October 2020 Newsletter

Table of Contents

Message from Chair
TOXI Program at the ACS Meeting
TOXI Award Winners
Biosketches for 2020 Election
Buisness Meeting

Message from Chair

Greetings to all TOXI members. I am pleased to share the annual post-meeting newsletter. After a fast shift to an online program, many uncertainties, and some confusion, I am deeply grateful for the successful chance to make valuable connections through scientific presentations and networking sessions. We are all hoping to meet in person next year; nonetheless, I expect some integration of components of the online experience is here to stay and can help to broaden our TOXI network. Please read on for a report of the program and recognition of 2020 TOXI award winners. Congratulations especially to the graduate and postdoc awardees whose scientific accomplishments and career development are a major driver for the Division. Awesome job!

In addition to the meeting report, another reason for this update is because more than one election is afoot. We introduce here the nominees for positions opening on the TOXI executive committee and thank these nominees who have agreed to contribute their time and energy to supporting the division. Any members interested in becoming more involved in the leadership and organization of the division are encouraged to reach out to members of the Executive Committee directly at any time. All members are strongly urged to cast their votes.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that the TOXI division has been awarded an Innovative Program Grant to conduct a strategic planning workshop focusing on opportunities for future growth and activities of the division. Any members interested in participating (online) are encouraged to contact Michael Stone (michael.p.stone@vanderbilt.edu) and Zucai Suo (Zucai.Suo@med.fsu.edu) directly. We strive to include TOXI members with diverse backgrounds and careers to help shape the future of the division.

All my best, and thank you!

Shana J. Sturla
Professor of Toxicology
ETH Zurich

TOXI Program at the ACS Meeting

ACS Fall 2020 “San Francisco” National Meeting Program

The Program Committee and the TOXI division thank NIEHS, Chemical Research in Toxicology, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bristol Myers Squibb, ACS, TOXI members, and Frederick and Susan Beland for funding our program. This was our first virtual meeting, and although we missed the opportunity to meet in person, the meeting was a great success! The meeting was held Monday-Thursday with two scientific sessions and additional networking opportunities each day. In addition to the two live technical sessions, other talks and posters were available as pre-recorded content on-demand throughout the meeting as well as for a week after the meeting. Although no one traveled to attend this meeting, many participants suffered virtual jetlag as they joined sessions in the middle of the night from home. We’re glad that so many people could join us to make the meeting a success!

Monday morning began with a session providing Genome-Wide Perspectives on the Formation, Repair, and Consequences of DNA Damage organized by Sabrina Huber and Maureen McKeague. Aaron Fleming gave a talk about guanine oxidation in non-canonical DNA structures, and Sarah Delaney spoke about her work examining DNA glycosylase activity in nucleosome core particles. John Essigmann and John Wyrick spoke about connecting mutational spectra of aflatoxin B1 and UV, respectively, to human disease, whereas Cécile Mingard connected the biochemical activity of polymerase zeta to mutational spectra in cells. Maureen McKeague‘s talk described using sequencing technology to identify genome locations of DNA damage and repair. This was an excellent start to the TOXI program, providing a number of perspectives on the occurrence, biological effects, and repair of DNA damage.

Monday afternoon featured talks on Antibody-Drug Conjugates, organized by Michael Trakselis and Sanjeev Gangwar and co-sponsored with MEDI and BIOL. Speakers Melissa Schutten and Jagath Reddy Junutula discussed ADC safety and the next generation of ADCs.

The TOXI keynote address was given by Cynthia Burrows, who gave a wonderful presentation about her group’s work on understanding the effects of oxidative DNA damage, especially in G4 DNA structures and the effect on gene expression.

Cindy Burrows on Receiving her Keynote Plaque

Tuesday was packed with two award symposia, a career panel, and Sci-Mix. Tuesday morning featured the Founders’ Award symposium, honoring Pete Dedon for his work on understanding how nucleic acid modifications modulate gene expression. Samie Jaffrey, Thomas Begley, and Richard Gregory also spoke in this session in Pete’s honor.

