SPotlight Newsletter

Spotlight Newsletter

Spring Issue 2019

President's Report

Welcome to the Spring Issue of the SPotlight Newsletter.

The Spring Issue highlights the 2019 Annual Meeting and updates on collaborations, publications, and news from SPS and your colleagues. We also have some important SPS leadership roles to fill in 2020 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 Barcelona, Spain. This promises to be an exciting meeting in a very vibrant city. Carrie Markgraf-Blum 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, Annie Delaunois, Donald Hodges and the CE Committee have been identifying areas of educational demand for both new and experienced safety pharmacologists and have put together a diverse set of CE courses.

The 2019 SPS Regional Meetings (topics, dates, registration) will be announced soon and we look forward to seeing you at one of the two scheduled for this year. I would like to highlight our recent collaborations with other national Societies. Derek Leishman and I were invited by society president Katsuyoshi Chiba to speak at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Safety Pharmacology Society in Tokyo at the beginning of March. Representatives from the Chinese Safety Pharmacology Society and Korean Safety Pharmacology Society also presented. We also had SPS delegates participating in the Global Gallery Poster and Coffee at the SOT Annual Meeting in March.

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 2019 webinars (held monthly), covering a broad range of topics. These webinars are free for all SPS Members and regulatory agency employees. If you are interested in becoming a member and gaining access to these webinars, please contact SPS Headquarters for more information.

I would also encourage you to consider taking the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology certification exam held just prior to the 2019 SPS 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, and we now have over 60 diplomates certified.

I hope you have a healthy and happy Spring and are looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!


Michael Engwall, DVM, PhD, DSP
President, Safety Pharmacology Society

Annual Meeting News

2019 Annual Meeting Registration and Abstract Submission Now Open!

On behalf of the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) Board of Directors and Officers, we would like to invite you to attend the 2019 SPS Annual Meeting at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona in the beautiful, art-inspired city of Barcelona, Spain.

Over the last few months, the 2019 Program and CE Committees have been hard at work organizing scientific programs and courses that include topics of interest to SPS Members and colleagues. The 2019 Scientific Program features a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two concurrent themed tracks covering issues such as The Utility of Human Stem Cell Models of Nervous System Disorders: Progress and Clinical Proof of Concept, Emerging In Vitro Models and Their Application in Safety, Hot Topics in the Central Nervous System, Can Safety Pharmacology Studies Support the Assessment of Immune-Related Adverse Events?, Thoughts on Translation—How Clinicians and Clinical Pharmacologists View Safety Pharmacology Data, Recent Trends in High Performance Computing for Safety Pharmacology, What Do Biomarkers Mark? A Safety Pharmacology Perspective, Impact of Early Safety Pharmacology Derisking Strategies and Techniques, Strategies for Getting to FIH and Beyond Efficiently and Safely, Revisiting ICH S7A and S7B and much more! This program will ensure attendees 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 program outline is now available on the 2019 Meeting website. For those interested in increasing their knowledge, recognition and expertise in the field, we will also be holding the 2019 certification exam for the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology on September 22 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 opportunities for Student and Jr. Investigator Travel and poster awards. We encourage you to submit an abstract for presentation as a poster to be featured in our Exhibit Hall. From these submissions a variety will be selected for short oral communications. The deadline to submit an abstract for presentation is June 15, 2019.

We also would like to highlight our Exhibit Hall, which will feature over 50 vendors offering direct access to CROs, as well as a variety of service and technology providers exhibiting the latest 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 Barcelona, Spain for our 2019 Annual Meeting this Fall!


Dr. Michael Engwall
SPS President 2019

Dr. Carrie Markgraf
SPS Vice President and Program Chair 2019

Highlights of the Annual Meeting
  • A dynamic forum for best practice sharing within industry, CRO’s, academics and regulators
  • Scientific Sessions organized by SPS Members
  • Sessions on some of the hottest topics in safety pharmacology related research
  • 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

Hotel Reservations

SPS has negotiated discounted rates with nearby hotels, exclusively for our attendees. Rooms are limited, we encourage you to book early!

Important Reminder: SPS does NOT work with a housing/hotel reservations company. The only way to reserve your hotel room with the SPS block is to use the link listed on our website (below) or call the hotel directly. Communications from persons other than SPS are not authorized and should be regarded as spam.

Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona – Headquarters Hotel

    Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona
    Passeig del Taulat, 262–264
    08019 Barcelona, Spain

    SPS Rate: €254 (single)/€274 (double)
    This special rate includes VAT, breakfast and Wi-Fi and will be available on a first come, first serve basis until August 21.

