Congratulations to the 2023 SOT Award Recipients

By Joshua Gray posted 01-19-2023 13:43


This blog is co-authored by 2022–2023 SOT President Michael Aschner, PhD, ATS

Over the last 50+ years, the SOT Awards have honored visionary toxicologists, exemplary early career scientists, and outstanding postdocs and students. That tradition continues this year as we recognize individuals who have and are advancing the field of toxicology in extraordinary ways.

Among the accomplishments of this year’s awardees are discoveries related to xenobiotic transporters, the mechanisms of misfolded protein propagation, hemangiosarcomas, the role of oxidative stress and redox signaling in gene transcription in tobacco-related pulmonary diseases, the mode of action by which certain chemicals induce kidney tumors in male rats, and the role of the microbiome in pregnancy and early developmental programming.

The 2023 Award recipients also have excelled in leadership, mentorship, and education roles, which is exemplified by the hundreds of papers that they have published, countless students and postdocs that have benefitted from their guidance, and various regulations, processes, and standards that they have influenced.

Please join us in recognizing the 2023 SOT Award recipients in Nashville on Sunday, March 19, from 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm during the SOT 62nd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. In addition, the SOT Component Groups will honor scientists in specialty areas with awards during events and receptions taking place throughout the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.

Thank you to the 2022–2023 SOT Awards and other Committee members and the Component Group leadership, who have diligently reviewed the nominations and applications and selected this year’s awardees.

SOT AWARDS (Conferred by the SOT Awards Committee)

SOT Honorary Membership

SOT recognizes nonmembers who embody outstanding and sustained achievements in the field of toxicology and/or allied disciplines with Honorary membership.

  • Namandjé N. Bumpus, PhD, US FDA

SOT Achievement Award

This award recognizes an SOT member who has made significant contributions to toxicology within 15 years of obtaining their highest earned degree.

  • John Daniel Clarke, PhD, Washington State University

SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award

This award recognizes an SOT member who has made a major contribution to risk assessment and/or the regulation of chemical agents, including pharmaceuticals. The contribution may have resulted from the application of sound scientific principles to regulation and/or from research activities that have significantly influenced the regulatory process.

  • Elaine M. Faustman, PhD, DABT, ATS, University of Washington

SOT Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award

This award recognizes an SOT member who has made substantial and seminal scientific contributions to the understanding of the science of toxicology and is actively involved in toxicological research.

  • Anumantha G. Kanthasamy, PhD, University of Georgia
    Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award Lecture:
    Tuesday, March 21, 11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

SOT Education Award

This award recognizes an individual who is distinguished by the teaching and training of toxicologists and who has made significant contributions to education in the broad field of toxicology.

  • Bevin Page Engelward, ScD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award

This award recognizes an SOT member for contributions made to the advancement of toxicological science through the development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. This award recognizes outstanding/significant contributions made by SOT members to the scientifically sound and responsible use of animals in research. This award also serves to recognize member contributions to the public awareness of the importance of animals in toxicology research. The achievement recognized may be either a seminal piece of work or a long-term contribution to toxicological science and animal welfare.

  • Erin H. Hill, BA, Institute for In Vitro Sciences Inc.

SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology)

This award, sponsored by the SOT Endowment Fund, recognizes a Full, Emeritus, or Retired Full member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in fostering the role of toxicological sciences in safety decision-making through the development and/or application of state-of-the-art approaches that elucidate, with a high degree of confidence, the distinctions for humans between safe and unsafe levels of exposures to chemical and physical agents.

  • Jon C. Cook, PhD, DABT, ATS, Pfizer Inc.

SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award

This award recognizes a scientist who, based on research, has made a recent (within the last five years), seminal scientific contribution/advance to understanding fundamental mechanisms of toxicity. The recipient should be a respected basic scientist whose research findings are likely to have a pervasive impact on the field of toxicology.

  • Irfan Rahman, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
    Leading Edge in Basic Science Award Lecture:
    Tuesday, March 21, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

SOT Merit Award

This award recognizes an SOT member who has made distinguished contributions to toxicology throughout an entire career in areas such as research, teaching, regulatory activities, consulting, and service to the Society.

  • Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, PhD, Bristol Myers Squibb
    Merit Award Lecture:
    Monday, March 20, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

SOT Public Communications Award

The SOT Public Communications Award is presented to recognize an individual who has made a major contribution to broadening the general public’s awareness of toxicological issues, including public understanding of the role and importance of experimental animals in toxicological science, through any aspect of public communications, over a significant period of time.

