Society of Toxicology 2019 Show Preview: Baltimore-bound for toxicology

Annual meeting and ToxExpo to unite over 300 toxicology-related companies and organizations, with more than 6,000 attendees over three da

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Society of Toxicology (SOT)
SOT Annual Meeting: March 10-14, 2019
ToxExpo: March 11-13, 2019
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.
Baltimore-bound for toxicology
Annual meeting and ToxExpo to unite over 300 toxicology-related companies and organizations, with more than 6,000 attendees over three days
Maryland is the state that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health both call home, so the East Coast city of Baltimore is certainly a fitting venue for a meeting focused on toxicology—one of the bigger things one has to test for in pharma and biotech when doing drug discovery and development.
So, if toxicology is your thing, and you have some time and resources to pay a visit in March, you might want to take a trip to attend the Society of Toxicology 58th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.
As Dr. Leigh Ann Burns Naas, the president of Society of Toxicology (SOT), puts it simply and succinctly, “I invite you to share your expertise, foster new collaborations and discover the latest advances in toxicology by attending the SOT 58th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 10 to 14, 2019, at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.”
Pointing out the highlights of the meeting, she noted:
  • There will be more than a hundred featured sessions and scientific sessions, and more than 2,100 individual presentations, including all-day poster sessions and 90-minute symposium and workshop sessions on Tuesday afternoon as part of a pilot program
  • More than 6,000 scientists from 50 countries will be there attending hundreds of events, including activities hosted by SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups and Specialty Sections—as well as exhibitor-hosted sessions and other ancillary meetings
  • You can visit more than 31+ exhibitors who will participate in the three-day ToxExpo and can offer assistance with toxicological products and services, expert consulting and collaborative opportunities, as well as career advancement.
“I look forward to welcoming you to Baltimore and joining you in experiencing the best in toxicological research during the largest toxicology meeting in the world,” she concluded as part of her welcome letter to potential attendees.
Dr. Ronald N. Hines, the SOT’s vice president and scientific program committee chairperson, added a few other highlights to spice up the pot, noting that the meeting will feature an opening plenary lecture “on the robust assembly of human tissues for disease modeling and discovery” by William L. Murphy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a plenary keynote lecture on aging and multimorbidity by Janet M. Lord of the University of Birmingham Institute of Inflammation and Ageing.
Also, Hines points out that the event will mark the second appearance of a “Hot Topic Featured Session” and “Toxicological Sciences Featured Session,” and there will be a return for such recurring featured sessions as the SOT/EUROTOX Debate, the SOT and Japanese Society of Toxicology Symposium, and the annual award lectures.
Speaking of those awards—and elsewhere in this section we have an article highlighting several notable award winners—the SOT each year recognizes more than two dozen groundbreaking scientists, emerging leaders, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students who are advancing the science of toxicology.
The 2019 SOT award recipients are:
  • SOT Achievement Award: Dr. Nicole C. Kleinstreuer, NIEHS/NICEATM, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
  • SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award: Dr. Joy A. Cavagnaro, Access BIO, L.C., Boyce, Va.
  • SOT Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award: Dr. Cheryl Lyn Walker, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
  • SOT Education Award: Dr. Oliver Hankinson, University of California, Los Angeles
  • SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award: Dr. Suzanne C. Fitzpatrick, U.S. FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  • SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology): Dr. Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, N.J.
  • SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award: Dr. Sven E. Jordt, Duke University Medical Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • SOT Merit Award: Dr. Stephen H. Safe, Texas A&M University, College Station
  • SOT Public Communications Award: Dr. Mary Beth Genter, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
  • SOT Translational Impact Award: Dr. Hartmut Jaeschke, University of Kansas Medical Center, Overland Park
  • SOT Daniel and Patricia Acosta Undergraduate Educator Award: Dr. Wade H. Powell, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.
