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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Biochemical Toxicology

Biochemical Toxicology

Director: Frederick A. Beland, Ph.D.

The Division of Biochemical Toxicology conducts fundamental and applied research specifically designed to define the biological mechanisms of action underlying the toxicity of products regulated by, or of interest to, the Centers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This research is focused on measuring the toxicities and risk of cancer related to specific chemicals and the introduction of new techniques to enable regulatory agencies to evaluate better the risks associated with exposure to chemicals. The risk-assessment research is firmly rooted in mechanistic and exposure studies focused on the understanding of toxicological endpoints. This approach allows greater confidence in the subsequent risk assessments. 

FDA Employee working in Lab

Research within the Division capitalizes on scientific knowledge in the areas of:

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic and analytical chemistry
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Nutritional biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Phototoxicology
  • Computational risk-assessment methods
  • Pharmacology 


A major theme within the Division continues to be toxicological assessments on on compounds nominated by FDA for evaluation by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program (NIEHS/NTP). This focus reflects NCTR’s superb animal facilities supported by a multidisciplinary staff of scientists with strong research experience, which allows toxicological assessments to be conducted in a rigorous manner to address FDA’s needs. These studies currently serve as the benchmark by which toxicological assessments are made by FDA,other federal agencies, and international regulatory bodies. In addition to providing basic information on toxicological endpoints, such as cancer, these experiments form the basis for studies to determine if the response detected in the experimental model is applicable to humans

NCTR's Annual Report contains information on the latest accomplishments and plans for the Division of Biochemical Toxicology as well as project and publication listings.