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Tox Track, 9/13/16

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

September 13, 2016, Vol. 39, Number 18

Seminars / Funding / Symposiums / Workshops / Courses / Job Postings



Friday, September 16
*The Institute for Integrative Toxicology and the MSU Superfund Training Core presents Dr. Cheryl Murphy, to speak on, “Scaling the sublethal effects of contaminants and stressors to population impacts using the adverse outcome pathway framework,” on Friday, September 16, 2016, at 12 noon in 162 Food Safety and Toxicology Building.

Thursday, October 6
The Center for Research on Ingredient Safety presents Dr. Dennis Keefe, Director of the Office of Food Additive Safety, CFSAN, U.S. FDA, for a conversation about careers in government, on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at 9 a.m. in 162 Food Safety and Toxicology Building. Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to Heather Dover by Friday, September 16 at

Monday, October 10
*The Genetics Program presents Dr. Brian Gulbransen, to speak on, “Genomic Analysis of Neuroinflammation in Gastrointestinal Disease,” on Monday, October 10, 2016, at 1 p.m. in 1425 Biomedical Physical Science Building.

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



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. 



34th Annual Veterinary and Comparative Respiratory Society Research Symposium

The 34th Annual Veterinary and Comparative Respiratory Society Research Symposium will be held at the Henry Center on September 18-21, 2016.  IIT affiliated faculty members, Jack Harkema  and Ed Robinson, will be among the Invited Speakers at this year’s symposium, along with other MSU speakers from the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. 

The theme of the meeting is Comparative Neurobiology of Respiration in Health and Disease.  The scientific meeting will be comprised of thematic presentations by international experts and presentations of oral and poster research abstracts by other attendees. Thematic presentation sessions will cover topics including neuronal receptors in airway and vascular diseases, comparative neurobiology of laryngeal neuropathy, and the comparative neurobiology of sleep, among others.

The program of the symposium will incorporate features that have proven successful over the past 33 years of Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society (VCRS) symposia.  Specific details for registration, lodging, and abstract submission are available on the VCRS website at


26th Annual Phi Zeta Research Day, Friday, October 7
College of Veterinary Medicine, 8 am to 5 pm

Each year, the College of Veterinary Medicine presents a colloquium in conjunction with the veterinary honor society, Phi Zeta, that showcases the research and scholarship of students and faculty from CVM and other affiliated MSU departments and colleges.
Veterinary students, master and doctoral students, residents, interns, undergraduates, and faculty present current research across the biomedical sciences. Research experience affords students opportunities to explore research-based veterinary career options and promotes the investigation of new ideas that support the protection of public health and the advancement of science that benefits both humans and animals as individuals and populations. Collaboration with other MSU colleges and departments fosters world-class research and strengthens the overall learning environment.

For more information:

4th Annual ESPP Research Symposium: Environmental Health

November 11, 2016, Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, MSU

This symposium is a student organized event which brings together students from a range of disciplines across MSU campus to present their research in a public forum and explore interdisciplinary collaboration between graduate students, faculty, and community stakeholders. Over the past three years, this annual event has been a major success drawing 298 attendees from at least six different colleges within MSU along with a significant number of participants from other universities, government, private sector, and general public. Our theme for the 4th annual symposium is Environmental Health. As defined by the World Health Organization, environmental health “encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments”. Our vision for the event is to bring together multiple communites on campus that are working on different aspects of environmental health to share their experiences and identify collaborative opportunities. We plan to have four sessions – two concurrent sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon with three keynotes, a poster session, and a podium lightning session that consists of short 5-minute presentations with project highlights. Both of the afternoon sessions and at least one keynote lecture will cover multidisciplinary topics relevant to the Flint water crisis including, but not limited to engineering, policy, public health, and risk communication and management.

