Center for Dose Response Modeling
Qiang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Director
Dose response modeling is an integral component of the newly envisioned paradigm for toxicity testing in the new millennium. As one of the centers of the integrated Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences, CDRM carries the mission of developing computational systems biology tools to understand dose response relationships at the cellular and tissue level for environmental chemicals and drugs. By simulating chemical perturbations of intracellular signal transduction pathways and gene regulatory networks, the center’s research focuses particularly on inferring the shape of dose response curves in the low dose region which bears relevance to environmental exposures. Created to dovetail with both the Center for Genomic Biology and Bioinformatics (CGBB) and Center for Human Health Assessment (CHHA), CDRM utilizes signaling pathway maps extracted from high-throughput “-omics” data generated at CGBB for pathway model construction and uses tissue doses calculated with PK models developed at CHHA as perturbation input to drive cellular models of toxicity pathways. CDRM collaborates closely with experimental teams at the Hamner Institutes on experimental design and prioritization, data acquisition and interpretation, and model validation and prediction. As dose response modeling based on computational systems biology is an emerging field in the toxicology and chemical safety community, CDRM is also at the educational front to disseminate novel quantitative tools to practicing and prospective toxicologists.
Training and Education
CDRM has begun to offer short courses in computational systems biology in the context of dose response modeling and chemical safety assessment. The course targeted a diverse group of toxicologists and risk assessment professionals from government agencies, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and academia (see the Dose Response Modeling course page for detailed course material). An abridged version of the course has also recently been given to graduate students from programs in toxicology, pharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry at Michigan State University. The Center will carry on these educational endeavors as systems biology tools continue to evolve.