Roy Receives Top Toxicology Awards at Annual Meeting

Environmental Health Sciences doctoral student Monika Roy

Monika Roy

April 12, 2021

Environmental Health Sciences doctoral student Monika Roy recently won two awards from the Northeast Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (NESOT): 2nd place in the Graduate Student Research Award and the Paper of the Year Award. The awards were announced at the NESOT reception during the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting held virtually on March 22, 2021.

“It’s really great that NESOT makes these awards available to students,” says Roy, who works under the supervision of Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Alicia Timme-Laragy. “They are a great motivation to not only do compelling research, but to share research findings with the academic community at conferences like SOT. I feel honored to receive these awards, and want to thank the awards committee for reviewing all of the applications.”

The Paper of the Year Award is given annually in recognition of an exceptional recent publication in toxicology by a trainee (graduate student or postdoctoral fellow) who is also a NESOT member. Roy received a $1000 award for her paper "The sulfate metabolite of 3,3′-dichlorobiphenyl (PCB-11) impairs Cyp1a activity and increases hepatic neutral lipids in zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio)" published in the December 2020 issue of Chemosphere.

During the NESOT reception, Roy gave an oral presentation on her research – funded through her NIH Predoctoral Fellowship Award – in which she examines the liver toxicity potential of the environmental contaminant 3,3′-dichlorobiphenyl (PCB-11). PCB-11 is primarily a byproduct of yellow pigment manufacturing, but is also found in sealants, resins, and other consumer products and has been widely detected in air samples in both urban and rural areas, as well as in human samples, including in pregnant women. Key findings include that specific metabolites are more acutely toxic than the parent PCB-11 compound, are shown to inhibit the activity of the metabolism-related enzyme Cyp1a, and that chronic exposures increase hepatic neutral lipid accumulation, all in the zebrafish model.

“Monika is a careful and thorough researcher, and I’m delighted to see the quality of her work being recognized,” says Timme-Laragy. “She’s also a fantastic mentor- in leading this project she mentored a public health undergraduate student, Perseverance Duche, who is also a co-author on the paper.”

Roy received 2nd place in the Graduate Student Research Award for a poster titled “Does Nrf2 play a role in the developmental toxicity of the sulfate metabolite of 3,3’-dichlorobiphenyl (PCB-11)?”. She received a $750 prize in lieu of the Travel Award typically given to recipients.

Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the US and abroad. The Society’s mission is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.