SPotlight Newsletter

Spotlight Newsletter

Spring Issue 2017

President’s Report

Welcome to the Spring Issue of the SPotlight Newsletter.

The Spring Issue highlights the 2017 Meeting and updates on collaborations, publications, and news from SPS and your colleagues. We also have some important SPS leadership roles to fill in 2018 so be sure to read the Call for Nominations and put forth names of individuals you believe would make a great addition to the Board of Directors.

The global safety pharmacology community comes together annually at the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) Annual Meeting, which this year will be held in Berlin. This promises to be an exciting meeting in a very vibrant city. Martin Traebert and the program committee have been working hard to deliver an excellent scientific program addressing emerging and hot topics across the spectrum of safety pharmacology. Similarly, Tomas Mow and the CE Committee have been identifying areas of educational demand for both new and experienced safety pharmacologists, and are finalising the CE courses. For the first time we will hold a buffet dinner on Tuesday evening (September 26); this will be in Berlin’s TV Tower, which provides panoramic views across the city. Tickets are limited and are on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your registration in early and don’t miss out!

In addition, the SPS is hosting two regional meetings in May this year, on focused topics. On May 3rd there is a one-day joint workshop between SPS and the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) in Coventry, UK on Human Tissue for Safety Assessment. The following week, May 12th, there is a Northeast Regional meeting held jointly with the Society of Toxicologic Pathology, at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston, MA. I would like to highlight our recent collaborations with two national safety pharmacology societies: Simon Authier and Alan Bass were invited speakers at the annual Japanese Safety Pharmacology Society held in Tokyo last month, and I have been invited to speak at the Chinese Safety Pharmacology Society in May. In addition, Helen Prior (SPS Secretary) presented a SPS poster in the ‘Global gallery’ (a forum for exchange between societies engaged in toxicology-related disciplines) at this year’s SOT meeting in Baltimore.

If you are looking for a quick way to catch up on the latest research on your own time, please be sure to take time to review our upcoming 2017 webinars (held monthly), covering a broad range of topics. These webinars are free for all SPS Members.

We are actively involved in various initiatives, including the FDA’s CiPA initiative, but also several of our own, including an evaluation of the concept validity and application of the no-adverse effect level (NOAEL) in safety pharmacology across the industry, led by Tomas Mow. Simon Authier and Michael Pugsley are coordinating a survey with the American College of Toxicology on Current Practices in Nonclinical Toxicology. We will update you on these initiatives in a later Issue.

I would also encourage you to consider taking the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology accreditation exam at this year's Annual Meeting. We are currently updating our list of resources to help you prepare for this exam. It's a very comprehensive exam spanning across all aspects of safety pharmacology, but we now have 58 diplomates…so why not you?

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy Spring and a wonderful year ahead!


Will Redfern, PhD
President, Safety Pharmacology Society

Annual Meeting News

2017 Annual Meeting Registration and Abstract Submission Now Open!

On behalf of the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS), we would like to invite you and your colleagues to attend the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting, September 24–27, 2017, at the Maritim Hotel in the Capital City of Germany, Berlin.

Over the last few months, the 2017 Program Committee has been hard at work organizing a scientific program that includes topics of interest to SPS Members and colleagues. The 2017 Scientific Program features a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two themed tracks and covering issues such as Addressing Safety in Oncology, Translational Safety Pharmacology, Suicidality, New Modalities and New Biological Entities, Disease Models/Personalized Medicine, Microphysiological Systems - New Technologies, In Silico Modeling, Right Species-Right Time, Changing Regulatory Environment and much more! This will ensure attendees can stay abreast of new content and developments in key areas of interest.

The meeting also offers a broad Continuing Education program both on an introductory level as well as advanced courses for the expert. A preliminary program outline is now available on the 2017 Meeting website. We will also be holding the 2017 certification exam for the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology, and invite all interested SPS members to consider sitting the exam this year.

