Upcoming Component Groups and Committee Webinars: February 2018

By Michael Carvan posted 02-01-2018 16:06


The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Component Groups (Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections) and other Committee groups host many webinars throughout the year. Webinars are an effective distance-learning method intended to impart scientific knowledge to members of their group as well as the SOT membership at large. These webinars are just one of the many benefits of SOT membership.

Upcoming webinars for February 2018 are listed below.

Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section (IRSS)

Topic: Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework in Inhalation and Respiratory Toxicology

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Time

Event address for attendees

Sabina Halappanavar, PhD, Research Scientist, Genomics and Nanotoxicology Laboratory, Mechanistic Studies Division, Health Canada
Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa 

The sheer numbers of chemicals already in commerce, and the rate at which new chemicals are being developed and used, have outpaced our ability to assess their safety using the traditional animal-reliant test methods. This has resulted in the emergence of novel toxicity testing strategies involving in vitro and in silico models as alternatives to animal testing. However, unless based on mechanistic knowledge, the alternative testing strategies offer little to alleviate the burden placed on toxicologists to complete the human health risk assessment of these chemicals in a timely and effective manner. Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) is a framework that enables structured and simple representation of mechanistic knowledge in the form of causally linked biological events at various levels of biological organization. 

Diverse classes of nanomaterials exhibiting a wide array of physical-chemical properties are currently in commercial use and are known to exert toxicological effects in experimental animals. However, an integrated framework for the human health risk assessment of nanomaterials has yet to be established. In this presentation, how construction of AOPs can advance risk assessment of nanomaterials will be discussed. Specifically, the presentation will summarize various AOPs that are currently addressing nanomaterial-induced adverse outcomes, role of ‘omics’ in the development of AOPs and finally, present a case study that is currently investigating their utility in risk assessment and risk categorization of nanomaterials. 

Overall, the webinar (~45 mins duration) will highlight and present the findings on Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework in Respiratory Toxicology with emphasis on inhalation toxicology. The webinar is unique and will serve as a forum for novel approaches related to inhalation toxicology, foster integration of other scientific disciplines and specialties, promote integration and transformation of exposure science in toxicology, increase understanding of toxicological impacts on public health, and initiate discussion on environmental health issues for policy regulation. A broad range of Society members will be benefited from this webinar. 
Irfan Rahman, PhD, Professor, University of Rochester, New York 
Matthew Campen, PhD, Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Andrea De Vizcaya-Ruiz, PhD 

Registration is required.


Biotechnology Specialty Section (BTSS)

Topic: Predictivity/Translatability of Toxicities Observed in Nonclinical Toxicology Studies to Clinical Safety Outcomes

Date and Time: Friday, February 9, 2018, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Eastern Time
(Rescheduled from December 8, 2017)

Event address for attendees 

Nonclinical toxicology studies are conducted to characterize the potential toxicities and establish a safe starting dose for new drugs in clinical studies, but the question remains as to how predictable/translatable are the nonclinical safety findings to humans. Nonclinical safety studies consist of a comprehensive set of in vitro and in vivo studies for assessing safety of new small molecules and biologics before going into the clinic. The in vivo studies are the most critical part of this assessment as they are designed to mimic the clinical study design (i.e., route of exposure, dosing schedule, etc) in rodent and non-rodent species and extensively evaluate the potential toxic effects of new drugs. A multitude of parameters are assessed that include body weight, food consumption, clinical observations, clinical pathology, histopathology, and additional endpoints as needed (i.e., safety pharmacology, genotoxicity, etc.). In many cases, there is good concordance between nonclinical species and patients. However, there are cases when there is a lack of translatability/predictivity. Some toxicities observed preclinically don’t translate to humans, which in some cases has led to early termination of new drug candidates before making it to the clinic that likely would have been safe. In other instances, safety findings arose in the clinical studies that weren’t predicted based on the preclinical safety assessments, and these outcomes resulted in early termination of the clinical trials that likely shouldn’t have been initiated. The objective of this webinar is to better understand safety findings that are translatable vs. safety findings that are not and why. The speakers will highlight a few case examples on anti-drug antibodies, drug-induced liver injury, bone marrow toxicity, and peripheral neuropathy. The purpose of this webinar on predictivity/translatability of nonclinical toxicities to clinical safety outcomes is to better inform the future nonclinical safety assessments for the field pharmaceutical drug development. 

Registration is required.

Career Resource and Development Committee (CRAD)

Topic: CV, Cover Letters, and Social Media

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Time

Event address for attendees  

CV, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn: Pro Tips and Tactics for Standing Out and Getting That Job Interview

Do you know the average CV gets only 15 seconds to make an impact? A top-quality CV and cover letter significantly boosts your chances of getting an interview. The CV and cover letter are essentially your passport to enter the world of employment. Just in time for our SOT Annual Meeting, CRAD is hosting a webinar titled CV, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn: pro tips and tactics for standing out and getting that job interview. This interactive webinar will include presentations from Dr. Laura Andrews (scientific director at AbbVie) and Mr. John Ricciardi (talent acquisition professional, founder and managing partner of Afton Consulting Group). With more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields, Dr. Andrews and Mr. Ricciardi will provide insights on how to write and format an outstanding CV and impactful cover letter. The growing use of social media sites such as LinkedIn as a professional marketing tool for your career also will be discussed. If you wonder what your CV should look like, how much time you should spend on tailoring the cover letters, and what to do with that LinkedIn profile, this webinar is for you! The presentations are specifically designed to provide a hiring manager and a recruiter perspective on these topics to guide graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career scientists in their transition towards employment. Perspective for success and common pitfalls will be presented and followed by a panel discussion session where these experts will answer your questions and help you land that first, or next, job interview.

