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Building the future of toxicology through education.

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Presentation on theme: "Building the future of toxicology through education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building the future of toxicology through education

2 Core Issues Development of toxicology educational programs – Recruitment and retention. – Cross disciplinary toxicology education. Identifying education and training needs Developing the Total Toxicologist Continued education, training and retraining to sustain careers Support for toxicology education and professional development

3 Development of toxicology educational programs

4 Issues Increasing recognition of toxicology as an important integrative and viable field of endeavor. Partnering with government, professional societies, and foundations to increase educational opportunities and integration of toxicology in diverse curricula. Providing education and development of toxicological perspectives and expertise for those in other professions. Changing current educational paradigms to enhance retention of students, especially minority students, in STEM. Improving training support and mentoring to retain a diverse population of toxicologists in the profession.

5 Increasing recognition of toxicology and toxicologists as leaders in creating a safe and healthy world More than a service and regulatory profession. Leaders in academia, industry, and government. Leaders in scientific discovery and translation Leaders in informed policy and regulatory decisions Leaders in growing economies while protecting public and environmental health.

6 Increasing the perception of toxicology as an essential part of a multidisciplinary education Toxicology education should be included in efforts to promote recruitment and retention in STEM. Integration of toxicology and safety pharmacology should be increased in medical curricula to enhance medical awareness of toxicities in disease etiology, prevention, and therapeutics. Toxicology should be integrated into chemical and engineering curricula to enhance development of green and healthy technologies. The value of toxicology and toxicology education should be emphasized to administrators who prioritize support for educational programs.

7 Recruitment and Retention Disparities are persistent in recruitment and retention of minorities and underserved populations into toxicology, STEM and biomedical sciences. Educational paradigms need to shift from weeding to inclusion and promotion. Effective mentoring is essential for recruitment and retention in educational programs, as well as retention after formal education. Awareness of professional opportunities and career advancement must be emphasized.

8 What SOT can do to build the future of toxicology through education? Continue support of successful SOT educational programming at all levels from K-12 through continuing education. Continue supporting successful SOT programs that recruit minority and underserved undergraduates into advanced education and careers in toxicology. Work with other professional societies, government, and academia to promote integration of toxicology into diverse curricula. Facilitate academic, industrial, and government partnerships that provide opportunities for toxicology training. Coordinate and facilitate mentoring at all levels of education and practice. Communicate the value of toxicology in promoting a safer and healthier world.

9 Identifying education and training needs

10 Identifying Training Needs: Current Needs and Deficiencies Mentorship throughout the primary training period and throughout career development Interdisciplinary and integrated training approach, but not at the expense of basic toxicological principles – Integration of toxicology education into medical curricula and curricula of professions that need toxicology (e.g. chemists, bioengineers, geneticists). Practical application of toxicological principles and training in regulatory toxicology Balance between training in molecular biology and systems biology/whole animal toxicology research

11 Identifying Training Needs: Current Barriers University administrators may not recognize the value of toxicology Toxicology has a perception problem in general Current paradigm of research funding and funding for training programs Identifying the actual employment needs of industry and government partners

12 Identifying Training Needs: What can SOT do? Mentorship and social networking – Currently supported by SOT and its regional chapters, but underutilized (e.g. MentorMatch) – Support toxicology faculty networking Facilitate partnerships between academia, industry and government – Several successful partnerships exist but more are needed – Sabbaticals and/or short-term on-site experiences for faculty – Platform for developing practical case studies that apply toxicology principles – Identified by the summit participants as the highest priority in training needs Provide recommendations on core toxicology curriculum/textbooks for undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D. training – Case study repository – Support toxicology faculty networking

13 Identifying Training Needs: What can SOT do? Continue efforts to support and expand community outreach activities – K-12 to community colleges and undergraduate institutions – Several excellent examples at the national and local levels by SOT and regional chapters Support for undergraduate faculty at non-research institutions/community colleges and underserved institutions. – Relatively low-budget resources (i.e. under $10,000 for small lab equipment) – Support for abbaticals and/or short-term fellowships for faculty the provide on-site industry or government experience. – Sustain visiting scholar programs (e.g. ToxScholar, Global ToxScholar, Guest Lecturer in Toxicology Program, Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program)