    Reserve Your Room

Barcelona Princess

    Barcelona Princess
    Avinguda Diagonal, 1
    08019 Barcelona, Spain

    SPS Rate: €215 (single)/€235 (double)
    This special rate includes VAT, breakfast and Wi-Fi and will be available on a first come, first serve basis until August 31. Please note a non-refundable one night deposit is required at the time of booking.

    Fax (+34) 93–356.10.22 or email your completed reservation form to book your room.

AC Hotel Barcelona Forum

    AC Hotel Barcelona Forum
    Passeig del Taulat, 278
    08019 Barcelona, Spain

    SPS Rate: €225.50 (single)/€248.60 (double)
    This special rate includes VAT, breakfast and Wi-Fi and will be available on a first come, first serve basis until August 21.

    Reserve Your Room

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 2019 SPS Annual Meeting in Barcelona 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.

2019 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, 2019.

The deadline to submit your abstract online for the award is June 15, 2019. All other award application materials are due by July 1, 201.

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

SPS Sponsorship Increases Visibility: Pledge Your 2019 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 2019 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 2019 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 2019 Annual Meeting

2019 booth sales are under way, with spots filling up fast. The SPS Annual Meeting includes two days of poster presentations, breaks, meals, and receptions in the exhibit hall to drive attendee traffic to your booth. Don't miss your opportunity to connect with over 500 high-level industry professionals this Fall!

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 500 attendees who will be joining us in Barcelona, Spain. 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 Amy Willis for further information on how to take advantage of these opportunities. Don't delay; some of these are limited and first come-first serve!


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, 2020.

The open positions for the 2020 election are:

  • Vice President-Elect is a 4-year commitment 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-Elect is 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, 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, 2019). 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, 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, 2019).

The Nominating Committee will compile the final slate for the 2020 ballot. Ballots will be sent to Members in good standing in July 2019.

Best regards,

The Nominating Committee

SPS Participation at the 2019 SOT Annual Meeting: Global Gallery and Post-doc Mixer

SPS was invited to participate in the 2019 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting by hosting a poster in the Global Gallery, and during the Post-doc Mixer.

The Post-doc Mixer was held Sunday evening, March 10, and the poster was attended by SPS Member Anthony Bahinski, PhD, MBA, FAHA. Dr. Bahinski had great conversations with participants and interacted with about 15 Post-docs during the event.

The Global Gallery poster was attended by SPS Treasurer, Tiffini Brabham, DVM, PhD, DABT who was joined by SPS Past-President, Alf Botchway, MSc, PhD, DSP on Monday, March 11.

Two SPS Regional Meetings Planned for 2019

In 2019 SPS is dedicated to support two regional meetings, the Additional Meetings Committee is determining the locations and venues for each, one will be held in North America—East Coast and the other will be held in North America—West Coast.

SPS Regional Meetings utilize local SPS members and speakers to host one-day meetings in a variety of regional locations in order to present safety pharmacology topics to individuals who may not be able to travel to the SPS Annual Meeting. In order to keep these meetings of the quality you have come to expect from SPS, we will be charging a small fee to attend these meetings in 2019. The fee to attend a regional meeting is $75—this fee will be waived for students and not-for-profit employees. Meetings are open to all (Member or Nonmember) and details will be announced once the locations and topics are finalized.

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, 2019. 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 Application—Please 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, 2019.

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!

2019 Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) Certification Exam and Preparation

The Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) has gained increasing recognition over the last six years. With more than sixty Diplomates as of today, the certification includes members representing all major areas of our discipline including academia, industry and regulatory agencies. Achieving global recognition, the DSP Certification is an examination process by which professionals can demonstrate their knowledge and skill in the field of safety pharmacology and establishes high quality standards for professionals. We invite you to register to participate in the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) certification exam this fall in Barcelona, Spain on September 22, 2019.

As a result of passing the Exam and obtaining their DSP, Diplomates have reported the following benefits:

  • Recognition in the field
  • Looked to as an expert in safety pharmacology by colleagues/employer
  • Increased overall knowledge in the field
  • Career advances

All details relative to the certification exam process including eligibility, study materials, scientific scope, and examination format are presented on the DSP Website.

Register for the DSP Exam today!

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona, Spain.

SPS Collaborations and Activities

SOT Scientific Liaison Coalition (Member since 2011)
JSPS Meeting Participation (March 2019)
SOT Global Gallery and Post-doc Mixer participant (March 2019)
UW Madison Distance Learning Course support (April–May 2019)

Upcoming Webinars

Upcoming Meetings

SPS Member News

Publications of Interest

Matt Skinner, Peter Ceuppens, Peter White, Helen Prior, Social-housing and use of double-decker cages in rat telemetry studies, Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, Volume 96, 2019, Pages 87—94,