Welcome Message

It is a great honor and privilege for me to announce a memorable event for all of us, the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Toxicology (JSOT) which will be held at the PACIFICO Yokohama Convention Center, from June 19 (Monday) to June 21 (Wednesday), 2023, in the early summer under bright blue skies.

The theme of the JSOT 2023 meeting is “What is Toxicology? —50th Anniversary and Beyond—”.

Looking back, I have been in love with things related to toxicity since childhood. However, as a youngster, I did not understand why I was curious about something toxic. Later on, I devoted myself to veterinary pharmacology during university and graduate school, only realizing the source of my interest approximately 10 years after I started working: my motivation may have lied in the “comprehensiveness”—a characteristic of toxicology—that I finally conquered after receiving instructions from my seniors. In other words, the essence of that interest in me is to search everywhere, with an open mind, and without missing anything at various levels and stages. I also believe that the prospect of discoveries, that are not extensions of the working hypotheses, is one of the most exciting aspects of toxicological investigations.

Once the essence of my interest became clear, I got determined to further my knowledge on the properties of various chemical substances, their biological effects, and their molecular mechanisms. Furthermore, for this purpose, I have been developing new toxicity evaluation systems, including the use of genetically modified mice and/or Toxicogenomics.

Noteworthy advances in toxicology are, in my opinion, voraciously absorbing the revolutionary progress that can be described as a paradigm shift in life science. To be precise, there shifts are from “Qualitative” to “Quantitative” study (e.g. as to the evaluation method focusing on the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL), etc., regarding risk assessments, from “Correlation” to “Causation” study (e.g. in the case of using genetically modified animals, toxicogenomics, and/or systems toxicology), as well as from “Inductive inference of general rules” to “Deductive inference of the entire system based on genomes” (e.g. in the field of epigenetics and other areas). For this reason, the evolving field of toxicology is directly related to “Regulatory Science,” which serves to control the products that are brought about by science and technology to make sure that they truly are helpful to the general public. In other words, that contributes to adjusting the novel products obtained from new findings in science to a desirable form for human and societal benefit.
Toxicology, even more, also proactively contributes to the introduction and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) technology by using deep learning, and to evaluate the outcome of new materials, such as nanomaterials. In toxicological science, it seems that the realization of "crossing the barrier between functional science and morphology" by introducing molecular biology has been reached relatively early. How advanced and intriguing! —I know of no other discipline with such impressive features, other than toxicology.

We have set the theme of this year’s meeting in the hope that the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting will allow those who are active in diverse fields to rethink toxicology and to share with the next generation the joy and excitement of toxicological investigations. In addition, while looking back at the legacy of the past, we intend to emphasize the importance of continuing to innovate, as well as to identify what will undergo a change and what will remain the same.
Toxicology is often applied to study the “adverse effects” of chemicals. However, who in the academic field is going to oversee the effects of chemicals that are not “adverse” but have been reported to have a certain effect? Personally, I believe that toxicologists are the only ones proficient for this job, i.e., Toxicology involves the study of not only the adverse effects, but also the “effects themselves” of chemical substances on living organisms. In the future, the effect may be adversary as a result of new biological discoveries.

The JSOT was formed upon the merger of two originating societies: the Toxicology Research Group (TRG), consisting mainly of experts from veterinary colleges and pharmaceutical companies, and the Toxic Action Research Group (TARG), composed mostly of medical and pharmaceutical researchers. (See “About JSOT//History of JSOT’ on the Society’s website). Hence, the design of the poster aimed to reflect the confluence of these two trends. It looks to me as if a European-style toxicological society and an American-style toxicological society emerged in Japan, and then the two merged successfully, resulting in a Japanese-style toxicological society with a global relevance that we can now be proud of. I am humbled by our predecessors’ hard work, wisdom, and foresight, who have pulled off remarkable feats. The first annual meeting of our society corresponded to the first meeting held by the TRG in 1975. As one of our milestones in the 50th meeting commemorations, we are considering making the abstracts from the early days available in PDF format.

While trailing the conventional one, this yearly meeting will also feature several basic sciences, interdisciplinary educational lectures, and symposia for the future evolution of toxicology.

We would be delighted to celebrate the 50th JSOT Annual Meeting together with you, and we would like to show gratitude to our seniors and all those who have supported us over the years, with an appreciation of the variety of research presentations we have been able to make every year, even amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and with hopes and wishes for the future image of the JSOT Annual Meeting. Let us welcome, relish, and enjoy this memorable event in a dignified manner, and with much pomp and circumstance.
We eagerly look forward to your participation and highly appreciate your valuable contribution to the presentations and discussions at the meeting. We aim to please.

Satoshi Kitajima, DVM, PhD
President, The 50th Annual Meeting of
the Japanese Society of Toxicology (JSOT)
Division Head, Division of Cellular & Molecular Toxicology,
Center for Biological Safety & Research,
National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS)

Satoshi Kitajima

◇To mark the occasion, we chose a color like “Paris Green” (the color of copper (II) acetoarsenite) as the color of the envelopes that will be delivered to you in connection with this 50th Annual Meeting.

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