President’s Newsletter Number 2: February 2022

Dear Colleagues

September 2021 marked 50 years since the inception of the BTS. It started from very humble beginnings, when in 1971 (the year decimalisation was introduced) two University of Surrey staff members, namely Professors Jim Bridges and Ron Walker, formed the Toxicology Club. It’s amazing how a discussion at 2am in the morning in a KUB (Kitchen, Utility and Breakfast room in Surrey speak!!) at the University led eventually to the founding of the British Toxicology Society in 1979- the Society we know now! Those humble beginnings set out the path for a Society whose remit has always been to promote the advancement of the science of toxicology, for public benefit. The Toxicology Club’s membership was mainly made up of UK based toxicologists, but the Society is proud to have, amongst its numbers, many members from across the world. Members total around 900 currently and work in academic, clinical, governmental, and industrial organisations.

As we celebrate this 50th Year I thought it would be of interest to provide you with a list of the Chairs/Presidents from the year the BTS was inaugurated, 1979:

Name Year of Office Chair/President Professional Affiliation during Tenure
Norman Aldridge 1979/80 Chair Medical Research Council, Toxicology Unit
Jim Bridges 1980/81 Chair University of Surrey
David Conning 1981/82 Chair British Industrial Biological Research Association (BIBRA)
William Paton 1982/83 Chair University of Oxford
Andre McClean 1983/84 Chair University College London
Laurie King 1984/86 Chair University of Surrey
Don Davies 1986/88 Chair The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now Imperial College) London University
Tony Dayan 1988/90 Chair St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, London University
Iain Purchase 1990/92 Chair Central Toxicology Laboratory, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI)
Mike Jackson 1992/94 Chair Glaxo Pharmaceuticals
Alan Boobis, OBE 1994/96 Chair The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now Imperial College) London University
Cindy Lumley 1996/98 Chair Centre for Medicines Research
Frank Bonner 1998/2000 Chair Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals
Lewis Smith 2000/02 Chair/President- name Chair was changed to President in 2001 Medical Research Council, Toxicology Unit
Tim Hammond 2002/04 President AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Allister Vale 2004/06 President University of Birmingham
Gay Hawksworth 2006/08 President University of Aberdeen
Kevin Chipman 2008/10 President University of Birmingham
Ruth Roberts 2010/12 President AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Ian Kimber, OBE 2012/14 President University of Manchester
Heather Wallace 2014/16 President University of Aberdeen
Ernie Harpur 2016/18 President University of Newcastle
Chris Powell 2018/20 President GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
Shirley Price 2020/22 President University of Surrey
Brian Lake 2022/24 President University of Surrey

 

On the afternoon of Monday 4th April the Annual General Meeting will be held which is open to all members and you should be receiving the AGM papers for this meeting by Mailchimp at the end of February. I look forward to seeing you at the AGM in person but there will be an opportunity for those members unable to attend the Congress to join the AGM via a virtual platform. More details on how to join the AGM virtually will be sent out to the membership soon. The AGM allows the Executive Committee to provide an update on what has happened over the last year and what there is to look forward to in the next year. I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our annual showcase event, the 2022 Annual Congress, which will be held from the 4th -6th April 2022 at The Newcastle Hilton, Gateshead. The Scientific Subcommittee has been working very hard providing a programme that brings together individuals from academia, industry, the NHS, regulatory science, and governmental agencies with a shared interest, enthusiasm and passion for the science and practice of toxicology. It offers a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues, industry representatives, and peers across the spectrum of experience and interests within the field. The Continuous Education Programme (CEP) will precede the main Congress on the morning of Monday 4th April. Further information can be found on the website https://www.thebts.org/bts-annual-congress-2022/

In collaboration with the British Toxicology Society and the Health and Safety Executive’s Chemicals Regulation Division, the NC3Rs is hosting a two-day virtual workshop “Increasing confidence in New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for regulatory decision making” on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022, 13:00-Thursday, February 24th 2022, 17:00 GMT. More details and how to register can be found here: Increasing confidence in New Approach Methodologies for regulatory decision-making | NC3Rs

Isabella Myers will be presenting findings from a new study which considers the challenges for coroners in testing, and reporting on CO poisoning at post-mortem in England and Wales. The webinar “The Medical Examiner – Closing the Loop on CO” will take place on Thursday 17th February at 3pm online. This presentation will be of particular interest to the medical profession, specifically pathologists, GPs, coroners, cardiovascular specialists, and cardiologists. As well as neurologists and medical examiners. You can read the press release here. Please follow the link below to register for the event. You will then be sent log in details for the call.

https://www.coresearchtrust.org/our-activities/the-medical-examiner-closing-the-loop-on-co-data

Another webinar of interest to members will be presented by Professor Heather Jarman, on Thursday 17th March. Professor Jarman will be presenting findings from the Emergency Department CO (EDCO) study titled “Emergency Departments – the first line of defence against CO exposure”.

More details on this webinar and research funding opportunities offered by the CO Research Trust can be found at https://www.coresearchtrust.org/

We are continually looking to add testimonials from BTS members describing why and how they use animals in their research. An example on inhalation toxicology by a government scientist can be found at: https://www.thebts.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Inhalation-Toxicology.pdf.. If you are interested in helping with this initiative and providing a testimonial, please contact [email protected]. This will help us better fulfil our commitments as a signatory on the Understanding Animals in Research Concordat and showcase the excellent work performed by BTS members.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Ruth Roberts, PhD, ATS, FBTS, ERT, FRSB, FRCPath for being the first UK recipient of the Mildred S, Christian Career Achievement Award for 2022. This is awarded to Ruth by the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS). ATS established the Mildred S. Christian Career Achievement Award to honour the memory of Dr Christian. The award is conferred upon an ATS Fellow who has clearly demonstrated a lasting impact on toxicological sciences. Well done, Ruth!

I would also like to congratulate Dr Gillian Conway, Swansea University, who is the first recipient of the Dr Malcolm Blackwell Memorial Award. This award is made in recognition of an individual deemed inspirational, impactful and a role model to members of the NEST. Dr Conway will be presenting her lecture, “Using In Vitro 3D Liver Models for the Development of Hazard Assessment Protocols Following Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials” at the Annual Congress on Monday 4th April at 17.45 where she will receive the award and deliver the NEST invitation lecture.

And finally, I would like to thank Unilever and GSK for their generous donations provided for this year, 2022.

In the period July 2021 to February 2022, we have been supported by a number of companies through donations and I would like to thank them for their support of the Society.

  • Apconix
  • AstraZeneca
  • Charles River
  • Delphic
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Sequani
  • Syngenta
  • Unilever

As a reminder I would like to ask those members that have not yet set up their details on the Members’ Directory if they could do so. This is only accessible to members of the Society. It allows for individual members to look up contact details of any member listed. A great way to network and keep in touch with colleagues.

The link is https://www.thebts.org/membership/directory/

Do please stay in touch with the Society and if you would like to contact me, please do so via [email protected]

Your sincerely


Professor Shirley Price, President of the BTS