Current Computational Toxicology Courses

An assumption is made that students will have a basic understanding of toxicology.

Toxicology Tutorials

As a review, or for those students without a didactic background in toxicology, the following tutorials are useful. The following tutorials are provided as open-access websites as a public service by the us Department of Human Health services, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of health, Environmental health and toxicology specialized information services:17

  • • toxicology tutor i: Basic principles18
  • • toxicology tutor ii: toxicokinetics19
  • • toxicology tutor iii: Cellular toxicology20

toxLearn: a Gateway to toxicology is an open-access joint project of the us national library of Medicine toxicology and environmental health information program and the us society of toxicology:21

  • • toxLearn Module i: introduction to toxicology and Dose-Response22
  • • toxLearn Module ii: Cells and tissue: injury and Repair23

Course Concepts

in both courses the case-study approach allows students to explore and use different techniques as well as start to a collaborative approach within study and project groups. During this stage when groups are formed, each group creates a communication network such as a Google group or through networks through university course websites, and students are also given group evaluation criteria and forms to help expedite communication and workflow. Case studies are tailored to topics and potential projects of interest to students during the semester or as indicated by students in instructor-student meetings.

A typical lecture series combined with relevant case studies will explore these concepts:

  • • the application of computer technology and mathematical/computa- tional models to analyze, model, and/or predict potential toxicological effects from:
  • - chemical structure (parent compound or metabolites)
  • - inference from similar compounds
  • - published data (typically not human data)
  • - exposure, bioaccumulation, persistence
  • - biomonitoring data
  • - plasma or tissue concentrations
  • - differential indicators (biomarkers) or patterns of outcome related to exposure
  • - networks of biological pathways affected by the chemical
  • - correlations to known human diseases
  • 306 Chapter 13
  • • To further understand mechanisms of toxicity
  • - organ specific
  • - organism specific
  • - disease specific
  • • To explain why certain individuals are more susceptible
  • • Key methods
  • - chemical fragment or structural similarities (structural alerts)
  • - categorization or grouping for inference (i.e. similar compounds causing similar effects): analogs, categories based on mechanism, mode of action
  • - structure-activity relationships (SARs, QSARs)
  • - biological pathway perturbations
  • - biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility, outcome
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