Special Interest Groups Overview
The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) represent the scientific diversity of EMGS. The SIG meetings are a time-tested favorite of the Annual Meeting. The SIG morning meeting format provides free-form discussions and short presentations of the key challenges and research. The SIGs provide a casual way for young investigators and seasoned researchers to interact. The SIGs also play a major role in proposing and running some of the symposia and workshops during the Annual Meeting.
Applied Genetic Toxicology SIG
The Applied Genetic Toxicology SIG is looking to gather people form a wide variety of backgrounds including pharmaceutics, consumer products, chemical products, food sciences and environmental researchers to discuss emerging science and regulatory issues that are highly relevant to applied genetic toxicology. We aim to provide a forum where members from industry, regulatory agencies and academia can meet to discuss common issues. SIG members and leadership will drive the annual agenda, focusing on key topics and issues that genetic toxicologists are currently facing. Partnering with other SIGs such as the Risk Assessment SIG we plan to help support EMGS strategic planning. We aim to accomplish our goals through a morning breakfast meeting and sponsorship of workshops at the annual meeting, along with periodic communications through the year to members.
DNA Repair & Mutagenic Mechanisms SIG
The DNA Repair Special Interest Group brings together EMGS members interested in DNA repair and related areas such as DNA damage, genomic instability, DNA damage responses, mutagensis and cell death pathways. At the EMGS Annual Meeting we meet for breakfast and informally discuss a topic of interest for the group. We also brainstorm about topics of symposia and keynote lectures for the next year’s EMGS meeting and representatives bring these ideas to the program committee meeting the last day of the meeting.
More information about the EMGS DNA Repair and Mutagenic Mechanisms SIG is located on their Web site.
Environmental Genetic Toxicology SIG
The Environmental Genetic Toxicology SIG is broad in scope and is for scientists interested in the genetic effects of contaminant exposure through air, water, soil, food, or physical contact. SIG members examine endpoints in the laboratory and/or field, and in model systems or natural populations. Synthesis across a broad range of assays and organisms is particularly encouraged by this group.
Epigenetics is a new Special Interest Group. EMGS members who are doing epigenetic research, wish to do so, or are just curious are encouraged to become participants of this SIG.
Human epidemiological and animal experimental data indicate that the risk of developing adult-onset chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer is influenced by persistent adaptations to prenatal and early postnatal nutrition. Two epigenomic targets that potentially link environmental conditions during early development to adult disease susceptibility are imprinted genes and those with metastable epialleles. Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic form of gene regulation that results in monoallelic, parent-of-origin dependent gene expression. Genes with metastable epialleles have highly variable functions because of stochastic allelic changes in the epigenome rather than mutations in the genome. The importance of epigenetic deregulation of such genes in determining human risk to environmentally-induced diseases is now being actively investigated.
Heritable Mutation & Disease SIG
The Heritable Mutation and Disease Special Interest Group is for scientists interested in heritable mutagenesis, the challenges of finding human genomic DNA damaging agents, germ-cell and stem-cell mutagens, and the consequences of these mutations to health.
Molecular Epidemiology SIG
Molecular Epidemiology Special Interest Group plays a major role in the assessment of the causative associations between exposures to environmental agents, hot factors of susceptibility, and the risks of genetic diseases including cancer and birth defects. This SIG identifies the latest research advances in the development of valid biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility and disease risks.
New Technologies SIG
The mission of the New Technologies Special Interest Group is to provide a forum for discussion on existing and emerging technologies that relate to current topics in the field of mutagenesis, genetic toxicology, molecular epidemiology and toxicology. Relevant activities of this SIG may include, but are not limited to, organizing and/or sponsoring symposia, roundtable discussions, workshops; Inviting speakers to introduce new technologies, and discuss their strengths and limitations. In addition, this SIG will provide a platform for academia, industry and government agencies for discussion and guidance in incorporating new technologies into the risk assessment and safety evaluation process. Topics chosen for the proposed activities of the SIG will focus on those areas of new emerging science and technology that are deemed most likely to be of broad enough interest so as to be relevant to existing Society members while, by virtue of novel content, attracting new members; in this way, expanding the scope of the Society.