In an effort to support attendance from our younger colleagues, please note that there are expanded opportunities for Student and Jr. Investigator Travel Awards. Also, please consider submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster. From these submissions a variety will also be selected for short oral communications. The deadline to submit an abstract for presentation is June 15, 2017.

We also would like to highlight our Exhibit Hall, which will feature over 40 vendors offering direct access to CROs, as well as a variety of service and technology providers exhibiting the latest trends, technology, and developments relevant to the field.

We cordially invite you to become a member of our Society, become involved in our ongoing scientific activities and join us in Berlin for our 2017 Annual Meeting this September!


Dr. Will Redfern
SPS President 2017

Dr. Martin Traebert
SPS Vice President and SPS Program Chair 2017

Highlights of the Annual Meeting

  • A dynamic forum for best practice sharing within industry, CRO’s, academics, clinicians, and regulators
  • Sessions on some of the hottest topics in the field
  • 6 CE Courses taught by experts in the field
  • Plenary Keynote Speakers by a key opinion leaders
  • Exhibit hall offering access to industry vendors
  • Poster sessions featuring cutting-edge research
  • Networking opportunities with a global community of scientists from regulatory, industry, and academia
  • Award opportunities to bring together Student and Jr. Investigators with seasoned scientists, while sharing their research
  • Exhibitor Sponsored Sessions by leading technology and service providers showcasing their new offerings and research

Headquarters Hotel Reservations

The Maritim Hotel Berlin is the headquarters hotel. We have negotiated a room block with the hotel at the group rate of €149 (Single), €179 (double) including VAT, breakfast buffet, and wifi.

The Maritim Hotel Berlin is located in the city's Tiergarten Park, the quiet diplomatic quarter, close to the Kurfürstendamm and the Potsdamer Platz. The SPS Annual Meeting will take place in the Maritim Hotel Berlin.

Maritim Hotel Berlin
Stauffenbergstraße 26
10785 Berlin

To make reservations, please use the online reservation system, or call +49 (0)30 2033-4410 and identify yourself as part of the SPS group rate.

The deadline for reservations at the Maritim Hotel Berlin is August 18.

Waived Registration—US Federal and International Regulatory Agency Employees

In order to facilitate greater interaction with our regulatory colleagues, all US federal employees, and international regulatory agency employees may register to attend the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting in Berlin at no charge. Waived registration is available to all active U.S. federal employees, and all active employees at international regulatory agencies (must show valid regulatory/government ID at registration).

Registration is required by September 1.

2017 Call for Jr. Investigator and Student Travel Award Applications

Attention Junior Investigators and Students!

To encourage and support world-wide representation of students and junior investigators at the Meeting, the Society offers Junior Investigator Travel Awards and Student Travel Awards. The deadline for submitting award applications is July 1, 2017.

The deadline to submit your abstract online for the award is June 15, 2017. All other award application materials are due by July 1, 2017.

Please visit our website for complete details on Travel Award eligibility.

SPS Sponsorship Increases Visibility: Pledge Your 2017 Support Today!

It is through the generous support of companies like yours that SPS has been able to offer affordable educational programs to a global audience. We hope that you will consider supporting the Society by becoming a sponsor of the 2017 Annual Meeting. Your support of the Society will be highlighted on our web site, in Annual Meeting materials and more, thereby increasing your visibility to your prospective customers.

Please refer to the 2017 Sponsorship Levels showing the detailed list of benefits/recognition that SPS can offer in return for your support. If a formal grant/support request needs to be submitted online, we would be happy to complete the next steps to ensure we comply with your company's policy.

If you have questions regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Krystle Correll with SPS Headquarters.

Exhibit Opportunities at the 2017 Annual Meeting

Networking + Science at the premier event for the safety pharmacology industry.

All exhibitors receive two full-conference badges to attend scientific sessions, scientific abstract presentations, daily lunches, and breaks built into programming for networking on the show floor.

Don’t wait! Join us today to become part of this extraordinary program!

Reserve your booth today!

Marketing & Advertising Opportunities

Is your company looking for greater exposure?

