Improved alignment of the AOP concept in toxicology with the needs of risk assessment
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The European Chemical Industry Council(Cefic), in conjunction with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Association of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), and the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES), is offering a €100.000 award to support promising new research in the field of mammalian and environmental toxicology, with a specific focus on the improved alignment of the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) concept in toxicology with the needs of risk assessment.
There is little doubt that the AOP concept has had a positive impact on mammalian and environmental toxicology. Benefits thus far have included a clearer articulation of modes of action, and the identification of novel approaches to hazard identification. The AOP concept framework provides for data interpretation and certainly enables utilisation of data gained from new approach methods (NAM).
However, if the value of AOPs is going to be realised fully then there is a requirement that they are better aligned with the needs of risk assessment. For this purpose AOPs should reflect dose metrics (quantitative AOPs), particularly in the contexts of threshold levels required for progression along the pathway, i.e. within the individual key event relationships. Moreover, biological pathways, including those resulting in adverse health effects, are not linear or unidirectional and are subject to control by inherent regulatory mechanisms. AOPs should ideally accommodate this complexity, and the evolution of AOP networks with inter-connecting pathway maps is already thought to be the basis for chemical safety-assessment in the future. Yet, few of these networks fed by quantitative AOPs are currently available.
The above are just some examples of how the future trajectory of AOPs might better serve the needs of risk assessment. The challenge now is to develop a discrete research programme that will facilitate AOP further development for quantitative risk assessment purposes.
We are, therefore seeking research proposals focused on the development of new approaches that, by enhancing the applicability of the AOP concept, will improve risk assessment of chemicals at relevant dose/exposure levels.
Applications are open until March 18, 2018.
The objective of this LRI Award is to stimulate innovative research, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and new approaches which will advance the development and application of new and existing approaches in the assessment of chemical safety.
The research should be complementary to the Long-range Research Initiative’s (LRI) objectives, a chemical industry funded programme that aims at enhancing scientific knowledge to help protect health and the environment. More information is available on the LRI website www.cefic-lri.org.
The award is intended for a European-based scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection.
The presentation of the three finalists and the selection of the winner will take place in Brussels in early June 2018.
The winning proposal of the LRI Innovative Science Award will be officially presented at the Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop on 14 November 2018. The 2018 Awardee will be expected to present the results of his/her research supported by the Award at the Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop in November 2019.
Who can apply?
European-based scientists with less than ten years post-doctoral experience. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection. There is no age limit for applicants. Previous Award winners are not eligible to apply.
How does it work?
In January every year the topic is announced with a call for entries on the LRI website. Applicants must submit a 2-page proposal by mid March. Short-listed researchers are then requested to send in a more detailed description of their work, after which the three finalists are selected to present their proposal before a jury panel in Brussels. The LRI Innovative Science Award is officially presented at the LRI Annual Workshop in November, and the Awardee is invited to present the results of the research supported by the Award at the LRI Annual Workshop the following year.
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