News & Events

SOT Continuing Education Course Registration Open

Gradient's Heather Lynch will co-chair a course at the 56th Annual Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting.  The course is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, from 1:15 PM–5:00 PM.  

Registration is open now through this link:

Course Title:  PM09 Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) and Risk Assessment of Environmental Chemicals: Applications, Complexities, and Novel Approaches

Chairperson(s): Heather Lynch, Gradient, Cambridge, MA; and Natasha Catlin, National Toxicology Program, Durham, NC.

Description:  The potential for developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) is a unique and critical consideration for product safety as well as for the derivation of environmental health criteria and occupational exposure levels (OELs) for chemicals. The establishment of safe levels of exposure that protect against DART effects remains a major challenge, due to factors such as the complexity of human reproductive and developmental processes, unique routes of exposure (e.g., breast milk), sensitive subpopulations (e.g., the fetus and pregnant women), and short duration windows of susceptibility (e.g., the period of organogenesis). The goal of this course is to provide the participant with an introduction to traditional and emerging DART assessment approaches, with a focus on their practical application in safety assessment and policy-making. The first presentation will provide an overview of the biology of the mammalian reproductive system and prenatal/early life development, focusing on physiological and timing-specific vulnerabilities of critical importance to risk assessment (RA). The second presentation will describe standard testing protocols for DART and provide information regarding requirements for industry. The third presentation will expand beyond traditional experimental approaches to assays designed to elucidate the mechanistic aspects of DART effects, including novel in vitro assays, and will discuss key considerations in the interpretation of the biological relevance of DART effects. The fourth presentation will then review the application of DART data to human health risk assessment of environmental chemicals, focusing on the consideration of these data in the derivation of toxicity criteria by US agencies. The final presentation will demonstrate the use of DART RA in industry, describing several practical screening approaches for assessing the potential for DART effects in the workplace. This course will be of broad interest to testing laboratories, general toxicologists, risk assessors, risk managers, industrial hygienists, and others seeking a better understanding of how DART data are generated and applied in hazard and risk assessment.

  • The Biology of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity for Risk Assessment. Jodi Flaws, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
  • DART Testing Protocols and Applications Within Industry. Reza Rasoulpour, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Targeted Approaches for DART Adverse Outcome Hypothesis Testing. John Rogers, US EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC.
  • DART Considerations in Regulatory Guidance and Policy: Toxicity Values and Susceptible Populations. Susan Makris, US EPA, Washington, DC.
  • Application of DART Risk Assessment: Protecting Workers from Chemical Exposures. Heather Lynch, Gradient, Cambridge, MA.