2023 Annual Meeting Report: Databases, Databases, and More Databases: An Exploration of Chemical Evaluation Tools

By Margaret Whittaker posted 05-11-2023 12:26


Pop Quiz: What are the first images that come to mind when you hear the words “ICE,” “toolbox,” or “dashboard”?

If you answered something akin to Michigan roads in March, a rusty toolchest in your garage, and/or your grandfather’s El Camino, then you definitely need to sign up for the SOT Continuing Education (CE) course “Tools Supporting Open Chemical Evaluations.” Presented during the 2023 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, this CE course was devoted to showcasing the application of leading freely accessible online databases and platforms.

Shannon Bell of RTI International set the stage for the course by contrasting traditional whole-animal testing methods based largely on physiological observations with new approach methods (NAMs) that draw from in silico and in vitro data sources designed to provide mechanistic insight into factors that may result in toxicity.

Donna Macmillan of Humane Society International gave course attendees a whirlwind tour of the OECD QSAR Toolbox, now 15 years old, and cited impressive statistics evidencing why many toxicologists are drawn to Toolbox: Toolbox hosts three million data points from 59 databases, indexes experimental data, supports read-across and QSAR (quantitative structure activity relationship) evaluations, and also predicts metabolites. Dr. Macmillan skillfully showed attendees how to assess the developmental toxicity of bisphenol A in ToolBox using a read-across approach.

Scott Auerbach from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) showed off NTP tools and data sources, including the NTP Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) database, which houses the entire NTP repository of data on chemicals studied by the program, and the NTP Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), which among other things, includes a physiologically based pharmacokinetic converter, easing the burden of converting external dose estimates to internal doses across blood and tissues.

Nisha Sipes from the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) unveiled version 2.2.0 of the CompTox dashboard that houses chemistry, hazard/bioactivity, and exposure/toxicokinetics data on an astounding 1,200,059 chemicals, along with many linked tools, such as the US EPA GenRA (generalized read-across) tool. The US EPA CompTox Resource Hub has links to 87 separate training modules, setting you up for success.

If you were unable to attend the Open Tools CE course, it is not too late! You can register for the course in late April when annual meeting CE courses are posted in SOT’s CEd-Tox Program.

This blog reports on the Continuing Education course titled “Tools Supporting Open Chemical Evaluations” that was held during the 2023 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. All 2023 Continuing Education courses were recorded and are available for virtual viewing through the SOT CEd-Tox online library. SOT Postdocs and Students and individuals from select countries receive free access to all CE courses.

This blog was prepared by an SOT Reporter and represents the views of the author. SOT Reporters are SOT members who volunteer to write about sessions and events in which they participate during the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. SOT does not propose or endorse any position by posting this article. If you are interested in participating in the SOT Reporter program in the future, please email SOT Headquarters.