Thursday, June 19, 2008

Photos from the Annual Student Symposium 2008

This year's annual student symposium took place on Tuesday June 17. There were 24 superb student presentations as well as a hosted lunch and evening reception. Catherine Gibbons won the T. Roy Fukuto award, Melinda Bigelow Dyk and Noriko Nishino were honorable mentions, and Katy Zimmermann received the award for best 1st year student presentation. Dr. Sam Wilson, Acting Director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program, and Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Associate Director of NIEHS, were visiting campus, and agreed to come and make a few remarks at the end of the symposium. Dr. Wilson is an expert in DNA repair and is probably the highest ranking toxicologist in government. Dr. Hrynkow, a neuroscientist by training, has extensive experience in science policy and international outreach. It was nice to hear from them and be able to visit with them in an informal setting. The seminar committee did a great job in planning and organizing the event. Our thanks go to Dawn Huffman and the members of the Student Symposium Committee (Dr. Paul Ziemann, Seminar Chair, Dr. Janet Arey, Dr. Wenwan Zhong, Chris Banks, JP Baquiran, Karla Pliego, and Lynnie Cua and Mae Nillos) for organizing the Symposium and Reception. Photos from the event are posted below.
Dr. Sam Wilson
Dr. Sharon Hrynkow
Drs. Wilson and Hrynkow responding to questions
Bob Krieger receiving the Mentor Award
Award winners: Katy Zimmermann, Noriko Nishino, Catherine Gibbons and Melinda Bigelow Dyk (with Dave Eastmond behind)
Kelly Thrippleton announcing the student choice awards

Katy Zimmerman, Wesley Hunter, Chris Banks, Kristy Richardson, Kelly Thrippleton

Catherine Gibbons, this year's Fukuto award winner.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Greetings and a photo from alumnus Eric Kwok

Eric Kwok (Ph.D., 1993) is currently working at California Department of Pesticide Regulation and sends the following greeting and photo of himself with his two children (above).

“Greeting ETOX Professors and Students. At work, another year of happy risk assessment has completed. At home, my older girl is going to kindergarten this fall and her younger brother starts talking to her in mandarin that I have problems understanding. Anyhow, happy student seminar day and good luck to you all.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

News and a photo from alumna Tracey Varvel

Tracy Varvel (M.S., 2003) is currently working at Ana-Lab Corporation in Kilgore, Texas. She recently sent the photo of her son (above) and the following news update for the annual student symposium. It is nice to hear from her, and it sounds like she is busy but doing well.

My husband and I welcomed our first child July 1, 2007. His name is Mark and he an extremely active little boy. He has been a blessing. Brett and I wonder now why we waited so long to have children.

I returned to work after maternity leave to a new position: Assistant Manager Quality Assurance. The new position and extra responsibilities have been a challenge, especially with a new baby at home. After several months, I am still feeling my way around and trying to get everything organized in my department.

I wish everyone the best of luck with their presentations.

Tracey Varvel
Ana-Lab Corporation

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Triennial Salary Survey of Toxicologists Published

Every three years, for the past 20 or so years, Shayne Gad and others such as the Society of Toxicology have conducted a salary survey of toxicologists. The latest survey results obtained from over 3400 toxicologists are available on the SOT website in their newsletter (Communique) and can be accessed by clicking. Hopefully you will find this information to be helpful.

Update and photo from alumna Sharada Balakrishnan

Sharada Balakrishnan (Ph.D., 2002) sends the following update and photo of her husband Nara and their twins (or a photo of the 3 boys as she describes it).

I still work with Wella Corp. (now P&G Professional Care). I completed my DABT certification last year and continue to work on human safety risk assessments of ingredients and finished hair care products. In addition, I work with the Genetox group on genotoxicity assays for hair dyes and other materials. This location of Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs will close in August. I will look for another job in the meantime. At the home front, Arya and Arav are growing up fast (2+ yrs old now) and keeping us super busy. Nara continues to work close to home (which is a blessing).

Wishing all the very best to the graduate students and the professors of the ETOX program. Enjoy the seminar day.

Best Regards,


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Richardson and Cua Named Outstanding TAs

Lynnie Cua and Kristy Richardson were recently named outstanding Teaching Assistants for this year. Lynnie was recognized for her teaching in the Microbiology program and Kristy for her teaching in the Biology major. Congratulations to both Lynnie and Kristy for this nice recognition.

Congratulations to Carl Cranor for Distinguished Service Award

Earlier this week, it was announced that Carl Cranor, an ETOX faculty member, was the recipient of the Distiguished Service Award from the UCR Division of the Academic Senate. Congratulations to Carl for this well-deserved recognition. The text of announcement is below.