The Toxicological Sciences Paper of the Year awards went to a paper titled “Collaborative Cross Mouse Population Enables Refinements to Characterization of the Variability in Toxicokinetics of Trichloroethylene and Provides Genetic Evidence for the Role of PPAR Pathway in Its Oxidative Metabolism,” authored by Abhishek Venkatratnam and colleagues and published in Toxicological Sciences, as well as “An Impaired Immune Tolerance Animal Model Distinguishes the Potential of Troglitazone/Pioglitazone and Tolcapone/Entacapone to Cause IDILI,” authored by Alastair Mak and colleagues and published in the same journal..
Winners of supported awards are:
  • Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods: Dr. Yvonne Chang, Oregon State University
  • Colgate-Palmolive Grants for Alternative Research: Dr. Helena T. Hogberg of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Hao Zhu of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Colgate-Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in In Vitro Toxicology: Dr. Samantha C. Fabe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies: Lauren Lewis, Texas A&M University.
The 2019 SOT award recipients will be formally honored at an awards ceremony during the Society’s 58th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.

And the winners are...
Quite a number of people are to be honored with awards at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. Here we cover just a handful of the more notable/interesting ones to us and, we assume, our DDNews readers.
Dr. Wade H. Powell
Powell’s dedication to providing outstanding toxicological education to undergraduates earned him the 2019 SOT Daniel and Patricia Acosta Undergraduate Educator Award.
After receiving his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Emory University in 1997, Powell embarked on a career in toxicology, initially studying aryl hydrocarbon signal transduction in fish as a postdoctoral scholar in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Since 2000, he has taught at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he is now a professor of biology.
His teaching activities use the entire life-sciences curriculum to expose undergraduates from all levels and varied majors to different facets of toxicology. The molecular biology lab and environmental toxicology seminar are examples of Kenyon courses he instituted that enable students to engage in the field of toxicology directly, and his introductory classes are rich with toxicological examples and anecdotes.
He has mentored more than 50 research students at Kenyon, many of whom have become active participants in the greater toxicology community. Twenty-three of his undergraduates, including several SOT award winners, have presented their research at the SOT’s annual meetings, and all research publications from Powell’s group include undergraduate authors.
Kenyon College has recognized Powell for his contributions to undergraduate education by bestowing upon him the Robert J. Tomsich Science Award and the Trustee Teaching Excellence Award, the most prestigious honor among Kenyon faculty.
Dr. Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman
For her dedication to and record of working to enhance human health and influence decision-making, and for her service within SOT, Lehman-McKeeman has been awarded the 2019 SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology).
She earned her Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Through her current position as vice president of Pharmaceutical Candidate Optimization at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lehman-McKeeman leads a group that integrates toxicology, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutics and analytical sciences to support the discovery of high-quality drug candidates. Her oversight of this important function is a testament to her leadership ability and her distinction in her field, according to SOT.
Lehman-McKeeman’s work to test, analyze and advance new medications has served the toxicological profession and the general public, according to the society, and at Bristol-Myers Squibb, she has conducted and led basic research that supported advancement of new drug candidates, including significant mechanistic work to establish the human safety of Baraclude (an antiviral drug). Additionally, her research efforts to elucidate the mechanism of α2u-globulin nephropathy in inducing male rat renal cell cancer established a mechanism of rodent carcinogenesis that was not human relevant. As a result of this work by Lehman-McKeeman, many chemicals that induce male rat kidney cancer are now understood not to represent cancer risks in humans.
Outside of the laboratory, Lehman-McKeeman has played a pivotal role in SOT through her dedication to Toxicological Sciences. She was named as an associate editor when the journal launched, and served as editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2011. As editor, she guided the publication through several momentous shifts, including its move to an electronic layout.
Lehman-McKeeman’s contributions to SOT also are exemplified in her service as the 2013–2014 SOT president and her positions on several SOT committees. In addition to her contributions within SOT, she is a recognized toxicologist in the field at large, with the publication of more than 100 research articles.
Dr. Oliver Hankinson
Hankinson—who currently serves dual roles at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), both as a distinguished research professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and as the chair of the interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Molecular Toxicology—has received the 2019 SOT Education Award to commend his efforts to forward the careers of the toxicologists of the future.
