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March 25, 2009

The Hamner Institutes Expands Risk Assessment Development Work for EPA

  • The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has expanded its collaboration with the U.S. EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) by conducting two additional studies for the EPA ToxCast™ program. The results from this program will be used to determine if in vitro assays can be used to forecast the toxic effects of chemicals and better characterize human health risks.
    The first of the new studies will perform a high data-content imaging screen to examine 11 integrated, in vitro cell response markers using a sub-set of the ToxCast Phase I chemicals. This approach will identify a set of medium-throughput, integrated cell responses that could serve as the basis for defining key toxicity pathways. The second study will develop data to support a computational systems biology description of activation and cellular responses for human toxicity pathways. This type of information will guide dose response and risk assessments from in vitro test results.
    The goal of these projects is to provide the tools for pathway mapping and computational systems biology modeling and to identify the types of data that will be needed for dose response evaluations for human toxicity pathways. The two projects will be pursued over the next two years. 
    The results from these studies will be integrated into the ToxCast program with the ultimate goal of understanding whether the effects observed in the high-throughput biochemical and cellular assays combined with computational modeling of how chemicals move through the human body may be observed at relevant human doses.

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