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Tox Track, 6/30/16

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

June 30, 2016, Vol. 39, Number 13

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

Principal Research Investigator for Risk Assessment, NSF International

NSF International is a growing, global, public health and safety organization. Our mission which we are passionate about is to protect and improve human health. NSF International is dedicated to being a global leader in the testing, inspection and certification industry. Our core business divisions include food, water, health sciences, sustainability and international strategic registrations. Our services include standards development, testing, auditing, certification, training and advising our clients. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with 2,500 employees worldwide we provide services in over 170 countries at more than 50 office and laboratory locations.

Basic Purpose
Provide advanced technical expertise and guidance to ensure successful identification and development of new business opportunities in the area of human health risk assessment. Establish collaborative partnerships with university, regulatory and industry research groups. Take complete responsibility for the assigned business unit, including supervision of support staff.

Principal Accountabilities

  • Support new business development initiatives by participating in the development and maintenance of business and long-term departmental strategy plans, proposal preparation, technical discussions with existing and potential clients and personal and team-wide production of high quality deliverables
  • Serve as project lead and main technical resource for grant funded research in the area of human health risk assessment for the Applied Research Center (ARC) – Center of Excellence in Risk Assessment (COE in RA).
  • Assume responsibility for grant writing, grant submissions and securing funding to support the ARC – COE in RA
  • Establish collaborative relationships with university, regulatory and industry R&D groups
  • Routinely communicate with the Technical Project Manager, and Director of Toxicology Services on status, scope and timeline expectations and client responsibilities of active and potential human health risk assessment projects
  • Present human health risk assessment and other related work to relevant external stakeholders groups to promote NSF’s toxicology and risk assessment capabilities at local, regional and national level professional society meetings, trade shows, etc.
  • Serve as primary or contributing author on manuscripts with risk assessment focus.
  • Actively participate in the Applied Research Center Steering Committee meetings
  • Actively participate in joint committee meetings and/or industry forums and provide technical support to committees and business units, as needed
  • Assist in the selection, training, mentorship, and evaluation of a competent workforce
  • Maintain and update a current training manual and oversee development of new and updates to existing standard operating procedures for assigned area
  • Develop and deliver presentations to manufacturers, trade associations, regulatory agencies, and product user groups to develop new business.
  • Ensure the delivery of superior customer service to the assigned business unit, including coordination with all appropriate service areas.
  • Assure that the business unit meets all corporate and program requirements for QA and QC turnaround times, production and annual budget.
  • Identify and develop process improvements that reduce time and cost and improve quality.
  • Responsible for development and management of the business unit’s annual operating plan. Implementation of the plan and submit monthly / quarterly reports consistent with the authorized operating and fiscal plan.
  • Participate in marketing activities and publication goals as required. Perform other duties as assigned. 

Required Qualifications

  • Doctorate degree in toxicology, pharmacology or closely related and relevant field plus a minimum of ten (10) years related risk assessment experience OR a Master’s degree with a minimum of fifteen (15) years related risk assessment experience.
  • Familiarity with EPA/FDA risk assessment guidelines and methodologies
  • Familiarity with EPA/FDA/OECD guidelines for the conduct of various types of toxicity tests in laboratory animals.
  • Experience in grant writing and grant submissions; demonstrated success in securing grant funding.
  • Experience with key account planning and project management\
  • Experience in budgeting, managing operational P&L, building revenue and/or B2Bsales
  • Proven success in developing and executing business plans
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and time management skills.
  • Experience with public speaking and presentation
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctorate degree in toxicology, pharmacology or closely related, relevant field with more than 15 years of relevant experience
  • DABT or equivalent board certification
  • Broad experience with risk assessment in water, food, dietary supplement, consumer product, medical device and pharma industries.
  • Familiarity with NSF and NSF risk assessment methodologies and practices

For more information, please contact, J. Caroline English,


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

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,