Division of Chemical Toxicology

The mission of the Division is to improve human health and public welfare by promoting the understanding of chemical mechanisms that govern disease processes and the toxicity of drugs, environmental agents, and endogenous chemicals. This will be accomplished by (1) providing a forum for communicating research in the field of chemical toxicology; (2) encouraging further research into chemical mechanisms of toxicity; (3) providing a rigorous scientific basis for risk assessment; (4) providing continuing education, leadership training, and career development opportunities for our fellow chemists; and (5) sponsoring with other societies and divisions, symposia and other programs of mutual interest.

Division of Chemical Toxicology News

This award honorsthe contributions of an early-career individual who has had a major impact on research in chemical toxicology or a related field. The winner will be invited to lead a half-day conference session as part of the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology program at the ACS Fall National Meeting in San Francisco, California. The session will include a lecture by the award winner and scientific presentations by the award winner’s choice of speakers.

The Winner will Receive: 

An award plaque

An honorarium of US$3,000

Up to US$1,500 in travel and accommodations funding to attend and present at the 2020 ACS Fall National Meeting

Visit the CRT website for more information.

Previous winners were:

2012:  Yinsheng Wang

2013:  Dean Naisbitt

2014:  Shana Sturla

2015:  Penny Beuning

2016:  Yimon Aye

2017:  Huiwang Ai

2018:  Simon Chan

2019: Silvia Balbo

Trevor Penning has won the 2019 Founders’ Award.picture of trevor penning

Trevor Penning is currently Thelma Brown and Henry Charles Molinoff Professor of Pharmacology Molinoff Professor in the Department of Systems Pharmacology & Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.  He is also Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET).

He belongs to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Trevor has performed outstanding research in the areas of chemical toxicology and environmental science with over 500 publication.  His research interest is in the role of aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) in intracrine hormone biosynthesis as it relates to prostate and breast cancer; and the development of inhibitors for said enzymes as chemical probes and therapeutics.  He curates www.med.upenn.edu/akr which provides scientists information about the AKR superfamily of proteins.  To learn more about Trevor’s research, visit his lab website

Trevor has provided outstanding and sustained service to the Division of Chemical Toxicology. He was Program Committee Chair (2 years); Chair of Division (2 years); Chair of the Awards Committee (2 years); and he has been a member of the Executive Committee (8 years); a Symposium Organizer and regular Symposium Speaker. He was also a chartered member of the Cancer Etiology Study Section at NIH for 5 years and provided grant review service to the Division of Toxicology members in this role. He is now Senior Editor for Cancer Research for Population and Prevention Science. He has been a member of two working groups at IARC, which re-assessed the carcinogenicity of PAH, and diesel exhaust.

Trevor Penning will be honored at the American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego this August with a Symposium in his honor.

Speaking at the symposium will be :

Larry J. Marnett, Vanderbilt University.

Ian A. Blair, University of Pennsylvania

Vasilis Vasilou, Yale University

John D. Hayes, Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee

Trevor M. Penning, University of Pennsylvania



My two-year term as the Chair of the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology (TOXI) expired on December 31, 2018. Shana

