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Tox Track, 8/3/17

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

August 3, 2017, Vol. 40, Number 17

Seminars / Workshops & Courses / Call for Members / Job Postings


Friday, August 4
*The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology presents Sophia Kaska, EITS graduate student, to give a dissertation defense seminar on, “Investigating the Role of Ventral Tegmental Area TORC2 in Stress and Stress-Induced Changes in Opiate Reward,” on Friday, August 4, 2017, at 12 noon in B448 Life Sciences Building.

Friday, September 8
*The Institute for Integrative Toxicology presents Dr. Jon Cook, Chief Toxicology Scientist, Pfizer, to speak on, “Why Toxicologists Should be Trained in Precision Medicine Principles,” on Friday, September 8, 2017, at 12 noon in 162 Food Safety and Toxicology Building.

Wednesday, September 27
*The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology presents Dr. Ruth A. Roberts, Director and Cofounder, ApconiX, UK and Chair and Director of Drug Discovery and Development, University of Birmingham, to speak on, “Drug Discovery and Development: Challenges and Opportunities,” on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at 12 noon in B448 Life Sciences Building.

Friday, October 27
*The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology presents Dr. Frank D. Sistare, Scientific Associate Vice President, Drug Safety, Preclinical Development, Merck & Co, Inc., to speak on, “Aligning Regulatory Agencies and the Pharmaceutical Industry toward Reducing Toxicity Associated Drug Development Costs, Timelines and Attrition: 1) Reducing 2-year Rodent Carcinogenicity Testing, and 2) Deploying Novel Models to Improve Liver Safety Prediction,” on Friday, October 27, 2017, at 9 a.m. in B448 Life Sciences Building.

Friday, November 10
*The Institute for Integrative Toxicology presents Dr. Jason Richardson, Northeast Ohio Medical University, to speak on, “Novel Targets for Reducing Neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s Disease,” on Friday, November 10, 2017, at 12 noon in 162 Food Safety and Toxicology Building.

*Fulfills seminar requirements for the Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences Graduate Programs. Seminars that fulfill this requirement are archived at:


Workshops & Courses

PHM 816, Integrative Toxicology: Mechanisms, Pathology and Regulation
*This is a required course for EITS students in the Biomedical Toxicology Track and the Food Toxicology and Ingredient Safety Track.*

PHM 816, Integrative Toxicology: Mechanisms, Pathology and Regulation will be offered this fall MWF, 9 am.

This course covers biochemical, molecular, and physiological mechanisms of toxicology; functional and pathological responses of major organ systems to chemical insult; mechanisms of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, and concepts in risk and safety assessment.

Students will be expected to attend and participate in class, take written examinations, and give a short oral presenta­tion.

Course moderators this fall are Dr. Jack Harkema and Dr. Patricia Ganey.


CMSE Bioinformatics Program
The Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE) at MSU is offering three week-long bionformatics workshops. Each week, we will meet from 8:30am - 12:30pm, Monday through Friday, in Room 1502/1503 Engineering Building. Cost is $50 per person per workshop and must be paid via an MSU grant. A limited number of fee waivers are available. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Week 1: July 31 -- August 4
In Week 1, we will introduce you to UNIX commands and R programming, and show how to integrate them to create automated, reproducible workflows.

Week 2: August 7 – 11

In Week 2, we will introduce you to a range of fundamental concepts in statistics and demonstrate how to apply them for routine data analyses.

Week 3: August 14 – 18
In Week 3, we demonstrate all the steps involved in turning RNA-Seq raw reads into gene-expression levels, differentially-expressed genes, enriched pathways, and gene/sample clusters.

If you click the registration link below and get a permissions error, please go to  Click on Google Drive and log in using your MSU NetID and password.  Then try clicking the link again.

Register Here:

Send questions about the workshops and issues with registration to the Bioinformatics Coordinator at

CMSE will also offer Fall 2017 Modular Courses

CMSE 890 - Sec 301 (Sept 5 - Sept 28): Programming for Bioinformatics
CMSE 890 - Sec 302 (Oct 3 - Oct 26): Statistical Analysis and Visualization
CMSE 890 - Sec 303 (Oct 31 - Nov 28): Transcriptomic Data Analysis

These courses will cover similar material to the August workshops, but will use the flipped-classroom philosophy of having students watch video lectures online and come to class to apply the tools to real data.  They will run from 3:00 - 4:50pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in A148A Plant & Soil Sciences Building.  Each module is worth 1 credit.