Professor Cranor has a long history of extraordinary service and dedication to his department, college, and the UCR campus at large. His service to UCR spans approximately three decades and is distinguished by the exceptional number of positions that he has held. Dr. Cranor served as Chair of the Philosophy Department during a period of exceptional growth, as Interim Chair of the History Department, as Acting Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies on two separate occasions, as Acting Director of Physical Education, and most recently as Chair of the Department of Finance and Management Sciences. He has also served for eight years as Associate Dean of CHASS and for an extended period as the Interim Dean of CHASS.
In addition he has accumulated an impressive history of important committee assignments and contributions to the UCR community. These include taking a leadership role in the establishment of the undergraduate Law and Society major, chairmanship of architectural projects for CHASS, participation in a carcinogen risk assessment project for UCR, and service on particularly demanding Senate committees such as CAP and the Graduate Council.
The letters of nomination for Professor Cranor all stressed his fairness, his willingness to help even in sometimes difficult circumstances, and the high level of trust he engendered in his colleagues. All of his nominators make clear that Professor Cranor’s dedication and service to UCR have been truly extraordinary.

Positions in biotech company

Below are key parts of an email that was forwarded from one of our alumni Chris Frantz (Ph.D, 1998) that briefly describes two positions that are available at ENZON, a small biotech company. If interested, please contact Brian Xu at the contact numbers below.

Dear Friends,
I just moved on to a new challenging position in ENZON, a small biotechnology company. Enclosed is my new contact information. Please keep in touch.
Additionally, I ask your help. Currently, I have two opening positions:

· Toxicologist with ~3 yr experience in study director/monitor in CRO or pharm/biotech who will participate in drug development teams, develop plans for studies to support regulatory submissions and for research toxicology studies, and work with CRO to develop protocols, execute and monitor studies, review data and review and revise reports for toxicology and safety pharmacology studies, etc.

· Junior PhD scientist with/without working experience who will reviews literature, initiate and conduct investigative tox/metabolism studies.

Please let me know if you know anyone who is available. Thanks.

Best Wishes

J. Brian Xu, MD, PhD, DABT
Director, Drug Safety & Disposition
Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc
20 Kingsbridge Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Tel no. 732-980-4791
Fax no. 732-980-4765


Sunday, June 1, 2008

News and photo from alumna Ling Wang

Below is a message received from ETOX alumna Ling Wang (Ph.D. 2002) who works at BD Technologies in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. A photo of her two children is above.

Thanks for the inviting message and wish the ETOX symposium is another success. I really look forward to receiveing a booklet this year as somehow I didn't receive one last year.

Thanks Dr. Eastmond for keeping the blog running which provides an excellent route for us to visit and share the ETOX news. Like I read the news about Jennifer Sasaki and her husband's visit to UCR in April, and I actually met Jennifer early this month (May) at a conference in Boston. It was a pleasant surprise and I really enjoyed the interaction with her.

During the past year working for BD Technologies, I've been continuously responsible for the development and applications of a flow cytometry-based screening technology for cellular surface protein characterization--BD FACS™ CAP (Combinational Antibody Profile). It has been rather successful this year not only as a R&D project but also has become a stand-alone service provided by BD. So far we have successfully serviced two industrial customers for the characterization of their proprietary stem cells. If interested in more details, you are more than welcome to visit the following links where you would see what's my work about. Now we are aiming to develop the next generation of this platform.
Click here or here for more information.

As a family, we continue to enjoy the busy but peaceful life in North Carolina. Amy will soon be a second grader and Ethan is in his threes. We send Amy to a local Chinese language school every Saturday, and attached is a picture of her and Ethan taken during a picnic sponsored by the Chinese school just yesterday.

Look forward to hearing news from everyone, and best wishes to everyone!

News and photo from alumna Heidi Bethel

Below is a message and above is a photo that ETOX alumna Heidi Bethel (Ph.D., 2002) sent for the annual symposium.

Happy Seminar Day! Wish I could be there to participate with you, but the drive is a little far! :-)

My news is that Kris and I are still living in Alexandria, Virginia. Kris works for the Army and I work in the Office of Water for the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C.. I have been working on all things related to human health risk assessment in recent days. I am learning a lot and having fun.

On a personal note, Kris and I have been enjoying travel around the world this past year. In November 2007, we took a trip to London, Paris, Nice and Barcelona and enjoyed it very much. In March I traveled to Kenya and Tanzania with my 72 year old Aunt. It was the trip of a lifetime. Despite all of the political unrest in Kenya following the December election, I can honestly say that the worst part of the whole trip was the yellow fever shot before the trip that made me sick. We did not have any problems in Kenya or witness any violence. The people of Kenya all extended their warmest welcome to Americans and wanted us to assure everyone that it is safe to travel there.

Attached is a picture of a school visit in Tanzania. On the far right is the teacher of the class. The students at the school were impressively intelligent. They had no books and had to copy everything into their notebooks. The student sitting next to me said that he wanted to be President when he grows up!

Please give my best to all of the ETOX students presenting at seminar day.