Nominate an SOT Member for the 2021 SOT Merit Award to Recognize Outstanding Contributions to Toxicology

By Brian Cummings posted 30 days ago


Merit Award

First bestowed during the SOT Fifth Annual Meeting in 1966, the SOT Merit Award is presented to an SOT member to recognize distinguished contributions to toxicology throughout an entire career in areas such as research, teaching, regulatory activities, consulting, and service to the Society. SOT is now accepting nominations for this prestigious award. 

The 2021 Merit Award recipient will be invited to present the Merit Award Lecture during the 2021 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo and also will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Making a Nomination

The deadline to submit a nomination is October 9, 2020. Nominations should include both a primary and a secondary letter of nomination from Full members of the Society that provide in layman’s terms an analysis of the nominee’s significant contributions to toxicology and how they apply to the award criteria. The strongest nomination packages include two letters that are distinct from one another to offer more detailed support of the candidate’s qualifications. Nomination packages that include very similar letters of nomination offer less information than those that include recommendations that are varied in content. Letters of nomination should be specific and descriptive while also maintaining a level of concision. The Awards Committee will review only the two letters required to complete the nomination; no additional letters will be considered.

Nominations also should include the nominee’s up-to-date CV. For national SOT Awards, such as the Merit Award, the Awards Committee requires a standardized length for CVs included in nomination packages. CVs must be a maximum of 10 pages in length and should highlight the candidate’s most significant professional accomplishments as they relate to the criteria for the award. Awards Committee members are required to review only 10 pages of each CV; therefore, submitting a longer CV does not strengthen an award nomination.

For more information on making a nomination, please review the “Awards Review Process and FAQs” web page of the SOT website. Please direct any inquiries to SOT Headquarters.

This is an opportunity to honor your colleagues for their outstanding accomplishments; you are encouraged to submit your nominations by October 9.

Spotlight on the 2020 Merit Award Recipient Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD

Dr. Kaminski has received the 2020 SOT Merit Award for his sustained and highly influential contributions to the discipline of toxicology.

After receiving his PhD in toxicology and physiology from North Carolina State University in 1985, Dr. Kaminski conducted his postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Virginia and then advanced first to Research Instructor and then to Assistant Professor. Thereafter, Dr. Kaminski took a position as an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, where he currently serves as a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Kaminski also is the Director of the Institute for Integrative Toxicology (IIT) and the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety, both at Michigan State University. 

Dr. Kaminski’s research involves molecular mechanisms of immunotoxicology, particularly those by which cannabinoids alter immune competence; his laboratory discovered cannabinoid receptor expression within cells of the immune system. His work also involves investigating B cell development and differentiation and its impairment by halogenated hydrocarbons, and he has contributed greatly to the understanding of activation of lymphoid cells resulting in the upregulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Within the past decade, Dr. Kaminski has focused on developing functional, biochemical, and molecular assays employing primary human leukocytes to identify immune-modulating agents and the mechanisms by which they mediate their activity. 

The Kaminski laboratory has been continuously funded for more than three decades through grants from the National Institutes of Health, US Environmental Protection Agency, and industry. Notably, in his role as IIT Director, Dr. Kaminski has coordinated research efforts across institutions to secure two successful competing renewals for the Superfund Research Program. 

Dr. Kaminski has served as an advisor to numerous predoctoral, master’s, and postdoctoral scholars, many of whom have been highly awarded—a testament to Dr. Kaminski’s commitment and excellence in toxicology instruction. Dr. Kaminski also furthers toxicological understanding through regular speaking engagements as well as chairing Symposia and Workshops during scientific meetings.

In addition to his rich publication history—which includes approximately 150 hypothesis-driven peer-reviewed papers and 25 reviews or book chapters—Dr. Kaminski co-authored the chapter on “Toxic Responses of the Immune System” in the seventh, eighth, and ninth editions of Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, the leading text in toxicology graduate studies. He also has served on numerous journal Editorial Boards throughout his career, including his current role as a member of the Editorial Board of Toxicology.

Dr. Kaminski has been active within SOT since he joined the membership in 1983. He served as Treasurer from 2005 to 2007 and was the 2014–2015 SOT President. He is a past Chair of the Endowment Fund Board and Finance Committee and a current member of the Michigan Regional Chapter, Food Safety Specialty Section, and Immunotoxicology Specialty Section.