Newswise — Reston, Va.; December 12, 2019—The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is pleased to announce the 2020 SOT award recipients. This year’s honorees come from a variety of backgrounds, educational experiences, and career paths and are recognized for their immense contributions to toxicology, including work related to better understanding the toxicological effects on liver injury and disease, immune system function, and reproductive and development health. In addition, individuals are recognized for helping develop and implement toxicology degree programs, supporting and educating undergraduate students, and encouraging and supporting students, early career scientists, and peers through mentoring programs and activities.

“This year’s award recipients are on the forefront of such diverse areas as risk assessment, disease etiology, endocrine disruption, chemical exposure treatments, and alternative methods,” says Ronald N. Hines, PhD, ATS, 2019–2020 SOT President. “They are academics, federal employees, and industry leaders, who are committed to protecting animal, environmental, and public health through toxicology. Many have contributed groundbreaking research that has set the stage for modern toxicological thought.”

Through its awards, SOT recognizes more than two dozen scientists, emerging leaders, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students who are advancing the science of toxicology. In addition, the Society provides support to more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students through student travel awards and the SOT Endowment Fund awards.

The 2020 SOT award recipients will be honored formally at an awards ceremony and other activities during the Society’s 59th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Anaheim, California, March 15–19, 2020.



Laura Nagy, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH



SOT Achievement Award
James P. Luyendyk, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award
Annie M. Jarabek, US EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC

SOT Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award
Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

SOT Education Award
James E. Klaunig, PhD, ATS, IATP, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award
Kristie M. Sullivan, MPH, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC

SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology)
Sidney Green, PhD, ATS, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC

SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award
Wen-Xing Ding, PhD, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

SOT Merit Award
Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award
Ofelia Olivero, PhD, ATS, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD

SOT Translational Impact Award
David Alan Jett, PhD, NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Program and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD

SOT Bruce A. Fowler Undergraduate Educator Award
Christine Perdan Curran, PhD, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY



Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods
Marco Franco, MS, Baylor University, Waco, TX

Colgate-Palmolive Grant for Alternative Research
Lena Smirnova, PhD, Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Baltimore, MD

Colgate-Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards in In Vitro Toxicology
Souavrish Sarkar, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Niyati Vachharajani, PhD, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, NC

Syngenta Fellowship Award in Human Health Applications of New Technologies
Kumari Itishree Kaushik, MS, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, TX



Toxicological Sciences Paper of the Year Award
D. Hagstrom, L. Truong, S. Zhang, R. Tanguay, and E.-M. S. Collins. “Comparative Analysis of Zebrafish and Planarian Model Systems for Developmental Neurotoxicity Screens Using an 87-Compound Library.” Toxicological Sciences, Volume 167, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 15–25.

SOT Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program
Scholar: Monday Michael Onakpa, DVM, PhD, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria; Host: Augustine Arukwe, DSc, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Trondhein, Norway

Scholar: John Joseph Placheril, PhD, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India; Host: J. Christopher States, PhD, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY

SOT Best Postdoctoral Publication Awards
Christopher D. Kassotis, PhD, Duke University, Durham, NC
Paper Citation: Kassotis, C.D., E.M. Kollitz, K. Hoffman, J.A. Sosa, and H.M. Stapleton. “Thyroid Receptor Antagonism as a Contributory Mechanism for Adipogenesis Induced by Environmental Mixtures in 3T3-L1 Cells.” Science of the Total Environment 666 (2019): 431–44.

Miao Li, PhD, US FDA/NCTR, Jefferson, AR
Paper Citation: Li, M., Y.H. Cheng, J.T. Chittenden, R.E. Baynes, L.A. Tell, J.L. Davis, T.W. Vickroy, J.E. Riviere, and Z. Lin. “Integration of Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) Empirical Methods for Drug Withdrawal Interval Determination with a Mechanistic Population-Based Interactive Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (iPBPK) Modeling Platform: Example for Flunixin Meglumine Administration.” Archives of Toxicology 93, no. 7 (2019): 1865–80.

Meghan E. Rebuli, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Paper Citation: Rebuli, M.E., A.M. Speen, E.M. Martin, K.A. Addo, E.A. Pawlak, E. Glista-Baker, C. Robinette, H. Zhou, T.L. Noah, and I. Jaspers. “Wood Smoke Exposure Alters Human Inflammatory Responses to Viral Infection in a Sex-Specific Manner. A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study.” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 199, no. 8 (2019): 996–1007.

SOT Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Travel Award
Juliana Agudelo, University of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI
Honorable Mention: Talia N. Seymore, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Awards
William Luke Acuff, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
Celeste K. Carberry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Jonathan M. Carnino, Boston University, Boston, MA
Christopher Wayne Clark, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Lucie Ford, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI
Munchelou M. Gomonit, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
Natalie L. Johnson, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Dana Joseph, Yale School of Medicine, West Haven, CT
Jordan Michele Lee, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Clayton Mansel, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO
Macarena Martín Mayor, King University, Bristol, TN
Dylan McBee, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Joseph P. McGaunn, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Nam D. Nguyen, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Kelly Jane Rivenbark, King University, Bristol, TN
Andrés D. Rivera Ruiz, Universidad Ana G. Méndez Gurabo, Gurabo, PR
Jessica R. Schlabach, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Emily Severance, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Saren Smith, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
Emily L. Strand, Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin, OH
Menna Y. Teffera, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

SOT/SOT Endowment Fund/IUTOX Travel Awards
Rozaini Abdullah, PhD, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
Rungnapa Boonpawa, PhD, Kasetsart University, Muang District, Thailand
Sapana Kushwaha, PhD, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, India
Janet Olugbodi, PhD, Bingham University, Karu, Nigeria
Yared Beyene Yohannes, PhD, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia


More information on the 2020 award recipients is available on the SOT website.

For more information on a particular SOT award or award recipient, please contact Michelle Werts, SOT Communications Director, at 703.438.3115 ext. 1640 or [email protected].

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About SOT Awards and Honors
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Awards program recognizes distinguished toxicologists and students each year based on merit. In 1962, the Society inducted its first honorary members, establishing its honors program. In 1965, the SOT Awards program was created with the establishment of two awards, the SOT Merit Award and the SOT Achievement Award, to support “the furtherance of the science of toxicology.” Today, the Society presents more than 20 awards that recognize achievement, facilitate travel for senior and budding scientists, and further toxicological research. Hashtag: #SOTAwards

About SOT
Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 8,200 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact 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, visit the Society online at, follow @SOToxicology on Twitter, like SOT on Facebook, and connect with SOT on LinkedIn.