We have various advertising opportunities available to Sponsors and Exhibitors to ensure your presence is seen by all 450+ attendees who will be joining us in Berlin. In addition, we have opportunities for companies who wish to advertise beyond the Meeting!

Annual Meeting Marketing & Advertising Opportunities

  • Exhibitor Sponsored Session
  • Final Program Advertisement
  • Email Communications
  • Bag Inserts
  • Mailing List Rental
  • Lanyards
  • Mobile App push notifications

SPS Year-Round Marketing & Advertising Opportunities

  • Vendor Directory
  • Mailing List Rental
  • Job Postings

Please contact Laura Helm for further information on how to take advantage of these opportunities. Don't delay; some of these are limited and first come-first serve!

SPS News

Call for Nominations

Dear SPS Member,

The Safety Pharmacology Society invites your nominations of individuals to serve in the leadership of the Society. The elected terms will commence on January 1, 2018.

The open positions for the 2018 election are:

  • Vice President-Elect is a 4-year which automatically progresses through the positions of Vice President, President and Past President. In addition, the Vice President-Elect serves as the Chair of the Abstract Committee, and as Vice President serves as the Chair of the Program Committee for the year that they hold those positions. It is preferred that one has previous experience on the board prior to nomination as part of the presidential chain in the society.
  • Secretary-Electis a 1-year commitment followed by a 2-year commitment as Secretary.
  • Board of Director Member is a 2-year commitment (4 positions open for nomination).
  • Nominating Committee is a 1-year commitment (4 positions open for nomination).

The responsibilities of the SPS leadership roles are described in the Safety Pharmacology Society By-Laws.

Each candidate nominated should be a current member of the Society. Members may submit multiple nominations for consideration.

To nominate another individual: It is the nominator's responsibility to obtain permission from the nominee to be considered for the ballot and their agreement to serve, if elected. The Nominator must also ask the Nominee to send a current CV and a single paragraph statement regarding their background and experience that makes them appropriate for the position for which they are being nominated and their vision for the future of the Society to Krystle Correll before the deadline (May 2, 2017). Members may submit multiple nominations for consideration by the Nominating Committee.

To nominate yourself:We encourage SPS Members to nominate themselves. By nominating yourself you are giving permission to be considered for the ballot and agreeing to serve, if elected. You must provide a CV and single paragraph statement regarding your background and experience that makes you appropriate for the position for which you have nominated yourself and your vision for the future of the Society to Krystle Correll before the deadline (May 2, 2017).

The Nominating Committee will compile the final slate for the 2018 ballot. Ballots will be sent to members in good standing in July 2017.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of the Safety Pharmacology Society, and we look forward to seeing you at the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany, September 24–27, 2017. To register for the meeting or to learn more about the scientific program please visit the 2017 Annual Meeting Website

Best regards,

The Nominating Committee

SPS/NC3Rs Joint Regional Meeting to be held in Coventry, UK

The workshop, co-organized by the NC3Rs, SPS, and Coventry University, aims to bring together researchers from academia, SMEs, and the pharmaceutical industry to discuss how best to support and enable the use of human tissues in safety testing. The one-day workshop will be held in Coventry, UK on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. More information can be found on our website.

SPS/STP Joint Regional Meeting to be held in Boston, MA

The Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) and the Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP) invite you to attend the Joint Boston Regional Meeting entitled Form Follows Function, which will be held at the Vertex Pharmaceuticals facility in Boston, MA on Friday, May 12, 2017. More information can be found on our website.

Know Someone Who Has Substantially Contributed to the Field of Safety Pharmacology?

The Safety Pharmacology Society Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is an honor given to an individual who has substantially contributed to the field of safety pharmacology. Please consider submitting a nomination for someone you believe should be honored for their contributions.

The following criteria will be considered for nominees:

  • Specific research achievements
  • Champions of the field
  • Lifelong contribution to the field
  • Substantial specific contribution
  • Visionary direction
  • Regulatory decisions
  • Science and technology of the field
  • Education
  • Mentorship in the field
  • Collaboration between industry, academia, and regulatory

The Distinguished Service Award Nomination Deadline is May 1, 2017. Please submit your nominations to SPS Headquarters for this coveted award to honor your fellow safety pharmacologist.

