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  9. NCTR Division of Biochemical Toxicology
  1. NCTR Research Offices and Divisions

NCTR Division of Biochemical Toxicology Also referred to as: DBT


NCTR Division of Biochemical Toxicology Word Cloud

Division Director: Frederick A. Beland, Ph.D.

Meet the Principal Investigators — Biochemical Toxicology

Bisphenol A: Toxicology and Pharmacokenetic Data to Inform Ongoing Safety Assessments
Presented by K. Barry Delclos, Ph.D.

Watch the Recorded Presentation

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 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. 

Research Theme

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Research within the division is centered on quantifying the toxicities and carcinogenic risks associated with specific chemicals and introducing new risk-assessment techniques to enable regulatory agencies to evaluate the risks associated with exposure to chemicals. The Division of Biochemical Toxicology capitalizes on scientific knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, organic and analytical chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, nutritional biochemistry, toxicology, phototoxicology, computational modeling and simulation-based risk assessment methods, and pharmacology. 


2019 Select Accomplishments

Effect of Carcinogens on Transcriptomic and Epigenetic Alterations in Liver Cells

NCTR scientists investigated the utility of high-throughput microarray gene expression and next-generation sequencing for the in vitro identification of genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens. This approach may substantially enhance the identification and assessment of potential liver carcinogens. The increasing number of man-made chemicals in the environment that may pose a carcinogenic risk highlights the need for developing reliable time- and cost-effective approaches for carcinogen detection and identification. These results have been published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Epigenome-Wide Association Study of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Based on Ethnicity 

NCTR scientists published findings from an epigenome-wide association study of lupus and non-lupus patients, and within those populations examined methylation profiles between African-American and European-American women. In addition, they studied the SLE disease activity status of those individuals — those with less disease (SLE score<6) to those with increased disease (SLE score>6). Different DNA profiles were observed in genes involved in the Type-1 interferon pathway in lupus versus age-matched control subjects. Furthermore, African-American women with lupus had a more robust DNA profile than European women with lupus. The identification of these epigenetic biomarkers can greatly improve the diagnosis of lupus. These results have been published in Journal of Autoimmunity.

Scientist Chosen as Advisor at International Agency for Research on Cancer Meetings

Frederick Beland, Ph.D., Director of NCTR’s Division of Biochemical Toxicology was selected in 2019 to serve as advisor for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) meetings. According to its web site, IARC is the specialized cancer research agency of the World Health Organization and is a multidisciplinary research institute with expertise in epidemiology, laboratory sciences, biostatistics, and bioinformatics. Scientists must meet rigorous requirements to be eligible for selection and generally have published significant research related to carcinogenicity of environmental, behavioral, or occupational factors that can increase the risk of human cancer. They may also have expertise in carcinogen testing and/or in carcinogen-hazard evaluation.


2020 Select Research Projects

  • Identification of Mechanistic Biomarkers of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid-Induced Hepatocarcinogenesis
  • Stimulate Innovation in Clinical Evaluations and Personalized Medicine to Improve Patient Outcomes with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Mutational Signatures of Acrylamide and Glycidamide
  • Thermal Inactivation of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins in Milk
  • Percutaneous Absorption of the Sunscreen Component Avobenzone
  • Development of a Multi-Pathway Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Model for Nicotine in Humans
  • Animal Models of Pregnancy to Address Medical Countermeasures for Influenza and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Threats in a "At Risk" Population of Pregnant Women
  • Determination of Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Nanomaterials of Interest to the FDA and Mechanism of Action
  • Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms in Re-Expression of ER, PR, and HER2 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Effects of FDA Approved Epigenetic Drugs, and Dietary Agents and Nicotine

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National Center for Toxicological Research
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