus another 10 thematic-track workshops in the areas of cell signaling, toxicity testing in the 21st century, and translational toxicology.
Eight roundtable sessions are also planned, plus two additional ones in the thematic track of translational toxicology, and a Historical Highlights session in the translational toxicology thematic track.

"In addition to the scientific program, the 2010 SOT Annual Meeting will afford every attendee the opportunity to come together to learn about the latest scientific achievements from experts in a myriad of fields," notes Dr. Cheryl Walker, the current SOT president. She adds that this year's Plenary Lecture will be given by Dr. Ferid Murad, who was one of three recipients to receive the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Murad's lecture will focus on that work and is entitled, "Discovery of Nitric Oxide and Cyclic GMP Cell Signaling and their Role in Drug Development."  

In addition, the 2010 Keynote Medical Research Council Lecture will be given by Sir Philip Cohen, and the title of his lecture is "The Interplay between Phosphorylation and Ubiquitination in Regulating the Innate Immune System."     

"Toxicology is a diverse scientific discipline that integrates expertise from many fields including chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, pharmacy and veterinarian sciences just to name a few," Holsapple says. "We want to bring the latest and best research to SOT's Annual Meetings."  

Currently, the SOT anticipates more than 350 exhibits; over 185 scientific sessions, featured sessions or lectures; and more than 200 annual meeting events, including exhibitor-hosted sessions, social meetings and receptions, and special programs.
Holsapple reports that more than 2,000 scientific papers or abstracts were submitted and reviewed by the Scientific Program Committee, in addition to the more than 330 invited speaker presentations that had been programmed.

The event typically draws more than 6,500 toxicologists from around the world, and although the SOT didn't offer specific registration numbers as of mid-January, when interviewed by ddn magazine, things are apparently on track. As Lamb notes: "Registration is strong and we have more than 53 new exhibitors who are going to participate this year," adding that this is "extraordinary given the state of the economy."  

"We worked very hard to obtain the lowest and best rates we could for hotel and airfare," Lamb says. "We anticipated that registration might be down, but are extremely pleased because registration is running consistent with previous years. Given the challenges of the worldwide economic climate, our primary goal for ToxExpo this year is to maintain a dynamic exposition that continues to showcase the latest developments in technology and services for the toxicologist. We have already surpassed that goal in that we have not only maintained the exciting dynamics of the show but have a record 53 first-time exhibitors; we are ahead of our projections in booth sales."

Students to mix it up and listen up

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) will be hosting its Student/Postdoctoral Fellow Mixer on March 7, the first day of its 49th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Scheduled for 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and sponsored by the SOT's Student Advisory Council, this is an opportunity for students and postdoctoral fellows to gather, to meet new colleagues and to reestablish relationships in an informal atmosphere at the beginning of the meeting.

Tickets are required, but are obtainable at no cost by registering for this event on the Annual Meeting Registration Form. Complimentary refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

The next day, from noon to 1:20 p.m., SOT will also offer the "In Vitro Toxicology Lecture and Luncheon for Students." Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Co, the purpose of this lecture is to discuss the importance of animal research to biomedical sciences and toxicology and the ethical obligations of the scientific community to follow the three R's of animal testing (refine, reduce, replace) whenever feasible.

Follow the MAP

Sponsored by SOT's Student Advisory Council and Postdoctoral Assembly, a session titled "MAP Kinase Signaling: A Common Target Eliciting Unique Tissue Responses" takes place on March 9, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and will highlight the most recent research progress made to characterize the alterations of MAPK signaling pathways in response to toxicant exposures, and how these alterations contribute to toxicity and/or pathogenesis in different tissues and cell types. The qualitative comparison among data presented in this session will either suggest a paradigm of MAPK response to various toxicants, or illustrate the cell type/tissue specific difference in the role of MAPK signaling alterations during toxic responses.

Working it out

SOT's Postdoctoral Assembly is hosting a session on March 9 called "Where Do I Go Now? Rational Career Development Planning for Early-Career Scientists" from 9 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. that will provide early-career scientists with insight on how to map a career path that fits their passion and skills. Broad coverage in non-traditional career paths in toxicology will be part of the discussion. As SOT notes, "Toxicology training during graduate school and postdoctoral fellowships provides early-career scientists with a wide array of transferable skills that can be used in many job sectors, but navigating the all of the possible career options can be a daunting task. Additionally, finding and preparing for a career path that is right for yourself is not always easy, particularly when it differs from that of your mentor or is non-traditional."

Exhibiting at the 2010 ToxExpo

From services to products, you'll find a wide range of offerings at the show.

