B A. Merrick, Ph.D.
Acting Chief, National Toxicology Program Laboratory
Group Leader, Predictive Toxicology and Screening Group
Group Leader, Molecular Toxicology and Genomics Group
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop K2-17Durham, N.C. 27709
B. Alex Merrick Ph.D., leads the Predictive Toxicology and Screening Group (PTSG) in the NTP Laboratory. The group focuses on developing in vitro assays for use in chemical class characterization and high throughput screening. The PTSG works closely with colleagues in the Biomolecular Screening Branch in collaborative projects that aim to characterize the metabolic capability of cell lines used in the Tox21 Tox21 program. The PTSG is also developing other in vitro approaches into hepatocyte models that better incorporate xenobiotic metabolism such as HepaRG cells or cell types from other organs (e.g. renal proximal tubules epithelia). In addition, our group is focused on translating the results from the high throughput assays in Tox21 for use in chemical class characterization and testing prioritization. Tox21 is a collaboration between several federal agencies to research and test chemicals in a new way using high throughput or rapidly automated approaches to test thousands of chemicals at one time.
Initial efforts have focused evaluating the concordance between biological signatures and pathway alterations observed in vitro to biological signatures and pathway alterations in vivo. Recent efforts are focused on the evaluation of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation methods. The PTSG works with Tox21 partners in the National Center for Computational Toxicology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH.