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

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

Travel Awards to the 254th ACS Meeting in Washington DC Announced.

The Travel Award Committee headed by Irina Stepanov of the University of Minnesota has selected the Travel Award Recipients.  These students and post-docs will receive up to $750 to help pay for their travel expenses to the ACS Meeting.

The three graduate students who will receive the award are:

Arindom Chatterjee from Ashis Basu’s lab at the University of Connecticut
Michelle Mitchener from  Larry Marnett’s lab at Vanderbilt
Liwei Zheng from  Marc Greenberg’s lab at Johns Hopkins

Three post-docs will receive the award:

Suresh Pujari from  Natalia Tretyakova’s lab at the University of Minnesota
Maureen McKeague from  Shana Sturla’s lab at ETH Zurich
Nathan Price from Yinsheng Wang’s lab at UC Riverside


Division of Chemical Toxicology 2017 Program

For the abstracts see our Newsletter.  For a listing of times, see our Newsletter, the ACS Website, or  download this PDF


Chemical Research in Toxicology, Young Investigator Symposium

  • Yinsheng Wang, Univ of California, Riverside. Targeted quantitative proteomic approaches for interrogating the human kinome
  • Kent Gates, Univ of Missouri. Sequence-specific covalent capture for detection of disease-derived nucleic acid sequences
  • Jin Zhang, Univ of California, San Diego. Dynamic visualization of signaling molecules in living cells
  • Huiwang Ai, Chemical Research in Toxicology, Young Investigator Award Winner, Univ of California, Riverside. Seeing is believing: Fluorescent biosensors for redox signaling and oxidative stress

Founders’ Award Symposium.

  • F. Peter Guengerich, Vanderbilt Univ. Biochemical and toxicological applications of mass spectrometry
  • Trevor Penning, Univ of Pennsylvania. Human aldo-keto reductases and aryl hydrocarbon activation
  • Larry Marnett, Vanderbilt Univ. Chemical biology of DNA damage by α,β-unsaturated aldehydes
  • Steve Tannenbaum, MIT. S-Nitrosation is a systems-wide regulatory process
  • Ian Blair, Founders’ Award Winner, Univ of Pennsylvania. Systems pharmacology approach to the study of mitochondrial dysfunction


TOXI Young Investigators Symposium.  Organizer Thomas Spratt, Presiding, Bin Ma and Ujjal Sarkar

  • Lili Guo,, University of Pennsylvania, Effect of statins on HMG-CoA reductase pathway and apolipoprotein A-I production in Friedreich’s ataxia
  • Madjda Bellamri,, 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
  • Safnas Farwin Abdul Salam,, University of Cincinnati, Novvel class of hydroxyl radical scavenging antioxidants prevents oxidative DNA damage in fibroblast cells exposed to trivalent arsenic
  • Jiabin Wu,, University of California, Riverside, Replicative bypass and mutagenic properties of alkylphosphotriester lesions in Escherichia coli
  • Daniel J. Laverty,, Johns Hopkins University Abasic and oxidized abasic lesion bypass by DNA polymerase theta yields one- and two-nucleotide deletions
  • Stephanie Bamberger, Vanderbilt University Characterization of the 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-N5-(methyl)-formamidopyrimidine DNA lesion
  • Timothy A. Coulther,, Northeastern University Engineering a replicative DNA polymerase for specific damage bypass capability
  • Yan Su,, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Mechanism of ribonucleotide incorporation by human DNA polymerase Eta
  • Liwei Zheng, Johns Hopkins University Independent generation of 2′-deoxyadenosine-N6-yl radical and its reactivity in DNA
  • Matthew Ellis, University of Toledo Investigation into the reactivity of a C5′-uridinyl radical
  • Ji Jiang, Univ of California Riverside Arsenite binds to the RING finger domain of FANCL E3 ubiquitin ligase and inhibits DNA interstrand cross-link repair

Biological Targets of Botanical Supplements. Organizer Judy Bolton

  • Richard van Breemen, Univ of Illinois, at Chicago, Pharmacokinetic Interactions between Drugs and Licorice Botanical Dietary Supplements Used by Menopausal Women
  • Mary F. Paine, Washington State Univ, Intestinal UGTs as targets for pharmacokinetic natural product-drug interactions
  • Tom Kensler, Johns Hopkins. KEAP1 and done? Targeting the NRF2 pathway with sulforaphane
  • Cynthia Rider, NIEHS, Biological Endpoints versus Chemistry in Determining Sufficient Similarity of Botanical Dietary Supplements
  • Judy Bolton, Univ of Illinois, at Chicago, Botanicals modulate estrogen metabolism through multiple targets

