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

Hello Members

As some of you may know, for the past months we have been working with the team at ACS to develop a video, which would work to introduce the Division of Chemical Toxicology (TOXI) to the next generation of chemists and help to increase membership in the division.

The video is now completed and posted in two locations within American Chemical Society (ACS). It is accessible from the ACS website, www.acs.org, Technical Division page and on YouTube. From YouTube you can easily access it by typing your division acronym in the search bar on YouTube.

In this video, you will learn:

  • Importance of TOXI
  • Benefits of membership
  • A shared story from a member and how the division has personally enhanced their career

To increase exposure and awareness, we will also be featuring the video for one week throughout the various ACS media sources. We have created a schedule for when the video will be featured and this has been communicated to your division contact.

We want to remember that when we send, we are not just sending to our audience, we are sending to an audience within an audience. We encourage you to share the video within your network with the goal they will share it with their audience.

Thank You

Call for Abstracts

The 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, August 19-23, 2018.
The program theme is “Nanoscience, Nanotechnology & Beyond”
Submit your abstracts at callforpapers.acs.org/boston/TOXI
The submission deadline is Monday, March 26, 2018
Tentative program for the Division of Chemical Toxicology includes thematic sessions on
  • Toxicology of nano particles.
  • Nanomaterials in Drug Delivery: Efficacy and Toxicity Considerations.
  • Translesion DNA polymerase mechanisms
  • Mechanisms of binding, transport and biotransformation of toxic metals.

Additional events will include

  • Founders’ Award symposium honoring Judy Bolton
  • The Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award symposium
  • Topics in Chemical Toxicology,
  • TOXI Young Investigators Symposium, and
  • The TOXI Poster Session and Reception.
We will provide travel awards for students and post-docs. Check back later for more information
Any programmatic questions may be directed to the program chair, Professor Thomas E Spratt at tes13@psu.edu

TOXI Preliminary Program for ACS National Meeting

Founders’ Award Symposium. Winner: Judy Bolton
Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Symposium, Winner to be determined
Toxicology of nano particles. Organized by Silvia Balbo and Shana Sturla.
Nanomaterials in Drug Delivery: Efficacy and Toxicity Considerations. Organized by Nick Meanwel, Griff Humphreys and Fred Guengerich
Translesion DNA polymerase Switch, Organized by Zucai Suo
Mechanisms of binding, transport and biotransformation of toxic metals. Organized by Barry Rosen

Current topics in Chemical Toxicology. Oral Session. Speakers chosen from submitted abstracts.  Organized by Penny Beuning and Tom Spratt
TOXI Young investigator symposium. Speakers chosen from submitted abstracts.  Organized by Ujjal Sarkar and Erin Prestwich
Poster Session. Organized by  Penny Beuning and Tom Spratt

Travel Awards to the 256th ACS Meeting in Boston.

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

2018 Call for Nominations

Chemical Research in Toxicology
Young Investigator Award
Sponsored by Chemical Research in Toxicology and the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology

Nomination Deadline: March 1, 2018

This award honors the contributions of an early-career individual who has had a major impact on research in chemical toxicology or a related field.

The 2018 Winner will Receive:
An award plaque
An honorarium of US$3,000
Travel and accommodations funding of up to US$1,500 to attend and present at the 2018 ACS Fall National Meeting

Nominations are open to researchers of any nationality from academic, industry, or national laboratories.
A nominee must have earned his or her doctorate within the past 15 years.
Additional Information:

Nominations will carry over for 2 years as long as the nominee meets the eligibility requirements.
If you have questions, please send them to eic@crt.acs.org.
To make a nomination, please visit the Chemical Research in Toxicology website

ACS Fellows 2018 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 Trevor M. Penning, Chair, Awards Committee Division of Toxicology if you would like the Division to consider a nomination at penning@upenn.edu

Judy Bolton has been named the recipient of the 2018 Founders’ Award.  Judy Bolton is  currently Distinguished Professor and Head, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy  at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr Bolton’s research in chemical toxicology is primarily focused on post-menopausal women’s health. She studies the carcinogenic effects of estrogens and antiestrogens and investigates natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy. She is interested in determining why women who are taking hormone replacement therapy or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are at increased risk for developing hormone dependent cancers such as breast or endometrial cancers. By developing a good understanding of the mechanism of how these widely prescribe drugs lead to increased cancer risk, we will be able to design alternatives that maintain the beneficial properties of estrogens/SERMs without generating genotoxic side effects.  Dr Bolton has been active in  educating the next generation of breast cancer researchers and chemical biologists as she has  mentored over 20 Ph.D. and 25 postdoctoral fellows.  Dr Bolton will organize a symposium at the TOXI Division’s program this summer in Boston.

