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Tox Track, 12/22/16

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

December 22, 2016, Vol. 39, Number 26

Courses / Call for Writing / Fellowships / Job Postings



CMB 800 Courses, Spring 2017
*Both courses listed below fulfill the EITS Topics in Toxicology requirement*

Section 1: "Metals in Biology" is intended for graduate students with backgrounds in biochemistry, molecular/cellular biology, microbiology, and/or chemistry. (It will be cross-listed with BMB 961 and MMG 803). CMB students should enroll through CMB 800). In this course we will discuss the roles of metals in biological systems, including metalloenzymes, metallocenter biosynthesis, metal transport, metal toxicity, and metaloregulation. Discussions will focus on the catalytic mechanisms as well as the way in which the different protein environments “tune” their active site. Student presentations will be an important emphasis in this class. THIS CLASS WILL MEET IN ROOM 502 BIOCHEMISTRY, Tues-Thurs, 9:10-10. Note: Undergraduate students must obtain permission to enroll from Dr. Eric Hegg (

Section 2: CRISPR Revolution. Stemming from basic research on bacterial innate immunity and yogurt production, CRISPR technologies have taken the scientific world by storm. These tools offer both significant opportunities to advance goals in basic research and applied fields of medicine and agriculture. Technical methods are continuing to evolve as a wide community of users has adapted this approach to many different systems. In addition to opening new fields of study, as well as unleashing speculative waves in the stock market and in the halls of the Nobel Commission, the application of CRISPR technologies may result in significant impacts on human health, food production, and the environment. This GEN800 course will consider the natural history of CRISPR, its application to diverse basic research settings, potential application in industry and societal impacts of a designer genome future. Weekly meetings will feature instructor-led overview sessions and student-led presentations of current literature. David Arnosti, Robin Buell, Rebecca Grumet; Wednesdays 3:30-4:50 p.m.


Call for Writing

CRIS Bits – Share your evidence-based food story with the public

So, you are a scientist, but maybe not a science writer – yet? We can help you with that! Not sure what to write about? We can help with that, too.

There’s often a story embedded in in the research process – whether it’s your personal story as a scientist, a key question that impacts society, an emerging theory, an innovative method, or a specific finding that moves the research agenda forward.

Interested in sharing your story? Email Dr. Keri Szejda, CRIS Bits Senior Editor, Check us out at 



ILSI North America 2017 Summer Fellowship Program, ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety

The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety will apply read across approaches for food related chemicals to understand their potential use in food safety assessment for the ILSI North America 2017 summer fellowship program. The selection of the candidate will depend on the candidate’s qualifications and experience in toxicology, risk assessment, and food safety.

Selection Criteria
A strong background in toxicology, risk assessment, food science, biostatistics and/or chemistry is required. A third or fourth year doctoral student is desired.

Applicants should have good written and oral communication skills and strong computer skills (spreadsheet, graphics, presentation, Internet, and statistical programs), and should also be organized, self-motivated, flexible, and able to work independently and interact with a variety of people. Other selection criteria may be added based on the specifics of the program, such as an interest in food safety.

Program Duration
The estimated time period for the program is 10 to 12 weeks during the spring/summer (May-Aug) of 2017. Alternative start and end dates are negotiable. Two days of vacation will be permitted.

The fellow will be provided with a stipend intended to cover expenses including transportation to/from Washington DC and housing.

Application Instructions
Candidates should submit a statement about how their background, experience and interests align with this project; a resume, including service and volunteer activities; an official transcript; and two letters of recommendation. Materials can be submitted to Dr. Mansi Krishan at Interviews (via phone) of prospective candidates will be arranged. Deadline for submission is Friday 10 February 2017.
For more information, please contact Dr. Mansi Krishan at


Job Postings

Postdoctoral Position, Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health Training Program, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine

There is an open position for a basic science postdoctoral fellow in this NIEHS funded T32 training program. The overarching goal of the program is to train the next generation of scientists in molecular epidemiology and to conduct inter-disciplinary basic and clinical research relevant to pediatric environmental health. Candidates with a postgraduate degree and background in medicine, epidemiology, physiology, molecular and quantitative methods, with a strong interest in the early origins of adult diseases and childhood diseases related to environmental exposures are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact:
Kim N. Dietrich, PhD, MA
Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Director, Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Training Program
Department of Environmental Health
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
160 Panzeca Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056

Ranjan Deka, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Associate Director, Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health
Department of Environmental Health
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
160 Panzeca Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056

Environmental Toxicologist, College of Public Health, Ohio State University

The College of Public Health and the College of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University invites applications for a tenure track/tenured position in the fields of environmental toxicology, developmental toxicology or environmental health science at the assistant, associate or full professor level to commence autumn semester 2017. The ideal candidate will have experience and interests in environmental and/or dietary toxins/toxicants, such as heavy metals, smoke metabolites or biological toxins, with interest in modulating disease processes by dietary interventions or other nutritional integrating strategies. Experience in pre-clinical or clinical studies involving metabolic profiling or metabolomic techniques and bioinformatics is of particular interest.

