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May 09 2011

Conference Recap – 2011 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting

Society of ToxicologyThe Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting was held on 05-10 March 2011 in Washington, DC.  Several members of Cato Research’s Nonclinical Sciences Development group were amongst the more than 7,000 toxicologists from 50 countries in attendance this year.  The five-day event provided scientists with countless opportunities to discuss the latest scientific achievements in the toxicological sciences.

Among the many highlights, this year’s program featured sessions grouped around the scientific themes of:

  • Emerging Global Public Health Issues
  • Environment and Disease
  • Global Air Quality and Human Health
  • Integration of Toxicological and Epidemiological Evidence to Understand Human Risk
  • Novel Approaches to Preclinical Safety Assessment: Bridging the Gap between Discovery and the Clinic through Translational Toxicology
  • Toxicity Testing: State of Science and Strategies to Improve Public Health.

In addition to the scientific program, the Annual Meeting included a series of featured keynote speakers.  This year’s Opening Plenary Lecture was given by Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Dr. Collins is noted for his leadership of the Human Genome Project, which successfully completed the first sequence of the human DNA instruction book in 2003. Other plenary lecturers included Dr. Margaret Hamburg, 21st U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner and Ms. Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator and Head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In recognition of the SOT 50th Anniversary, a special poster titled “Benchmarks in Toxicology” was unveiled at the meeting. Created by NIEHS/NTP, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and SOT, the poster highlighted the people, innovations, discoveries, and events that have been significant markers in the development of the field. Personally, it was exciting to be reminded of how certain milestones showcasing the importance of toxicology has contributed enormously to human health over the last 50 years.  Some of these milestones included the Ames assay (1970s), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA; 1976), GLP regulations (1978), The Red Book (1983), Omics (Toxicogenomics; 1990s) and Toxicology testing in the 21st century (Tox21; 2008).  The SOT has made a copy of this commemorative keepsake available here.

This is a post by Sharon Daily, Ph.D. Sharon is the Associate Director, Nonclinical Sciences Development at Cato Research.