Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences

Our Mission

Develop toxicity testing strategies, modeling methods, and quantitative analytical tools to improve chemical safety assessments in order to enhance product stewardship and responsible care efforts.


The Hamner Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences aims to support and advance new human systems biology based approaches to chemical safety assessment. These approaches involve the development of new assays that use human cells or cells lines to characterize major “toxicity pathways,” dose response models to quantify when perturbations in toxicity pathways result in adverse events in cells and tissues, and in vitro to in vivo extrapolation tools to predict the level and duration of exposure that is likely to result in adverse events in humans.  The outcome of this research will be a revolutionary change in toxicity testing by focusing on the prediction of true windows of safety for chemicals at which adverse events can be avoided based on quantitative data and human biology.  A significant effect of this paradigm shift will be the reduction in the use of animals and a more conscientious use for targeted testing.  The Hamner Centers for Genomic Biology and Bioinformatics, Dose Response Modeling, and Human Health Assessment work together to achieve the goals of the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences. Overall, the Institute will enhance chemical product stewardship and responsible care efforts, as well as create the necessary tools to move the field of toxicology forward into a new era.

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Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences


Rebecca A. Clewell, Ph.D., Director

Rebecca A. Clewell, Ph.D., has more than 15 years’ experience in developing in silico and in vitro models to inform chemical safety assessments. Rebecca is currently the Director of the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences at The Hamner and the Principal Investigator and Program Manager for The Hamner’s Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century (TT21C) program, a long-term global consortium effort performed in collaboration with many industry and academic partners. The TT21C program leverages expertise in cell culture, molecular biology, bioinformatics and computational biology to develop novel in vitro and computational tools to address key risk assessment issues without resorting to animal testing. These goals are accomplished through the development of fit-for-purpose in vitro assays that encompass the relevant human biology and are predictive of alterations of cellular signaling processes (toxicity pathways) that may lead to adversity.  These assays provide data for computational systems biology pathway models, which together with in vitro-in vivo extrapolation (IV-IVE), provide a point of departure for safety assessments based solely on biologically validated in vitro data.  Dr. Clewell received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has received awards from the Biological Modeling and Risk Assessment Specialty Sections of the Society of Toxicology and the Genetics and Mutagenesis Society.  She has authored or co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as several book chapters.

Affiliated Scientists

Melvin E. Andersen, Ph.D., DABT, CIH

Sudin Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Edward L. LeCluyse, Ph.D.

Rebecca A. Clewell, Ph.D.

Jerry Campbell, Jr., Ph.D.

Harvey J. Clewell III, Ph.D., DABT

Miyoung Yoon, Ph.D.

Barbara A. Wetmore, Ph.D.

Qiang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

O. Joe Trask, B.S.

Chad Deisenroth, Ph.D.

Michael B. Black, Ph.D.

Patrick McMullen, Ph.D.

Pergentino Balbuena, Ph.D.

Kristina Wolf, Ph.D.

Michelle Miller, Ph.D.

Dan Kemp, Ph.D., DABT

Cory Strope, Ph.D.

Jenny Pedersen, Ph.D.