Michael Trakselis organized a Career Panel Discussion featuring Fred Guengerich, Maureen McKeague, Nicholas Meanwell, and Melissa Schutten. More than 30 participants joined for this wide-ranging and helpful discussion on the challenges of the current job market, identifying mentors, seeking and using career advice, and many more topics.

The award celebration continued Tuesday afternoon with Elijah Petersen receiving the Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award for his work on advancing the science of nanoparticle toxicity. Menghang Xia, Monita Sharma, and Vytas Reipa spoke about other aspects of toxicity assessments.

Wednesday morning featured a symposium on Chemical Exposures and Impact on Health, organized by Sarah Shuck and Rob Turesky, and co-sponsored with ANYL. Speakers Kurt Pennell, Jamie DeWitt, Jon Sobus, Pamela Lein, David Balshaw described both systems-level analysis of environmental exposures to toxicants and human responses as well as the effects of the specific pollutants per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds and neurotoxic sulfated persistent organic pollutants.

A symposium on Metabolism & Toxicity of Fluorine Compounds, organized by Nick Meanwell and Fred Guengerich and co-sponsored with the MEDI and FLUO divisions, was held on Wednesday afternoon. Speakers Nicholas Meanwell, Benjamin Johnson, Qiuwei Xu, and Peter Jeschke provided a range of insights into fluorinated drugs and agricultural chemicals, including their design and use, metabolism, and toxicity.

Thursday featured the Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Symposium, organized by Erin Prestwich and Ujjal Sarker, and Topics in Chemical Toxicology, organized by Linlin Zhao and Penny Beuning. Some highlights include John Terrell‘s work on cytotoxicity of anthracyclines used in chemotherapy binding to AP sites in DNA. C. M. Sabbir Ahmed spoke about a long non-coding RNA that mediates DNA damage in cells exposed to dimethyl selenide-derived aerosols. Katherine Hurley reported that the environmental pollutant acrolein is also produced by human gut bacteria, and that this acrolein can disrupt tight junction proteins in the intestines. Junzhou Wu described advances in sequencing phosphorothioate positions in DNA, which is important to identify the effects of this modification that is important in redox homeostasis. In the Topics session, Lisa Peterson reported work testing the hypothesis that acrolein can enhance the tumorigenic properties of NNK from tobacco smoke. Orlando Schärer described the roles of replication and translesion DNA polymerases in processing interstrand cross-links. Linlin Zhao is probing the prevalence and processing of abasic sites in mitochondrial DNA. Sunghwan Kim described the current replacements for ToxNet, which was retired in 2019, including the Hazardous Substances Database, ChemID Plus, and the Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System.

Posters were available throughout the meeting with short recorded presentations. Some of the many excellent posters presented were: Kiara Fairman‘s poster on the metabolism of anti-hypertensive drugs during pregnancy; Fabrice Müller’s work on predicting human liver toxicity from chemicals in food; and Alessia Stornetta‘s poster on identifying colibactin cross-links in DNA.

The final networking event of the meeting:

Screenshot of final zoom networking event
Final TOXI Networking Event of the 2020 Fall ACS Meeting

TOXI Award Winners

Oral Presentation Awards

  • Susanne Geisen (graduate student, ETH), Nora Escher, Claudia M. Aloisi, Shana Sturla Chemical mechanism of O6-carboxymethyldeoxyguanine formation from azaserine and abundance in cells
  • Katherine Hurley (postdoc, ETH), Jasmin Zgraggen, Tania Cruz, Alejandro Ramirez-Garcia, Clarissa Schwab, Shana Sturla Biosynthesis of acrolein with a coupled enzyme system to emulate continuous acrolein production by gut microbiota
  • John Terrell (graduate student, Vanderbilt), Francesca Gruppi, Robert J. Turesky, Carmelo J. Rizzo Covalent binding of anthracyclines to AP sites in DNA suggest an unstudied mechanism of cytotoxicity from chemotherapeutic regimens
  • Junzhou Wu (postdoc, MIT), Peter C. Dedon Derivatization of Phosphorothioate DNA modifications by direct chemical conjugation