Serving your needs

BioFocus' ADME/PK laboratory provides a comprehensive range of ADME, PK and bioanalytical services, ensuring the rapid delivery of high-quality data to guide you through HTS compound selection, hit-to-lead and lead optimization. Services include a broad range of validated in vitro ADME assays including permeability, stability and solubility; custom ADME assay development; discovery pharmacokinetics, centralized project management and single point-of-contact.
+44 1799 533 500
Visit us at Tox Expo booth #145

Knockout rat models for ADME/Tox assessment
Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs

Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs has introduced the Mdr1a knockout rat model, the world's first knockout rat models for ADME/Tox assessment. Using its exclusive zinc-finger nuclease technology, SAGE is creating novel models for toxicology research.
Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs
(800) 325-3010
Visit us at Tox Expo booth #1900

Know the toxic potential of your compounds sooner
Advanced Chemistry Development Inc. (AcD Labs)

ACD/Tox Suite is a collection of software modules that predict probabilities for basic toxicity endpoints. Customize your prediction suite from the following expert modules: hERG inhibition; CYP3A4 specificity; genotoxicity; acute toxicity; aquatic toxicity; eye/skin irritiation; endocrine system disruption; and health. Predictions are based on large validated databases, QSAR models and expert knowledge of organic chemistry and toxicology.
Advanced Chemistry Development Inc. (AcD Labs)
(800) 304-3988
Visit us at Tox Expo booth #743

Cell-based nuclear receptor panels
INDIGO Biosciences

INDIGO Biosciences has launched Nuclear Receptor Panel kits, complete cell-based assay panels available for human PPARs, LXRs and ERs. Stop by INDIGO's booth at Tox Expo and get a free T-shirt.
INDIGO Biosciences
(814) 234-1919
Visit us at Tox Expo booth #2008

Spice up your trip to Salt Lake

Things to do in the city when you aren't connecting and learning at the toxicology meeting

Here are some highlights to help you navigate some of the attractions and cultural venues available to you while you are attending the SOT conference:

Downtown Locations

Capitol Theatre
The home of Ballet West, the Utah Opera and Broadway Across America-Utah.

City Creek Park
Picturesque park features a stone-lined stream, serene pond, triple-arch bridge and pedestrian paths leading to Memory Grove Park.

Clark Planetarium
Features the Hansen Dome Theatre, ATK 3-D IMAX Theatre, Planet Fun store and various exhibits.

Gateway Mall
In addition to the various shopping options, the mall also includes the Discovery Gateway children's museum, with 60,000 square feet of interactive fun.

Historic Temple Square
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites people to visit Temple Square and other attractions and events offered in and around the square.

Hope Gallery and Museum of Fine Art
The largest gallery in Utah features a distinct collection of Old European masters from the sixteenth to twenty first centuries, with works emphasizing La Belle Epoch, and the largest collection of original Danish works outside the national museums in Denmark.

Elsewhere in the city

Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
Offers a unique view of contemporary Utah through the traditional arts of Indian tribes, occupational and ethnic groups, and Utahns of rural heritage.

Hogle Zoo
Features include family safaris, Elephant Encounter and Asian Highlands in addition to the usual assortment of zoo animals.

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
Utah's only Arboretum, featuring 11 themed botanical Gardens.

This Is The Place Heritage Park
Recreates a 1860s ambiance for visitors.

Tracy Aviary
Over 400 birds representing about 135 different species in a tranquil wooded setting.

Utah Museum of Natural History
Features discoveries related to Utah's dinosaurs and Range Creek archeology, as well as exhibits related to Utah's first humans.

South Valley

The Living Planet Aquarium
Highlights animal habitats in Utah waters, Earth's oceans and South American species.

West Valley

The Hollywood Connection & Ritz 15 Movie Theatre
A state-of-the-art indoor entertainment center featuring amusements, rides, mini-golf, roller skating, Lieutenants 1950s-style diner, games, laser tag and 15-screen theatre.

Timely Events

Here are a few cultural or entertainment events being held around the same time as the SOT conference:

Snowflake Festival 2010   
Mar. 10-13
A four-day event held every March, celebrating community and snow in the town of Alta, Utah

Twi-Lite - I was a Teenage Vampire
Through Mar. 13
Performed at the Desert Star Playhouse in Murray, Utah, this show is about high school geek Seth, who has a crush on cheerleader Chelsea Chambers. Since she doesn't know he exists, but she is head-over-heels for a popular fictional vampire, Seth pretends he's a vampire to attract Chelsea. Soon all the girls at school have a crush on him. But what will he do when a real vampire shows up, challenging Seth to a showdown?

Wicked Wizard of Ahhs
Through Mar. 13
Being held at Salt Lake City's comedy and improv venue The Off Broadway, this parody of The Wizard of Oz has an evil twist, with Crunchkin gangs, Wicked teachers, and The Evil Belva Bub who's after Dorrie's new sparkly red shoes.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Ongoing through summer
Two of the long-running 2010 exhibitions at this Salt Lake City Museum that will have only been running a month or two by the time the SOT show starts are "Continuing Allure - Utah's Red Rock" and "Pablo O'Higgins and the Mexican Muralist Movement."

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