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EPA Establishes Computational Toxicology Program and Website

NEW YORK, June 3 (GenomeWeb News) - The US Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is creating a computational toxicology program, and plans to work with other organizations to eventually make the program national.


Robert Kavlock, who is currently the director of the reproductive toxicology division of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory at the EPA, will chair the new program's implementation and steering committee.


According to an official statement, the goals of the program are to "identify chemicals that have the potential to be hazardous and should be tested; select the most effective tests for studying the chemicals, and determine the best sequence of testing."


Kavlock told GenomeWeb News that the program will leverage existing collaborations the EPA's Office of Research and Development has with federal agencies and industry, as well as seek out new collaborations.


Specific existing government collaborators include the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Partners within the DOE include the Joint Genome Institute (for genomic sequencing), Sandia National Laboratories (informatics), and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (metabonomics), Kavlock said. The goal of the NIEHS partnership is to create a toxicogenomics database, he added.


Private collaborators include IBM for informatics and molecular modeling software, and Affymetrix for applications related to its gene chip technology. More information about the initiative can be found at its newly established website.


For further details on the EPA's efforts in this area, see the 01-12-04 issue of  BioInform.