Boston University Superfund Research Program (BU SRP) grantee Stefano Monti, Ph.D., described his latest work – to develop a platform for predicting xenobiotic toxicity and carcinogenicity – to SRP staff September 17 at NIEHS. Monti, along with his colleague David Sherr, Ph.D., who joined the discussion via conference call, will launch a new collaborative research initiative with the NIEHS National Toxicology Program (NTP). This collaboration, builds on current genomic analysis technologies to develop affordable approaches to predict carcinogenicity, toxicity, and signaling mechanisms of thousands of environmental chemicals and mixtures.
Monti emphasized the need for carcinogenicity screening, noting that not enough attention is given to prevention, namely understanding chemicals before they are used by industry and released into the environment. According to his talk, more than 80,000 chemicals are in use in the Unites States, while only a small portion of them have been tested for safety.
With this project, Monti and Sherr are developing ways to predict the carcinogenicity or toxicity of chemicals based on messenger RNA expression. They will create models from chemicals with known effects so they can then use these profiles to predict the potential of new or untested chemicals to be a carcinogen or toxicant.
The talk sparked thoughtful discussion between SRP staff and BU SRP scientists. For more information about the collaborative work and SRP projects at Boston University, visit the BU SRP website.