SOT Recognizes Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers: Applications and Abstracts are Due October 17

By Emily Ford posted 09-22-2022 14:36


We know that undergraduate research in toxicology can be a life-changing experience for the student and valuable for the mentor, often propelling students to toxicology-related careers. SOT recognizes outstanding undergraduate research through the SOT Undergraduate Research Award.

Consider the following from Dr. Jessica Hartman:

Two rows of men and woman. The backrow is standing side-by-side smiling at the camera. The front row is sitting in chairs smiling at the camera.
2022 SOT Undergraduate Research Award
recipients, with the back row flanked by
Council members Christine Curran on the left
and Antonio Baines on the right.

“The SOT Undergraduate Research Award has been an incredible part of my career. I first attended the SOT meeting in 2011 in Washington, DC, as a recipient of this award (then supported by Pfizer). It was my first scientific meeting. I was totally unprepared for the bustle of this busy meeting, and the excitement and scientific content captured my attention and held it. I walked into the meeting very unsure of my future plans and walked out wanting to pursue toxicology as a career. I also came away with friends I would keep up with for more than a decade.

I went on to earn my PhD in biochemistry with Dr. Grover Miller at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and did postdoctoral training with Dr. Joel Meyer at Duke University. I started my own lab at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston in October 2020.

Ten years after my first SOT meeting, an incredible undergraduate student in my lab applied for the SOT Undergraduate Research Award. Elizabeth Ampolini was my first summer undergraduate student, and she set the bar super high for all future undergraduates in my group. She is incredibly talented at the bench, fun to work with, and exceptionally bright. I was thrilled when she received the award to attend the 2022 meeting in San Diego, California. Her experience was similarly overwhelming and exciting, and at the Scientific Sessions, she found interests across the field of toxicology.

There are two women standing to the right of a bulletin board. Both are smiling at the camera and standing side-by-side.
Mentor Jessica Hartman with protégé
Elizabeth Ampolini at Elizabeth’s SOT poster.

Elizabeth is starting her PhD this fall here at MUSC. Overall, I feel this award sparks career-defining moments for undergraduate students, and I am so grateful for the support from SOT of my own career and that of my students.”

The Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee encourages undergraduates with research to present at the 2023 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo to apply for the SOT Undergraduate Research Award. The deadline for this year’s application is October 17. Applicants must submit an abstract by this date to be eligible. Please note the abstract submission deadline for this award is earlier than the standard December 1 abstract deadline.

The FUTURE Committee conducts an intensive review to determine the award recipients. In addition to recognition and prestige, the selected students also receive travel and lodging support for the entire meeting and participate in special activities.

SOT members who mentor or know undergraduate researchers should encourage your students to apply. We look forward to seeing and recognizing their efforts.