Keynote Lectures

Keynote Lecture

EUROTOX Lecture Award


Robert Barouki
Robert Wright

Each year the SOT and EUROTOX Annual Meetings include a debate that continues a tradition that originated in the early 1990s in which leading toxicologists advocate opposing sides of an issue of significant toxicological importance.

This year, our debaters will address the following thesis: “The Exposome will drastically change the practice of Toxicology”.

SOT Merit Award Lecture

Mechanisms explain how things work. Toxicology research, with its focus on identifying hazards and defining potential risks, is highly informed by mechanistic studies. Mechanistic research requires integrating molecular, biochemical, and cellular effects along with considerations of metabolism and fate of a toxicant.

This lecture will highlight research that determined numerous mechanisms of toxicity for environmental chemicals and potential new drugs. Additionally, how evidence for causal relationships identifies key events required to apply a mechanistic paradigm or inform human risk assessment will be summarized.

While focusing on successful outcomes of mechanistic research, the role of research that addressed “why not” instead of “why” also will be discussed as a critical component of proving or confirming causality, and the contribution of just plain serendipity to novel or unexpected findings will be shared.

Finally, consideration for translational research to aid in elucidating mechanisms of toxicity will be discussed. Examples to be highlighted include (1) sex- and/or species-specific mechanisms of toxicity that are determined by novel metabolic pathways, novel gene expression, or unintended pharmacology; (2) mechanisms of drug toxicity that are directly related to intended pharmacologic activity that is conserved across species; and (3) how effects in humans inform mechanisms of toxicity observed in animal studies.


Keynote Lecture

Toxins which are produced by certain species of marine dinoflagellates and diatoms represent a considerable danger to public health. These toxins are associated to harmful algal blooms (HAB), which can occur in various parts of the world. Once restricted within certain endemic areas, nowadays they seem to be spreading due to the climate changes and eutrophication of many coastal areas around the world. Harmful algal blooms produce a variety of toxins that are mainly distributed through food chains and are toxic to marine mammals, birds and fish. Many of these toxins are also a serious threat to the public health and have negative economic impact. Most often, humans get intoxicated by ingestion of vector organisms like shellfish which by means of filtration accumulate toxins in their tissues. According to the predominant and specific symptoms four main types of poisoning caused by dinoflagellates (NSP, PSP; DSP and ciguatera) and one type caused by diatoms (ASP) are known. In humans neurotoxic, mostly sensory symptoms are the most prominent in NSP and ciguatera poisoning, paralysis of motoric muscles in PSP and diarrhea in DSP, while ASP is characterized by permanent loss of short-term memory. Main toxins involved in these intoxications are brevetoxins in NSP, ciguatoxins in ciguatera poisoning, saxitoxin in PSP and okadaic acid in DSP. Diatom born ASP is caused by domoic acid. The mechanism of toxicity caused by the mentioned toxins will be presented in the keynote lecture.

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