Risk Assessment SIG
The Risk Assessment Special Interest Group is a mid-sized, eclectic, and congenial group of individuals with shared interests in the broad area of risk assessment, particularly as it relates to genetic toxicology, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis. This core group of scientist within EMGS has been assembling each year at the EMGS Meeting since 1997 to discuss a wide range of topics that are pertinent to risk assessment. Topics that have been discussed in the Risk Assessment SIG meetings include different approaches for risk analysis and low-dose extrapolation, the use of cancer biomarkers, the use of transgenic animal data in risk assessment, different government agency approaches to risk assessment, establishing chemical mode-of-action, and the application of the genetic toxicology tests to risk assessment.
One of the strengths of the Risk Assessment SIG is our diversity. Our meetings are usually well-attended by scientists from government regulatory agencies from several countries, academia, pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, and contract laboratories. This diversity in background and perspective leads to the stimulating informal discussions that are a hallmark of EMGS, in general, and the Risk Assessment SIG, in particular. At our SIG breakfast meetings, we always run out of time for discussion before the attendees run out of things to say!
Beyond the Risk Assessment SIG meeting, which takes place every year as part of the EMGS Annual Meeting, members can share information with other Risk Assessment SIG members via a monitored e-mail distribution list. Information of general interest to the Risk Assessment SIG can be forwarded to the Group Leaders for distribution to the SIG membership. The e-mail contact list is also used to solicit suggestions for speakers and topics for upcoming Risk Assessment SIG breakfast meetings. Finally, the Risk Assessment SIG has compiled a list of many valuable links to online resources used by the Risk Assessment community that can be accessed from our SIG webpage. We encourage EMGS members with an interest in Risk Assessment to become active participants in our SIG!
Transgenics & In Vivo Mutagenesis SIG
The Transgenic and In Vivo Mutagenesis (TIVM) Special Interest Group (SIG) focuses on the development and application of methods to assess mutagenicity in vivo, including laboratory animals and humans. In the last two decades, transgenic animals, which contain genomic insertions of bacteriophage shuttle vectors, have been used to measure in vivo mutant frequencies. These validated Transgenic Rodent (TGR) animal models are described in OECD Test Guideline 488. These systems allow the identification of mutations in any somatic tissue or male germ cells from which sufficient DNA can be obtained. These TGR models include the Big Blue®mouse and rat, the MutaMouse mouse, the gpt delta mouse and rat, and the lacZ plasmid mouse, among others. More recently, the Pig-a endogenous mutation assay has been developed and is being widely used to assess mutant frequency in the blood of mice, rats, as well as humans. With recent advancements in next generation sequencing (NGS) and epigenetics, powerful new tools are available to investigate alterations in DNA sequence, structure and gene expression in laboratory animals and humans. This promises to revolutionize how we assess genetic damage in order to improve reproductive and cancer risk assessment in humans.
Women in the EMGS
The Women in the EMGS (WEMGS) group focuses on women’s issues within the EMGS as well as broader issues that face many women in scientific careers.
The mission of WEMGS is to:
- Create opportunities for networking and mentoring for women.
- Encourage leadership and career development.
- Encourage and support representation of women throughout the society and within the scientific community.
During the EMGS meetings, WEMGS provides a forum for discussions focusing on general issues that affect not only women but which are relevant to the general membership of the EMGS. We develop ideas for symposia and topics to be considered by the EMGS program committee for upcoming EMGS meetings.
If you are interested in becoming involved either as a committee member or would like to give your input into programming ideas for discussions or EMGS program ideas, we encourage any EMGS member to join the WEMGS special interest group. ALL are welcome to attend our meetings and WEMGS hosted EMGS meetings sessions!