General Information

Scientific Co-Chairs: Kathryn E. Gropp, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Pfizer, Inc., Groton, CT; Michael C. Boyle, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DABT, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA; and Joel R. Leininger, DVM, PhD, JRL Consulting, LLC, Chapel Hill, NC

Continuing Education Chair: Kirstin F. Barnhart, DVM, PhD, DACVP, AbbVie, Inc., North Chicago, IL

Continuing Education Co-Chair: Vimala Vemireddi, BVSc, MS, DACVP, DABT, Covance Laboratories, Inc., Ashburn, VA

Musculoskeletal System

Interpretation of the toxicologic responses of the musculoskeletal system requires familiarity with not only bone, joint, and muscle physiology and metabolism but also with potentially confounding factors of species, age, anatomic location, mechanical loading, and the special techniques needed to appropriately assess these tissues. The aim of the 2017 symposium is to provide attendees with a broad exposure to the unique challenges of the musculoskeletal system in toxicologic pathology. The symposium will kick off with a review of bone/muscle specific analysis with an emphasis on histology, followed by an overview of the bone ‘toolbox’, including biomarkers, imaging techniques, biomechanical testing, histomorphometry, the recently issued INHAND nomenclature and the impact of age on bone over time. The next session will cover the efficacy and toxicology of bone therapeutic agents, including regulatory requirements for assessment of bone safety, safety issues associated with antiresorptives and anabolics, and development challenges of therapeutics for rare bone diseases. The following sessions will review common findings due to unintended pharmacologic effects of therapeutic agents on the physis, metaphysis, and bone marrow, and a deep dive into the concept of bone as an endocrine organ, including discussions on the interrelationships of bone with energy metabolism, the immune system, FGF23, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. A session on structural approaches to bone and joint repair will include a review of the preclinical and clinical assessment of bone and joint devices, regulatory considerations, a presentation on joint tissue engineering, and an overview of models of joint damage and repair. The final session will be devoted to skeletal muscle, with presentation of the skeletal muscle ‘toolbox’ followed by an overview of biomarkers of skeletal muscle injury in rats, muscular dystrophy biomarker quantification and drug development, and models of accelerated sarcopenia. In addition to the regular daytime sessions, an evening musculoskeletal mystery slide session and a lunchtime session reviewing issues related to bone slide quality will also be offered.

Annual Symposium Overview


Online Registration

Saturday, June 24

Pre-Meeting NTP Symposium: Pathology Potpourri (Free Event, Registration Required)


Sunday, June 25

CE Courses (Half Day, Fee to Attend)

  • Impact of Age on the Stage-Aware Assessment of Reproductive Tract
  • Current Practices and Challenges in Method Validation
  • Tissue-Based Image Analysis
  • What You Always Wanted to Know about Immunotoxicology in Pharmaceutical Development…but Were Afraid to Ask

Career Development Workshop (AM Half Day)

Exhibits Open

Welcome Reception

Student/Mentor Mixer

Monday, June 26

Exhibits and Poster Sessions Open

Symposium Welcome and Keynote Address

Session 1
 (AM): Toolbox for the Evaluation of the Musculoskeletal System

Career Development Lunchtime Series (Free Event, Registration Required)

Lunch for Registered Symposium Attendees

Session 2 (PM): Bone Therapeutics: Safety Considerations

Town Hall Meeting: Points to Consider in Clear Communication of Histopathology Severity Grading in the Pathology Report

Mystery Bone, Joint, and Musculoskeletal Pathology Session

Tuesday, June 27

Exhibits and Poster Sessions Open

Session 3 (AM): Unintended Pharmacologic Effects on Bone

Student Outing

Wednesday, June 28

Poster Sessions Open

Session 4 (AM): Bone As an Endocrine Organ

Lunchtime Event sponsored by IATP and STP (Free Event, Registration Required)

Session 5 (PM): Structural Approaches to Bone & Joint Repair

Awards Ceremony and Annual Business Meeting

President’s Reception

Thursday, June 29

Session 6 (AM): Evaluation of Skeletal Muscle

Meeting Materials

Meeting publications, including final Program, handouts, attendee list, committee, interest group, and ancillary meetings schedules and evaluation forms will be posted on the Meeting Materials page when available.

STP members will use their regular logins to access this page. Nonmember attendees will receive logins and passwords to access this page.

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

STP wants to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services. If you need any auxiliary aids or services identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or any assistance in registering for this meeting, please contact STP Headquarters, 703-438-7508, ext. 1443.

Annual Symposium Policies

Child Attendance Policy 

Photography, Videotaping, Recording Policies
Photography of poster presentations is prohibited without the specific consent of the presenter(s)/author(s). Photography of exhibitor booths and/or equipment is prohibited without the specific consent of the exhibitor. Photography, videotaping, or recording of Scientific Sessions or CE Courses is not permitted.


STP wishes to thank its Corporate Sponsors for their generous support of the Society and its activities, which include all events and scientific sessions at the Annual Meeting. Their donations make it possible for STP to continue to offer high quality science at an affordable fee.

2017 Sponsors

Sponsorship Opportunities