The candidate must demonstrate the ability and interest in collaborating across disciplines, especially with OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists and faculty in the College of Medicine and College of Education & Human Ecology. Applied technologies could include generating large data sets that rely on data analytics and bioinformatics to explore important dietary and/or environmentally related diseased states. The candidate will also teach undergraduate or graduate level classes related to the candidate's areas of expertise. Joint appointments are possible and actively encouraged with other disciplines at OSU.

This position is partially funded by Ohio State's Discovery Themes Initiative “Food to Improve Health” which is assembling a critical mass of scholars focused on the Food and Nutritional Metabolomics for Health. The overarching goal of this initiative is to increase understanding of individual biochemical variability in response to diet- and food-based interventions to improve health and prevent disease, and as a sound basis for appropriate dietary recommendations and public health messages.

Applicants are expected to have a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree in Environmental Health, Toxicology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Food Science or a related field, by the start of employment, and to present evidence of excellence in teaching and research. Postdoctoral training is preferred. Appointment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but those received by February 15, 2017 will receive priority consideration. Applicants are asked to submit a cover letter including a statement of research and teaching interests, a current curriculum vitae, and copies of two (2) recent publications. Finalist candidates will be asked to supply letters of recommendation.

Applications are accepted through Academic Jobs Online:

Postdoctoral Position, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab

A postdoctoral position is now available in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Shafer, Integrated Systems Toxicology Division. He is looking for someone who has experience with bioinformatics, biostatistics, transciptomics, neuroinformatics or a related discipline to work with neural networks on microelectrode arrays to determine effects of chemicals on functional, transciptomic and metabolomic changes following exposure during development. For more information on the position and to apply by December 30, please visit:

Postdoctoral Position, Office of Research and Development, US EPA

A postdoctoral research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD). The appointment will be served with the National Center for Computational Technology (NCCT) in Research Triangle Park, NC.

NCCT is responsible for developing new computational tools and providing quantitative analysis for improving environmental risk assessments and regulatory decisions pertaining to chemical safety and sustainability. NCCT has newly formed an experimental arm with the focus of developing new high-throughput and/or high-content assays as well as exploring increasingly complex cell culture systems that more accurately reflect human physiology. This project aims to develop a library of cell cultures to be readily available for large-scale screening of chemicals and biomolecules for the purpose of performing high-throughput whole genome transcriptomics as well as develop additional complex cell culture systems and analysis techniques for future applications.

The participant will collaborate with a multidisciplinary research team including scientists at EPA and other partners. The participant will be involved in the following activities:

  • developing a library of stable, high quality and reproducible cell cultures
  • developing protocols for chemical and biomolecule screening of these cell cultures with libraries containing hundreds to thousands of test articles
  • developing experimental protocols which support concentration-response assessments of transcriptomic and other cell-based assay endpoints
  • developing complementary in vitro analysis techniques and strategies to aid in chemical screening and targeted follow-up studies
  • developing or adapting complex culture systems for future screening applications.

The participant’s research will be in accordance with a research project plan; guidance will be provided by the research mentor(s). S/he will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in the research commensurate with the level of training. The ToxCast research program has generated bioactivity data on thousands of chemicals across roughly one thousand assay endpoints. It is recognized that although these assays cover a large swath of biology they are not exhaustive and do not always provide a diverse cellular context. The goals of this project are to develop a diverse collection of in vitro test systems for high-throughput transcriptomic and/or cell phenotypic screening and expand the predictive knowledge-base of in vitro transcriptomic data in support the chemical prioritization and safety assessment process.

The participant will be collaborating with a multidisciplinary research team including scientists at EPA and other partners. A research plan will be developed and the project will be conducted under the guidance of a mentor. The participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in the research commensurate with the level of training.

Through this project, the participant will gain experience in the general areas of cell culture experimentation, high-throughput screening of large chemical libraries, high-content imaging, laboratory robotics, global transcriptomics (specifically RNA-Seq) and other complementary molecular biology techniques. Research findings will be communicated through peer-reviewed publications, national meetings of professional societies, and work-in-progress seminars. The training the participant will receive, coupled with a productive publishing record, should make it possible for them to move into any of these areas or continue down a transdisciplinary career path at their discretion. The research participant will be involved in highly visible predictive toxicology efforts as part of the computational toxicology research projects and will be engaged with researchers world-wide.

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA.

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,