Submitted by SCCSOT President Barbara L. Parsons
The South Central Regional Chapter (SCCSOT) held its Annual Fall Meeting on November 1–2, 2012, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The title of the meeting was “Advancing Toxicology for 30 Years,” and marked the 30th Anniversary of the founding of this Regional Chapter. The meeting began with an opening reception at Juanita’s, which was sponsored by the Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health LLC (CTEH) of Maumelle, Arkansas. Additional meeting sponsors were the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the US Food and Drug Administration, Xenometrics, Charles River, and SOT (as funding for student travel).
William Slikker Jr., current SOT President, Director of the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), and one of the founding members of the SCCSOT, was on hand to welcome attendees at the reception. The scientific sessions were held at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging on the UAMS campus. The 105 registrants came from 10 different institutions within the South Central Region.
The opening keynote lecture was given by Russell S. Thomas, of the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, entitled “Incorporating New Technologies into Toxicity Testing and Risk Assessment: Moving from 21st Century Vision to a Data-Driven Framework.” Dr. Thomas’s talk was followed by platform presentations by Jone Corrales of the University of Mississippi, Syed Z. Imam of NCTR, Sarah J. Blossom of UAMS, and Peer W.F. Karmaus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This year’s SCCSOT meeting reflected the Chapter’s ongoing commitment to prepare the next generation of toxicologists. A highlight of the meeting was a platform session composed entirely of oral presentations given by graduate students from the region. During lunch, students had the opportunity to interact with several senior members of the South Central Regional Chapter, including Martin J. Ronis of UAMS, Kenneth E. McMartin of Louisiana University Health Science Center—Shreveport (LSUHSC), and Asok K. Dasmahapatra and Deborah K. Hansen of NCTR. Another highlight of the meeting was the poster session, which included 62 different posters covering a broad range of topics.
Ten of the posters were presented by undergraduates, who had been mentored by toxicologists from the region. In addition, the chapter provided financial support for six undergraduates to attend the meeting as $150 Poster Presentation Awards were presented to Lionel Brown of Southern University and A&M College (Southern), Annie Clark of Southern, Christina Collins of LSUHSC, Tess Dupre of LSUHSC, Kia Graham of Southern, and Rohan Prabhu of NCTR. A number of outstanding presentations were recognized with awards.
Ms.Collins of LSUHSC received the first place award for Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation for her poster entitled “An evaluation of the PKM2 inhibitors, Compound 3 and Shikonin, in neuroblastoma.” Pranapda (Katie) Aumsuwan of the University of Mississippi received the first place award for Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation for her poster, entitled “Evaluation of wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) root extract as a potential epigenetic agent in breast cancer cells.”
Aril Yurdagul of LSUHSC received the first place award for Outstanding Graduate Student Platform Presentation for his talk entitled “Matrix composition tunes the endothelial response to oxidized LDL between inflammation and apoptosis.” Finally, Si Chen of NCTR received the first place award for Outstanding Non-Student/Non-Faculty Poster Presentation for her poster, entitled “Silence of SOX2 induces apoptosis through both mitochondria and death receptor signal pathway by activating the RAS/MAPK signals in human lung cancer cells.”