SOT 2013 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo: One-stop toxicology shop (Part 2)

Annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology promises a wide range of toxicology and safety assessment science

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About the SOT
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) isa professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academicinstitutions, government and industry, representing the great variety ofscientists who practice toxicology—the study of the adverse effects ofchemical, physical or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem,including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects—in the United States and abroad.
The SOT's stated commitment is tocreating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.The society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge intoxicology, aids in the protection of public health and facilitatesdisciplines. The SOT has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and tothe recruitment of students and new members into the profession.
The SOT was founded in 1961 as anot-for-profit scientific society and is governed by a 13-person electedcouncil and managed by an administrative office in Reston, Va., nearWashington, D.C. The society's activities are assisted by the efforts of nearly46 elected and appointed committees, subcommittees and task forces. Inaddition, SOT has established 27 specialty sections that may propose sessionsfor the annual meeting, exchange information through its newsletter, Communiqué, present awards andparticipate in other scientific activities.
In addition, SOT has 18 regionalchapters that sponsor regular local meetings throughout the year. The purposeof the regional chapters is to foster scientific exchange at a local level.

Why the SOT annual meeting matters 
The Society of Toxicology (SOT)notes that its annual meeting is the largest toxicology meeting and exhibitionin the world, with an expected attendance this year of more than 7,300scientists from academia, government and industry, hailing from variouscountries worldwide.
"From the plenary opening lectureand featured lectures to the wide range of scientific sessions and continuingeducation courses, the annual meeting offers an unparalleled depth of analysisand relevant toxicological issues," according to the society. "From basic toadvanced topical issues, the thematic approach provides each attendee anopportunity to learn about emerging fields. Whether you are speaking in orchairing a session, honoring a colleague as the recipient of an SOT award orcollaborating with your peers at an SOT event, this meeting has something forevery attendee."

Expo action
A major feature of SOT's annualmeeting is its ToxExpo. Exhibit hours are until 4:30 p.m. Monday throughWednesday, with doors opening at 9 a.m. the first day and 8:30 a.m. the nexttwo days. In addition to the standard exhibit hall hours and posterpresentation times, one hour of dedicated networking time has been allotted inthe scientific program for attendees to visit with exhibitors. ToxExpo Timewill take place on Tuesday, March 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Attendees can also enjoy their chance at a $500 prizedrawing each day of ToxExpo, in the form of an American Express gift card.Attendees need only drop their business cards in the ToxExpo prize drawingboxes found in all booths designated as Diamond Level Sponsors.
And, as SOT notes, ToxExpo isn't just those three days duringthe annual meeting—it also continues throughout the year at, thesociety says, "for all your toxicology-related science information and data aswell as information about current exhibitors … ToxExpo is a rich resource forthe working scientist, the decision maker, the student or anyone looking forthe best products and services that toxicology has to offer."   

Continuing education offerings
The continuing education offeredby SOT at the annual meeting spans a wide range of courses covering establishedknowledge in toxicology, as well as new developments in toxicology and relateddisciplines. 
Courses can be applied towardcertifying and licensing board requirements and may also be used forrecertification with the American Board of Toxicology, with both basic andadvanced course topics are offered.
The courses are as follows:
  • A Refresher ofImmunoglobulin and Fc-Receptor Biology and Advances Related to TherapeuticAntibody Development (Basic) 
  • Basic Principles ofHuman Risk Assessment (Basic) 
  • Recent Developments inCardiovascular Physiology-Based Toxicology (Basic)
  • Approval of BiosimilarMonoclonal Antibodies: Scientific, Regulatory and Legal Challenges (Basic) 
  • The What, When and Howof Nonclinical Support for an IND Submission (Basic)
  • The Practice andImplementation of Neural Stem Cell-Based Approaches to Neurotoxicology (Basic) 
  • Toxic Effects ofMetals (Basic)Advances inNanotoxicology—Challenges (Advanced)Gonadal Development,Function and Toxicology (Basic) 
  • The REACH Regulationand Safety Assessment Approaches for Chemicals That Come in Contact with theSkin (Basic) 
  • T4: Tools andTechnologies in Translational Toxicology (Advanced) 
  • Understanding ToxicNeuropathy in Drug Development: Both Clinical and Nonclinical Perspectives(Advanced) 
  • Weighing in onNutrition—Essential Concepts for Toxicologists (Basic)
All courses will be held on Sunday, March 10, at the Henry B. GonzalezConvention Center.

The theme's the thing 
The Society of Toxicology (SOT)has arranged its symposium sessions, workshop sessions, roundtable sessions andother special sessions around five themes at the annual meeting, to illustratethe core contributions of toxicology scientific efforts to the world.
Application of Systems Biology to Toxicology
Recent technological advancesallow the study of multiple interacting networks in cellular systems andfacilitate studies of how such complex networks respond to toxicants. Theintegrated application of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, computationalmodeling and bioinformatics to cell-specific and organ-specific toxicity aswell as to broader questions in toxicology continues to develop. Application ofthese technologies will provide for systems to improve predictive toxicitytools, enable more complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying thetoxicity of pharmaceutical agents and environmental chemicals and facilitatethe interrogation of disease etiology and prevention.
Biomarkers for Exposure Assessment, Safety Evaluation andTranslational Medicine
The development of biomarkers thatcan be applied to assessing exposure, predicting toxicity, defining mechanismsof toxicity and improving translation of preclinical and clinical toxicity hasimpacted how toxicology research is carried out. Developing the basic biologyand analytical tools to support biomarker identification, development andvalidation is critical to the successful incorporation of biomarkers in allareas of toxicology research.
Effects of Nanomaterials on Biological Systems
Research in the toxicology ofnanomaterials has expanded along with the application of this technology inmaterial science research and development. Factors that influence the potentialfor toxic responses and identification of relevant target organs for exposureand toxicity are critical to the development of cogent and reliable riskassessment for these materials. Basic, applied and regulatory science must convergein order to address the needs for this class of materials that will advanceunderstanding of potential impacts on human and environmental health.
Molecular Basis of Genetic Variability and Susceptibilityto Toxicants
Many toxicants alter gene expressionand many types of toxicities can be affected by variation in gene expression orgenetic polymorphisms. Similarly, age-dependent gene expression can influencetoxic responses and epigenetic perturbations influence heritable geneexpression. Both genetic and epigenetic differences can influence theindividual's response to pharmaceuticals and environmental chemicals. It isrecognized that single nucleotide polymorphisms directly affect geneticdifferences on rates of metabolism, but for other responses, such as behavior,the connections are more complex. Linking genetic, epigenetic and environmentalvariables with exposure data is essential to accurately define potentialbeneficial or adverse effects of chemicals and to assess disease susceptibilityand prevention.
Regulatory Science: Advancing New Approaches for HazardIdentification and Risk Assessment
Regulatory science encompasses thesciences used to evaluate the safety, efficacy, quality and performance of anyproduct. Advancements in regulatory science will facilitate the development andevaluation of innovative new products. As we modernize the tools used to assessthe potential risks from drugs, environmental chemicals, food and otherproducts, we must also consider the global applications of such methods andstrategies to drive better risk assessment decisions. This theme is intended tofoster session content that will provide for perspective on ongoing efforts toimprove hazard identification and risk assessment with emphasis on how best tocoordinate these efforts for more consistent regulatory practices around theworld.

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