Building Interest in Toxicology
Dr. Wong earned his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From there, he worked as a postdoc in nuclear medicine, associate professor and director of laboratory medicine, associate professor of pathology, assistant director of clincal chemistry, toxicology scientific director at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, and professor of pathology
Steven Wong and Irving Sunshine
Dr. Steven Wong receives a letter from the well-known toxicologist, Dr. Irving Sunshine, beginning a collaboration and mentorship that would span decades.
The Idea Begins
At the Advances in Clinical and Forensic Toxicology (ACFT I) meeting in Milwaukee, WI, Dr. Wong and colleagues first discussed the idea of a regional scientific organization.
MATT is Officially Formed
MATT was officially formed at the ACFT II meeting. As Dr. Wong explained, MATT was created from a grassroots effort to provide a welcoming and affordable regional organization for scientific professionals in the Midwest states. From the beginning, the intention was to provide meetings that were easily accessible (aka “drive-able”) for its members, an aspect that many benefit from even today. Dr. Wong and the other founding members also envisioned MATT as a less formal organization that could provide a familiar “Midwestern” sense of hospitality and cultivate collaboration between established professionals and students alike.
MATT’s First President
MATT consisted of over 100 charter members, with Dr. Wong elected as the first president of MATT (1995-1997).
Sunshine-Wong Travel Award
As homage and out of the great respect Dr. Wong had for his longtime friend and mentor, MATT established the Sunshine-Wong travel award. This award provides a student or bench-level technician with $1000 to offset the cost of the conference, travel, and lodging, as well as a free one-year membership in MATT. This award upholds the legacy created by both Dr. Wong and Dr. Sunshine in supporting the growth of emerging scientists, collaboration between professionals, and advancement of scientific knowledge. The first award was given out at the MATT 2010 meeting in Milwaukee, WI.
Rock | Paper | Scissors
The annual rock, paper, scissors tournament was first started at the 2010 MATT meeting in Wilwaukee, WI with Mark Vandervest winning and Paul Janetto coming in second. This marked the beginning of a new MATT tradition that has led to countless laughs and lots of fun!
MATT Begins Service Award
The first award in honor of service to the organization was presented in honor of Liz Keily.
The 30-year anniversary of MATT as an organization will be held in Milwaukee, WI as tribute to the founding of MATT in the same city in 1995. The long-standing history of MATT is evidence of the need for this type of organization in the Midwest and an homage to the dedication and participation of its members.