Poster Presentation Awards

  • Kiara Fairman (postdoc, FDA), Annie Lumen Contribution of parameter sensitivities to the predictive potential of pregnancy-induced pharmacokinetic changes for antihypertensives using physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling
  • Caitlin C. Jokipii Krueger (graduate student, Minnesota), Dominic Najjar, Xiaotong Lu, Natalia Y. Tretyakova Endogenous versus exogenous sources of N7-(2,3,4-trihydroxybut-1-yl) guanine and N7-(1-hydroxyl-3-buten-1-yl) guanine DNA adducts
  • Alessia Stornetta (postdoc, Minnesota), Peter W. Villalta, Erik S. Carlson, Emily P. Balskus, Silvia Balbo Analysis of double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides crosslinked by the bacterial genotoxin colibactin using HILIC chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • Jingjing Sun (postdoc, ETH), Nicole M. Antczak, Shana J. Sturla Molecular beacon reporters of substrate specificity of DNA 8-oxoguanine glycosylase mutants

Engaging Young TOXI Scientists

To encourage the participation of young TOXI scientists and to facilitate the interactions between trainees and established TOXI scientists, Dr. Michael Trakselis led a new program to recruit TOXI trainees to write up synapses and perspectives on Award Speakers and Programmatic Sessions. As an incentive, student authors were awarded ACS registration scholarships. Three Letters to the Editor and four ToxWatch articles are prepared for submission to Chemical Research in Toxicology. The division plans on continuing this in the future as a way to recruit and engage young scientists. Please be on a lookout for this program in future TOXI meetings!

The 2020 Election

The 2020 election will begin in one week. Current TOXI members will receive their election credentials via email.


The Chair-Elect is responsible for aiding the Chair in running the Division. The term is two years, after which the candidate becomes the Chair of the Division with a two-year term.

Thomas Spratt is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey PA. Tom received a BA in Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a PhD in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Chicago. He did postdoctoral research with Heinz Floss at the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State University, studying mechanisms of DNA alkylation using chiral methyl alkylating agents. He went on to study with Steve Hecht at the American Health Foundation where he was introduced to tobacco carcinogenesis. His research at the American Health Foundation and Penn State has focused on mechanisms of DNA repair, fidelity of DNA polymerases and how carcinogen-induced mutations occur. Tom has been an active member of the Division of Chemical Toxicology, American Chemical Society since its inception, serving as a member of the Awards Committee (2009-2012), Secretary (2008-2011), Program Chair (2016-2019), and Chair of the Publicity/Communications Committee (2007-present). Tom has been an active member of joined TOXI at its inception. He organized two symposia for the Division, was Secretary of the Division for four years, Program Chair for three years, and has lead the TOXI Publicity Committee for the past 13 years. He has also served on the Advisory Board for Chemical Research in Toxicology (2004-2007, 2018-present).

Dr. Michael P. Stone received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, followed by post-doctoral research at The University of Rochester. He has been at Vanderbilt University since 1984, where he is Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Stone’s research is in the area of perturbations to DNA structure induced by chemical and environmental mutagens, and the relationships between modifications to DNA structure and mutagenesis and DNA repair. He utilizes both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray crystallography in his research. Dr. Stone has co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Stone has been active in American Chemical Society governance. He has served as Treasurer and on the Executive Committee of the Division of Chemical Toxicology. He is a past Editorial Board member of Chemical Research in Toxicology. Dr. Stone has also served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the ACS Nashville Local Section.

Executive Committee, Member-at-Large

Members-at-Large to the Executive serve three-year terms. The role of this position is two-fold: to help the Chair run the division by providing advice and chairing standing committees, and to learn how the Division is run in order to be an effective future Division Officer.

