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Toxicology Expo Spotlights Student Research

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

More than 30 undergraduate students showcased their research at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences annual Toxicology Expo, held April 29 at St. John's University's Queens campus. Now in its 20th year, the expo is an opportunity for students in the toxicology program to inform the academic community about recent developments in the field.

Cosponsored by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Toxicology Program, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the toxicology club, Tau Omega Chi, the expo drew more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty. “This event serves as an opportunity to develop experience in applying the principles of toxicology to real-life issues,” said Sue Ford, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and one of the primary organizers of the event.

Lois Lehman-McKeeman, Ph.D., distinguished research fellow in discovery toxicology at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ, delivered the keynote address, "Translating Preclinical to Clinical Toxicology: Methods, Models and Mechanisms." She also discussed career opportunities in the toxicology field.

This year's program included an educational poster presentation and the senior class capstone project—a risk analysis of a hypothetical chemical disaster. Students were available throughout the day to discuss their projects with interested attendees.  

The day also featured a "Tox Throwdown," in which student teams competed against each other by answering questions about toxicology, and an awards presentation for graduating seniors.

"The event is a great way for students to understand the role of a scientist, especially a toxicologist," observed Chidi Amasiani ’15P. "We learn how to do research, write a paper, and cater it to a specific audience. It's also a wonderful showcase for that research, and a great opportunity to review the work of our peers."

"Tox Expo gave students a chance to be the teachers as we presented on a topic that we spent months researching,” said Benedette Cuffari ’16P. “I am so grateful to have an opportunity that many students at my level don’t enjoy. It's an outstanding event that focuses on student growth."