SOT Announces the 2020–2021 Election Results


By Laurie Haws posted 02-20-2020 15:27


Communique 2020 Final Issue Masthead

Thank you to the members who participated in this year’s election. The following members were elected and will begin their service on May 1, 2020.

Vice President-Elect: Michael Aschner, PhD, ATS

Headshot of Michael AschnerDr. Aschner has served on numerous national and international toxicology panels, served and chaired a National Institutes of Health study section, and authored approximately 630 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 100 book chapters in the area of neurotoxicology. He presently serves as an Associate Editor for and on the editorial boards of numerous journals. In addition to SOT, which he joined in 1986, he is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, is a Past President of the International Neurotoxicology Association, and currently serves as President of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. In 2011, Dr. Aschner received the SOT Merit Award, and he served as SOT Treasurer from 2017 to 2019.

“Our Society is healthy and vibrant, diverse, and inclusive. We should be proud of our achievements, yet at the same time look for further challenges and improvements,” says Dr. Aschner. “SOT must continue to work with its membership to enhance meaningful opportunities to forge new connections across disciplines and continents to advance the field. Bringing a more focused global perspective to the SOT will be a significant advantage to our membership. As such, I believe that SOT must further engage with joint training and advocacy activities with other international partners.” In addition, Dr. Aschner would like to “form a working group with the expertise and breadth of knowledge and background of SOT members to identify and conceptualize the relevant issues to all of our members, and to build an SOT that is more inclusive of all members, irrespective of their professional community, as equal and effective partners, ensuring we all call SOT our home society.”


Treasurer-Elect: Mary E. Gilbert, PhD

Headshot of Mary E. GilbertDr. Gilbert is a neurotoxicologist in the Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Gilbert sits on the editorial boards for the Journal of Neuroendocrinology and Neurotoxicology and Teratology and is an Associate Editor for Neurotoxicology. Dr. Gilbert also has held membership in the Society for Neuroscience and is active in the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society, where she has served as Councilor, Chair of Finance, Chair of Nominations, and 2006 President. An SOT member for 21 years, Dr. Gilbert has been active in the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section, where she served as Secretary/Treasurer for four years and President in 2016.

As Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer, Dr. Gilbert promises to “be ever vigilant to the best use of the funds provided by members, our generous corporate supporters, and Endowment Fund contributors, striving for excellence in our scientific program. [Her] goal will be to promote representation and inclusivity at both the organizational and personal level and to provide an opportunity for our next generation of toxicologists.”


Councilors: Alison Harrill and Vishal S. Vaidya

Headshot of Alison HarrillAlison Harrill, PhD
Dr. Harrill is a geneticist within the National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Harrill has worked to develop biofluid-based toxicity biomarkers and to incorporate genetic susceptibility and understanding of population health dynamics into safety assessments of drugs and chemicals using novel in vivo and in vitro methodologies. Dr. Harrill joined SOT in 2005 and currently serves SOT in both elected and appointed positions and was recently appointed as Toxicological Sciences Deputy Editor. One of her goals as Councilor is to “ensure that each member is engaged in the Society in meaningful ways and that your voices are heard, from the trainee level to mid-career and senior folks.”

Headshot of Vishal S. VaidyaVishal S. Vaidya, PhD
Dr. Vaidya has led multidisciplinary teams in academia and industry with a goal of impacting patients’ lives by discovering disease modulating targets and disease monitoring biomarkers. He has received multiple honors, including the NIH/NIEHS Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, the SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award, and the SOT Achievement Award. Since joining SOT in 1999, Dr. Vaidya has served on various elected and appointed Committees. As Councilor, Dr. Vaidya hopes to help the Society continue “to attract emerging talent from a multidisciplinary background and immerse them in toxicology.”


Awards Committee

Headshot of Sue M. FordSue M. Ford, PhD, DABT
Dr. Ford is an active researcher and has mentored 21 graduate students, as well as undergraduate and high school students. At St. John’s University, Dr. Ford has been a leader in undergraduate and graduate curriculum development and educational policy for the toxicology program and was appointed Director in 2007. Dr. Ford joined SOT in 1988 and has served on various SOT Committees and in leadership roles for multiple Component Groups.

