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Tox Track, 7/28/16

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

July 28, 2016, Vol. 39, Number 15

EITS Course Notice / Funding / Learning Opportunities / Job Postings


EITS Course Notice

BMB 961, Selected Topics in Biochemistry II – Genomics and Proteomics of Complex Genetic Systems

BMB 961 will be offered this fall. Note that this is a required course for the Biomedical Track and it will not be offered again until Fall of 2018. View the syllabus.

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

Health Assessor, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Department of Health, Virginia
In support of the Division of Environmental Epidemiology’s Toxicology Program, plans and performs toxicological risk assessments to determine if communities are at risk of harmful chemical exposures from hazardous waste sites.

Serves as a Health Assessor for the division’s cooperative agreement program with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Writes and submits timely health consultations, public health assessments, and other technical assistance reports in support of cooperative agreement. Maintains up-to-date work plan for health consultation activities, completes cooperative agreement/grant related reports, and provides monthly updates to ATSDR technical project team. Evaluates health significance of chemicals in the environment, identifies pathways of exposure to hazardous substances at contaminated sites, and helps implement public health interventions to reduce harmful chemical exposures in communities. Evaluates contaminants for public health impacts following chemical releases or spills. Maintain up to date records of chemicals in the form of files, frequently asked questions, and fact sheets as the pertain to the public health.

Performs day-to-day program monitoring of daily chemical releases and health hazards statewide and participates in community meetings, site meetings, and site visits regularly. Participates in all training and meetings sponsored by ATSDR. Responsibilities are carried out independently based on an outline or work plan developed by or approved by the supervisor. Maintains a thorough knowledge of program policies, procedures, service delivery methods and clear communication skills are necessary. Performs additional office requests as needed.

Posting closes August 18, 2016. For more information on the position and to apply, please visit:

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,