Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences

Our Mission

Develop toxicity testing strategies, dose response modeling methods, and quantitative analytical tools to increase the accuracy and decrease uncertainties in chemical safety assessments.


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, Human Health Assessment, and Preclinical Safety and Efficacy 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

Russell S. Thomas, Ph.D., Director


Russell S. Thomas, Ph.D., serves as Director of The Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences and is a Hamner Senior Investigator. Dr. Thomas completed his M.S. in radiation ecology and Ph.D. in toxicology at Colorado State University. Following his doctoral studies, he performed postdoctoral research in molecular biology and genomics at the McArdle Cancer Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Thomas has worked at The Hamner for the past eight years, where his research interests have focused on the development and application of genomic technologies and bioinformatic tools to toxicology and chemical risk assessment. His academic and professional honors include the Society of Toxicology Achievement Award (2009), Honorable Mention for Society of Toxicology Board of Publications Best Paper Award (2009), and Best Papers Advancing the Science of Risk Assessment by the Risk Assessment Specialty Section (2007 and 2008).

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

Melvin E. Andersen, Ph.D., serves as Associate Director of The Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences and is a Hamner Senior Investigator. He is also the inaugural Charles E. Hamner, Jr. Distinguished Fellow.  During his 40-year career in toxicology and risk assessment, Dr. Andersen has developed biologically realistic models pertaining to the uptake, distribution, metabolism, and biological effects of toxic chemicals and drugs, and applied these models to safety evaluations and quantitative health risk assessments. His research has pioneered new uses of pharmacokinetic and mechanistic data in risk assessment programs. In 2002, Dr. Andersen was recognized as a “highly cited” scientist by the Institute for Scientific Information. He has served on numerous committees and advisory boards, including the Committee on Toxicity Testing and Assessment of Environmental Agents at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that produced the report: Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy. Dr. Andersen received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cornell in 1971. He is the author of 400 published papers and book chapters and has co-edited two books on quantitative modeling, Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetics: Science and Applications in 2005 and Quantitative Modeling in Toxicology in 2010.

Affiliated Scientists

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

Sudin Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Jerry Campbell, Jr., Ph.D.

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

Edward L. LeCluyse, Ph.D.

Kyoungju Choi, Ph.D.

Rebecca A. Clewell, Ph.D.

Russell S. Thomas, Ph.D.

Jingbo Pi, M.D., Ph.D.

Barbara A. Wetmore, Ph.D.

Miyoung Yoon, Ph.D.

Yuching Yang, Ph.D.

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

Joshua A. Harrill, Ph.D.

Longlong Yang, Ph.D., Senior Bioinformatics Research Associate

Michael B. Black, Ph.D., Bioinformatics Associate

Joe Trask, B.S., Head, Cellular Imaging Core


Postdoctoral Fellows

Pergentino Balbuena, Ph.D.

Chad R. Deisenroth, Ph.D.

Zhenhong Li, Ph.D.

Anne E. Loccisano, Ph.D.

Patrick McMullen, Ph.D.

Filipe Muhale, Ph.D.

Bin Sun, Ph.D.

Peng Xue, Ph.D.