UA professor named head of international toxicology union
UA college of pharmacy professor I. Glenn Sipes is the third American ever to be elected president of the International Union of Toxicologists, an organization promoting worldwide knowledge of toxicology.
"It will require some time commitment, but it's quite an honor and brings prestige to the toxicology program here at the UA," said Sipes, also head of the University of Arizona's pharmacology department and director of the center for toxicology.
Sipes, now the chief spokesman for the union, represents more than 20,000 members from 41 different countries.
"Its a 'buck stops here' kind of job," he said.
Toxicology is a mix of chemistry and biology that examines the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which chemicals in the environment affect the human body.
"We are basically trying to understand what happens to a chemical once it gets into the body - whether it becomes more or less toxic, how it influences or is influenced by the toxicity of other chemicals," said Sipes, who worked for the National Institutes of Health before coming to the UA 26 years ago. "In the real world this becomes hard to study because of complex mixtures in things such as diet, smoking and even chemicals in the workplace."
Sipes said he will focus his three-year term on helping to develop union principles in Latin and South America. Executive meetings will be held in Guadalajara and Turkey over the next two years so he can discuss his goals with other union members.
Thomas Kennedy can be reached via e-mail at Thomas.Kennedy@wildcat.arizona.edu.