Students win top prizes at toxicology poster competition

Students win top prizes at toxicology poster competition

Nour Abdo and Jessica Wignall, students at Gillings School of Global Public Health who are supported by the Carolina Center for Computational Toxicology, captured the top awards in a poster competition held at the spring meeting of the North Carolina regional chapter of the Society of Toxicology on Feb.21 at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offices in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Abdo, doctoral student working in the laboratory of Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD environmental sciences and engineering (ESE) professor at the Gillings School, won first prize for her poster "The 1,000 Genomes Toxicity Screening Project: Utilizing the Power of Human Genome Variation for Population-scale In Vitro Testing," an effort conducted in collaboration Fred Wright, PhD, professor of Biostatistics at UNC, and with researchers at the National Institutes of Health and N.C. State University.

Wignall, a Master of Science in Public Health candidate in Rusyn's laboratory, shared third place in the competition for her poster, "Conditional Toxicity Value (CTV) Predictor for Generating Toxicity Values for Data-sparse Chemicals." She collaborated with Alex Tropsha, PhD, professor in UNC's School of Pharmacy, and researchers at the U.S. EPA, California EPA and the University of California at San Francisco.

About 25 students from academic institutions in the North and South Carolina participated in the event.

"We're pleased that our students did so well in this competition," Rusyn said. "The event also was an excellent opportunity for our students to hone their presentation skills before presenting their research in toxicology and environmental health at the 52nd annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in San Antonio, Texas, March 10-14."

The Society of Toxicology, founded in 1961, is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government and industry whose aim is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology. Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and reduction of those adverse effects. The theme for this year's chapter meeting, attended by more than 100 people, was "Exposure: A Forgotten Part of Toxicology?

Feburary 25, 2013