In addition to the mentorship he provides his students, Hankinson himself is an accomplished scholar, having earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Cambridge in England. He then performed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, the University of Colorado and the University of California, Berkeley.
According to SOT, Hankinson’s passion for instruction in toxicology is evidenced through the creation of the UCLA interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Molecular Toxicology. In 1999, Hankinson led the effort to create a program at UCLA that would unite toxicological researchers who had previously belonged to several different divisions across the university. The resulting interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Molecular Toxicology, the first program of its kind in California, gives students access to the expertise and training in toxicology that they need for future success, including through mentorship by Hankinson.
In 2000, Hankinson spearheaded the successful application for a “Lead Campus” grant in toxicology from the University of California to support trainees from UCLA; the University of California, Riverside, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. When this seed funding was terminated in 2008, continued support for the UCLA Molecular Toxicology Program was assured when Hankinson spearheaded a successful application to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for a predoctoral and postdoctoral T32 training grant in “Molecular Toxicology” that continues to this day. Further, he works to ensure that the program encourages diversity and mirrors the diversity of the general population.
In addition to the training he provides through the graduate program, Hankinson uses his own laboratory as an opportunity to guide students, specifically through research on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. This research has resulted in significant advancements in this area, including the identification, cloning, and structural and functional analysis of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator.
Dr. Suzanne C. Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick’s expertise in alternative toxicological methods and work to improve animal welfare within the field of toxicology have earned her the 2019 SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award.
She received her Ph.D. in anatomy from Georgetown University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics. She then joined the FDA as a customer safety officer in the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Human Food Safety. She has held several leadership positions within the FDA Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation. She currently serves as the senior advisor for toxicology at the Office of the Center Director within the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she also has served on the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing Advisory Board since 2001.
Fitzpatrick’s work is centered on understanding the impact of alternative models of toxicology and using such models to better predict the human condition. She studies methods that employ the 3Rs principle of animal welfare (replacement, reduction and refinement) and her process results in new levels of knowledge by combining basic research and clinical science. She was heavily involved in the FDA Predictive Toxicology Roadmap and is the FDA lead of the Tox21 Interagency Steering Committee. She also participates in numerous groups investigating alternative models. For example, she chairs the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods Work Group on Alternatives for Reproductive/Developmental Toxicity.
Fitzpatrick is highly regarded in the toxicology field, as highlighted by the more than 100 invited presentations she has given. Committed to raising awareness about food safety, toxicology and alternative methods, she has planned more than 80 workshops and courses on these subjects. She has received many recognitions for her efforts, including the NIH Director’s Award in 2008. She is an SOT member, serving as the FDA liaison, and is highly involved in the SOT FDA Colloquium Committee. She also was president of the SOT In Vitro and Alternative Methods Specialty Section from 2013 to 2014.
Dr. Nicole C. Kleinstreuer
Kleinstreuer has received the 2019 SOT Achievement Award to recognize her leadership and distinction in contributing to the field of toxicology, particularly in the areas of alternative toxicological methods and computational toxicology.
She earned degrees in mathematics and biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and subsequently performed her postdoctoral research in computational toxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Center for Computational Toxicology (US EPA/NCCT). In addition to her current, principal role as deputy director of the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), Kleinstreuer serves as principal investigator of the Computational Toxicology Group within the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch in the Division of Intramural Research at NIEHS. Additionally, she holds adjunct positions at the Yale University School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Kleinstreuer has been furthering the toxicological field since early in her career. Her postdoctoral research was with the US EPA/NCCT virtual embryo project, which focused on predictive modeling and computer simulation of developmental toxicity. Currently, Kleinstreuer is at the forefront of her field, says SOT, leading diverse and numerous projects to find alternatives to animal testing methods. Notably, her leadership of the NICEATM effort supporting the EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program largely contributed to the EPA replacing the rodent uterotrophic assay with in-vitro and in-silico methods to screen chemicals for estrogenic activity. Further, Kleinstreuer’s work is changing the global landscape, as evidenced through her direction of the OECD work group to establish an internationally harmonized test guideline for defined approaches to skin sensitization, which has resulted in a EPA draft policy to accept these methods.