Division of Chemical Toxicology Election Results


Hauh-Jyun Candy Chen, Ph.D., National Chung Cheng University

Candy Chen is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at National Chung Cheng University (NCCU) in Taiwan. She received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan (1983) and Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from State University of New York at Stony Brook (1988) under the supervision of Prof. Iwao Ojima. After postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health and the Rockefeller University, she joined American Health Foundation where she was later promoted to Associate Research Scientist, a tenure-track position. From 1997-2004, she held the positions of Assistant through Full Professor at NCCU. Her research interests started from medicinal chemistry to toxicological chemistry, and shifted to bioanalytical chemistry. She has developed several mass spectrometry­-based analytical methods for DNA and protein adducts in humans, aiming to find valid disease biomarkers.

She has published more than 50 scientific papers in leading journals with 4 patents granted. She received the Outstanding Research Award from NCCU in 2005 and was elected as the Extinguished Alumni from the Chemistry Department of NCKU in 2014. She served as the Executive Officer of the Taiwan Society for Mass Spectrometry (2007-2009 and 2012-2018) and Chair of the Female Chemist Organization (2014). She has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Chemical Research in Toxicology since 2016.


Zucai Suo, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Zucai Suo received a B.S. (Chemistry) in 1986 and an M.S. (Physical Chemistry) in 1989 from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and a Ph.D. (Biological Chemistry) in 1997 from Pennsylvania State University at University Park, PA, under the direction of K. A. Johnson. He was Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Postdoctoral Fellow under the guidance of Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He then spent 16 months as a senior biochemist at Eli Lilly & Company at Indianapolis, IN, and was in a team which successfully developed an anti-hepatitis C protease drug Telaprevir. After the short stay in industry, he moved to The Ohio State University at Columbus, OH, where he is currently a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has served as a regular and ad hoc member of both NIH study panels and NSF review panels. In addition, he has been on the Editorial Advisory Boards of three research journals including Chemical Research in Toxicology and has served as a guest editor for PNAS. His research interests are in both antiviral and anti-cancer drug discovery, and the enzymology of DNA replication, DNA lesion bypass, DNA damage repair, and gene editing. He has published over 100 research papers and won several research awards including an NSF Career Award in 2005 and an OKeanos-CAPA Senior Investigator Award in 2017. In 2013, he was elected to be a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science. For the TOXI Division, he has served as Secretary since Jan. 1, 2016 and is or was a member of the Program Committee, Communications Committee, and Professional Development Committee.

Executive Committee, Member-at-Large

Kaushik Mitra, Ph.D., Merck

Kaushik Mitra is the Director of the Investigative and Molecular Toxicology group within the Department of Safety Assessment at Merck. In this capacity, he leads efforts to provide mechanistic understanding of toxicity of drug molecules, integrating such toxicology-related findings with medicinal chemistry and biotransformation sciences to help design potentially safe drug candidates. As part of the departmental leadership team, he is involved in establishing scientific and business strategies of the department, managing employee careers and evaluating the external landscape for appropriate opportunities. In his previous role as Director of Preclinical ADME in the Department of Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Kaushik was responsible for preclinical PK/PD and biotransformation support to drug discovery and development portfolios. Kaushik received his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Missouri, Columbia and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research during Kaushik’s academic career was focused on understanding covalent and non-covalent interactions of therapeutically relevant small molecules with proteins and DNA. Kaushik was the recipient of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship Award and a Young Investigator Award from the Division of Chemical Toxicology of The American Chemical Society for his research at MIT. He has published his research work in several international journals, has conducted short courses on topics of safety and drug metabolism, and has served as an invited speaker in several national and international conferences.


Penny Buening, Ph.D., Northeastern University

Penny Buening received a B.A. in Chemistry from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the field of RNA-protein interactions and RNA biochemistry. She completed postdoctoral research focused on protein-protein interactions that regulate cellular responses to DNA damage at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Graham C. Walker. She is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research on DNA damage tolerance and protein engineering has been recognized with the 2015 Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant. A major research focus is on the specificity and regulation of Y family DNA polymerases. Prof. Beuning has been active in efforts to enhance the recruitment and retention of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. She has served ACS as a facilitator for the Postdoc-to-Faculty workshops and New Faculty Workshops. She has served the TOXI Division by chairing the oral session of the Young Investigator Symposium in 2012, serving as a judge for the Young Investigator poster session, as a member of the Professional Development Committee, as Councilor from 2015-2017, and serving as a guest editor for Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Councilor/Alternate Councilor

Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Irina Stepanov, received as BS (1997) and PhD (2002) in Chemistry from Moldova State University in Chisinau, Moldova. She joined the laboratory of Stephen Hecht at the University of Minnesota in 2003, first as a Postdoctoral Associate and later as a Research Associate. Dr. Stepanov’s research is aimed at understanding the toxic, carcinogenic, and addictive potential of tobacco product use, with the specific focus on quantitative and mechanistic links between tobacco product chemical composition and subsequent exposures and disease risk in tobacco users. Her research methodologies span from chemical characterization of tobacco and cigarette smoke to the development and application of biological markers for tobacco constituent exposure, metabolism, and effect in humans. Her laboratory has developed novel unique highly sensitive approaches to the measurement of blood and oral cell DNA adducts formed as the result of exposure to tobacco constituents, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Currently, she is the principal investigator on two R01 and one U01 grants in the field of tobacco regulatory science. She is also actively involved in the global research capacity building and is a co-PI on a recently awarded grant from the Fogarty Center to develop laboratory capacity for tobacco product and biomarker analyses in India. Dr. Stepanov served on numerous NIH review panels, is on the editorial board for the journal Scientific Reports, an Associate Editor for Tobacco Regulatory Science, and with the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco she is co-Chair of the Education Subcommittee and the Advisory Board member for the Global health Network. For the TOXI Division, she served as a member of Professional Development Committee, Communications Committee, and is an Executive Committee Member-at-Large.

Nominations Committee Member

Yinsheng Wang, Ph.D., University of California at Riverside

Yinsheng Wang received his Ph. D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis after obtaining his BS and MS degrees from Shandong University and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, respectively. He joined the faculty of the University of California Riverside in 2001, where he is now a Professor and Donald T. Sawyer Endowed Founder’s Chair in Chemistry. Yinsheng also serves as the Director for the Environmental Toxicology graduate program, and directs the NIEHS-funded T32 training program in Environmental Toxicology at UC Riverside. His current research involves the use of mass spectrometry, along with synthetic organic chemistry and molecular biology, for examining the occurrence and biological consequences of DNA damage and for assessing the biological functions of post-translational modifications of proteins. Yinsheng has trained or in the process of training of over 70 Ph. D. students and post-doctoral fellows, and he has co-authored more than 220 research articles. Yinsheng was named as a fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2012, and he was the recipient for the inaugural Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award from the Division of Chemical Toxicology of the American Chemical Society (2012), and the 2013 Biemann Medal from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He was also named the Yangtze River Scholars Distinguished Professor in 2016. Yinsheng was a standing member for the Cancer Etiology study section in 2011-2015 and for the Environmental Health Sciences study section since 2016. Yinsheng organized multiple symposia for the Division of Chemical Toxicology at annual ACS National Meetings, and he also served as the treasurer for the Division in 2014-2015. In addition, he has been a member for the editorial advisory board for Chemical Research in Toxicology since 2007.

The TOXI Division presents awards to the top presentations and poster for students and post-docs.  Congratulations to these young scientists.

Top Oral Presentation.

Madjda Bellamri, Robert J. Turesky University of Minnesota
Mechanism of bioactivation of the cooked meat carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) in human prostate

Graduate student presentations

First Place

Stephanie Bamberger, Hope Pan, Ryan Bowen, Chanchal Kumar Malik, Tracy Johnson-Salyard, Carmelo Rizzo, Michael P. Stone. Vanderbilt University
Characterization of the 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-N5-(methyl)-formamidopyrimidine DNA lesion

Second Place

Daniel J. Laverty, Marc M. Greenberg. Johns Hopkins University
Abasic and oxidized abasic lesion bypass by DNA polymerase theta yields one- and two-nucleotide deletions

Post-doc Poster Presentations

First Place

Hong Mu, Nicholas E. Geacintov, Yingkai Zhang, Suse Broyde. New York University,
Lesion recognition in nucleotide excision repair: Relationship between the structural properties of adducts and initial binding of XPC to the damaged site

Scond Place

Kun Yang, Marc M. Greenberg. Johns Hopkins University.
Histone protein tails inhibit depurination of N7-methylated deoxyguanosine and form DNA-protein crosslinks with alkylated DNA in nucleosome core particles

Third Place

QingQing Wang, Liwei Weng, Clementina Mesaros, Ian A. Blair. University of Pennsylvania Absolute quantification of plasma fibulin-3 as a biomarker for asbestos exposure by immunoprecipitation-high resolution mass spectrometry

Graduate Student Poster Presentations

First Place

Jessica Murray, Meng Huang, Clementina Mesaros, Volker Arlt, Karam El Bayoumy, Ian A. Blair, Trevor M. Penning. University of Pennsylvania
Nrf2-Keap1 signaling and implications for the metabolic activation of nitroarenes

Second Place

Shaofei Ji, Orlando Scharer, Natalia Y. Tretyakova. University of Minnesota.
Polymerase bypass of DNA-protein and DNA-peptide cross-links

Third Place

Orrette R. Wauchope, Michelle M. Mitchener, William N. Beavers, James Galligan, Philip Kingsley, Ha-Na Shim, Thomas Blackwell, Thong Luong, Mark deCaestecker, Joshua P. Fessel, Lawrence J. Marnett. Vanderbilt University.
Mitochondrial M1dG levels linked to oxidative stress and mito

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