Accelerating the development of 21st-century toxicology: Outcome of a human toxicology project consortium workshop

Martin L. Stephens, Craig Barrow, Melvin E. Andersen, Kim Boekelheide, Paul L. Carmichael, Michael P. Holsapple, Mark Lafranconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) report on "Toxicity Testing in the 21st century" calls for a fundamental shift in the way that chemicals are tested for human health effects and evaluated in risk assessments. The new approach would move toward in vitro methods, typically using human cells in a highthroughput context. The in vitro methods would be designed to detect significant perturbations to "toxicity pathways," i.e., key biological pathways that, when sufficiently perturbed, lead to adverse health outcomes. To explore progress on the report's implementation, the Human Toxicology Project Consortium hosted a workshop on 9-10 November 2010 in Washington, DC. The Consortium is a coalition of several corporations, a research institute, and a non-governmental organization dedicated to accelerating the implementation of 21st-century Toxicology as aligned with the NRC vision. The goal of the workshop was to identify practical and scientific ways to accelerate implementation of the NRC vision. The workshop format consisted of plenary presentations, breakout group discussions, and concluding commentaries. The program faculty was drawn from industry, academia, government, and public interest organizations. Most presentations summarized ongoing efforts to modernize toxicology testing and approaches, each with some overlap with the NRC vision. In light of these efforts, the workshop identified recommendations for accelerating implementation of the NRC vision, including greater strategic coordination and planning across projects (facilitated by a steering group), the development of projects that test the proof of concept for implementation of the NRC vision, and greater outreach and communication across stakeholder communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • In vitro alternatives
  • National Research Council
  • Safety assessment
  • Toxicity testing in the 21st century

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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