Expert Report

Application of Modern Toxicology Approaches for Predicting Acute Toxicity for Chemical Defense (2015)

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) is faced with an overwhelming task in evaluating chemicals that could potentially pose a threat to its deployed personnel. There are over 84,000 registered chemicals, and testing them with traditional toxicity-testing methods is not feasible in terms of time or money. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to develop new approaches to toxicity testing that incorporate advances in systems biology, toxicogenomics, bioinformatics, and computational toxicology.

This report provides an overall conceptual approach that DOD could use to develop a predictive-toxicology system. It suggests methods for integrating data and predictions, presents lessons learned from current high-throughput screening programs, and suggests some initial steps for DOD investment.