Nicholas Geacintov
Nicholas Geacintov

Sturla, Professor of Toxicology at ETH, Zürich, and the new Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, succeeds me in this position for a two-year term. It has been my pleasure to serve in that capacity with some wonderful people in the TOXI Executive Committee and the membership who generously gave their time and energy to foster the interests of our Division.
This past year, the annual meeting of the TOXI Division was held in historic Boston. The highlights of the meeting are discussed in the most recent TOXI Newsletter. Here, I will focus on other divisional news and activities.
In conjunction with the Division’s Executive Committee, we restructured the appointment schedules of our Program Chairs who have the responsibility of organizing our annual scientific meetings. These meetings represent one of the most important activities of our Division. They offer us opportunities for learning about different topics in chemical toxicology, and to meet face-to-face with colleagues and friends to discuss topics of mutual interest. Even those who are unable to attend these meetings, can view the program listings online and browse through ~ 90 – 100 TOXI abstracts.
Tom Spratt has been the Program Chair and organizer for the past two TOXI meetings (2017 and 2018), and will continue in this position for another year in 2019. A Program Committee consisting of five senior TOXI members assists the Program Chair in planning the contents of the meetings and to offer other advice as necessary. This year, the TOXI leadership decided to reorganize the appointment schedules to ensure the smooth transitions from one Program Chair to another. Two Program Chairs have been appointed: Penny Buening (2020-2021) is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Northeastern University, and Michael Trakselis (2022-2023) Is Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Baylor University. These early appointments ensure the continuity of this most important science programming activity at least until the end of 2023. Each Program Chair will serve as the Program co-chair in the preceding two years in order to become familiar with the demands of this position before they assume the full responsibility that comes with it.
One of the important and ongoing efforts of our Division is to include a larger cross-section of the members in leadership activities and functions. In order to better engage younger members in the affairs of our Division, a Program Development Committee (PDC) was organized. The PDC members are appointed (11 members) that include Ujjal Sarkar (AstraZeneca) who helped me to organize this Committee. The new PDC committee has already made significant contributions by suggesting topics for future annual meetings, and by helping Tom during the 2018 meeting in Boston; they chaired some of the sessions, and helped to select the best poster and oral presentations at the Young Investigator Symposium. Thanks to a generous donation from Fred and Suan Beland, the TOXI Division was able to partially support the travel of eight young investigators (graduate students and postdocs) to the 2018 TOXI Boston meeting.
A highlight of this past year included the selection of Judy Bolton as the winner of the 2018 ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology Founders Award. Judy is the head of the Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Departm

Judy Bolton

ent at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has a long and distinguished research record in various areas of chemical toxicology,
hormonal carcinogenesis, and chemoprevention related to post-menopausal women’s health issues. Recently, she has been focusing on the effects of botanical supplements in the treatment of menopause symptoms and cancer prevention, which was the topic of her Award lecture at the 2018 Boston meeting. Related to this event, Judy was interviewed by Chemical & Engineering News (September 3, 2018 issue), and authored an exciting forthcoming review in Chemical Research in Toxicology regarding molecular targets of hops compounds as natural alternatives to traditional hormone therapy for relieving menopausal symptoms. link to paper
In closing, I extend my best wishes to Shana for a successful two years as TOXI Chair. I am sure that she will be very successful. I look forward to serving these two years as the Past Chair and as a member of the Executive Committee.


Nicholas Geacintov

Past Chair, Division of Chemical Toxicology

ACS Fellows 2020 Class.

Now is the time to nominate members of the Division to become ACS Fellows. These nominations can be made by individuals or by the TOXI Division. Divisional nominations made by the Chair of the Division are limited to no more than 4.

The American Chemical Society Fellow  designation is awarded to a member who has made

  1. exceptional contributions to the science or profession and
  2. has provided excellent volunteer service to the ACS community.

Successful nominations need to document scientific accomplishments and service to ACS. Nominations without documentation of a considerable service component will be declined.  To learn more about the nomination process and for a list of current ACS fellows please visit: ACS Fellows Website

Contact Kent Gates, Chair, Awards Committee Division of Toxicology if you would like the Division to consider a nomination at gatesk@missouri.edu

Travel Awards to the 258th ACS Meeting in San Diego.

Travel awards for students and post-docs will be available for the TOXI Program at the ACS Meeting  in San Diego.  The students and post-docs will receive up to $750 to help pay for their travel expenses to the ACS Meeting.

The student must

  • be presenting a poster or talk at the TOXI program
  • be a TOXI member.  (You can join now.  Download application and follow instructions)


The application should consist of a single pdf file containing:

1.       A nomination letter from the faculty advisor or laboratory director. The letter should explain why Travel Assistance Award funds are needed.

2.       A curriculum vitae for the applicant.

3.       The abstract for the work to be presented by the nominee at the meeting.

Applications can be submitted to Dr. Thomas Spratt at tes13@psu.edu  by May 1.

Contact Thomas Spratt if you would like to add another news item to this page