Note: The next International ToxScholar application deadline is October 9.
I applied for the International ToxScholar outreach grant in October 2017 and was approved to promote the science of toxicology and careers in toxicology to students in China. With this support, I visited Jinzhou Medical University in the Liaoning province of China and attended the 2018 Environment & Health Conference organized by the Chinese Society of Environmental Health Sciences. I felt delighted to talk to those young students to inspire their curiosity and interests in toxicology.
Jinzhou Medical University is under the provincial and central governments. It offers undergraduate and graduate studies in Clinical Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Public Health, Dentistry, and Nursing, and Pharmacy. My host was Dean of the School of Public Health. He was my classmate in medical school. I gave a talk in Chinese titled “Career Paths in Toxicology” to about 50 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members in the School of Public Health.
Many undergraduate students knew nothing about the opportunities that are available to them as toxicologists, and specifically that they can receive graduate education at no cost to them. The students also do not realize the job opportunities that await them upon completion of the graduate degree. The students and faculty were excited to hear about the research in toxicology. During my visit, I also talked about my research on the health effects of air pollution and how to alleviate the adverse health effects of air pollution. The students and faculty members were very interested in my research because of the air pollution issues facing the public in China currently.
I attended the 2018 Environmental & Health Conference organized by the Chinese Society of Environmental Health Sciences.
A week later, I attended the 2018 Chinese Environment & Health Conference in Shenyang. The conference drew more than 500 researchers in environmental health sciences from all over the country and many graduate students attended this conference. I felt astonished to see the significant improvement in the environmental health research in China in the last few years due to the huge investment in research funding by the Chinese government.
I talked about SOT programs during the conference.
I gave a presentation of my research and I briefly mentioned the vision of SOT at the end. A group of students came to talk to me after my presentation, and. I also spoke with about 20–30 graduate students about toxicological science and careers in toxicology while they presented their posters. The students were thrilled about the research opportunities in the US and some of them expressed interest in pursuing graduate/postgraduate research in the US.
I hope my experiences can stimulate other members to pay international visits to developing countries to promote the vision of SOT of “Creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.”