Ian A. Blair, PhD. A. N. Richards Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Ian Blair received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1971 from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, under the mentorship of the 1969 Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek H.R. Barton. After receiving his Ph.D., he took up a faculty position in the Chemistry Department at Makerere University, Uganda. He subsequently held research fellowships at Adelaide University and the Australian National University in Canberra where he conducted studies on the synthesis of gibberellins and steroids. In 1979, he was appointed to a Clinical Pharmacology Lectureship at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London University, U.K. In 1983, he was appointed as a Professor of Pharmacology and a Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and subsequently awarded the Derek H.R. Barton Chair of Pharmacology in 1996. He was recruited in 1997 to the A.N. Richards Chair of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Center for Cancer Pharmacology, a position he held until 2014. In addition to his faculty appointments at U Penn he served as the Vice-Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics from 2002-2014. He also developed an NIH-funded training program in Cancer Pharmacology for pre- and post-doctoral students, which ran from 2003 to 2014. From 2014-2020, he ran an NIEHS-funded Superfund Research and Training Program Center.

Dr. Blair’s research focuses on the use of mass spectrometric methods for the quantitation and elucidation of structures of proteins, DNA-adducts, protein-adducts, and steroids, as well as the analysis of drugs and their metabolites. He has published over 425-refereed manuscripts and has an h-index of 75. He serves as the Senior Editor of Future Science Open and has been on the editorial boards of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Journal of Lipid Research, and Steroids. He also regularly serve on NIH study sections, including as a charter member of the Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology Study Section (2010-2014; Chair from 2012-2014) and the Cancer Biomarkers Study Section (2017-present). In 2005, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was cited for “distinguished contributions to the field of mass spectrometry and its applications to pharmaceutical medicine and for moving autacoid biology forward with sensitive bioanalytical techniques.” In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Dean’s award for graduate student training at the University of Pennsylvania and was elected as a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists for his work on mass spectrometric methods for the quantitation and elucidation of structures of endogenous biomolecules, DNA-adducts, protein-adducts, drugs and their metabolites. He received the 2011 Eastern Analytical Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry. In 2017, he received the Founder’s Award from the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology or his contributions to drug metabolism and mechanistic toxicology.

M. Matilde Marques was born in Santarém, Portugal. She holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering and a Habilitation degree (D.Sc.) in chemistry from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon, Portugal. She conducted postdoctoral work in chemical carcinogenesis at the FDA National Center for Toxicological Research, USA, and is currently a full professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of IST, where she teaches organic and medicinal chemistry. She coordinated the M.S. and Ph.D. Chemistry Programs at IST until December 2016 and is vice-chair of IST’s Scientific Council (2017-present).

Her research focuses on the mechanisms of toxicity induced by environmental (e.g., aromatic amines, acrylamide) and therapeutic (e.g., antiestrogens, anti-HIV drugs) xenobiotics, on the development/validation of analytical methodologies for the detection and quantitation of biomarkers of exposure to toxic agents, with emphasis on MS-based methodologies, and on the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of potential therapeutic agents.
She is a Member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the IUPAC Subcommittee on Toxicology and Risk Assessment. She has served as Chair of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Portuguese Chemical Society and Council Member of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (2016-2020). She serves on the Editorial Board for Pharmaceuticals and the Editorial Advisory Board for Chemical Research in Toxicology and has been a Member of multiple working groups for the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Nominations Committee Member

The Nominating Committee consists of three members, one elected each year. The member with the longest tenure on the committee shall serve as Chair. Each year the Secretary of the Division contacts the members of the Nominating Committee and stipulates the offices that are to be filled. In making the nominations, the committee should be attentive to issues of diversity and look for broad representation within the membership of the division. The nominations should be submitted to the Executive Committee at their meeting, which falls during the national ACS meeting. At the business meeting of the general membership, the Chair should open the floor for additional nominations. Once the nominations are closed, the Secretary should be informed as to the nominees and prepare the ballots accordingly.

