Academic and Postdoctoral Programs and Web Sites
The presence of a program in this Guide does not constitute endorsement by the
Society of Toxicology, nor does the omission of a program constitute lack of
endorsement. Programs included here subscribed to this list using the
Program Submission Form.
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) seeks to recruit diverse and talented
scientists to the field of toxicology. The first edition of the Resource
Guide to Careers in Toxicology was conceived and prepared by members of the
Educational Issues Task Force of the Tox 90's Commission, including Jay
Gandolfi, Ph.D. (Committee Chairman), University of Arizona; David L. Eaton,
Ph.D. (Project Coordinator), University of Washington; Robert E. Dudley, Ph.D.,
Gynex, Inc.; Michele Medinsky, Ph.D., CIIT; Harihara Mehendale, Ph.D.,
University of Mississippi; and Curtis D. Klaassen, Ph.D. (Council Liaison),
University of Kansas Medical Center, with additional guidance from 19891990
SOT President Roger McClellan.
The format for the fourth edition has been substantially revised. Since the
internet has become a primary source of information, this edition directs
students and advisors to detailed information that the academic programs
maintain on their Web sites. These sites can be accessed directly from the
On-Line version of this Guide, which can be found on the SOT Web site.
This On-Line version may be updated annually upon request.
This revision was completed under the direction of the SOT Education
Committee (Claude McGowan, Ph.D., 1998-1999 Chair, Janssen at Washington
Crossing; and Rick G. Schnellmann, Ph.D., 1999-2000 Chair, University of
Arkansas Medical Sciences); and a Task Force consisting of James E. Klaunig,
Ph.D. (Project Coordinator), Indiana University School of Medicine; David L.
Eaton, Ph.D., University of Washington; A. Jay Gandolfi, Ph.D., University of
Arizona; Claude McGowan, Ph.D., Janssen at Washington Crossing; Mary Davis,
Ph.D., West Virginia University Medical Center; Jacqueline H. Smith, Ph.D.,
Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc.; and Betty Eidemiller, Ph.D., SOT Director of
We acknowledge Alice Ottobani for the phrase "the dose makes the poison."
All academic programs that submitted materials and contributed to defray
production and distribution costs were included in the Guide. Inclusion
does not constitute endorsement by the SOT, nor does the absence of any program
infer lack of endorsement.
Society of Toxicology
1821 Michael Faraday Drive, Suite 300
Reston, Virginia 20190-5332
Tel: (703) 438-3115
Fax: (703) 438-3113
Facts About Toxicology
dose makes the poison."
"Toxicology is part of the solution."
Toxicology. . . is the science that studies the harmful effects
of drugs, environmental contaminants, and naturally occurring
substances found in food, water, air and soil.
Toxicology. . . research is important for improving the health of humans,
Toxicology. . . studies are required to ensure the safety of medicines,
household and gardening chemicals, and industrial and natural chemicals to which
humans and animals are frequently exposed.
Toxicology. . . research is intended to identify harmful effects of potential
new products and to determine safe levels for approved products.
Toxicology. . . research also provides understanding of the mechanisms by
which chemical substances cause injury, and this information can be used in the
treatment of poisonings.
Career Opportunities in Toxicology
Hardly a week goes by without hearing that a chemical may potentially
threaten our healthÃ¢€”pesticides in the food we eat, pollutants in the air we
breathe, chemicals in the water we drink, toxic dump sites near our homes.
Chemicals make up everything around us. Which chemicals are really dangerous?
How much does it take to cause harm? What are the effects of a particular
chemical? Cancer? Nervous system damage? Birth defects?
Finding scientifically sound answers to these very important questions is
what toxicologists do, using the most modern molecular, genetic, and analytical
techniques available. Toxicology combines the elements of many scientific
disciplines to help us understand the harmful effects of chemicals on living
An additional, important aspect of toxicology is determining the likelihood
that harmful effects will occur under certain exposure circumstances, sometimes
called "risk assessment." If the risks are real, then we must be able to deal
with them effectively. If the risks are trivial, then we must ensure that
valuable public resources are not spent ineffectively. Such important decisions
must be made with the best scientific evidence possible.
The responsibility of the toxicologist is to:
1) develop new and better ways to determine the potential harmful effects
of chemical and physical agents and the amount (dosage) that will cause
these effects. An essential part of this is to learn more about the basic
molecular, biochemical and cellular processes responsible for diseases
caused by exposure to chemical or physical substances;
2) design and carry out carefully controlled studies of
specific chemicals of social and economic importance to determine the
conditions under which they can be used safely (that is, conditions that
have little or no negative impact on human health, other organisms, or the
3) assess the probability, or likelihood, that particular
chemicals, processes or situations present a significant risk to human
health and/or the environment, and assist in the establishment of rules and
regulations aimed at protecting and preserving human health and the
Wise use of chemicals is an essential component of the high standard of living
we enjoy. The challenge to toxicologists is to ensure that we are not
endangering our health or the environment with the products and by-products of
modern and comfortable living. As a career, toxicology provides the excitement
of science and research while also contributing to the well-being of current and
future generations. Few other careers offer such exciting and socially important
challenges as protecting public health and the environment.
With the increase in our health consciousness, as well as concern for our
environment, a wide and growing variety of career opportunities exist in
participate in basic research using the most advanced techniques in
molecular biology, analytical chemistry and biomedical sciences;
work with chemical, pharmaceutical and many other industries to test and
ensure that their products and workplaces are safe, and to evaluate the
implications of new research data;
work for local and federal governments to develop and enforce laws to
ensure that chemicals are produced, used and disposed of safely; work in
academic institutions to teach others about the safe use of chemicals
and to train future toxicologists.
Attractive Salaries and Professional Advancement
The demand for well-trained toxicologists continues to increase. Highly
competitive salaries are available in a variety of employment sectors.
Increasing specialization in the science of toxicology now provides the
toxicologist with a competitive advantage over chemists, engineers, biologists
or other scientists without specialized training in toxicology. Opportunities
are available for career advancement to executive levels for those with
organizational and administrative