Kleinstreuer’s tireless efforts to develop scientifically robust, human-relevant alternative methods to animal testing have been widely recognized, both through her extensive publication repertoire and through the many toxicological recognitions she has been awarded, including several EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards and the Teratology Society F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award. Kleinstreuer also is an active SOT member, having served as a speaker during many SOT Continuing Education courses and as a chairperson of multiple SOT Symposia and Workshops.
Dr. Joy A. Cavagnaro
To recognize her position “at the leading edge of the field of safety evaluation of biotherapeutics,” as SOT puts it, Cavagnaro has been awarded the 2019 SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award.
Cavagnaro is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry. She has had a prestigious career at a variety of scientific entities, including the FDA and Covance Inc. Currently, she is the president of Access BIO, a consultancy she founded that focuses on product development via science-based approaches.
Cavagnaro’s early contributions to the field of biopharmaceutical safety assessment formed the basis for all subsequent testing in this area, according to SOT. In the 1990s, when existing International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Safety Guidelines proved insufficient to apply to biotechnology-derived therapeutics, Cavagnaro’s work was instrumental in the development of the ICH S6 guidance, “Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Biotechnology-Derived Pharmaceuticals.” Indeed, at the FDA, Dr. Cavagnaro had already executed a vision for how to carry out safety characterization for biotechnology-derived therapeutics through science-based, case-by-case evaluation of each new entity, a concept that became the foundation of ICH S6.
This guideline was unique in its emphasis on the science as the driver for the appropriate safety assessment, says SOT, and Cavagnaro served as the rapporteur for this guidance. The principles of ICH S6 have supported the progression and evolution of biotherapeutics as a field, including the translation of novel cell and gene-based therapies into the clinic, while advocating for the concept of pharmacologic relevance and consequently furthering the 3Rs principle of animal welfare. She is the founder and currently an ex officio member of BioSafe, an international group of biotechnology experts that advise other scientists in industry and regulatory agencies, which highlights Dr. Cavagnaro’s unceasing energy to advance the field that was shaped so heavily by her early efforts.
Dr. Cavagnaro’s work on the preclinical safety of and development strategies for biopharmaceuticals has been widely published, in the form of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She also was the editor of this subject’s foremost book, Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Biopharmaceuticals: A Science-Based Approach to Facilitating Clinical Trials. She has been a member of SOT since 1986 and was the first individual to receive the SOT Biotechnology Specialty Section Career Achievement Award.

Ninth Annual Past Presidents’ Fun Run/Walk
Date: Tuesday, March 12
Race Start Time: 7:00 a.m.
Race Location: Camden Yards Sports Complex
Supported by: IDEXX BioResearch
Pack your running shoes and join the SOT past presidents at the ninth annual 5K Fun Run/Walk around Camden Yards Sports Complex. The event is open to anyone interested, and SOT notes, it is a “great opportunity to meet friends and make new acquaintances in a casual environment. Whether you’re in it for some friendly competition or would rather take a leisurely stroll, this event’s emphasis is on camaraderie, bringing together runners and walkers of all levels and paces.”

Continuing Education
The Continuing Education (CE) Program offers a wide range of courses which cover established knowledge in toxicology and new developments in toxicology and related disciplines. SOT CE courses can be applied towards numerous different certifying and licensing board requirements both in the United States and around the world. Please be sure to review the specific requirements of your licensing board or certification for details. General courses are intended to provide a broad overview of an area or to assist individuals in learning new techniques or approaches, while courses based on more specialized topics are intended to be of interest to individuals with previous knowledge of the subject who are already working in the field.
Each CE course is offered in one of three time blocks:
  • Sunrise (SR): 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
  • AM: 8:15 a.m. to noon
  • PM: 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All courses will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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