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Menghang Xia Is Being Recognized with the 2024 SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award for Her Leadership in the Advancement of High-Throughput Screening Methods as Alternative Test Methods

By Marie Fortin posted 01-18-2024 15:07

  

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.

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.

For her leadership and management of the federal interagency Tox21 Consortia and her contributions in developing and applying high-throughput screening assays—and the significant efforts have had on the replacement, refinement, and reduction in the use of experimental animals—Menghang Xia, PhD, is awarded the 2024 SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award.

After receiving her PhD in pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1993, Dr. Xia pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Francisco and then became a Senior Research Pharmacologist at Merck & Co. Inc.

For the past 18 years, Dr. Xia has been the Group Leader of Systems Toxicology at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she is actively involved in leading various Tox21 Federal Collaboration Cross Partner Projects and high-throughput screening assay development. Dr. Xia’s research has generated nearly 250 publications with an h-index of 60 and more than 13,000 total citations to date. Dr. Xia has given numerous scientific presentations at national and international conferences. She also has served as an editorial board member for several scientific journals. Within the NIH, she has mentored nine postdocs, five PhD students, and 27 interns/postbacs/visiting scholars, receiving the NCATS Director’s Mentorship Award and an NIH Director’s Award for her mentoring efforts.

As part of the Tox21 collaboration, Dr. Xia led the successful screening of 10,000 chemicals against more than 100 in vitro high-throughput assays in a robotic platform, which resulted in the generation of very large novel datasets in the public domain that can be used for mapping molecular and cellular events in nuclear receptor signaling, stress response, and developmental toxicity pathways. This truly transformative dataset of more than 100 million data points is widely recognized by numerous manuscripts and presentations, raising awareness of the possibilities of high-throughput screening methods to help replace, refine, and reduce the use of experimental animals.

Dr. Xia joined SOT as a Full member in 2008 and has been an active member of the American Association of Chinese in Toxicology (AACT) and Women in Toxicology Special Interest Groups, the In Vitro and Alternative Methods and Dermal Toxicology Specialty Sections, and the National Capital Area Regional Chapter. Recognizing her role in the Tox21 collaboration and her development of high-throughput screening assays, Dr. Xia was awarded the 2022 AACT WestChina-Frontier PharmaTech Distinguished Chinese Toxicologist Award.

Dr. Xia’s consistent engagement with the scientific community as a speaker and publisher, her leadership in federal collaborations, and her development and validation of high-throughput screening assays represent long-term contributions to toxicological science and animal welfare and are being recognized with the 2024 SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award.

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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