For more information, please contact: Alexis Black:, Arjun Krishnan:, and Jianrong Wang:


Call for Members

Ohio Valley Chapter of SETAC Seeking Interested Students
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is currently looking for students interested in joining the Ohio Valley Chapter (OVC) of SETAC.

Alison M. Pecquet is currently helping the OVC revitalization committee recruit and work with interested students to fill the North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) position for the OVC. This is a great way for students to become more involved in the society, to make great connections and meet mentors, and to build their resumes.

Please contact Alison for more information:

Alison M. Pecquet
Risk Science Center
Department of Environmental Health
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati

Job Postings

Postdoctoral Research Associates, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Brown University

Two Postdoctoral Research Associate positions are available immediately in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University in the laboratory of Dr. Kim Boekelheide. 
The candidates will focus on one or more of the following ongoing projects in the laboratory:

One research project, sponsored by the Superfund Research Program (SRP), seeks to identify rat sperm mRNA transcripts and DNA methylation marks that are molecular biomarkers of testicular dysfunction following low-level exposure to cell type specific toxicants and mixtures of toxicants. We will translate these findings by examining sperm molecular biomarkers in an epidemiology study of normal men compared to men treated with methotrexate for autoimmune arthritis. Both genome-wide molecular approaches and morphometric light microscopy are used in combination to study this interdisciplinary research problem focused on mixtures and male reproductive toxicology. The Brown University Superfund Research Program (SRP), "Toxicant Exposures in Rhode Island: Past, Present, and Future" brings together scientists with interdisciplinary training from different backgrounds to work together in a cooperative and synergistic enterprise (See 

A second project sponsored by The Brown University Center to Advance Predictive Biology in response to the release of the landmark report "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy", the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, in 2007, is developing 3-dimensional microtissues for in vitro toxicity testing using high throughput confocal imaging and computational systems biology approaches to identify toxicant-induced alterations in cellular pathways. These new technologies and bioinformatics tools will help shift the paradigm of toxicity testing, characterize the responsible toxicity pathways, and develop a robust mechanistic explanation of toxicant action. 

Successful candidates should have an M.D. or Ph.D. with interest or experience in reproductive biology, toxicology, bioinformatics, image analysis or in vitro techniques. Background training, knowledge and laboratory skills in molecular and cellular biology biochemistry and are required. The initial appointment will be for one year with the intention of extending the appointment if mutually agreeable. Salary is commensurate with NIH guidelines.

Brown University is an EEO/AA employer and invites applications from women and minorities. Candidates should submit a brief statement of previous research experience, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to

Two Postdoctoral Fellowships: Modeling of Harmful Algal Blooms, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, School for Environment and Sustainability , University of Michigan

Two postdoctoral fellowships are available for highly qualified individuals to join the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR, to develop models that help forecast HAB development, transport, and impacts on human health in the Great Lakes. The two postdoctoral fellows will focus on complementary aspects of HAB modeling:

  • The Biophysical Modeler will improve model elements related to algal vertical migration, growth, and toxicity within the FVCOM 3-D forecasting model that drives the Lake Erie HAB-Tracker tool. This position requires a Ph.D. in physical science, biological science, or engineering and a minimum of two years of experience in physical computer modeling, including simulation and analysis of hydrodynamic processes (e.g., FORTRAN-based simulation of currents, water temperature, waves, etc.) and familiarity with a linux/unix parallel modeling environment. Preference will be given to candidates who have a demonstrated ability to perform complex data analysis in a scripting environment using software such as R, Python, IDL, or Matlab, and to quantify uncertainty.
  • The Statistical Modeler will develop new probabilistic models that help predict relationships between nutrient inputs and HAB growth and toxicity, and incorporate approaches for model skill assessment and uncertainty analysis. This position requires a Ph.D. in physical science, biological science, or engineering and experience and experience with data analysis and visualization in a scripting environment using R, Python, or similar software. Preference will be given to candidates that have experience with contemporary statistical modeling approaches (Bayesian networks, causal analysis, hierarchical models, random forests, model averaging), including experience with water quality modeling and nutrient load estimation.