Evening SCI-MIX


Crosslink DNA repair. Organizers, Yinsheng Wang and Orlando Scharer

  • Johannes Walter, Harvard Medical School, Mechanisms of replication-coupled repair
  • Kent Gates, Univ. of Missouri, Interstrand cross-links derived from abasic sites in duplex DNA
  • Yinsheng Wang, Univ. of California, Riverside, Occurrence, Replication and repair of DNA interstrand cross-link lesions in human cells.
  • Michael Seidman,NIH/NIA, Baltimore, Lesion proximal FANCD2 is required for replication independent repair of interstrand crosslinks.
  • Xiaohua Peng, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Hydrogen Peroxide Activated DNA Cross-Linking Agents and Their Biomedical Application
  • Lei Li , MD Anderson, Fanconi Anemia pathway and Constitutive Protection of Replication Stress

Toxicological Considerations in Antibody Drug Conjugate Design and Development, Organizers, Fred Guengerich, Nick Meanwell and Griff Humphries

  • Pamela A. Trail, Regeneron, Antibody drug conjugates: design considerations for improving efficacy and safety.
  • Donglu Zhang, Genentech, Antibody drug conjugates (ADC) linker immolation and cell killing activity
  • Omar Ahmad, Pfizer, Development of next generation calicheamicin antibody drug conjugates (ADCs)
  • Peter Senter, Seattle Genetics, Potent antibody-based conjugates for cancer therapy: From early stage research to a clinically approved drug

Keynote Lecture

  • Paul B Watkins, Univ of North Carolina, Understanding hepatoxicity: man to mouse to computer

POSTER SESSION TOXI Buisness Meeting Student and Post-doc Awards


General Oral Papers. Organizer Thomas Spratt, Presiding, Grover Miller and Linlin Zhao

  • Michael P. Stone, Vanderbilt University Chemistry and biology of N5-alkyl-fapy-dG damage in DNA
  • Lisa A. Peterson, Univ of Minnnesota Aldehydes increase the tumorigenic properties of tobacco specific nitrosamines in rodent tumor models
  • Vladimir Shafirovich NYU Unwinding kinetics of carcinogenic adducts: Correlation with processing by nucleotide excision repair machinery
  • Zucai Suo, Ohio State University Structural insights into the post-chemistry steps of nucleotide incorporation catalyzed by a DNA polymerase
  • George-Lucian Moldovan, Pennsylvania State University Central role of PCNA in promoting replication of damaged DNA
  • Linlin Zhao, Central Michigan University Lucidin-dervied N2-guanine DNA lesion is not a major contributor to the mutagenicity of lucidin
  • Lei Li, Indiana University Spore photoproduct within DNA is a surprisingly poor substrate for its designated repair enzyme: The spore photoproduct lyase
  • Antony J. Williams, nvironmental Protection Agency, Real-time prediction of physicochemical and toxicological endpoints using the web-based CompTox Chemistry Dashboard
  • M S. Marques, Universidade de Lisboa Reaction of the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine with bionucleophiles: Bioactivation is not required
  • Kaushik Mitra, Merck and Co. Programed release of nitric oxide, via oxidative metabolism, in animals and humans from clinical candidate MK-8150
  • John H. Lauterbach, Lauterbach Associates Can pipe tobaccos be characterized for regulatory purposes without a puff of pipe smoke?

Advanced mass spectrometric techniques in toxicology. Organizers Silvia Balbo, Peter Villalta

  • Jonathan Josephs, ThermoFisher Scientific, Advances in mass spectrometry techniques for metabolism, pharmacology and toxicology
  • Peter Nemes, George Washington Univ. Capillary Electrophoresis for Trace-level Detection: Metabolites and Proteins.
  • Benedikt Warth, Univ of Vienna, Exposing the Exposome: Utilizing global metabolomics to characterize toxicant exposure and effect.
  • Balasubrahmanyam Addepalli, Univ of Cincinnati, Probing stress-induced effects on RNA and posttranscriptional modifications by LC-MS.
  • Jingshu Guo, Univ. of Minnesota, Advances in human biomonitoring of heterocyclic aromatic amines by high resolution accurate mass spectrometry

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