On Saturday, March 10, prior to the start of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2018 Annual Meeting, toxicologists, clinicians, and biomedical scientists gathered for “Toxicological Concerns in Older Adults, a Neglected Majority,” a full-day Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) workshop.
Rafael de Cabo, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, started the meeting with a provocative keynote presentation on the toxicology of aging that described the public health challenge to come. Dr. de Cabo noted that the world is aging, with the number of individuals over 65 years of age now greater than those under five years of age, and he cautioned that not enough attention is being paid to this large demographic shift. The other distinguished presenters from government, academia, and the pharmaceutical industry (the full list is available on the CCT meeting website) also reflected on this growing demographic issue, the cost to society, and the toxicological challenges of managing risk in aging individuals who are often suffering from concomitant diseases and taking multiple medications. The CCT meeting’s Organizing Committee was also pleased to welcome workshop participant Sarah A. Khasawinah, Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate, to participate in this discussion. Senator Susan A. Collins (R-ME) is the chair of this Senate committee.
The workshop was highly interactive and offered a unique opportunity for experts from across the country to discuss major challenges and opportunities, as well as future collaborations, on this important topic. One of these joint efforts will be the development of a white paper as the first major outcome of this workshop. Toxicological Concerns in Older Adults was held under the auspices of the SOT Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Committee. The concept for this workshop was advanced by the Scientific Liaison Coalition, which provides a platform for different societies to partner on a global basis with the goal of advancing science to improve human and environmental health and well-being.
The success of this workshop was the result of the efforts of the Organizing Committee: Florence Burleson, Burleson Research Technologies, Inc., and Kenneth Hastings, Hastings Toxicology Consulting, LLC, who served as co-chairs; John DeSesso, Exponent; Rosalie Elespuru, US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), Center for Devices and Radiological Health; John “Jack” R. Fowle III, Science to Inform LLC; Mary Jeanne Kallman, Kallman Preclinical Consulting; S.W. Johnny Lau, US FDA, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Donna L. Mendrick, US FDA, National Center for Toxicological Research; Sharmilee P. Sawant, Halyard Health; Charles E. Wood, US Environmental Protection Agency; Alison Harrill, CCT Committee Liaison, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Xi Yang, CCT Committee Liaison, US FDA; and Tao Wang, SOT Council Contact, Achaogen.