UNC SRP was well represented at the 61st annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting held earlier this spring in San Diego, CA.

“UNC SRP trainees were present in force at this year’s SOT meeting. They presented innovative research including solutions for chemical-induced disease, and novel methods to identify linkages between chemicals and disease in vulnerable populations,” said Rebecca Fry, UNC SRP Director. “The meeting offered an opportunity to network with researchers from around the world, and highlighted the outstanding, innovative research that is ongoing within the UNC SRP.”

The annual meeting was attended by more than 6,000 participants, consisted of 70 different scientific sessions, and had over 2,000 individual presentations in both virtual and in-person formats. The expo represents a chance for scientists to share their work with others in toxicology research, topics, and organizations. In all, the research findings of six PIs and 11 trainees from UNC SRP were showcased during the SOT Annual Meeting.

Dr. Fry presented an oral talk, “Cadmium: An Epigenetic Placental Toxicant Tied to Preeclampsia,” highlighting the need to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of poor placentation, a condition also associated with preeclampsia and restricted fetal growth. Exposure to the toxic metal cadmium has been associated with increased risk of preeclampsia, a condition during pregnancy that involves high blood pressure and can be fatal to both mother and child.

Bingzhen Shang

Madison Miller

UNC SRP trainees Madison Miller (UNC SRP Projects 1 and 2) and Bingzhen Shang (UNC SRP Projects 1 and 2) shared their experiences participating in the SOT Annual Meeting. Miller’s poster, “Comparative Metabolism of Arsenic in Mice Carrying Mouse and Human As3mt/AS3MT”, described Project 2 research using humanized mouse models to assess inorganic arsenic metabolism by measuring the total arsenic and proportions of methylated metabolites retained in several tissues as well as that excreted in the urine.

Shang’s poster, “Ex Vivo Exposures to Arsenite and Its Methylated Trivalent Arsenicals Alter Gene Transcription in Mouse Sperm Cells” described follow-up research to the lab’s previous inorganic arsenic exposure study focused on germ cells as a developmental window of susceptibility to arsenic exposure. This study found significantly altered gene expression and corresponding enriched pathways related with diabetes mellitus in sperm cells from mice exposed to inorganic arsenic.

The SOT experience “was such a unique opportunity to interact with individuals who are experts in their fields, both related to my research with inorganic arsenic and among the wide range of toxicology specialties I am less familiar with,” said Miller. Shang continued, “presenting at the SOT meeting has broadened my view of scientific research and helped me feel more connected in my research groups, ranging from my small lab group to the large group of researchers studying arsenic.”

Congratulations to everyone who had the opportunity to share their work at the SOT Annual Meeting, including SRP trainees Eric Brown Jr., Louisa Boateng, Jeliyah Clark, Christelle Douillet, Lauren Eaves, Noemi Gavino-Lopez, Jenna Todero, along with Celeste Carberry and Anastasia Freedman of the Fry lab.

Director: Rebecca Fry, PhD
Deputy Director: Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena, PhD
Funding provided by NIEHS grant #P42 ES031007

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