Trevor Penning is a Professor of Systems Pharmacology & Translational Therapeutics, Biochemistry & Biophysics and OB/GYN, Director for the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, which is Penn’s P30 Environmental Health Sciences Core Center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), he is also Co-Leader of the Tobacco and Environmental Carcinogenesis Program in the Abramson Cancer Center. Dr. Penning received a PhD in Biochemistry from Southampton University, U.K., under Professor M. Akhtar, FRS. Following his postdoctoral training with Professor Paul Talalay at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he joined Penn as an Assistant Professor in 1982, becoming a full Professor in 1994. Dr. Penning has extensive administrative experience as Interim Chair of Pharmacology (1994-1996), as Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Research Training (1997-2005), and as Director of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (2002-2005). He has directed many multi-investigator grant initiatives.

Dr. Penning has conducted seminal work on hormonal and chemical carcinogenesis involving the Aldo-Keto Reductase (AKR) superfamily. His current work is focused on the role of human AKRs in steroid hormone metabolism and the metabolic activation of pyrogenic, petrogenic and nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In steroid hormone metabolism he has identified four human AKR1C enzymes that are involved in the pre-receptor regulation of steroid hormone action since they determine the local concentration of ligand for the androgen, estrogen and progesterone receptor. For PAH he identified a novel pathway of PAH activation catalyzed by AKRs that involves the formation of redox-active o-quinones, which has become widely accepted as an alternative pathway to diol-epoxide formation. He also directs a T32 Institutional Training Grant: Translational Research Training Program in Environmental Health Sciences (T32 ES019851), and he has been past-Chair of the Graduate Research and Training Group (GREAT) of the AAMC. He has trained over 40 pre- and postdoctoral trainees, many of whom have gone on to leadership positions in academia and industry. He has been Program Chair and Chair Division of Chemical Toxicology of the American Chemical Society (ACS) He has been a recipient of the Founders Award from the Division and is an ACS Fellow.

Nicholas A. Meanwell is the Vice President and Head Discovery Chemistry Platforms of the Department of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb. Have led drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular, neurosciences and virology therapeutic areas, work that has resulted in the advancement of 33 clinical candidates and four approved drugs (daclatasvir, asunaprevir, beclabuvir for HCV infection and fostemsavir for HIV-1 infection). He has authored more than 260 publications, review articles, book chapters and editorials, and 200 meeting abstracts. He was named as inventor/co-inventor of 140 issued U.S. Patents. He is a Perspectives Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry since July 2017, and a past member of the editorial boards for Chemical Research in Toxicology, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Series Editor, Topics in Medicinal Chemistry (Springer).

Dr. Meanwell was admitted as a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in February 2014. He was the co-recipient of a PhRMA Research and Hope Award for Biopharmaceutical Industry Research in 2014 for outstanding research in the area of HIV/AIDS. He was the recipient of the 2015 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship Award administered jointly by the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. He was inducted into the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame on August 18th, 2015. He was also the co-recipient of a 2017 “Heroes of Chemistry” Award sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

As an active member of the Division, he has been the co-organizer of the annual TOXI/MEDI joint session with Fred Guengerich since 2005. He was a member of ACS TOXI Division Program Committee between 2007 and 2008. He was elected as the Executive Committee Member at Large of the Division between 2017 and 2019.

Councilor/Alternative Councilor

The number of Councilors depends upon the size of the Division. At the current time, the Division has two Councilors and two Alternate Councilors. During this election, we will choose one Councilor and one Alternate Councilor.  The winner of the election will be Councilor and the runner-up will be Alternate Councilor.  It is the primary responsibility of the Councilors to represent the Division at the national ACS meetings. This means that either the Councilor or the Alternate Councilor should attend every national ACS meeting and be attentive to all of the national issues for which the Council of the ACS is responsible. Since the Council is the chief governing body of the ACS, this task can be somewhat time-consuming and it is therefore suggested that the Councilor and the Alternate Councilor divide the duties and communicate with each other as appropriate.

