SOT Webinars Scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020

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

Upcoming webinars for December 2019 and January 2020 are listed here.

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Active Inclusivity in Toxicology: Part 2—Obstacles Faced by Underrepresented Groups and Solutions to Ameliorate Them

Host: Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC)
Date and Time: Friday, December 6, 2019, 2:30 PM–3:30 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

The Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC), in collaboration with the SOT Women in Toxicology (WIT), Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists (HOT), and Toxicologists of African Origin (TAO) Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and the Committee on Diversity Initiatives (CDI), is hosting a webinar series to discuss the topic of diversity in toxicology. This timely and important series of webinars (held in an interview/podcast style) will begin a conversation surrounding the topic of diversity in toxicology by exploring issues such as unconscious bias faced by toxicologists who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences and discuss the importance of diversity in science broadly. This series also will provide a platform to document available resources and support.

The second webinar will be centered on difficulties in various sectors of employment and will share resources to address these challenges. We will feature speakers from three separate areas: government, academia, and industry. This session will feature two SIGs—HOT and WIT—as well as a speaker from the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA).

Speakers:
Nicole Sparks, PhD
SOT Postdoctoral Assembly

TBA
SOT Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists

Irene Abraham, PhD
SOT Women in Toxicology

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Ethics, Opioids, and America’s Drug Overdose Crisis

Host: Ethical, Legal, Forensics, and Societal Issues Specialty Section (ELFSISS)
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

Many individuals live with pain, and opioids can treat pain. But as we now know all too well, living in the midst of an epidemic, opioids also can be deadly. How, then, are we to think of opioid medication? In this talk, Travis N. Rieder, PhD, will argue that we have to get away from thinking of opioids as either a panacea or black magic; like all drugs, they carry both risks and benefits, and responding appropriately to both requires careful reasoning.

Speaker:
Travis N. Rieder, PhD
Assistant Director of Education Initiatives
Research Scholar
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

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Dose-Response Modeling for Risk Assessment—BMDS 3.2 and Bayesian Model Averaging

Host: Risk Assessment Specialty Section (RASS)
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 3:00 PM–4:30 PM (ET)

Registration is not required.

Speakers:
Allen Davis, MSPH
Cincinnati, OH

Jeff Gift, PhD
US EPA/NCEA
Research Triangle Park, NC

Matt Wheeler
NIOSH
Cincinnati, OH

This webinar will introduce participants to benchmark dose modeling and analysis, probabilistic dose-response assessment in a Bayesian framework (including distributional BMD estimation), and model averaging concepts. In particular, model averaging approaches will be highlighted, given that they have recently been suggested as a preferred approach to address modeling uncertainty in dose-response assessments. Dichotomous model averaging was implemented in BMDS 3.0, which simplified the workflow for modeling by fully implementing all BMDS analyses in Microsoft Excel. Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) released a new version of its Benchmark Dose Software program (BMDS 3.2) that additionally implements Bayesian model averaging methods for continuous data using maximum a posteriori methods in conjunction with model weights based on the Laplace approximation. The model averaging approach for continuous data implemented in BMDS 3.2 improves on other model averaging methods by averaging not only over a model suite, but also across distributional assumptions. Historically, different organizations have a priori assumed either a normal or lognormal distribution for the continuous endpoint being modeled. However, this determination has typically been based on assumptions rather than empirical evidence. Thus, the use of distributional assumptions also has introduced uncertainty into continuous dose-response analyses. Therefore, the ability of a continuous model averaging approach to average over models and distributions accounts for both model and distributional uncertainty. Additionally, new versions of BMDS have recently been developed (1) in the R statistical programming language and (2) online in the US EPA Health Assessment Workspace Collaboration (HAWC) interface. HAWC is the US EPA online assessment tool for extracting data and generating graphics. The R-BMDS version represents a fully customizable “research” version of BMDS, whereas HAWC-BMDS is a fully interoperable option for performing dose-response analyses online. The focus of this training will center on how to use the BMDS 3.2 Excel interface and the theory and application of the new models, particularly the model averaging methods. The new R- and HAWC-BMDS versions also will be briefly covered

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Active Inclusivity in Toxicology: Part 3—SOT Resources for Current Graduate Students

Host: Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC)
Date and Time: Thursday, December 12, 2019, 2:30 PM–3:30 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

The Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC), in collaboration with the SOT Women in Toxicology (WIT), Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists (HOT), and Toxicologists of African Origin (TAO) Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and the Committee on Diversity Initiatives (CDI), is hosting a webinar series to discuss the topic of diversity in toxicology. This timely and important series of webinars (held in an interview/podcast style) will begin a conversation surrounding the topic of diversity in toxicology by exploring issues such as unconscious bias faced by toxicologists who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences and discuss the importance of diversity in science broadly. This series also will provide a platform to document available resources and support

This third session will introduce the different SIGs within SOT and give examples of the resources they offer to members. We will highlight programs within SOT that aim to promote diversity and bring additional support for members of groups underrepresented in the sciences. Three speakers from TAO, HOT, and the GSLC will explore how SOT has been a resource to them during their professional development and while creating a network of fellow toxicologists. The session will showcase various opportunities that SOT offers for professional development and advancing diversity.

Speakers:
Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, PhD
SOT Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists

Alexandra Noel, PhD
SOT Toxicologists of African Origin

Katie Chiang
SOT Graduate Student Leadership Committee/Committee on Diversity Initiatives

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Smoke Signals: Respiratory Toxicities of Wildfire Exposures

Host: Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section (IRSS)
Date and Time: Friday, December 13, 2019, 12:00 Noon–1:00 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

Wildfires are increasing in size and severity, with severe impacts on air quality and respiratory health. Wildfire smoke is associated with increased mortality and respiratory morbidity, including increased medication usage, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. However, the clinical impacts and molecular mechanisms are not well characterized. Therefore, defining the respiratory toxicities of wildfire exposure is critical. This webinar will introduce the epidemiological data regarding community exposures during wildfires (presented by Dr. Mary Rice), and then define the toxicological mechanisms by which wildfire smoke exposure can impact pulmonary health (presented by Dr. M. Ian Gilmour). The webinar will cover human, mouse, and in vitro studies to date.

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Transitioning to Independence Part 1: Interviews with Early Career Investigators

Host: Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA)
Date and Time: Monday, December 16, 2019, 3:00 PM–4:00 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

This webinar series, sponsored by the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), Carcinogenesis Specialty Section (CSS), and Metals Specialty Section (MSS) and endorsed by the SOT Education and Career Development Committee (ECDC), will focus on providing actionable advice on the early career transition to independence and will feature experts with diverse backgrounds: from newly hired assistant professors to members of faculty search committees. The target audience is trainees (postdocs and graduate students), as well as early career investigators.

Co-Chairs: Sarah Carratt and Pam Lein

Co-Sponsors: Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), Carcinogenesis Specialty Section (CSS), Metals Specialty Section (MSS), Mechanisms Specialty Section

Endorsement: Education and Career Development Committee (ECDC), Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC), Women in Toxicology (WIT)

Speakers:
Alessandro Venosa, PhD
University of Utah

Karilyn Sant, PhD
San Diego State University

Jamie Bernard, PhD
Michigan State University 

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Rapid Hazard Identification of Environmental Chemicals and Mixtures

Host: Risk Assessment Specialty Section (RASS), co-sponsored with the Mixtures Specialty Section (MSS)
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 3:00 PM–4:30 PM (ET)

Registration is not required.

Speaker:

Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University 

Assessment of health effects of environmental mixtures still relies on knowledge of individual chemicals and limited animal and epidemiological studies. The traditional debate regarding the health hazard of mixtures is centered on the choice between the “additivity of dose,” or “additivity of the adverse effect.” The most recent focus in research on mixtures is on improvements in analytical techniques and exposomics, deciphering exposure-wide associations from biomonitoring data and health outcomes, and improving epidemiological methods to dissociate potential interactions among agents in a population. There has been less progress in harnessing the power of high-throughput in vitro screening to rapidly evaluate a large number of chemical combinations to identify cumulative effects, or to screen real-life environmental samples. A combination of in vitro human population-based cytotoxicity screening followed by dosimetric adjustment can inform quantitative evaluation of human health hazards from complex mixtures. This presentation will demonstrate how a multi-cell-type human in vitro model can be used for testing mixtures for rapid hazard identification and grouping with known human health hazards. Examples from disaster response scenarios will be presented to illustrate the approach. 

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Microbiome: The Missing Piece in the Diet/Health Puzzle

Host: Food Safety Specialty Section (FSSS)
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 11:00 AM– 12:30 PM (ET)

Registration is required.

Appropriate mutualistic and commensal host/microbiome interactions provide beneficial effects to one or both species, while adverse host/microbiome interactions contribute to disease. Two speakers will describe the effects of diet and foodborne agents on gut microbiota and the effects of gut dysbiosis on health.

