Project

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Predictive Toxicology

English title Predictive Toxicology
Applicant Arand Michael
Number 127201
Funding scheme ProDoc
Research institution Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Pharmacology, Pharmacy
Start/End 01.10.2009 - 30.09.2013
Approved amount 411'408.00
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All Disciplines (9)

Discipline
Pharmacology, Pharmacy
Metabolic Disorders
Environmental Research
Ecology
Experimental Cancer Research
Cancer
Methods of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Pathophysiology
Cardiovascular Diseases

Keywords (12)

chemical hazard; risk assessment; cytotoxicity; xenobiotic metabolism; DNA repair; multiple stressors; drug transporters; nuclear receptors; human toxicology; ecotoxicology; exposure; compound life cycle

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The ProDoc program "Predictive Toxicology" aims at the scientific education of doctoral students in chemical risk assessment, thereby closing an important hitherto remaining gap* between academic education in life sciences and a future career as a full-trained toxicologist in government, chemical/pharmaceutical industries, or academia. The two-armed approach, in accordance with the ProDoc concept, is based on the participation in a high quality research project, resulting in the thesis work of the candoc, governed by a rigorous education program that provides fundamental knowledge and promotes skills in state-of-the art technologies in toxicology and gives insight into up-to-date strategies in risk assessment. While the thesis work will be concerned with forefront basic research aspects in the field, the educational program will add the important applied aspects of this discipline.
At present (Octobre 2009), two research modules are associated with this training module and the application of a third one has been filed. In these research modules we aim at the elucidation of basic mechanisms for the toxic behaviour of compounds, in order to provide the basis for rational risk prediction. The projects will address this at different levels of complexity. The first modul "The role of the endoplasmic reticulum in the metabolism of xenobiotics" (PDFMP3_127330) will analyze specific molecular and subcellular features that dictate the behaviour, in particular the distribution and persistence, of toxic compounds in the organism. The second module "Molecular and cellular biology of cytoprotective systems" (PDFMP3_127259) will look at cellular defense mechanisms against toxic challenges. The third module "Multiple stressor effects", that is presently evaluated by the SNF, will address the combinatorial effects of simultaneous toxic challenges. Further research modules complementing the present portfolio will be developed.

*A report filed in May 2007 ("Bericht des Bundesrates über die unabhängige Toxikologie-Forschung in der Schweiz") answering the concern about toxicologicresearch and education in Switzerland, raised by the Motion Graf (Postulat of Nationalrätin Maya Graf March 2002), came up with an estimate of 60 educated toxicologists being required per year to cover the national demand on the long term. This demonstrates that there is a huge demand for well-trained young toxicologists now, as well as in the future. Thus, the present ProDoc serves at the same time the benefit of the candocs to be trained in terms of future perspectives for their career, as well as the national demand for well-educated young toxicologists.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132477 Statin-induced skeletal muscle toxicity: role of statin transport into myocytes and of the IGF-1R signaling pathway 01.10.2010 ProDoc
127259 Molecular and cellular biology of cytoprotective systems 01.03.2010 ProDoc
146635 Deciphering the (patho)physiologic role of epoxide hydrolases by ex vivo cartography of their substrate landscape 01.02.2014 Project funding
132466 Cyanobacterial toxins: characterization and toxicity to aquatic organisms 01.01.2011 ProDoc
132466 Cyanobacterial toxins: characterization and toxicity to aquatic organisms 01.01.2011 ProDoc

Abstract

The ProDoc program „Predictive Toxicology“ aims at the scientific education of doctoral students in chemical risk assessment, thereby closing an important hitherto remaining gap between academic education in life sciences and a future career as a full-trained toxicologist in government, chemical/pharmaceutical industries, or academia. The two-armed approach, in accordance with the ProDoc concept, is based on the participation in a high quality research pro-ject, resulting in the thesis work of the candoc, governed by a rigorous education program that provides fundamental knowledge and promotes skills in state-of-the art technologies in toxicology and gives insight into up-to-date strate-gies in risk assessment. While the thesis work will be concerned with forefront basic research aspects in the field, the educational program will add the important applied aspects of this discipline. The training module is essentially based on five elements: 1) a lecture series in toxicology will teach the basics for the understanding of the subject; 2) a number of compulsory 1-week training courses in toxicological disciplines, eg xe-nobiotic metabolism, organ toxicology, animal experimentation, safety pharmacology, will guarantee a deeper insight into important areas of the field; 3) a series of seminars entitled „Risk assessment of chemical hazards“, including excursions to chemical plants and waste disposal sites, will add a particularly applied aspect; 4) annual retreats will enhance the scientific exchange between the different research groups; 5) individual lab visits will be implemented into the thesis work of each candoc as fits, to allow him an insight into the work and organization of other scientific groups and to enhance methodological exchange between laboratories. In addition, candocs will attend national and international conferences to present their research. Together with the present training module, applications for two research modules will be filed, and the application of at least one more module is planned for October 1st, 2009. In these research modules we aim at the elucidation of basic mechanisms for the toxic behaviour of compounds, in order to provide the basis for rational risk prediction. The projects will address this at different levels of complexity. The first modul “The role of the endoplasmic reticulum in the metabolism of xenobiotics” will analyze specific molecular and subcellular features that dictate the toxicokinetics of compounds. The second module “Molecular and cellular biology of cytoprotective systems” will look at cellular defense mechanisms against toxic challenges. A third module “Multiple stressor effects” presently under development will address the combinatorial effects of simultaneous toxic challenges. In each case, high quality basic research pro-jects will be carried out, teaching the candocs up-to-date research strategies and giving them access to cutting edge technologies.The ProDoc will be headed by a steering committee (the applicants) that will decide on the acceptance of candocs, the composition of their doctoral committee, the contents of the lecture series and the admission of new research modules to the program. Administrative support will be provided by the secretary of the spokesman.The initiative for this ProDoc application has been taken by the Xenobiotic and Environmental Risk Research Center (XERR), a center of competence run by the University of Zurich, the University of Basel and the Swiss Federal Insti-tute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), which is a part of the ETH domain. All applicants are members of the executive council of XERR. Furthermore, the main applicant is board member of the Swiss Society of Toxicology, and board member of the Commission for Toxicological Education of the German Society of Toxicology, thus strong interaction with and support by these National Societies for the ProDoc is granted. In particular, privileged access to the highly esteemed training courses run by these societies in collaboration has been negotiated for the candocs of the present proposal.
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