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National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterFebruary 2017

NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods

By Catherine Sprankle

NICEATM hosts webinar on chemoinformatics techniques

On January 24, NICEATM presented a webinar on “Incorporating Chemical Information: Resources, Limitations, and Characterizing the Domain of Applicability for 21st Century Toxicity Testing.” The webinar, viewed by about 200 people in government, academia, and industry, emphasized the importance of understanding the structural and functional diversity of chemicals used in developing and validating alternative approaches to traditional in vivo toxicology test methods. It featured next-generation chemoinformatics techniques that are being used to curate and fully characterize chemical lists, and highlighted case studies where such techniques have been applied successfully. The speakers were Denis Fourches, Ph.D., from the Bioinformatics Research Center at North Carolina State University and Kamel Mansouri, Ph.D., from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Computational Toxicology.

The webinar hosted by NCCT was the third Communities of Practice webinar presented by NICEATM on behalf of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods. ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinars focus on current topics relevant to the development of new toxicity test methods and support ICCVAM’s mission to provide guidance to test method developers and facilitate collaborations that promote the development of new test methods.

More information on the webinar is available on the NICEATM website at

NICEATM to present webinar series on zebrafish screening

NICEATM will present a webinar series in February and March on “Using Informatics to Improve Data Analysis of Chemical Screening Assays Conducted in Zebrafish.” The series will consider the issues of protocol variability in zebrafish screening studies and how some of these issues might be addressed by implementation of standardized nomenclature systems, also known as ontologies.

  • Webinar 1, Introduction to Zebrafish Screening (February 2), will provide an overview of the NTP’s Systematic Evaluation of the Application of Zebrafish in Toxicology (SEAZIT) program and review the variability found in zebrafish screening data.
  • Webinar 2, Ontologies 101 (February 16), will define ontologies and describe how they are employed to improve data analysis.
  • Webinar 3, A Review of Relevant Ontologies and Application of Reasoners (March 2), will provide information on relevant zebrafish, phenotype, and anatomy ontologies and provide an example of the application of ontologies and reasoners.

All webinars will begin at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinars are free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. The webinar series is being organized by NICEATM in support of SEAZIT. A link to registration, details about all webinars, and more information about SEAZIT can be found on the NICEATM website at

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The Update Newsletter is produced by NTP Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review. The text is not copyrighted and can be reprinted without permission. If you use parts of the Update Newsletter in your publication, we ask that you provide us with a copy for our records. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Director of Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review and Editor-in-Chief: Mary Wolfe | Managing Editor: Anna Lee Mosley