The Central States Society of Toxicology (CSSOT) held their annual meeting in Ames, Iowa, on October 10–11, 2013. Aileen Keating (Iowa State University), 2013–2014 CSSOT President, arranged a full schedule for the 90 participants from the University of Nebraska Medical School, University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas State University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Drake University, and from industry. The theme of the 2013 CSSOT Annual Meeting was: “Biotechnology to Solve Nutritional, Agricultural, and Veterinarian Toxicological Issues.” To see a pictorial overview of the meeting activities, please visit the SOT website.
On Thursday evening October 10, participants interacted during a social hour; were welcomed by Wilson Rumbeiha, Iowa State University, who introduced Toxicologists Without Borders, Inc.; and enjoyed an excellently prepared meal. Zelieann Rivera Craig, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Arizona, delivered the evening’s presentation, “Mechanisms of Phthalate-Induced Ovarian Follicle Toxicity.” Afterwards, Dr. Craig met with graduate students and postdocs and spoke informally about her professional journey while balancing home life and young children. Transportation was provided to graduate students and postdocs to participate at a game center in Ames where they could bowl, play arcade games, laser tag, or enjoy a full sports bar and restaurant.
On Friday morning, students and postdocs set up posters. Dr. Keating called the meeting to order and participants were welcomed by Wendy Wintersteen, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Science, at Iowa State University. The first speaker was Norbert E. Kaminski, Director, Center for Integrative Toxicology at Michigan State University and also 2013–2014 Vice President of SOT. His presentation was entitled,“Integration of Human Primary Leukocyte-Based Models in Immunotoxicity Evaluations: Benefits and Challenges.” The second speaker was Joel Coats, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor, Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory, Iowa State University, who presented Green Chemistry Approaches to Pesticides.”
Following a short networking break, Michael Kimber, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Iowa State University, Tropical and Molecular Parasitology Lab, presented “Exploiting Small RNA Pathways in Parasitic Nematodes for Drug Development and Disease Control.”
The afternoon included poster presentations. Posters selected as “Best Posters” were presented by Saurabh Verma (Postdoc, Iowa State University), Muhammet Ay (Graduate Student, Iowa State University), Stephanie Shishido (Graduate Student, Kansas State University), Sharon Manley (Graduate Student, Kansas University Medical Center), Shanthi Ganesan (Graduate Student, Iowa State University), Dilshan Harischandra (Graduate Student, Iowa State University), and Chad Walesky (Graduate Student, Kansas University Medical Center). Pictured (left) left to right Anumantha Kanthasamy, CEO of PK Biosciences, Aileen Keating, Saurabh Verma, Muhammet Ay, Dilshan Harischandra, Stephanie Shishido, Sharon Manley, Shanthi Ganesan, and Chad Walesky.
Oral presentations followed with the selection of Xin Hu, University of Iowa, receiving “Best Oral Presentation, Postdoc;” and Hemantkumar Chavan, Kansas University Medical Center, receiving “Best Oral Presentation, Graduate Student.” Wusheng Xiao, University of Iowa, received “Honorary Mention, Oral Presentation, Graduate Student.” Picture (right) from left to right Aileen Keating, Robert Casillas, MRIGlobal, Xin Hu, Hemantkumar Chavan, Clare Croutch, MRIGlobal, and Wusheng Xiao.
Judges for poster and oral contests were Vellareddy Anantharam, Iowa State University; Arthi Kanthasamy, Iowa State University; Suzanne Hendrich, Iowa State University; Alan Robertson, Iowa State University; Udayan Apte, Kansas University Medical Center; Hans-Joachim Lehmler, University of Iowa; Diane Birt, Iowa State University; Thu Annelise Nguyen, Kansas State University; Zelieann Craig, University of Arizona; Norbert Kaminski, Michigan State; and James Sacco, Drake University (Iowa).
Monetary Awards for “Best” were provided by MRIGlobal, Charles River Laboratories, PK Biosciences, and the Interdepartmental Toxicology graduate program at Iowa State University. A special thanks to Vic Albright (graduate student, Iowa State University) for running the poster room set-up and to Samuel Buxton (postdoc, Iowa State University) for filling in where needed to keep the general program running smoothly. Jill Madden (graduate student, Iowa State University) moderated the postdoctoral presentations.
CSSOT 2013 was supported by Cell Signaling Technology Inc., MRIGlobal, Charles River Laboratories, PK Biosciences, and registration fees of participants. CSSOT also was supported by the following Iowa State University organizations: Office of Biotechnology, Interdepartmental Toxicology Graduate Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Iowa Center for Neurotoxicology (ICAN). CSSOT 2014 will be in Kansas.