The Toxicogenomics Research Consortium (TRC)(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/centers/trc/index.cfm) was established by the NIEHS in 2001 to advance the field of toxicology through the application of gene expression technologies. The TRC represents a unique collaborative partnership between academia, government and industry. The Cooperative Research Members of the TRC include five academic institutions (Duke, FHCRC/UW, MIT, OHSU, UNC) and the NIEHS Microarray Group. Research conducted by the TRC is supported by two contracts, one in microarray technology (Paradigm Genetics, Inc.(http://www.paradigmgenetics.com/) ) and another in bioinformatics (Science Applications International Corp., SAIC(http://www.saic.com/) ). The TRC hosts two bi-annual scientific meetings a year. The UNC Program in Toxicogenomics(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/centers/trc/members/unc.cfm) will host the next open scientific meeting on December 5 - 8, 2004. The meeting will highlight recent advances in the field of toxicogenomics made by TRC investigators and researchers in other academic, government and industry programs.
The primary meeting objectives are to:
Bring together researchers in toxicogenomics from all levels of academia, government and industry to promote information sharing and collaborative research efforts in toxicogenomics
Highlight current advances and define opportunities and future directions for the field of toxicogenomics
The latter part of the 20th century was marked by a series of rapid advances in genomics-based biotechnology. One such advance was the emergence of the field of toxicogenomics - the collection, interpretation and storage of information about gene and protein activity in order to identify toxic substances in the environment and those populations at the greatest risk of environmental diseases. The National Center for Toxicogenomics (NCT) and the Toxicogenomics Research Consortium (TRC) were created by NIEHS to promote the evolution of novel technologies and their use to understand adverse environmental effects on human health. To this end, the NCT and TRC will use toxicogenomics methods and apply the collective effort of many individuals and institutions to develop and populate a knowledge base on Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS). The promise of toxicogenomics is to build an unprecedented body of knowledge that can be used to guide future research, improve environmental health and aid in regulatory decision making.
The promise of toxicogenomics is no smaller than the challenges with which it confronts us. Toxicogenomics requires the amassing and assimilation of volumes of toxicology data never before attempted. Large numbers of drugs, chemicals and environmental agents must be classified and diverse species with unique biological properties must be catalogued. Highly complex biochemical variation must be described as a function of time, dose and developmental stage. Human disease susceptibilities determined by multiple genetic traits must be defined. All these factors are critical to understanding the consequences of toxicological effects on human health. In addition, the challenge of managing, analyzing, integrating and storing massive amounts of data demands unprecedented computational resources and novel technological tools.
The initial goal of the TRC is to conduct a series of cooperative gene expression experiments using shared and complementary microarray platforms within the Cooperative Research Members (CRMs). The collaborative experiments will be used to establish quality standards for generating reproducible gene expression data across technology platforms and research centers. This will be a unique contribution to the field of toxicogenomics that can best be achieved through cooperative efforts of the Consortium members. This will also lay the foundation for additional toxicology experiments conducted in academia, government and industry.
Meeting Scientific Foci
Meeting presentations will highlight advances and opportunities in four primary areas. These include:
Disease Mechanisms: Presentations will address the application of gene expression profiling technologies to define the mechanistic underpinnings of environmentally related diseases. Specific emphasis will be given to genetic and environmental components of disease, elucidation of disease pathways and networks, and development of disease models.
Susceptibility: Presentations will concentrate on individual and population susceptibilities to exposure and disease as derived from genetic and environmental analysis and integration. Specific topics will include the identification of gene targets and factors mediating susceptibility, and gender- strain- and species-susceptibility.
Comparative Genomics: Presentations will focus on comparative and integrated responses of organisms to environmental stimuli. Emphasis will be on cross-species comparisons of biological responses to environmental factors at the gene, transcription, and protein level and their integration in model organisms; conserved biological components, pathways and responses to environmental factors; and computational tools to support comparative toxicogenomics.
Predictive Toxicology: Presentations will highlight the development and application of gene expression, proteomics and metabolomics technologies in predictive toxicology. Specific focus will be on the development of model systems and research tools, and linkage of predictive responses to disease phenotype.
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/fc/(http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/fc/)
UNC Chapel Hill
Ivan Rusyn, M.D., Ph.D.
UNC Contact, UNC Chapel Hill
Air travel: The Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) airport is within 15 miles of Chapel Hill, where the UNC campus and conference facilities are located.
Lodging: No more rooms are available at the Carolina Inn.
Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel(http://www.starwood.com/sheraton/search/hotel_detail.html?propertyID=1124)
One Europa Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Tel (919) 969-2172
Fax (919) 942-3557
A limited block of rooms has been reserved at a special rate of $129 (single or double) per night plus tax. Once all blocked rooms have been reserved, regular rates will apply. Please be certain that you have guaranteed your reservation at the Sheraton Chapel Hill with your credit card BEFORE November 5, 2004. Please indicate that you are attending the Toxicogenomics meeting. Online booking is available for the conference attendees who wish to stay at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel. This hotel provides local shuttle service free of charge and will make every effort to accommodate the transportation needs for the conference attendees.
Best Western University Inn(http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/productInfo.do?propertyCode=34086)
1310 Raleigh Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2118
Tel (919) 932-3000
Fax (919) 968-6513
A limited block of rooms has been reserved at a special rate of $78/82 (single/double) per night plus tax. Once all blocked rooms have been reserved, regular rates will apply. Please be certain that you have guaranteed your reservation at the Sheraton Chapel Hill with your credit card BEFORE November 5, 2004. Please indicate that you are attending the Toxicogenomics meeting. Online booking is NOT available, please call the hotel directly. This hotel is within walking distance from the Friday Center (< 1 mile) and also provides local shuttle service.