In addition to model development, postdoctoral fellows will assist with field planning, experimental design, and the development and transition of research products to real-time application. Postdocs will be expected to maintain strong records of scholarly publication, as records of presentation at scientific conferences and public meetings.

CIGLR is one of 16 Cooperative Institutes in the United States that represent partnerships between NOAA and academic institutions. Since 1989, CIGLR has been hosted by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it is collocated with its sponsor, NOAA GLERL. CIGLR’s mission is to help government researchers at NOAA GLERL accomplish their research in the Great Lakes by enhancing collaborations with academic scientists at U of M, as well as other institutions throughout the Great Lakes.

The postdoctoral fellowships offer a highly competitive salary with benefits, and the positions will be physically located at NOAA GLERL ( in Ann Arbor, MI, which is routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. due to its affordability, natural beauty, preservation of wooded areas, vibrant arts program, and lively downtown landscape.

To apply, applicants should prepare the following materials:

  • Cover letter specifying the position to which you are applying (Biophysical or Statistical Modeler), qualifications related to that position, and research accomplishments.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information for three professional references
  • Two representative publications

The deadline for applications is September 1, 2017.

Email your application to:

Mary Ogdahl
Program Manager, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
School for Environment and Sustainability
University of Michigan  

Toxicology & Response Manager, State of Michigan
Posted 07/27/2017 – 8/27/2017 - Position is in Lansing, Michigan - Full time with benefits, $35.22 – $50.65/hour

This position is manager of the Toxicology and Response Section and will be responsible for administrative duties including, but not limited to, annual evaluations, time and attendance, performance measures, scorecard metrics, mentoring staff, determining work assignments, recommending disciplinary actions, and ensuring a professional work environment that complies with all state and federal requirements. The section manager is responsible for ensuring the consistent application of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registration (ATSDR) public health assessment guidance and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency risk assessment guidance. The section manager is responsible for overseeing the work of three units (Drinking Water Investigation, Vapor Intrusion Site Investigation, and ATSDR Site Investigations), MI Toxic hotline, and complex work assignments as assigned by the Division Director. The section manager will directly supervise three unit managers and be responsible for coordinating the work practices across units to ensure consistent application of the best available science and public health practices to protect sensitive and/or vulnerable residents in Michigan. This position works cooperatively with federal, state, and local health and regulatory agencies to address concerns of human exposures to environmental contamination. The person in this position interacts with the public, local, state, and federal officials via meetings, telephone conversations, e-mails, and field visits, responding to community health concerns and providing information to protect public health. This position uses knowledge in toxicology, risk assessment, epidemiology, scientific methods, and public health practice to evaluate and oversee the application of ATSDR and EPA guidance to assess, document, defend, and make public health determinations.

For more details and to apply, please visit:

Human Health Risk Assessor, Florida Department of Health
$41- 45K/Year, Full-time, Career Service, Benefits

The Florida Department of Health is seeking a health risk assessor to join its interdisciplinary hazardous waste site, public health assessment program. As part of one of the premier federally funded programs in the country, you will use risk assessment software and on-line environmental health research to help people living near hazardous waste sites understand the risk. 

The Florida Department of Health offers extensive training, stable employment, generous health benefits, and paid sick leave/vacation all at a professional office complex in Tallahassee, Leon County. 

The Florida Department of Health is seeking a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in one of the biological or physical sciences. In addition, they are seeking a candidate with experience or training in hazardous waste site health risk assessments, toxicology, or environmental investigations. Candidates should be proficient in technical report writing and working with diverse communities. Out-of-town travel averages about one night a month. 

By August 11, 2017, please apply on-line at Search key word = 64081130.

For additional information about the health risk assessment program please visit or contact:

Randy Merchant, Environmental Administrator
Florida Department of Health, Bin A-12
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1720
(850) 245-2017

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,