Awards Abound at the 2014 SOT Annual Meeting

By Michelle Werts posted 03-24-2014 09:45


Last night, SOT honored some of its best scientists, postdoctoral researchers, educators, and students at the 2014 SOT Awards Ceremony.

599_8409-resized.jpgSOT President Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman (center of image) kicked of the ceremony by congratulating all of the award winners and all of the attendees for continuing to advance and promote the field of toxicology.

The first awards of the evening were bestowed on Sir John B. Gurdon, this year’s plenary speaker, and Donald E. Ingber, who both became honorary members of SOT.

  • Dr. Gurdon (far right in image) is a distinguished group leader at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, England, whose career has concentrated on nuclear transplantation and experiments to discover the value of mRNA microinjection, mechanisms of response to morphogen gradients, and, recently, mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming by xenopus oocytes and eggs.
  • Dr. Ingber (far left in inmage) is the founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University; the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; and a professor of bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At the Wyss Institute, he oversees a multifaceted effort to identify the mechanisms that living organisms use to self-assemble and to apply these design principles to develop advanced materials and devices.

SOT is honored to have them both join our ranks.

Next, SOT recognized the 2014 SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program winners: Gonzalo Diaz from Colombia and Ebenezer O. Farombi from Nigeria. Through this program, SOT is sponsoring specific collaborations between universities in the United States and in developing countries by enabling an exchange visit of senior scientists between the partnered universities to address identified gaps in the developing country university’s core toxicology curriculum; support courses or symposia on toxicology topics of high priority in the developing country; and fund the senior scholars’ attendance at the SOT Annual Meeting as an opportunity to present research and establish networking opportunities. Dr. Diaz will be hosted by Wilson K. Rumbeiha at Iowa State University as part of the program, and James Klaunig of Indiana University School of Public Health will host Dr. Farombi.

599_8505-resized.jpgThis year, 11 junior and senior scientists (pictured right) from around the globe were awarded SOT/AstraZeneca/SOT Endowment Fund/IUTOX Travel Fellowships to attend the SOT Annual Meeting, while 70 graduate students received SOT Graduate Student Travel Support awards, supported in part by Battelle and the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. In addition, 11 undergraduate students won Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Awards, which recognize outstanding undergraduates who are presenting research at the Annual Meeting with a goal of fostering interest in graduate studies in the field of toxicology. All of the winners and their hosts were honored and recognized at tonight’s ceremony.

During the ceremony, SOT welcomed Dr. David Nuber of Colgate-Palmolive to present the awards supported by the company:

Thank you to Colgate-Palmolive for supporting and advancing toxicological research through this award sponsorship.

2014 marks the fifth year of the Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies, which is presented to either a third year or later graduate student or to a postdoctoral trainee. This year’s Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies was given to Dilshan S. Harischandra of Iowa State University for his project “Role of the Environmental Neurotoxicant Manganese in Cell-to-Cell Transmission on ɑ-synuclein in Parkinson's Disease.”

Next on the program was the awarding of the SOT Awards.

  • 599_8432-resized.jpgMatthew J. Campen of the University of New Mexico received the SOT Achievement Award, one of the longest-standing SOT Awards. Dr. Campen has contributed a great deal to our understanding of how airborne toxicants, such as particulate matter and ozone, cause systemic vascular insult and has established methods to assess mode of action of vascular dysfunction and mediator-based injury.
  • “The Threshold Length for Fiber-Induced Acute Pleural Inflammation: Shedding Light on the Early Events in Asbestos-Induced Mesothelioma” was the title of the winner of the SOT Board of Publications’ Award for the Best Paper in Toxicological Sciences. The authors of the paper are Anja Schinwald, Fiona Murphy, Adriele Prina-Mello, Craig Poland, Fiona Byrne, Dania Movia, James Glass, Janet Dickerson, David Schultz, Chris Jeffree, William MacNee, and Ken Donaldson.
  • The 34-year-old SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award was awarded to B. Bhaskar Gollapudi (pictured on right with SOT Treasurer Denise Robinson Gravatt) of Exponent, Inc. Dr. Gollapudi has significantly advanced the field of risk assessment though innovative thinking and principled risk assessment practice.
  • The SOT Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award, formerly known as the Scientific Achievement Award, was given to Richard Peterson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Peterson has made a number of seminal contributions in the areas of reproductive and developmental toxicology, ecotoxicology, cardiovascular toxicology, and risk assessment.
  • Each year, the SOT Education Award is presented to 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. This year’s recipient is Herman N. Autrup of the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
  • John Thomas of the Indiana University School of Medicine has won the SOT Founders Award. Dr. Thomas wins this award for his efforts to improve the ability to make distinctions between safe and unsafe levels of chemical exposure—for his breadth of research on xenobiotic chemicals’ effect on the male reproductive system.
  • The SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award is given to a scientist for research contributing to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of toxicology. This year’s recipient, Vishal Vaidya of Harvard Medical School, has aided this understanding through his work on a biomarker for kidney injury known as
  • 599_8423-resized.jpgOn its 10th anniversary, the SOT Public Communications Award has been bestowed on David Eaton (pictured on right with SOT Councilor Lorrene Buckley) of the University of Washington for his multiple publications in the area of general education and also for his efforts to educate lawyers about toxicology and in promoting multidisciplinary scientific endeavors.
  • First presented in 2009, the SOT Translational Impact Award is presented this year to Timothy Phillips of Texas A&M University. Dr. Phillips has conducted pioneering research in the US and Africa on dioctahedral smectite clays and aflatoxin B1.
  • William Atchison of Michigan State University has been awarded the SOT Undergraduate Educator Award, which is sponsored by the SOT Endowment Fund. Among the many opportunities that Dr. Atchison has provided to undergraduates is the establishment of an NIH, NINDS-funded R25-Diversity Education grant in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico that provides research experiences for Latino undergraduates.
  • The SOT Merit Award was the first award ever presented by the Society. Tonight, it was given to Jay I. Goodman for his distinguished contributions to toxicology. Dr. Goodman’s research has focused on discerning epigenetic mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis and other chemical-induced toxicities.

Congratulations again to all of the 2014 SOT Award winners. We are honored to have you all at the 2014 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo.