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NICEATM is an office within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Division of the National Toxicology Program (DNTP). NICEATM provides technical and scientific support for ICCVAM and ICCVAM working group activities, peer review panels, expert panels, workshops, and validation efforts.
In addition to providing support for ICCVAM, NICEATM:
Most traditional toxicity testing methods involve treating a laboratory animal with a test substance and observing adverse effects. This approach is expensive and time-consuming and raises concerns about the ethical use of animals and interspecies variability.
Tox21 is a collaboration among four U.S. federal agencies aimed at developing more efficient approaches to predict how chemicals may affect human health. Tox21 studies use assays that measure the effects of test chemicals on rodent and human cells, chemical interactions, and lower organisms. These assays are run at higher throughput and lower cost than traditional tests; in some cases, many thousands of chemicals can be tested in a few days. The goal of Tox21 is to use data from these assays to prioritize substances for further evaluation, inform understanding of mechanisms of action, and/or develop improved predictive models for toxicity.
Test approaches developed and data collected via this initiative may enable agencies to reduce reliance on animal data for assessing chemical safety. For example, in 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a plan to adopt high throughput screening assays and computational models for detecting and measuring estrogen receptor bioactivity as an alternative for three Tier 1 tests currently used in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program to assess estrogen receptor activity. This decision was based on a NICEATM and EPA evaluation that included Tox21 data.
The four agencies participating in the Tox21 collaboration are ICCVAM members:
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Warren Casey, Ph.D., DABT, Senior Toxicologist; Director
Elizabeth Maull, Ph.D., Toxicologist; Project Officer
NICEATM Contract Staff (Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc.)
David Allen, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Steven Morefield, M.D., Project Manager
Shannon Bell, Ph.D.
Neal Cariello, Ph.D.
Patricia Ceger, M.S., DABT
Xiaoqing Chang, Ph.D., DABT
Neepa Choksi, Ph.D.
Jon Hamm, Ph.D.
Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D.
Jason Pirone, Ph.D. (Sciome LLC subcontractor)
Catherine Sprankle, M.S.
Judy Strickland, Ph.D., DABT
Qingda Zang, Ph.D.