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2024 SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award Recipient Scott Auerbach Is Being Honored for Advancing the Use of Genomics-Based Data in Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision-Making

By Marie Fortin posted 01-18-2024 15:08

  

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog about the awardee(s) is based on the nomination materials provided. This citation is being shared under the Award Committee Chair’s name as part of their official duties and should not be interpreted as their personal or professional opinions.

Named after one of the SOT founders, 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.

For exemplifying the team science approach in generating genomics-based data that help inform risk assessment and regulatory decisions that impact public health, Scott Auerbach, PhD, DABT, is the 2024 recipient of the SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award.

Dr. Auerbach’s collaborative work in the omics field has been instrumental in building assurance in its integration with chemical hazard characterization and risk assessment processes. He has led numerous workshops and developed various guidance papers aimed at improving the evaluation of chemical-induced genomic responses, leveraging these data to derive benchmark doses that inform overall chemical risk assessments. To promote the use of genomic technology in toxicological assessment, Dr. Auerbach’s team has made sizable amounts of integrated toxicogenomics data publicly available, much of which has seen extensive reuse by the toxicology community. In addition, he has developed user-friendly, open-source software for genomic data analysis. As a result of extensive collaborations with government and industry organizations over the years, these frameworks are gaining regulatory acceptance and acknowledgement worldwide.

As the application of genomics and other high-throughput technologies has evolved, Dr. Auerbach has been at the forefront of employing a variety of novel analytical approaches. These approaches integrate several data streams—including high-throughput screening, high-throughput transcriptomics, and chemical structure—into the assessment of test articles (individual chemicals and complex mixtures) nominated to the National Toxicology Program (NTP). A notable example was the NTP’s rapid response to the 2014 Elk River Chemical Spill in West Virginia, where Dr. Auerbach led a team of scientists in quickly generating and reporting a diverse set of data that supported advanced chemical risk assessment and reduced uncertainty about the drinking water screening levels set at the time of the spill. More recently, his work has been extensively cited in the formulation of the US EPA’s Transcriptomic Assessment Product (ETAP) to help address chemicals lacking traditional toxicity testing data in a more timely way.

Dr. Auerbach joined SOT as a Graduate Student member in 2002, and since then, his pioneering research projects and applications have garnered numerous awards and recognition through the years, including two Best Published Paper Advancing the Science of Risk Assessment Awards from the SOT Risk Assessment Specialty Section. He also has been the recipient of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Paper of the Year Awards. Dr. Auerbach is an active member of the Risk Assessment and Molecular and Systems Biology Specialty Sections and the North Carolina Regional Chapter.

His commitment to team-first leadership has thoroughly advanced the scientific community while his scientific contributions continue to advance the integration of molecular-based data into chemical regulation and risk assessment.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog about the awardee(s) is based on the nomination materials provided. This citation is being shared under the Award Committee Chair’s name as part of their official duties and should not be interpreted as their personal or professional opinions.


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