Center research presented at the National Research Councils Symposium on Toxicity Pathway-Based Risk Assessment

The National Research Council's 2007 report entitled Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: a Vision and a Strategy proposed a new paradigm for toxicity testing that envisions evaluation of biologically significant perturbations in key toxicity pathways using new methods in computational biology and a comprehensive array of in vitro tests based on human biology. The science and practice of toxicity testing are undergoing a major leap influenced and stimulated by a variety of pressures. It is estimated that over 30,000 chemicals will be registered under the extensive new data requirements of the European Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program. Because of the large influx of new data and because of market forces and international agreements, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be prepared to interpret these new data to support priority setting and use in risk assessments. Thus, a workshop to stimulate discussion on the application of new approaches in risk assessment was organized by the National Research Council's Standing Committee on Risk Analysis Issues and Reviews. A 3 day public symposium on the application to risk assessment of new pathway-based approaches included plenary sessions, during which new toxicity-testing approaches and case examples were presented to address the use of various types of data in risk assessment. Center Director, Ivan Rusyn MD, PhD (associate professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering) presented a lecture on "Tools and Technologies for Pathway-Based Research". In addition, the workshop incorporated a poster session to provide additional information in support of the case studies and to highlight examples of how new technologies may be applied to qualitative and quantitative aspects of risk assessment. Three posters from the Center were presented by Shannon Hatcher, Stephanie Martinez (both M.S.P.H. students in Environmental Sciences and Engineering) and Zeng Li (M.S., staff scientist in Biostatistics).

 May 15, 2009