Invited Speaker Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Translating metabolomics from academic research to regulatory applications in chemical risk assessment (#111)

Mark Viant 1
  1. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, WEST MIDLANDS, United Kingdom

Abstract: probe the molecular responses to chemical exposure. While a proven approach in academia, this and other ‘omics technologies have not yet translated into applications in regulatory toxicology. It is widely accepted, however, that solutions must be found for the growing challenges in chemical risk assessment. These include how to safety assess large numbers of data-poor industrial chemicals and how to incorporate more ‘biological effects’ measurements into hazard assessments that have traditionally relied too heavily on predicting toxicity from chemical structure. The buzzword in regulatory toxicology is NAMs - new approach methodologies - to accelerate the pace of chemical risk assessment. The European Chemicals Agency has referred to NAMs as methods that bring greater robustness, throughput and/or mechanistic knowledge into risk assessment, enabling more relevant decision making for human health and the environment. My presentation will introduce metabolomics - a NAM - and then describe how we are collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to translate this methodology, and other ‘omics technologies, towards regulatory application. This will include discussing the perceived and real challenges to using ‘omics data in chemical risk assessment. I will highlight the need for - and recent progress - in applying omics to ‘grouping and read-across’, a commonly used approach for filling data gaps in chemical risk assessment; in establishing molecular biomarkers as predictors of adversity; and in establishing transparent reporting frameworks for omics-derived toxicity data. I will also introduce an untapped strength of metabolomics, to be able to reveal insights into toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, simultaneously. My talk will conclude with the lessons learnt from navigating this path from academic research towards regulatory science.