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Tox Track, 6/20/16

Weekly Newsletter of the MSU Institute for Integrative Toxicology
Director: Dr. Norbert Kaminski / Editor: Lauren St.John

June 20, 2016, Vol. 39, Number 12

EITS Course Notice / Funding / Learning Opportunities / Job Postings


EITS Course Notice

Please note that beginning Fall 2016, students wanting to enroll in only the Pharmacokinetics section of PHM 801 (formerly “module 1”) should enroll in PHM 980, section 302. Students who enroll in PHM 980 will be in class with those enrolled in PHM801 from the beginning of the Fall semester until Wednesday, October 12. Class meetings will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:00am-8:50am in B448 Life Science Building. Please contact Adelle Simmons, with any questions.



The SOT is addressing the diversity in preparation required for entry of graduate students into the modern workforce by offering Supplemental Training for Education Program (STEP). This pilot program will enable outstanding doctoral students to pursue training in identified areas of professional/scientific development that are necessary for them to achieve their career goals but outside the immediate scope of their graduate training and research program.

A strong application will propose participation in a workshop or event that clearly addresses unmet needs to elevate the applicant’s probability of achieving the planned career track. The Education Committee will give priority to students proposing activities/courses distinct from those offered by their home institution.

Approximately five awards of up to $1,000 each will be given this year to support travel and registration of highly meritorious applicants selected based on academic record, personal statement on relevance of the proposed professional activity to career goals, and advisor’s supporting recommendation.

To download the award description and application, please visit: Deadlines are May 1 and October 9. 


Learning Opportunities

PHM 980: The Communication of Science and Risk/Uncertainty in the Current Media Landscape
Fall semester, 2016, a one-credit seminar course will be offered entitled “The Communication of Science and Risk/Uncertainty in the Current Media Landscape” (PHM 980).  The course is open to students in biomedical Ph.D. programs.  It will fulfill the Topics in Toxicology requirement for the Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences doctoral program. This course explores science and risk communication at practical and theoretical levels.  

Students will:

  1. understand key concepts and gain skills for communicating scientific issues through various media, with an emphasis on risk from chemicals and other exposures and uncertainties surrounding such risk.
  2. gain an appreciation for how risk communication can influence public perception of safety.
  3. think critically about the role of scientists in society and how this is impacted by public engagement and professional engagement with policy makers.
  4. think critically about the social and ethical implications of risk communication and engagement through different media outlets.

The course will be offered on Mondays from September 19th - November 7th from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm in the Life Sciences Building, Room B448. Course will be part lecture and part discussion/workshop based. Lecturers include:  Jamie Bernard (Toxicology), Sarah Hendrickson (Improvisation for Scientists), Bruno Takahashi (Environmental Science Journalism), Mark Largent (Environment and Public Policy), Kevin Elliot (Ethical and Social Issues in Risk Communication). Discussions topics include: sunscreen, lead, Zika, GMOs, vaccines, endocrine disruptors.  Grading: 65% attendance, 25% discussions, 10% writing assignment.


Job Postings

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Research Scientist 3 (Biology)

Position: Research Scientist 3 (Biology) – Ecotoxicology Section Head
Salary: Grade 25; $75,243 per year (starting) to $94,834
Location: Albany, NY

Overview: The Ecotoxicology Section Head provides ecotoxicological expertise and research supervision to the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The section head manages and conducts field and laboratory toxicity studies, evaluates contaminant-related problems to produce defensible risk assessments, develops environmental standards and criteria for ecosystem protection, and manages an analytical laboratory.

Duties: The Ecotoxicology Section Head is both a program manager and the Division of Fish and Wildlife staff expert for ecotoxicology. As a program manager, the Ecotoxicology Section Head oversees the activities of three subordinate units that are responsible for the ecological risk assessment of pesticides, development of environmental standards and criteria, analysis of animal tissue for contaminants, and field and laboratory toxicology research. As staff expert, the Ecotoxicology Section Head is the chief advisor to the Division on matters related to the impact of contaminants on fish and wildlife populations. The Ecotoxicology Section Head conducts and oversees research aimed at identifying, preventing, and mitigating risk to ecological communities from contaminants in the environment, including emerging contaminants for which little published information is available. The section head serves as a resource to Division of Fish and Wildlife staff in responding to issues related to the impact of contaminants on fish and wildlife, and provides input and expertise to the review of environmental permits, guidance, and regulations issued or promulgated by the Department.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree and four years of professional research experience in an appropriate scientific field (e.g., ecotoxicology, environmental toxicology, biology, chemistry, ecology, environmental chemistry); or a Master’s Degree in the appropriate field and three years of such experience; or a doctorate in the appropriate field and one year of such experience. The specific skills and experience needed for this position include: knowledge and understanding of ecotoxicological principles with an emphasis on aquatic toxicology, familiarity with U.S. EPA risk assessment procedures, and knowledge of environmental contaminants and their effects on fish and wildlife. In addition, a background in analytical chemistry is needed. This is a supervisory position and training and experience in basic management and supervision is also expected. Candidates should also have experience with scientific research design and data collection, the ability to analyze data and make defensible decisions and recommendations, strong scientific writing skills, and the ability to review the work of others in a constructive manner while upholding high standards.

Contact: For more information or to apply with cover letter, resume, college transcript (unofficial acceptable): Timothy J. Sinnott, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Habitat
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4756  

Deadline for applications: July 6, 2016


Public Health Toxicologist, Portland, OR

Salary  $4,423.00 - $6,474.00 Monthly
Job Number OHA16-0497
Closing 6/24/2016 11:59 PM Pacific

This position develops the public health assessments for the evaluation of human health risks from exposure to environmental contaminants. The work also includes preparing and presenting risk communication messages to potentially affected individuals and communities, and sharing related information with scientific, governmental and public audiences. Provide public health input in interagency collaborations and workgroups. Provide technical assistance to the public, community groups, and other agencies.

The primary duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Quantitatively evaluate human health risks from exposure to environmental contaminants.
  • Conduct analysis of exposure pathways, evaluate and summarize toxicological literature, and make recommendations to reduce exposures.
  • Evaluate toxicity threshold values established by other jurisdictions and make recommendations for use in Oregon.
  • Provide information to state and local partners and the public on the health effects of environmental exposures.
  • Provide toxicological consultation to agencies and the public.
  • Assist in the development of public outreach materials (health advisors, news releases, fact sheets, brochures, etc.) regarding potential health risks from exposure to environmental contaminants.
  • Give presentations to agencies, medical community and the public.
  • Respond to the public's toxicological health questions.
  • Serve as project leader for site-specific activities.
  • Coordinate with team members, internal partners and federal, state and local partner agencies on risk assessment and risk communication activities.

A Master's degree in Toxicology or a closely-related field (such as Chemistry, Biology, or Physiology) and two years of state or local environmental-health agency experience applying toxicology to human-related environmental contaminates.

For more information and to apply:


This newsletter is produced and distributed weekly by the Institute for Integrative Toxicology. To be added to the email list or to make suggestions regarding information that might be included in this publication, contact: Lauren St.John, Editor, Institute for Integrative Toxicology,