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  1. NCTR Research Offices and Divisions

NCTR Office of Scientific Coordination Also referred to as: OSC

FDA Grand Rounds: Electron Microscopy, Still a Powerful Research Tool
Presented by Angel M. Paredes, Ph.D.

Watch the Recorded Presentation

About the Office


Provide the professional support necessary to conduct toxicology studies that support FDA’s and NCTR’s research mission, to include:

Research and Support Services

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry research and support are conducted using trained staff and state-of-the-art instrumentation for processing of a wide range of samples. Test articles and their metabolites are assayed in blood, tissues, or urine to provide measures of exposure and, for genotoxic compounds, DNA adducts are measured. The high quality of studies at NCTR is ensured by 1) verification of test-article identity and purity, 2) formulation of dosing solutions, 3) certification of concentration and stability of test articles in dosing solutions and vehicles, and 4) routine surveillance of animal study materials (bedding, water, and diet).

Experimental Support

Experimental Support staff provides computer-based support for animal studies. The staff reviews study protocols and works with research and support staff to enter study parameters in the animal data collection system, reviews data, and generates reports at the conclusion of the study. 

Microbiological Surveillance

The Microbiology Surveillance Laboratory staff ensures research animals, environments, food, bedding, and test articles are free from opportunistic pathogens and supports personnel health by routinely monitoring the microbiological quality of NCTR drinking water and environmental samples. They provide accurate and timely identification and characterization of microbes using advanced technologies including biochemical metabolism, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and NGS. The laboratory staff also supports other microbiology-related research studies from the research divisions.


FE-SEM)image of Salmonella inverness bacteria showing holes in the cell wall after treatment with distilled water for 182 days.
FE-SEM image of Salmonella inverness bacteria showing holes in the cell wall after treatment with distilled water for 182 days. (Courtesy: Dr. Angel Paredes with Anna Williams and Drs. Pierre Alusta and Dan Buzatu)

The NCTR/ORA NanoCore supports collaborative nanotechnology research within FDA and research between FDA and other government agencies and universities. This facility is well-equipped with advanced analytical equipment for nanomaterial assessment. Apart from these, laboratories are equipped for in vitro and in vivo biological studies. NanoCore research provides information on nanomaterial characterization and the safety of products containing nanomaterials in FDA-regulated products. This research data is also used in staff and reviewer training and in establishing standards for use by stakeholders developing nanotechnology products.


The Statistical Support staff provides traditional statistical support for the various toxicity studies conducted at NCTR. The services provided include statistical consultation during protocol development, statistical randomization, statistical analysis, and statistical reporting. 

Veterinary Services

Veterinary Services staff ensure the health and welfare of all animals used in research. The veterinarians participate in the review and monitoring of animal use through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). They advise scientists regarding study design, performing surgery on animals, and monitoring the overall health of the animal program. Veterinary Services also includes the Microbiology Surveillance support staff. This facility has been Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) accredited since 1977.

Onsite Support Contracts

NCTR maintains on-site contracts for animal care services, veterinary pathology services, and equipment maintenance services.

Animal Care Contract

NCTR maintains an on-site contract with trained and proficient staff to provide study support including husbandry, environmental enrichment of all animals, administration of test articles, sample collection, and data collection. The contractor works with the veterinary staff and the IACUC to ensure the health and welfare of the animals.

Pathology Services Contract

NCTR maintains an on-site pathology contract for veterinary pathology and histopathology services. The contractor maintains a staff of two full-time veterinary pathologists and a highly trained staff that provide NCTR with services including: clinical pathology, histopathology slide preparation, rigorous pathology examination, and complete histopathology and pathology reports for each study.

Equipment Maintenance and Repair Contract

NCTR maintains a contract for equipment maintenance and repair that supports the routine preventative maintenance and calibration of equipment, manufacture of minor equipment to support customized research needs, and repair of equipment that is not on a service agreement with the manufacturer.

Collaborations, Presentations, and Outreach

  • Updated FDALabel to version 2.8 with new features focusing on interface and search capability enhancements to make the tool more user-friendly and resourceful. This is a collaborative effort with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, NCTR’s Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, and OSC.
  • FDA Grand Rounds Presentation, “Electron Microscopy, Still a Powerful Research Tool” (Dr. Angel Paredes)
  • NanoDay Symposium 2023: “Continuous Manufacturing of Nanomaterials,” co-organized by NanoCore and CDER-Small Business and Industry Assistance.
  • Nanotechnology Workshop at Global Summit on Regulatory Science (GSRS23), chaired by Dr. Patri.
  • NanoCore staff gave three presentations at the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Meeting (Washington, D.C.), and two presentations at the ASTM E56 Committee Meeting (Denver, CO).

Resources for You

Contact Us

Contact Point
National Center for Toxicological Research
Food and Drug Administration
3900 NCTR Rd
Jefferson, AR 72079
Hours Available
(870) 543-7121

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