Toxicology & Preclinical Services

Our Mission

Conduct multidisciplinary in vitro and in vivo research to support toxicology and risk assessment, preclinical efficacy screening, biomarker and therapeutics targeting, and development/validation of new drug delivery technologies.


Darol E. Dodd, Ph.D., DABT, is a Hamner Senior Research Toxicologist, Director of the Division of Toxicology and Preclinical Studies, and Director of Research Support Services. Dr. Dodd conducts research in the adverse effects and mode of action of xenobiotics on laboratory animals or cell systems. Dr. Dodd has 30 years of experience directing and managing mammalian toxicology studies (acute, subchronic, chronic, genotoxic, carcinogenic, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and toxicokinetics) in compliance with testing guidelines for regulatory health effects and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards.

Research Capabilities

As a part of its respiratory research mission, The Hamner has specialized facilities dedicated to the study of inhaled chemical substances including radioactive compounds or pharmaceuticals via whole body or nose-only exposure systems. Equipment to generate and characterize aerosols ranging from nanoparticles to dusts is used for inhalation studies in conjunction with respiratory dosimetric modeling. A flexible animal facility also allows scientists to conduct studies by other routes of administration including oral gavage, parenteral administration, topical application, dosed feed or water, and intranasal or intratracheal instillation.

Preclinical efficacy and toxicology capabilities at The Hamner include efficacy testing of agents in short- and long-term bioassays and specialized mechanistic models (e.g. angiogenesis) to identify cancer preventive and therapeutic activities as well as their mechanism of action. These assays or models can also be used to identify surrogate biomarkers of early and intermediate cancer lesions, thereby providing an opportunity to target them for preventive or therapeutic modalities. Additional capabilities include health effects research of nanomaterials, genotoxicity of chemicals and identification of mutagens, carcinogens, and tumor promoters.