For more information and to register:



Write-In at The Graduate School
Friday, September 16th, 9:00am - 1:00pm, Chittenden Hall

Are you working on a thesis or dissertation chapter, a proposal, or an article? Do you need a quiet place to write, or a space to collaborate with your peers on a piece of writing? Come to the Graduate School in Chittenden Hall for our first Friday dedicated to writing. Participants must come with a specific writing goal and be prepared to write until noon! Graduate writing consultants from the Writing Center will be on hand to help with goal setting and accountability after you leave the session, and to help facilitate the formation of writing groups that can keep you moving toward your goal. Coffee and tea will be available while you write, and lunch will be provided at the end of the writing session. During lunch we will debrief and set future writing goals.

Registration is required. To register, visit


Dissertation Support Group

The group provides participants with a supportive, structured environment in which the presence of peers helps to mitigate the sense of isolation, frustration and anxiety that often accompany with dissertation writing process.  This group meets from Noon - 1:00 PM from September 21 - November 2 (no meeting on 10/12 due to Yom Kippur). Participants are required to attend all six sessions. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor conference room in Chittenden Hall.

To register, go to:


Banishing Burnout

In this presentation, students will be shown how to take steps towards investing in their wellness and how to effectively manage stress while in graduate school and beyond.  Students will also practice a variety of stress relieving techniques, including how to set healthy boundaries, visualization, mindfulness meditation, creative problem solving, and journal writing.

Date: September 22nd from 6 PM to 8 PM in 110 Chittenden Hall.

To register, go to:



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

Toxicologist, Michigan Public Health Institute
The person in this position is responsible for evaluating data from sites of environmental contamination, determining whether a public health hazard exists, and documenting the findings in Health Consultation or Public Health Assessment reports. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducts public health assessments of contaminated sites basis in accordance with federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidance.
  • Maintains knowledge of developments in the area of environmental toxicology and epidemiology.
  • Provides toxicological information to the public. 
  • Provides additional support to the Division of Environmental Healthas requested.
  • Maintain a positive, strong, credible, professional and interpersonal relationship with all parties relevant of MPHI projects, and represent the best interest of MPHI at all times.


Education: Possession of a master's degree in toxicology, or an equivalent master’s degree in a physical, biological or environmental science that includes 15 term hours (10 semester) in toxicology, 20 term hours (14 semester) in chemistry (including inorganic, organic, and biochemistry) and 35 term (24 semester) hours in any combination of the following:  physiology, histology, pathology, statistics, environmental science, microbiology, physical or environmental chemistry (in addition to the above indicated 20 term hours), anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, toxicology (in addition to the above indicated 15 term hours) or vertebrate biology or zoology. 

Experience: Experience is not required for this position, however, professional experience in assessing and controlling the impact of toxic substances on human health and the environment is preferred. Additional considerations will be given, based on qualified experience.

For more information on the position and to apply, please visit:

Health Educator, Michigan Public Health Institute

The person in this position is responsible for providing health education support for projects funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lake Restoration Initiative (USEPA GLRI) and providing health education support for the Fish Consumption Advisory Program statewide and specifically in targeted Areas of Concern.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborates with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Project Manager, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and local community stakeholders to assess progress towards delisting of Beneficial Use Impairments in Areas of Concern in Michigan
  • Partners with local community stakeholders to develop and distribute community outreach with regard to beneficial use impairments and fish consumption guideline education
  • Provides coordination and tracking of project activities to aid in the development of semi-annual and final reports to EPA.
  • Works cooperatively with local, federal, and other State of Michigan agencies to provide health education information to the public.
  • Provides additional support to the Division of Environmental Health as requested.
  • Maintains a positive, strong, credible, professional and interpersonal relationship with all parties relevant of MPHI and MDHHS projects, and represents the best interest of MPHI and MDHHS at all times.


Education: Possession of a master’s degree in public health or a public health related field such as health education, health care administration, or social work with concentration in community organizations/settings.

Experience: Experience is not required for this position. However, professional experience will be considered in determining starting salary.

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,