  • Jamie C. DeWitt, PhD, East Carolina University

SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award

This award recognizes an SOT member who has displayed a commitment to mentoring and whose advice and counsel have substantially enhanced the career development of toxicologists.

  • Robyn Leigh Tanguay, PhD, Oregon State University

SOT Translational Impact Award

This award recognizes a scientist whose recent (within the last 10 years) outstanding clinical, environmental health, or translational research has improved human and/or public health in an area of toxicological concern.

  • Kjersti Aagaard, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
    Translational Impact Award Lecture:
    Monday, March 20, 9:15 AM to 10:15 AM

SOT Undergraduate Educator Award

This award, sponsored by the SOT Endowment Fund, recognizes an SOT member who is distinguished by outstanding contributions to the teaching of undergraduate students in toxicology and toxicology-related areas and whose efforts support the Society’s strategic efforts to “build for the future of toxicology.”

  • Lauren M. Aleksunes, PharmD, PhD, DABT, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

(Conferred by the SOT Awards Committee)

Bristol Myers Squibb Graduate Student Research Training Award to Promote Diversity in Toxicology

This fellowship supplements the resources available to academic laboratories hosting and supporting Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Indigenous American graduate students to conduct their research and training.

  • Arturo Barahona, MPH, Florida International University

Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods

This award is designed to graduate student research training using in vitro methods or alternative techniques to replace the use of animals in toxicological research.

  • Xuelian Jia, MS, Rowan University

Colgate-Palmolive Grants for Alternative Research

This grant identifies and supports efforts that promote, develop, refine, or validate scientifically acceptable animal alternative methods to facilitate the safety assessment of new chemicals and formulations.

  • Fiona Murphy, PhD, University of Strathclyde
  • Ana Cristina Rosa da Silva, PhD, Universidade de Coimbra

Colgate-Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in
In Vitro Toxicology

This award supports research to advance the development of alternatives to animal testing in toxicological research.

  • Joost Boeckmans, PharmD, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies

This award, presented to either a third-year (or later) graduate student or postdoctoral trainee, supports mode-of-action research aimed at characterizing dose-dependent effects of xenobiotics on mammalian systems in such a way that the causal sequence of key events underlying toxicity is elucidated.

  • Shreyas Gaikwad, MS, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


Toxicological Sciences
Paper of the Year Award

Selected by the SOT Board of Publications, this award recognizes the author(s) of a paper published in the official SOT journal, Toxicological Sciences, during the 12-month period terminating with the June issue of the calendar year preceding the Annual Meeting at which the award is presented.

  • Theodore A. Slotkin, Edward D. Levin, and Frederic J. Seidler. 2021. “Paternal Cannabis Exposure Prior to Mating, but Not Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, Elicits Deficits in Dopaminergic Synaptic Activity in the Offspring.” Toxicological Sciences 184, no. 2 (December): 252–64.

SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program

The Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program (GSSEP) aims to increase the global impact of toxicology on human health and safety by working to strengthen toxicology programs and capacity at universities throughout the world. The SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program provides funding support for senior-level scientists from countries recognized as part of the SOT Global Economy Support Programs to visit senior-level scientists with an established toxicology program to gain insight into toxicology research programs. The host senior scientist returns the visit to offer further advice and guidance to the supported toxicology program.

  • Scholar: Motunrayo G. Akande, DVM, PhD, FCVSN, University of Abuja, Nigeria
    Host: Aaron Barchowsky, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
  • Scholar: Carolina I. Ghanem, PhD, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Host: José E. Manautou, PhD, ATS, University of Connecticut

SOT/SOT Endowment Fund/IUTOX Travel Awards

These travel fellowships, administered by IUTOX and sponsored by SOT and the SOT Endowment Fund, are awarded to junior and senior scientists from countries where toxicology is underrepresented to assist with travel to attend the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.

  • Saira Amir, PhD, COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Chaniphun Butryee, PhD, Mahidol University Institute of Nutrition, Thailand
  • Aziza Hussein Bakheit Adam, PhD, University of Khartoum Faculty of Public and Environmental Health, Sudan
  • Adeep Monger, MS, Bhutan Ministry of Health Royal Centre for Disease Control, Bhutan
  • Gisela Laura Poletta, PhD, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina

SOT Best Postdoctoral Publication Awards

Presented by the SOT Postdoctoral Assembly, these awards recognize outstanding work accomplished during formal mentored postdoctoral traineeships by recognizing exceptional recently published papers in the field of toxicology.