Please visit the SPS Website to download the Distinguished Service Award Nomination Application.

How to Nominate an Individual:

  1. Complete the DSA ApplicationPlease note: the Award Criteria (above) must be addressed in the application or letter of support.
  2. Submit one letter of support for the nominee, with two SPS member signatures.
  3. Submit the nominee's curriculum vitae.
  4. Submit any supporting documentation that may indicate the nominee’s achievement in safety pharmacology
Submit the application and supporting documents via email (PDF) to SPS Headquarters by May 1, 2017.

Please note: Only Members may nominate an individual for the DSA, although the DSA nominee does not have to be a member. A member may not nominate more than one person per year. The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) will be given every year, although there shall be no obligation or duty to make such award when, in the sole opinion of the committee, there is no qualified nominee. The Distinguished Service Award Committee conducts an in-depth review of all nominations.

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

2017 Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) Certification Exam and Preparation

The Safety Pharmacology Society invites you to register to participate in our Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) certification exam this fall in Berlin, Germany on September 23, 2017. The registration deadline is September 1.

The Safety Pharmacology Society recognizes a certification exam program as an important step in the development of the discipline. The DSP, created with participation of representatives from industry, academia and regulatory agencies, is aimed to reflect the perspective from major stakeholders in drug development.

All details relative to the certification exam process including eligibility, study materials, scientific scope, and examination format are presented on the DSP website. We encourage you to review the three-part webinar series recording (Under previously recorded Webinars, year is 2014), focused on key areas of the discipline in order to assist you in preparation for taking the exam.

Register for the DSP Exam today!

SPS Member Representation at the Japanese Safety Pharmacology Society (JSPS) Meeting

Drs. Alan Bass and Simon Authier represented the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) at the Japanese Safety Pharmacology Society (JSPS) meeting which was held at Tokyo University from February 10–12, 2017 and presided by Dr. Takashi Yoshinaga. Pictured from left to right are Drs. Sawada, Bass, Authier and Yoshinaga. The hospitality of the JSPS organizers was remarkable and truly appreciated. A rich and dynamic program was presented by JSPS membership including TQT waiver strategies, In silico models, iPSC derived cardiomyocytes, advanced ECG analysis and investigations of the CNS and disease models.

SPS CiPA Survey Paper accepted for publication in JPTM

The SPS CiPA survey paper was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicologic Methods (JPTM). The paper is entitled Proarrhythmia liability assessment and the Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA): An Industry Survey on Current Practice.

We will update you with the publication date and Issue, once we have more information.

Publications of Interest

Windley MJ, Abi-Gerges N, Fermini B, Hancox JC, Vandenberg JI, Hill AP. Measuring kinetics and potency of hERG block for CiPA. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2017 Feb 10. pii: S1056-8719(16)30194-0. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2017.02.017. [Epub ahead of print].

Lin Z, Santos S, Padilla K, Printzenhoff D, Castle NA (2016) Biophysical and Pharmacological Characterization of Nav1.9 Voltage Dependent Sodium Channels Stably Expressed in HEK-293 Cells. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0161450. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161450

SPS Collaborations and Activities


SOT Scientific Liaison Coalition (Member since 2011)
JSPS Meeting Participation (February 2017)
SLC Webinar (February 2017)
SOT Global Gallery participant (March 2017)
UW Madison Distance Learning Course support (April-May 2017)
SPS/NC3Rs Joint Regional Meeting: Coventry, UK (May 2017)
SPS/STP Joint Regional Meeting: Boston (May 2017)


SOT Scientific Liaison Coalition (Member since 2011)
SPS Ion Channel Working Group (Created November 2013)
SLC Webinar (February 2016)
SOT Global Gallery participant (March 2016)
UW Madison Distance Learning Course support (March-September 2016)
JSPS Meeting Participation (March 2016)
SPS Northeast (Boston) Regional Meeting (May 2016)

Upcoming Webinars

Upcoming Meetings