Message from Chair
As usual at this time of the year, many TOXI members are preparing to attend the annual meeting of our Division of Chemical Toxicology held in conjunction with the 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Washington, D.C. August 20-24, 2017. This year, Dr. Tom Spratt, our Program Chair, has assembled an exciting program that includes 108 presentations. If you are planning to attend the meeting and have not yet made hotel reservations, we urge you to do so immediately, since the choices for finding well located hotels at a reasonable price are dwindling rapidly as the meeting date approaches.
The meeting begins on Sunday morning (August 20) with the Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Symposium. This year the Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award winner is Dr. Huiwang Ai, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California Riverside. Professor Ai is well known for his outstanding and highly cited papers on the development of fluorescent probes for biological applications, including fluorescent biosensors for redox signaling and for evaluating oxidative stress. The Founders’ Award Symposium will be held as usual on Sunday afternoon. This year’s winner of the Founders’ Award is Dr. Ian Blair, A. N. Richards Professor of Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine and Vice-Chair, Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Blair has published close to 400 papers that are widely cited because of his innovative application of mass spectrometry to biomedical problems. These include the development of stable-isotope labeling assays and ultra-sensitive techniques for detecting various biomarkers of oxidative stress. Ian is well known within the TOXI Division since he served several terms on the Editorial Board of our journal, Chemical Research in Toxicology. Both Award symposia will feature lectures by the awardees and other distinguished researchers in their respective areas of investigation.
The Monday morning symposium (August 21) is dedicated to TOXI Young Investigators. This year, ten graduate students and post-docs will be describing the highlights of their research, and we look forward to hearing about the activities of this group of young and dynamic investigators. Dr. Judy Bolton has organized a symposium on Biological Targets of Botanical Supplements that will be presented on Monday afternoon (August 21). This is a great topic that brings high-level chemistry-based research to the important area of natural product drug interactions that are relevant to human health.
Drs. Yinsheng Wang and Orlando Schärer have organized a symposium on Cross-link DNA Repair on Tuesday morning (August 22). This is currently a hot area of research in the field of DNA repair because DNA cross-links are very difficult to remove by normal human DNA repair systems. On Tuesday afternoon, the topic of the symposium organized by Drs. Fred Guengerich, Nick Meanwell and Griff Humphreys is Toxicological Considerations in Antibody Drug Conjugate Design and Development. This is another hot topic at the interface of chemistry and human health that ranges from basic research to translational research. We have been reading about this area in the popular press for a while, and it will be great to hear from experts on the subject about their most recent findings in the field of antibody-drug conjugate design and development.
Another general interest highlight of the meeting is this year’s Keynote Lecture by Dr. Paul Watkins on late Tuesday afternoon (August 22). The topic of the lecture is Understanding hepatoxicity: man to mouse to computer. Dr. Watkins is a recipient of numerous honors and awards and is Professor of Medicine, Professor of Toxicology, and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also serves as the director of The Hamner-UNC Institute for Drug Safety Sciences, located at Research Triangle Park, and is also the Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, as well as the Director of the Institute for Drug Safety Sciences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Dr. Watkins is an expert on drug-induced liver disease, spanning the full spectrum from basic to clinical research, to clinical trials and regulatory affairs. We look forward to an interesting and stimulating keynote lecture that spans overlapping areas of basic and translational research.
Tuesday evening is devoted to our General Poster Session (56 posters will be presented). Our Division will also present awards honoring platform and poster presentations. A light buffet dinner will be offered, as usual, during the poster session. Following the presentation of awards on Tuesday evening, there will be a general business meeting to which all TOXI members and meeting attendees are invited. The Tuesday evening session is a great opportunity for meeting and socializing with other TOXI members, discussing posters, and discussing science in general. This has been a popular event since we first started it when I was the Program Chair many years ago! I am looking forward to seeing you there!
One general shortcoming of the Tuesday evening session is that there is not enough time to see all of the posters. Please be reminded that many (20), if not all, of the posters displayed on Tuesday evening are also presented at the Sci-Mix session on Monday evening. This event is yet another opportunity to see these great posters. Please get a head start on the posters on Monday evening, and then attend the Tuesday evening business meeting, poster, and dinner session with all of the TOXI members. I am looking forward to seeing you there!
Wednesday morning (August 23) is dedicated to senior investigators who are reporting their latest findings from their laboratories. This year we will have 11 such presentations (General Oral papers). The final symposium of the meeting on Wednesday afternoon (Advanced mass spectrometric techniques in toxicology) was organized by Drs. Silvia Balbo and Peter Villalta. This session is based on exciting new applications of mass spectrometric techniques to the field of chemical toxicology by five experts in this area of research. This symposium is thematically related to the Founders Award Symposium Sunday afternoon, and is an appropriate final session of this meeting.
I would like to alert you to another event associated with the mass spectrometry theme of this year’s meeting. ACS Science Tuesdays is a weekly Q&A session, better known as AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Each week, ACS experts are featured on one of Reddit’s most popular communities, Reddit Science, to discuss various chemistry topics. Ian Blair, our 2017 Founders’ Award winner has agreed to host an AMA on August 15. The ACS chose this date as a lead-in to the Founders’ Award Symposium. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight our mass spectrometry and other symposia this year. For those who are not familiar with Reddit, it is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit)
Finally, I would like to thank Tom Spratt, and those who assisted him, for the wonderful job of organizing this outstanding TOXI 2017 program. I also would like to thank our Treasurer Dr. Natalia Tretyakova for securing yet another NIEHS Scientific Meeting Grant, which will help to cover some of the costs incurred by graduate students who will be presenting their work at the meeting. Finally, I would like to thank Silva Balbo who secured funding from ThermoFisher.
As a final note, I would like to urge anyone who is able to stay at the meeting through the last day. It is important for us to attend the talks of our colleagues who made great efforts to prepare their presentations and travel to Washington to share their results with us!
With best wishes to all,