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SOT 2013 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo: One-stop toxicology shop (Part 2)
February 2013
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author

To go back to part 1 of this story, click here.

About the SOT  
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government and industry, representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology—the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects—in the United States and abroad.  
The SOT's stated commitment is to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology. The society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge in toxicology, aids in the protection of public health and facilitates disciplines. The SOT has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members into the profession.  
The SOT was founded in 1961 as a not-for-profit scientific society and is governed by a 13-person elected council and managed by an administrative office in Reston, Va., near Washington, D.C. The society's activities are assisted by the efforts of nearly 46 elected and appointed committees, subcommittees and task forces. In addition, SOT has established 27 specialty sections that may propose sessions for the annual meeting, exchange information through its newsletter, Communiqué, present awards and participate in other scientific activities.
In addition, SOT has 18 regional chapters that sponsor regular local meetings throughout the year. The purpose of the regional chapters is to foster scientific exchange at a local level.    

Why the SOT annual meeting matters
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) notes that its annual meeting is the largest toxicology meeting and exhibition in the world, with an expected attendance this year of more than 7,300 scientists from academia, government and industry, hailing from various countries worldwide.
"From the plenary opening lecture and featured lectures to the wide range of scientific sessions and continuing education courses, the annual meeting offers an unparalleled depth of analysis and relevant toxicological issues," according to the society. "From basic to advanced topical issues, the thematic approach provides each attendee an opportunity to learn about emerging fields. Whether you are speaking in or chairing a session, honoring a colleague as the recipient of an SOT award or collaborating with your peers at an SOT event, this meeting has something for every attendee."    

Expo action  
A major feature of SOT's annual meeting is its ToxExpo. Exhibit hours are until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with doors opening at 9 a.m. the first day and 8:30 a.m. the next two days. In addition to the standard exhibit hall hours and poster presentation times, one hour of dedicated networking time has been allotted in the scientific program for attendees to visit with exhibitors. ToxExpo Time will take place on Tuesday, March 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  
Attendees can also enjoy their chance at a $500 prize drawing each day of ToxExpo, in the form of an American Express gift card. Attendees need only drop their business cards in the ToxExpo prize drawing boxes found in all booths designated as Diamond Level Sponsors.  
And, as SOT notes, ToxExpo isn't just those three days during the annual meeting—it also continues throughout the year at, the society says, "for all your toxicology-related science information and data as well as information about current exhibitors … ToxExpo is a rich resource for the working scientist, the decision maker, the student or anyone looking for the best products and services that toxicology has to offer."  

Continuing education offerings  
The continuing education offered by SOT at the annual meeting spans a wide range of courses covering established knowledge in toxicology, as well as new developments in toxicology and related disciplines.
  Courses can be applied toward certifying and licensing board requirements and may also be used for recertification with the American Board of Toxicology, with both basic and advanced course topics are offered.  
The courses are as follows:
  • A Refresher of Immunoglobulin and Fc-Receptor Biology and Advances Related to Therapeutic Antibody Development (Basic) 
  • Basic Principles of Human Risk Assessment (Basic) 
  • Recent Developments in Cardiovascular Physiology-Based Toxicology (Basic)
  • Approval of Biosimilar Monoclonal Antibodies: Scientific, Regulatory and Legal Challenges (Basic) 
  • The What, When and How of Nonclinical Support for an IND Submission (Basic)
  • The Practice and Implementation of Neural Stem Cell-Based Approaches to Neurotoxicology (Basic) 
  • Toxic Effects of Metals (Basic) Advances in Nanotoxicology—Challenges (Advanced) Gonadal Development, Function and Toxicology (Basic) 
  • The REACH Regulation and Safety Assessment Approaches for Chemicals That Come in Contact with the Skin (Basic) 
  • T4: Tools and Technologies in Translational Toxicology (Advanced) 
  • Understanding Toxic Neuropathy in Drug Development: Both Clinical and Nonclinical Perspectives (Advanced) 
  • Weighing in on Nutrition—Essential Concepts for Toxicologists (Basic)
All courses will be held on Sunday, March 10, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.    

The theme's the thing
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) has arranged its symposium sessions, workshop sessions, roundtable sessions and other special sessions around five themes at the annual meeting, to illustrate the core contributions of toxicology scientific efforts to the world.
Application of Systems Biology to Toxicology
Recent technological advances allow the study of multiple interacting networks in cellular systems and facilitate studies of how such complex networks respond to toxicants. The integrated application of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, computational modeling and bioinformatics to cell- specific and organ-specific toxicity as well as to broader questions in toxicology continues to develop. Application of these technologies will provide for systems to improve predictive toxicity tools, enable more complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying the toxicity of pharmaceutical agents and environmental chemicals and facilitate the interrogation of disease etiology and prevention.  
Biomarkers for Exposure Assessment, Safety Evaluation and Translational Medicine
The development of biomarkers that can be applied to assessing exposure, predicting toxicity, defining mechanisms of toxicity and improving translation of preclinical and clinical toxicity has impacted how toxicology research is carried out. Developing the basic biology and analytical tools to support biomarker identification, development and validation is critical to the successful incorporation of biomarkers in all areas of toxicology research.  
Effects of Nanomaterials on Biological Systems
Research in the toxicology of nanomaterials has expanded along with the application of this technology in material science research and development. Factors that influence the potential for toxic responses and identification of relevant target organs for exposure and toxicity are critical to the development of cogent and reliable risk assessment for these materials. Basic, applied and regulatory science must converge in order to address the needs for this class of materials that will advance understanding of potential impacts on human and environmental health.  
Molecular Basis of Genetic Variability and Susceptibility to Toxicants
Many toxicants alter gene expression and many types of toxicities can be affected by variation in gene expression or genetic polymorphisms. Similarly, age-dependent gene expression can influence toxic responses and epigenetic perturbations influence heritable gene expression. Both genetic and epigenetic differences can influence the individual's response to pharmaceuticals and environmental chemicals. It is recognized that single nucleotide polymorphisms directly affect genetic differences on rates of metabolism, but for other responses, such as behavior, the connections are more complex. Linking genetic, epigenetic and environmental variables with exposure data is essential to accurately define potential beneficial or adverse effects of chemicals and to assess disease susceptibility and prevention.  
Regulatory Science: Advancing New Approaches for Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Regulatory science encompasses the sciences used to evaluate the safety, efficacy, quality and performance of any product. Advancements in regulatory science will facilitate the development and evaluation of innovative new products. As we modernize the tools used to assess the potential risks from drugs, environmental chemicals, food and other products, we must also consider the global applications of such methods and strategies to drive better risk assessment decisions. This theme is intended to foster session content that will provide for perspective on ongoing efforts to improve hazard identification and risk assessment with emphasis on how best to coordinate these efforts for more consistent regulatory practices around the world.

To go back to part 1 of this story, click here.



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