14 Developing the Total Toxicologist

15 Define the total toxicologist and core competencies for toxicologists. Identify the skills beyond the science that toxicologists need for successful employment and careers in toxicology. Identify mechanisms to provide the total toxicology tool set. Identify mechanisms for future employers (academic/government/industry) to impact the development of the total toxicologist. Identify critical impact points for effective development. Issues

16 Fundamentals of Toxicology Advanced Principles of Toxicology Pathophysiology Anatomy and Physiology Applied Systems Biology Biochemistry Molecular Genetics Regulatory frameworks Experimental Design Communication skills Critical thinking skills Data and Statistical analysis Core Competency wish list articulated at Education Summit

17 Oral and written communication skills: with scientists, administrators, the public, the media – What can we do? Mentored workshop(s) focused on communication training and practice with scientific and non-scientific audiences – Partner with potential employers Encourage partnerships between English departments and toxicology programs to improve writing (and scientific literacy among English majors) Critical thinking skills – What can we do? More exposure to real world applications Case study database Major, widespread deficits in student training identified at Education Summit

18 1.Needs assessment - are educators training students with the skills that employers need? -what curricular changes are needed? 2.Graduate Student Summit focused on Communication Skills - communication to both scientific and non-scientific audiences -elevate the status of participants by including those who have public communication experience 3.Case Study database - hands on learning; non-routine problem solving 4.Expand efforts to get students into internships to learn specialized skills, rather than requiring on the job training - industry-government-academia partnerships -training or retraining based on practical work settings What can SOT do to strengthen the quality and training of new total toxicologists?

19 Continued education and training

20 Issues Identify the education needs of the mid-career professional Identify mechanisms for effective training and retraining Evaluate the need for core competencies and certification for toxicologists Provide for those in other professions to develop toxicological perspectives and expertise.

21 Examples of successes in CE and retraining of mid-career professionals SOT annual meeting content is a major contributor to continuing education in toxicology Continuing education courses at annual meeting and availability on-line Numerous training courses and webinars for ongoing education Symposia at meetings of other scientific societies (e.g. American Chemical Society)

22 What SOT can do to strengthen the training of mid-career professionals Expand program of webinars and CE courses for ongoing training Co-ordinate the development of extended training programs –a few days to 2 weeks Link CE to Current Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) and regional chapter meetings Coordinate and facilitate a mentoring program for those beyond formal education. Engage Scientific Liaison Coalition in education, training, and mentoring

23 What SOT can do to help the mid-career professionals adapt to evolving demands Develop a catalog of training opportunities outside of SOT including university and industry partnerships Provide assistance with management training Identify additional approaches for career transitions

24 Education and Training support

25 Issues Who should pay for the costs of toxicology education? What are mechanisms for supporting toxicology education that come with minimal costs? How can support for toxicology education be increased?

26 Government and foundation support for toxicology education NIH initiatives and support for toxicology education. – 2.6% of FY2010 extramural budget went to educational programs and 52% to basic science research. – New initiatives recognize the value of toxicology in multidisciplinary research. NIEHS, NIGMS, and NCI support educational programs and opportunities in environmental health and toxicology. – Programs are sometimes undersubscribed Other government agencies and partnerships support – NSF, FDA, USDA, DOD Industry and Private Foundation support – Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Pfizer, Colgate-Palmolive, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Syngenta, and others.

27 Industrial/Academic partnerships for advanced toxicology education Industry and private sector partnerships with academic programs enhance recruitment of students to programs with an applied focus and advance graduates into successful careers within and outside of academia. Industrial toxicologist often serve as adjunct faculty teaching in applied courses at local universities. Internships for students and faculty improve education and career opportunities, as well as curricular development. Industry support for equipment and teaching materials enhances the capacity of faculty to teach toxicology at small institutions.

28 What SOT can do to increase support for toxicology education? Communicate the value of toxicology to those making decisions on funding priorities. Coordinate and facilitate academic / industry / government partnerships to advance toxicology curricular content and increase applied educational opportunities. Increase awareness of support for toxicology education and educational opportunities. Continue support with partners for recruitment and retention of students in toxicology. Partner with other professional organizations to increase toxicology in diverse curricula.

29 Every member of SOT can be an educator, can be a mentor, can communicate the value of toxicology, and should advocate for toxicology as a high profile profession that leads in creating a safe and healthy world.


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