Registration is required.

Clinical and Translation Toxicology Specialty Section (CTTSS)

Topic: Research Beyond Basic Science: Pursuing Topics in Clinical and Translational Toxicology

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Eastern Time

Event address for attendees

This webinar will explore the transition of both trainee scientists and established investigators from basic science-centered projects to those driven by clinical and translational toxicology. Three speakers from various employment sectors with experience transitioning to translational research will provide advice on how to navigate challenges with these projects. The importance of clinical and translational toxicology will be discussed as it relates to various employment fields as well as practical advice for trainee scientists interested in these fields.

Registration is required.

Cardiovascular Toxicology Specialty Section (CVTSS)

Topic: Insidious cardiotoxicity: Ubiquitous and important, but difficult and expensive to predict!

Date and Time: Friday, February 16, 2018, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Time

Event address for attendees

Cardiovascular (CV) functions may be affected adversely by drugs within seconds of exposure or insidiously requiring weeks to decades during or after exposure (e.g., doxorubicin, trastuzumab, sunitinib, digitalis, fenfluramine). Insidious toxicity occurs when a sublethal set of signs results from lengthy exposures to a chemical. It is simple to predict acute deaths to strychnine, but is infinitely more challenging to identify potential for risk of death a decade after children have been treated successfully with doxorubicin, or months after persons were treated successfully with “fen-phen” for obesity! Many devastating myocardial toxicities stem from acute, direct, specific, destructive, cytotoxic actions (e.g., apoptosis, lysis, coagulation necrosis, changes in ion channel numbers or physiology), however a number of drug-induced toxicities may result insidiously either after long-term exposures to therapy or possibly months or decades after cessation of therapy that might have affected genetic factors or might have produced energetic imbalance due to an apparent trivial mismatch between ATP production and demand. Whether energetic imbalance becomes toxic, and for how long and to what degree the imbalance must exist before toxicity develops, may be expressed in a paradigm used by neurophysiologists to express the magnitude and duration of a stimulus required to produce a response. Beneficial effects may produce adverse long-term outcome even though they may be life-saving and improve quality of life over the short-term. Under certain conditions, a patient having symptomatic heart failure (aggravated by energetic imbalance) with low cardiac output and systemic arterial pressure, may actually benefit from that heart failure because the failing heart generates less tension, consumes less oxygen, and has decreased energetic imbalance thus preserving survival of myocardium. In fact, many drugs (e.g., milrinone) may improve quality of life, but abbreviate survival, while other drugs (e.g., beta blockers) that may decrease short-term quality of life, actually prolong life in the long-term. Drug regulatory agencies and deliverers of health care (quite wisely) recognize this paradox, but (sometimes) appear to be more interested in long-term survival than in short-term quality of life. This session discusses properties of CV for which insidious toxicities have proven important, methods for how those functions may be interrogated to predict insidious toxicity, what changes in function may predict morbidity and/or mortality, and what are relative times and costs to predict insidious toxicity? This webinar will focus on insidious toxicities of doxorubicin and catecholamines and on chronic, but subtle, energetic imbalance as one putative mechanism for insidious toxicity.

Registration is required.

Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group (WIT)

Topic: Tailoring the Resume Across Sectors

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Event address for attendees

This WIT webinar is focused on the topic of tailoring the resume across sectors. Panelists, Ronald Hines (Associate Director for Health of  the US Environmental Protection Agency's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory) and Terry Leyden (President of The Leyden Group, a private executive search firm that specializes in toxicology), will provide insights on how to tailor resumes/CVs for government and industry positions, as well as general information on the job application process across sectors. Additionally, tips on interview etiquette and how to deliver an impactful interview seminar will be covered. The intended audience is graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and later stage scientists interested in making a career move across sectors.

Registration is required.

Medical Device and Combination Specialty Section (MDCPSS)

Topic: Assessing the Hazards of Fluoropolymers, a Class of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Event address for attendees  

This webinar will be of interest to all toxicologists who perform toxicological risk assessments. The regulation of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is a growing topic of interest, due in part to the widespread detection of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Some believe the most appropriate approach to PFAS regulation or consideration of their potential risks is to lump together both polymeric and non-polymeric categories, treating them as if they were a single class of substances. Fluoropolymers become aggregated into the highly broad PFAS classification without regard to distinct characteristics that qualify them as meeting the globally accepted criteria for Polymers of Low Concern (OECD, 2009; BIO by Deloitte, 2015).

A new paper, in review for publication in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM), is intended to drive further clarity on the broad group of chemistry known as PFAS. The authors conducted a thorough review of the regulatory history of the hazard assessment of polymers and non-polymers, as well as the scientific foundation for the resulting paradigm (“polymers of low concern”), and they articulate a clear and compelling scientific basis for segregating fluoropolymers from other PFAS. Separation of fluoropolymers from the larger list of thousands of substances grouped into five different classes of PFAS is based upon the authors’ demonstration that fluoropolymers constitute a distinct class within the PFAS group and, therefore, should be considered separately for hazard assessment or regulatory purposes. The paper further establishes that grouping fluoropolymers with all classes of PFASs for "read-across" or structure-activity relationship assessment is not scientifically appropriate, when a complete, good quality data set exists, as it does for fluoropolymers.

Registration is required.