Pedro L. Del Valle, Joshua P. Gray, Dinah Lee Misner, and Logeswari Ponnusamy Are Elected as 2021–2023 Awards Committee Members

By Suzanne Fitzpatrick posted 03-04-2021 04:50 PM


SOT is pleased to announce the four newly elected members of the Awards Committee, which is charged with reviewing all suggestions and recommendations as to the awards it has been designated by Council to confer and selecting the recipient or recipients for each award.

Pedro L. Del Valle, PhD, ATS

Pedro L. Del Valle, PhD, ATS, has more than 20 years of experience in academia, industry, and government. He has worked in early discovery, lead optimization, and nonclinical development of small molecule pharmaceuticals and biologics. He is currently a drug product safety reviewer in the US Food and Drug Administration Office of New Drugs. He also serves on the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Subcommittee, which provides consultation services to review divisions and promotes consistency in data interpretation, applicable rules, and regulations. Dr. Del Valle is an Adjunct Professor at the Translational Biomedical Research Management Master’s Program of Hartwick College in New York and a lecturer at the National Institutes of Health Translational Science Program.

Dr. Del Valle has been an SOT member since 1996 and is a Past President of the National Capital Area Regional Chapter and the Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists Special Interest Group. He also has served on the Committee on Diversity Initiatives and the Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee.

Of his goals for SOT, Dr. Del Valle says: “SOT continues opening doors for new generations of toxicologist and leaders. Receiving an award is empowering and motivating; selecting award recipients is a great responsibility.”

Joshua P. Gray, PhD

Joshua P. Gray, PhD, is Section Chief and Professor of Chemistry at the United States Coast Guard Academy. His research interests include vesicant chemical weapons, microbial biocide development for fuels, and education. He is particularly focused on inclusive teaching strategies that recruit and retain those underrepresented in science and has volunteered with the Center for Diversity Initiatives programs since 2008.

Since becoming a faculty member in 2008, Dr. Gray, who joined SOT in 2001, has been continuously involved in education-focused SOT activities, leading the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee in 2014–2015 and serving on its successor, the Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee. Within the Northeast Regional Chapter (NESOT), he co-led the creation of an undergraduate-focused session that inspired a regional chapter grant program to foster undergraduate-focused sessions at other regional meetings. In 2020 he was elected Councilor for NESOT and is currently implementing an online-only program with breakout session for undergraduate for a virtual regional meeting in December. He was recognized for his contributions to undergraduate education in 2018 with the SOT Undergraduate Educator Award.

Of his goals for SOT, Dr. Gray says: “Building an increasingly diverse membership requires dedicated commitment to recruitment and recognition of accomplishments throughout the career cycle. Awardees that represent the global diversity of the membership of SOT will inspire the recruitment of future toxicologists.”

Dinah Lee Misner,

Dinah Lee Misner, PhD, DABT, DSP BS, has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. She is currently a Senior Director at Aligos Therapeutics, where she is a toxicology project team representative on both discovery and development teams and is responsible for the design and conduct of in vitro and in vivo toxicology and safety pharmacology studies for treatment of liver diseases, encompassing small molecules as well as oligonucleotides.

Dr. Misner has been an SOT member since 2008 and is the current Past President of the Drug Discovery Toxicology Specialty Section and Vice President of the Cardiovascular Toxicology Specialty Section. She recently served on the Regional Chapter Collaboration and Communication Committee and is a member of the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group and Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section.

Of her goals for SOT, Dr. Misner says: “My goals are to continue to promote SOT and career opportunities, particularly with respect to graduate students and postdoctoral candidates. I would like to see more career development opportunities and mentoring, and I see the awards as a great potential segue into encouraging junior members to get involved in SOT.”

Logeswari Ponnusamy,

Logeswari Ponnusamy, DVM, MVSc, PhD, is a Principal Scientist (Regulatory Toxicology) within Veterinary Medicine R&D at Zoetis Animal Health. As a subject matter expert, she develops regulatory toxicology strategy for veterinary drug development and supports risk assessments for active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients, impurity qualification for drug substances/products, and cleaning validation for manufacturing etc. She also is an industry representative for VICH Human Food Safety Working Group.

Dr. Ponnusamy has been an active SOT member since 2013 and currently serves as a Senior Councilor and Vice President-Elect for the Food Safety Specialty Section. She is a member of the Awards Committee of the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group and the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section. She also has received several SOT awards, including the Vera W. Hudson and Elizabeth K. Weisburger Scholarship Fund Award in 2016, the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section Graduate Student Award in 2016, and the Biotechnology Specialty Section Student Achievement Award in 2017.

Of her goals for SOT, Dr. Ponnusamy says: “Awards and honors are the best ways to recognize members from all stages of career. . . . As a member of the SOT Awards Committee, I will promote scientific excellence, champion global membership, and work toward the SOT mission by identifying and recognizing members for their achievement and professional development.”