Toxicology program features wide range of human health and environment topical sessions

February 20, 2009

Reston, VA (February 19, 2009) - Nearly 6,500 toxicologists from around the world will be gathering in Baltimore, Maryland March 15-19, to create an unparalleled venue for discussion of a number of health and environmental topics of concern to the public. The Society of Toxicology's 2009 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo brings together thousands of scientists from universities, government, and industry to showcase a year's worth of achievements in research and education. Some of the topics that will be covered include the following:

The National Children's Study

The first of its kind in the U.S., this study has been designed to track children's health from womb to adulthood. The study will involve 100,000 children from across the country and is the largest long-term study of children's health and development ever conducted in the United States. The study's hypotheses incorporate the following main outcomes-pregnancy outcomes, neurodevelopment and behavior, asthma, obesity and growth, injury and reproductive development. At this roundtable session, toxicologists and others involved in this study will explore the study design and begin to examine the data that can be gathered so that questions like the following can be addressed: Can very early exposure to some allergens actually help children remain asthma-free? How do genes and the environment interact to promote or prevent violent behavior in teens? Are lack of exercise and poor diet the only reasons why many children are overweight? Do infections impact developmental progress, asthma, obesity and heart disease?

Biomarkers: New Breakthroughs in the World of Air Pollution Studies

Biomarker measurement allows scientists to better understand the factors that influence the health outcomes from air pollutant exposures. Toxicologists will examine new biomarker strategies and how they can be used to study health affects that come from air pollution. Panelists will explore improved use of biomarkers of exposure, effects and susceptibility. For example, one panelist will explore the optimal urinary biomarkers to use in order to examine the dose of combustion products and paving materials. Another panelist will highlight a variety of diseases and then equate these to particulate levels.

MicroRNAs in Biology and Toxicology

The field of microRNAs is relatively new and offers much promise in helping scientists understand mechanisms of toxicity. For example, recent studies have shown that microRNAs have important roles during embryonic development and disruption of microRNA synthesis in embryos can have dramatic consequences. MicroRNAs also are involved in several human studies and appear to regulate cellular responses to a variety of physiological and environmental stressors including diabetes, high blood pressure, nutrient stress hypoxia, and environmental chemicals.

Food Allergy: Basic Mechanisms and Applications to Identifying Risks Associated with Plant Incorporated Pesticides and Other Genetically Modified Crops

Food allergy is a relatively new concern for toxicologists as a result of the incorporation of novel proteins into food crops as a way of promoting resistance to pest and other stresses, improve nutrition or otherwise modify the crop. There is growing concern that the introduction of a novel protein into the food supply could result in the unintentional introduction of a new food allergen and could pose a risk to susceptible individuals. Toxicologists will explore this issue and talk about a number of strategies that have been used to help scientists develop improved hazard identification methods.

The 48th Annual Meeting also features more than 2,000 abstracts that will be presented in poster and platform sessions on a wide array of topics. The event also features 27 symposia, 19 workshops and 14 roundtable discussions, with sessions addressing such topics as neurodegenerative disease, engineered nanomaterials, inflammation, preclinical evaluation of cancer hazard and biopharmaceuticals and two lectures by Nobel laureates Dr. Aaron Ciechanover who will lecture on cellular mechanisms of protein degradation and Dr. Paul Greengard who will lecture on cellular signaling pathways.
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The Society of Toxicology is a scientific not-for-profit organization for professionals from around the world who are involved in toxicology. With more than 6,000 members, the Society is working to build the future of toxicology and is dedicated to increasing the scientific impact of toxicology, advocating the value of toxicology and increasing the visibility of the organization and members as scientific leaders For additional information about the 2009 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo visit, http://www.toxicology.org/ai/meet/am2009/.

Oxford University Press

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