Headshot of Ilona JaspersIlona Jaspers, PhD
Dr. Jaspers has more than 20 years of experience in studying the effects of inhaled toxicants on lung health. In addition to her research, she is the Director of the Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and oversees the training of more than 25 students and postdocs interested in scientific careers in toxicology. An SOT member since 2001, Dr. Jaspers has served as Secretary/Treasurer and Councilor for the Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section.

Headshot of William B. MattesWilliam B. Mattes, PhD, DABT
Dr. Mattes is the Director of the Division of Systems Biology, part of the US Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. His research interests include bioinformatics, data science, and cross-species and cross-tissue comparisons of molecular responses, as well as group dynamics that lead to successful collaboration between scientists and changes in scientific policy. Since joining SOT in 1990, Dr. Mattes has served on the Continuing Education Committee twice and in leadership capacities for various Component Groups.


Membership Committee

Headshot of Ronald E. BaynesRonald E. Baynes, DVM, PhD
Dr. Baynes is a Professor of pharmacology with the North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine. His research at NCSU has been supported by several National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Defense, and industrial grants. He has generated more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters pertaining to his teaching, extension, and research activities. Dr. Baynes joined SOT in 1999 and previously served as Councilor for the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.

Headshot of Agnes KarmausAgnes Karmaus, PhD
Dr. Karmaus is a Senior Staff Toxicologist at Integrated Laboratory Systems Inc., specializing in in vitro and computational toxicology. Her research interests include high-throughput screening and computational toxicology, and her work focuses on developing and evaluating the performance of alternative approaches to animal testing. Dr. Karmaus has been an active member of SOT for 12 years, attending every Annual Meeting since the junior year of her undergraduate degree and serving on the leadership teams of several Specialty Sections and on various SOT Committees.

Headshot of Jacqueline Kinyamu-AkundaJacqueline Kinyamu-Akunda, DVM, PhD
Dr. Kinyamu-Akunda is a Director of preclinical safety at Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research and also is an adjunct faculty in the Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she teaches nonclinical safety in drug development and co-directs a course in advanced topics in toxicology focusing on pharmaceutical safety assessment. Since joining SOT in 2005, Dr. Kinyamu-Akunda has served in various leadership positions for the Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section.


Nominating Committee

Headshot of Ruth RobertsFrom Membership-at-Large:
Ruth Roberts, PhD, ATS, FBTS, ERT, FRSB, FRCPath
Dr. Roberts is a Director of ApconiX, an integrated toxicology and ion channel research company, which she co-founded in 2015, and is a Full Professor of drug discovery at Birmingham University, United Kingdom. Dr. Roberts joined SOT in 1998 and since then has been an active member serving in various roles, including as President of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section, as Chair of the Membership Committee, and as SOT Secretary from 2016 to 2018.

Headshot of George DeGeorgeFrom Regional Chapters:
George DeGeorge, PhD, DABT
Dr. DeGeorge is the Chief Scientific Officer at MB Research Laboratories. Dr. DeGeorge has served on three expert review panels for the US Environmental Protection Agency involving alternatives to existing animal models, including reviewing the draft guidelines for the LLNA and the UDP tests, and has an editor and reviewer for multiple journals focused on toxicology. Since joining SOT in 1997, Dr. DeGeorge has served as President of three SOT Component Groups and in various other leadership roles.

Headshot Chidozie J. AmuzieFrom Specialty Sections:
Chidozie J. Amuzie, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DABT, PharmD
Dr. Amuzie is a Scientific Director in the Nonclinical Safety Department at Janssen R&D, leading working groups and project teams that focus on advancing specific projects or issue resolutions with focus safety assessment. He has more than 10 years of experience in toxicology and is American board-certified in both toxicology and pathology. Dr. Amuzie has served in leadership roles for various SOT Component Groups since joining the Society in 2004 and currently serves on the Membership Committee.

Headshot of Larissa M. WilliamsFrom Specialty Sections:
Larissa M. Williams, PhD
Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor at Bates College. Since joining SOT in 2010, she has served as a member of the Postdoctoral Assembly Executive Board and as Chair of the Education Committee Undergraduate Education Subcommittee. She currently serves as Councilor for the Northeast Regional Chapter and Molecular and Systems Biology Specialty Section and on the Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee and Regional Chapter Collaboration and Communication Committee.