Most of us have enjoyed the Continuing Education (CE) courses during the SOT Annual Meeting. Sunday is the time to dust off your knowledge, learn a few things, and ease into the science in the fast lane. Most of us have wished that these offerings are more regular, recorded for at-your-own-pace consumption, and accessible at no cost. The SOT Strategic Plan charts an ambitious agenda, and the educational activities that are an integral part of the activities for the Society cut across the priorities and objectives. Indeed, the opportunities to reach beyond Annual Meeting attendees and SOT members, engage with toxicologists across the globe, and add to a robust repository of online training materials are in demand.
Opportunely, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was looking to more closely engage with the Society and to leverage mutual interests in continuing education. “For FDA risk assessors and managers, keeping up with the latest developments in toxicology is a top priority and extremely important part of their jobs,” said Allen Rudman of FDA. “These SOT FDA colloquia—which take advantage of SOT’s wide breadth of expertise—provide an excellent vehicle to help FDA scientists do just that.” At FDA, Dr. Rudman is Senior Advisor, Senior Science Policy Staff (SSPS), Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS), and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).
So came about the SOT FDA Colloquia in 2014, an activity that is supported by the FDA and relies on a hard-working group of SOT members and FDA staff who volunteer their time (see the list at the end of this article) to organize four half-day sessions per year. During the last two years, these colloquia created a high-quality, future-oriented series of educational sessions in diverse cutting-edge areas of toxicological science. Registrants can participate on-site or by webcast the day of the event, providing opportunities to contribute questions to the roundtable discussions among the speakers that conclude each colloquium. Total participant count for the eight colloquia (on-site and via the web) is more than 2,500 from twenty-four plus countries. The reach across the sectors of government employees, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and industry is impressive with stakeholders large and small taking advantage of the hot topics, the presentations, and the roundtable discussions with live and online audiences.
The colloquia slides and recordings are available at no charge on the SOT website. The value of the content is indicated by the number of times the slides have been accessed. The graph below shows the total number of times by month that the slides from all the speakers for each course were accessed.
The colloquia offered are as follows:
- Safety Assessment in Young Children, May 20, 2016
- State of the Art in the Cramer Classification Scheme and Threshold of Toxicological Concern, March 29, 2016
- Role of Mode of Action in Dose-Response Assessment for Carcinogens, January 25, 2016
- A Path Forward for Using Computational and In Vitro Methods for Food Ingredient Assessments, October 13, 2015
- Contemporary Issues in Risk Assessment, June 17, 2015
- Immunotoxicology in Food and Ingredient Safety Assessment: Approaches and Case Studies, April 14, 2015
- Application of ADME/PK Studies to Improve Safety Assessments for Foods and Cosmetics, February 23, 2015
- Complexities in Evaluating Human Clinical and Observational Data for Ingredient Safety Assessment: Partially Hydrogenated Oils As a Case Study, November 7, 2014
Planning is underway for the next series that will feature four important topics. We look forward to your taking advantage of these current resources and the additional colloquia that will be offered beginning in the fall of 2016.
SOT FDA Organizing Committee
- Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD, Chair, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
- Allen Rudman, FDA Lead, PhD, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Jason L. Aungst, PhD, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Ronald Chanderbhan, PhD, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Bryan Delaney, PhD, DABT, ATS, DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, Iowa
- Suzanne Compton Fitzpatrick, PhD, DABT, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Kristi Muldoon Jacobs, PhD, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
- Jieun Lee, PhD, DABT, Kellogg, Battle Creek, Michigan
- James J. Pestka, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
- Catherine Whiteside, PhD, US FDA, CFSAN, College Park, Maryland
- Peter Goering, PhD, DABT, ATS, SOT Council Contact, US FDA, CDRH, Silver Spring, Maryland