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Centers of Excellence

Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
From March 13-16, 2016, many of our colleagues attended the SOT annual conference in New Orleans. A few of them are pictured, from left to right: Lauren Gloekler, Christina Trusty, Derek Dreschel, Marisa Kreider, Aaron Chapman, Matt Abramson. A full list of our presenters can be seen here. We received great feedback on our presentations and posters.

In particular, we are pleased to announce that Bethany Winans, Ph.D., received the Best Paper of the Year. Her paper, titled "Linking the aryl hydrocarbon receptor with altered DNA methylation patterns and developmentally induced aberrant antiviral CD8+ T cell responses," was nominated by a researcher at Michigan State University and was selected from among four other nominated papers. The SOT cited its outstanding contribution to understanding the impact that early life exposure to pollutants has on the developing immune system.

Our staff fully enjoyed the conference, as well as the great ambiance of the city. We extend our congratulations to all of the presenters at the conference. We would like to thank the SOT organizers for hosting us. We would also like to thank everyone who took time to visit our posters and presentations. If you have any further questions, please see our presenter Q&A series, Parts I, II, III, IV and V, or reach out to the authors directly. Their contact information can be found in the professionals section of our website.  
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

For our final featured presenter in our SOT spotlight series, Christina Trusty shares thoughts on her recent poster presentation below.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Please read below for more information from Evan Beckett on his recent presentation, as we continue to spotlight our SOT 2016 presenters.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

In a continuation of our series spotlighting our SOT presenters, please read below for Matt Abramson's thoughts on his recent poster presentation.  

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
As a follow up to last week's blog, Bethany Winans answered a few questions regarding her upcoming SOT presentation:  

1. What's the title of your presentation and when is the presentation/poster session?

QSAR Modeling Toxicity Predictions of the Constituents of Crude 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) and Structurally Related Chemical. Bethany will present on Monday, March 14th in the afternoon session

2. What was the scope of your research?

Approximately two years ago, a mixture containing crude MCHM was accidentally released into the Elk River in West Virginia, affecting the drinking water supply of ~300,000 people. We used quantitative structure-activity-relationship ((Q)SAR) modeling and structural alerts to predict the toxicity of the constituents of crude MCHM and other structurally related chemicals. For those constituents for which toxicity data exist, we compared the (Q)SAR predictions to the toxicity data to assess the applicability of the models for these compounds.

3. What did you find?

Overall, the constituents of crude MCHM and structurally related compounds were predicted to have low to moderate acute toxicity, low potential for skin and eye irritation, and low mutagenic potential; these findings are consistent with available toxicity data. Some of the chemicals were predicted to have the potential to be skin sensitizers or associated with developmental toxicity, but these predictions were not supported by the animal data, suggesting that the models may not be valid for predicting these endpoints for these chemicals. Predictions from (Q)SAR modeling and experimental data for the constituents of crude MHCM and structurally related compounds suggest that these chemicals pose little risk to human health at concentrations likely experienced following the Elk River spill.

4. What the next steps/what other research is needed?

Following the Elk River spill, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) performed a number of toxicity tests on crude MCHM and its constituents. The NTP recently completed these studies, and noted that "[th]e collected findings from the studies supported the adequacy of the drinking water screening levels established at the time of the spill [1 ppm in water], and found very little reason for concern about long-term health effects" (West Virginia Chemical Spill: NTP Research Response and Findings, February 2016, p. 1).

This type of predictive toxicological evaluation can be used in other situations as well. (Q)SAR modeling can be used to predict the toxicity of a number of compounds, and provides a rapid screening-level assessment to identify potential toxicological endpoints for chemicals of concern.

Continue checking our site to read more from our scientists!
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