Society Awards Top Students and Educators in the Field of Toxicology

Article ID: 615106

Released: 17-Mar-2014 12:05 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Society of Toxicology

  • Credit: William D. Atchison

    William D. Atchison, PhD, 2014 Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Educator Award winner

  • Credit: Herman N. Autrup

    Herman N. Autrup, PhD, ATS, 2014 Society of Toxicology Education Award winner

  • Credit: David L. Eaton

    David L. Eaton, PhD, ATS, 2014 Society of Toxicology Public Communications Award winner

Newswise — Reston, Va.; March 17, 2014 — The Society of Toxicology (SOT) honors dozens of educators and students through its awarding of its 2014 educator and student-focused awards. Aimed at supporting further scientific and education endeavors, these student and educator awards range from the recognition of esteemed professors to grants for new research. All of the awards support a primary focus of SOT, a professional association of more than 7,700 toxicologists: to build for the future of toxicology. The award winners will be formally honored at SOT’s 53rd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 23, 2014.

“At the Society of Toxicology, we believe strongly in the need to be both scientists and educators,” says Lois D. Lehman-McKeeman, PhD, ATS, 2013-2014 President of the Society of Toxicology. “By giving grants for research, supporting students coming to our research-based Annual Meeting, and honoring the best teachers among us, we are hoping to foster a continued commitment to the science of toxicology from students, educators, and scientists around the globe.”

As part of the 2014 education-themed SOT awards, two university professors have been awarded for their mentoring of toxicology students over the years:

  • William D. Atchison, PhD, Michigan State University, has won the 2014 SOT Undergraduate Educator Award for his education efforts at Michigan State and his exchange program with the University of Puerto Rico.
  • The 2014 SOT Education Award has been awarded to Herman N. Autrup, PhD, ATS, University of Aarhus, for creating and establishing a toxicology curriculum at the Danish university and his annual teaching efforts in Thailand.

The SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program, part of the SOT awards program, also supports educators and trainees through its exchange of preeminent scientists from developing countries with toxicologists at established toxicology programs:

  • Gonzalo J. Diaz, DVM, PhD, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, will partner with Wilson K. Rumbeiha, BVM, PhD, DABT, DABVT, Iowa State University, to enhance their respective research programs and curricula.
  • Ebenezer O. Farombi, PhD, FRSC, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, will partner with James E. Klaunig, PhD, ATS, IATP, Indiana University, to develop research and training collaborations.

This year, three students have been awarded research grants to further their toxicological training through the SOT award program:

  • Laura E. Armstrong, BS, University of Rhode Island, and Christin M. Grabinski, MS, US Air Force Research Laboratory, have each been awarded a 2014 SOT Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods.
  • Dilshan S. Harischandra, BS, Iowa State University, has won the 2014 SOT Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies.

SOT is providing support for 11 undergraduate students to present their research posters at the 53rd Annual SOT Meeting and ToxExpo through Pfizer and SOT Endowment Fund-sponsored 2014 Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Awards:

  • Wesley Cai, University of Arizona
  • Cory V. Gerlach, Oregon State University
  • Lukas Gora, Michigan State University
  • Elaine Kuo, Stanford University
  • Virginia Mitchell, University of Utah
  • Kia Z. Perez-Vale, University of Puerto Rico
  • Ricardo Rivera-Soto, University of Puerto Rico
  • Bradley Rowland, McMurray University
  • Kelly Schlotman, Purdue University
  • Jennette Shoots, Kenyon College
  • Kelly VanDenBerg, Michigan State University

Additionally,the SOT Endowment Fund’s Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Travel Award recognizes Pamella B. Tijerina, New York University School of Medicine, who has previously participated in the SOT Undergraduate Education Program and is presenting an abstract at the 53rd Annual SOT Meeting and ToxExpo.

Three faculty advisors and 33 undergraduate students from around the nation have been funded to attend the Undergraduate Education Program, a special component of the Annual Meeting to encourage students to pursue careers in toxicology. Travel support is provided by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R13 GM108246-01. These meeting attendees will participate in special sessions for undergraduates as well as scientific and poster sessions.

Finally, SOT annually recognizes an educator of a different kind—someone who furthers the science of toxicology by broadening awareness and understanding of the science among the general public. The 2014 SOT Public Communications Award has been bestowed on David L. Eaton, PhD, ATS, University of Washington. This award recognizes Dr. Eaton’s multiple publications in the area of general education and also for his efforts to educate lawyers about toxicology and promoting multidisciplinary scientific endeavors.

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About SOTFounded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,700 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology in the US and abroad. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology. The Society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge in toxicology, aids in the protection of public health, and has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members into the profession. For more information about SOT and toxicology, visit the Society online at, follow us on Twitter @SOToxicology, and like us on Facebook.


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