Speaker:

Tiffany Weir, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Colorado State University

The gut microbiota have emerged as an important regulator of human health. Imbalances in the gut microbiota, referred to as dysbiosis, have been associated with numerous diseases, both within the intestines as well as in peripheral tissues in organs. Gut dysbiosis is often characterized by reduced microbial diversity and loss of functionality and can lead to increased intestinal inflammation and loss of gut barrier function. While numerous factors can impact the intestinal microbiota, including age, stress, medications, pollutants, and exercise, diet has the greatest potential to modify the microbiota. Our laboratory studies how diet-induced alterations to the microbiota can prevent or increase the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases. In this webinar, we will explore the role the microbiota play in disease development and examine some of the underlying mechanisms and how external factors shape the microbiota, with a focus on dietary components.

Speaker:

Sangeeta Khare, PhD
Research Microbiologist
Division of Microbiology
US FDA/NCTR

This talk will provide approaches for the risk assessment of intentional and unintentional use of antimicrobials (metal-based nanomaterial) and antimicrobial residues (antibiotics). Usually these products are used as health supplements or are present as drug residues in consumer products. Interactions of these products with the gastrointestinal tract might have an adverse effect on the commensal microbiota, impact antimicrobial resistance, and alter the host immune responses and intestinal permeability.

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Mechanistic Assessment of Carcinogenicity

Host: Carcinogenesis Specialty Section (CSS)
Date and Time: Friday, January 24, 2020, 10:00 AM–11:00 AM (ET)

Registration is required.

Speaker 1:
Mirjam Luijten
Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM)

Presentation Title: Early Mechanistic Key Events for the Prediction of Carcinogenic Potential

While health risks from genotoxic carcinogenic substances can be reliably assessed using genetic toxicity endpoints, risks from substances that induce cancer via other mechanisms (i.e., nongenotoxic carcinogens) remain largely undetected unless a two-year carcinogenicity bioassay is performed. However, the two-year carcinogenicity bioassay involves the use of large numbers of animals, and its results have been scientifically challenged. A transition from the bioassay to a human-relevant framework can provide better predictivity, tests on fewer animals, is more cost-effective, and coincides with our growing knowledge of the mechanistic process of tumor formation. Therefore, a project funded by EPAA, which started in summer 2017, has explored how mode‐of‐action (MOA) information can be used to enhance the prediction of carcinogenic potential (or lack thereof) of agrochemicals. The project aims to select appropriate parameters for MOAs involved in carcinogenesis. For this selection, a review of mechanistic information provided in carcinogenicity reports for ~160 agrochemicals was undertaken. Using this overview, nine MOA networks were identified, including liver enzyme induction, changes to the hormone system, oxidative stress, and sustained cytotoxicity.

Speaker 2: Chris Corton
US EPA

Presentation Title: Transcriptomic Thresholds from Short-Term Assays Predict Rat Liver Tumorigens

Incorporation of quantitative genomic data from short-term rodent studies may adequately define protective thresholds for potential tumorigens as a bridge to move from current testing to greater reliance on in vitro assays. We hypothesized that gene expression biomarkers that measure the activation of the major molecular initiating events (MIEs) in rodent liver cancer adverse outcome pathways exhibit chemical-independent thresholds beyond which cancer occurs and the thresholds could be used to predict liver cancer. The hypothesis was tested by defining thresholds of gene expression biomarkers of liver cancer MIEs using training sets from the 77 and 86 chemicals in the TG-GATES and DrugMatrix datasets, respectively, and testing them in a number of contexts. The biomarkers tested consisting of 7–113 genes included those that predict genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, and activation of AhR, CAR, ER, or PPARα. Thresholds were calculated as the maximum values derived from exposures that do not lead to liver cancer. In all cases, clear threshold values could be identified that were consistent across training and test sets. Thresholds derived from the TG-GATES study were not very predictive of liver tumorigens in the DrugMatrix study (77%–81%). In contrast, thresholds derived from the DrugMatrix study were predictive in the TG-GATES study (84%–100%). The DrugMatrix-derived thresholds were most predictive when applied to test sets of 7d and 14d treatments (100% and 99%, respectively). In addition, thresholds derived from just 12 genes (two/biomarker) exhibited high predictive accuracy (up to 94%). These findings support the idea that early genomic changes can be used to establish threshold estimates or “molecular tipping points” that are predictive of later-life outcomes. (This abstract does not reflect EPA policy.)

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