Penny Beuning is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University and was appointed chair in July 2020. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She completed postdoctoral research at MIT focused on the regulation of cellular responses to DNA damage. Her research on DNA damage tolerance and protein engineering has been recognized with a Cottrell Scholar Award, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant, and a Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator Award. Prof. Beuning has been active in efforts to enhance the recruitment and retention of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. She has volunteered for ACS as a facilitator for the New Faculty Workshops and on the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. She serves as TOXI Program Chair for the 2020 and 2021 August National Meetings, as Councilor representing TOXI, and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Chemical Research in Toxicology. She is a fellow of the American Chemical Society

Zucai Suo received a B.S. degree (chemistry) in 1986 and an M.S. degree (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 that successfully developed an anti-hepatitis C protease drug Telaprevir. After a short stay in the industry, he moved to The Ohio State University at Columbus, OH, where he was Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry for 17 years. Since 2018, he has been Eminent Professor and Dorian & John Blackmon Chair in Biomedical Science at Florida State University College of Medicine. He is in the process of establishing the Drug Discovery Institute at FSU. In 2015, Dr. Suo co-founded Nucorion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at San Diego, CA, and is current Chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. He has served as a regular and ad hoc member of NIH study panels, NSF review panels, and other private and public funding agencies. In addition, he has been on the Editorial Advisory Boards of four scientific journals including Chemical Research in Toxicology and has served as a guest editor for PNAS. His research interests are in wound-healing, antiviral and anti-cancer drug discovery, and the enzymology of DNA replication, DNA lesion bypass, DNA damage repair, gene editing, and yeast proteasome. He has published over 110 research papers and won several research awards including an NSF Career Award in 2005 and the OKeanos-CAPA Senior Investigator Award in 2017. In 2013, he was elected to be a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For the TOXI Division, he served as its Secretary and a member of its Program Committee, Communications Committee, and Professional Development Committee in the past years. He is currently serving as Treasurer of TOXI.

Clementina Mesaros is a Research Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry (under the mentorship of Professor Robert Salomon) from Case Western Reserve University in 2005, then joined the Blair laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania were she quickly mastered the use of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and developed a chiral method to monitor the oxidative modifications that arise from the cytochrome P-450 (CYP)-mediated metabolism of arachidonic acid.

After her post-doctoral fellowship, she was appointed as the Technical Director of the Translational Biomarkers Core from the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology where she developed assays for metabolites involved in cellular oxidative stress and flux analysis of metabolites within intermediate metabolic pathways using stable-isotope dilution liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Some of the routine assays include quantification of isoprostanes, 8-oxo-dGuo, and chiral eicosanoids. She was involved in studying the mechanisms of bioactive lipid formation and signaling pathways related to environmental exposures. As opposed to simply assessing exposure based on direct quantification of the exposure itself, this approach attempted to make use of downstream consequences of exposures. She also established the use of omics approaches by LC-HRMS-based methodology in the Core as a tool for conducting sophisticated lipidomics and metabolomics research. During her time at Upenn, Dr. Mesaros collaborated closely with Professor Ian Blair and Professor Trevor Penning. She gained extensive expertise in translational research and in writing grant proposals and multidisciplinary collaborations through her role in Center. Dr. Mesaros has published over 90 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Mesaros’ current research is focusing on two main areas: 1. Investigating how lipid metabolism is disrupted as a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction in Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). 2. Trying to understand individual and population-level environmental exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and to predict sub-populations of never smokers at high-risk of developing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Dr. Mesaros has been an active member of the ACS TOXI division since she was a graduate student. She has been actively involved in judging the oral and poster presentations in the past TOXI meetings since 2014.

Business Meeting

Slides from the business meeting:

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