  • Qiran Chen, PhD, University of Florida
    Paper Citation:
    Chen, Qiran, Wei-Chun Chou, and Zhoumeng Lin. 2022. “Integration of Toxicogenomics and Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling in Human Health Risk Assessment of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate.” Environmental Science & Technology 56, no. 6 (March): 3623–33. View paper.
  • Isha Mhatre-Winters, PhD, Florida International University
    Paper Citation:
    Eid, Aseel, Isha Mhatre-Winters, Ferass M. Sammoura, Melissa K. Edler, Richard von Stein, Muhammad M. Hossain, Yoonhee Han et al. 2022. “Effects of DDT on Amyloid Precursor Protein Levels and Amyloid Beta Pathology: Mechanistic Links to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk.” Environmental Health Perspectives 130, no. 8 (August): 87005. View paper.
  • Alexandra N. Nail, PhD, University of Louisville
    Paper Citation:
    Nail, Alexandra N., Lakynkalina M. McCaffrey, Mayukh Banerjee, Ana P. Ferragut Cardoso, and J. Christopher States. 2022. “Chronic Arsenic Exposure Suppresses ATM Pathway Activation in Human Keratinocytes.” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 446 (July): 116042. View abstract.

SOT Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Travel Award

Selected by the SOT Committee on Diversity Initiatives and named after an SOT Past President, this award recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who was previously selected to participate in the SOT Undergraduate Diversity Program, who is from a racial/ethnic group underrepresented in toxicology (for example, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander), and who is presenting a poster at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.

  • Jennae Whitted, Trinity Washington University

SOT Undergraduate Research Awards

These awards recognize outstanding undergraduates who have not yet received their bachelor’s degrees and are presenting research at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. The goal of these awards is to foster interest in graduate studies in the field of toxicology.

  • Shivani Ayyagari, North Carolina State University
  • Isabella Boyack, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Celine Yvonne Campos, Regis University
  • Rumaan Cheema, University of California Riverside
  • Chloe Kurr-Ing Chou, University of California Davis
  • Anantha Akshitha Korrapati, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Nivedita Krishnakumar, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Kaitlyn Lewars, Duke University
  • Sophie Alice McKenzie, Western University
  • Abucar Mohamed, College of Idaho
  • Keerthana Sai Prayaga, Texas A&M University
  • Sawyer H. Smith, Park University
  • Chrisula M. Stone, Northern Kentucky University
  • Jenna Swihart, Purdue University

SOT Undergraduate Diversity Program Advisor Travel Award

This award provides the opportunity for undergraduate faculty advisors who are not SOT members to attend the SOT Undergraduate Diversity Program at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo to help them become more familiar with toxicology as a career option for their students.

  • Ileana Feliciano, PhD, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo
  • Uzoma Okafor, PhD, Albany State University
  • Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD, Florida Memorial University

SOT Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Travel Award

This award provides the opportunity for promising undergraduate science majors interested in research careers to attend the SOT Undergraduate Diversity Program at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.

  • Isabelle Akoro, Purdue University
  • Harriet Akyen-Odoom, Bates College
  • Yaina Berrios-Maldonado, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo
  • Mariah Bynum, Savannah State University
  • Faythe Cooper, Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Marie Delcy, Fort Valley State University
  • Jenielle Domaoal, San Diego State University
  • Clarissa Isabelle Flores, St. Mary’s University
  • Kristal Garcia, King University
  • Nehemías Cabán García, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo
  • Bevin Glanton, Albany State University
  • Melodee Graves, Fayetteville State University
  • Belize Iteriteka, Bates College
  • Jessica Kissi, Bates College
  • Melissa Kudlak, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • Hannah Matthews, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Amanda Meadows, King University
  • Ruth Meletz, University of California Riverside
  • Erin Peters, King University
  • Evelyn Redmond, Albany State University
  • Martha Adriana Rondon, Trinity Washington University
  • Mahmoud Salem, Stony Brook University
  • Dillon Stevens, Idaho State University
  • Dakoda Talamantes, University of La Verne
  • Adrian Taranto, Livingstone College
  • Jocelyn Torres, St. Mary’s University
  • Alanis J. Torres Berríos, Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez
  • Gia Valdez, DePaul University
  • Nathan L. Valdez Jr., Fort Lewis College
  • Tre’Shur Williams-Carter, Fort Valley State University

Each year, SOT also provides support to more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students through student travel awards and the SOT Endowment Fund awards.

More information on the 2023 Award recipients is available on the SOT website.