Cynthia V. Rider, PhD, DABT, was chosen by the SOT voting members to serve as the 2023–2024 SOT Vice President–Elect.
Dr Rider is a toxicologist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program (NTP), where she serves as project leader for a diverse portfolio of testing programs, including polycyclic aromatic compounds, botanical dietary supplements, and industrial chemicals. As a study scientist, she designs, evaluates, and communicates results from in vitro and in vivo toxicological studies of chemicals selected for investigation by the NTP. Dr. Rider’s research interests are in evaluating and refining methods to predict mixture toxicity based on data from components or whole reference mixtures. She has established several collaborations with industry, government, and academic scientists to advance the field of mixtures toxicology. Her overarching goal, through her research efforts at NTP and collaborative partnerships, is to generate robust toxicological data to inform risk assessment of mixtures, including chemical and nonchemical stressors.
Dr. Rider received her BS from Tulane University in environmental studies and biology and her PhD from North Carolina State University in environmental toxicology. She completed postdoctoral training in the Reproductive Toxicology Branch of the US Environmental Protection Agency National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She became a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology in 2011.
Dr. Rider has been an SOT member since 2008. She previously served on SOT Council as a Councilor and as President of the SOT Mixtures Specialty Section and SOT North Carolina Regional Chapter.
Goals for SOT
SOT is a tremendously successful organization due to the dedication and engagement of its diverse community of members. Throughout my experience serving in SOT groups, such as the Continuing Education Committee, the Future Strategy for SOT Meetings Working Group, and SOT Council, the common themes that have emerged include the critical review of ongoing programs and opportunities, enthusiasm for exploring innovative ideas, full support for activities that work, and willingness to change course when needed. These experiences provide the foundation for my primary goal for SOT, which is to actively pursue deliberate strategic development in areas that are the most impactful and benefit the greatest number of members. Some examples of ongoing programs that I believe meet these criteria are the SOT collaboration with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to help SOT members at all levels develop more effective communication skills and updating mentoring activities such as the mentoring breakfast and the Mentor Match website. Additional examples of recently implemented programs that aim to explore novel communication formats, highlight our members, and increase the reach of our science include the InTOXicating Science Talks and the Adverse Reactions podcast.
Moving forward, areas that I would like to focus increased attention on include global outreach and developing programs to retain engagement with our members from all sectors in the face of expanding competition from the proliferation of smaller, more specialized meetings. Making progress in these areas will require careful consideration of the balance between increasing access to virtual programing and maintaining investment in the in-person activities that are the heart of SOT. I believe that the key ingredients to successful program implementation are seeking input from members, exploring new ideas, and carefully evaluating the associated risks and benefits. In summary, as SOT President, I would actively engage the membership and work hard to implement promising ideas that are in line with the SOT strategic goals and mission of creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.