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Toxicology Branch

Research Summary

The Toxicology Branch — headed by Acting Branch Chief Paul M. Foster, Ph.D. - provides administrative oversight and performance for a number of activities at the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Toxicology Branch staff members ( are responsible for the following functions:

The diagram is a representation of the variety of materials the Toxicology Branch tests as well as the many aspects of biology research it covers. Some of the examples in the graphic include endocrine disruptors, cell phones, cancer and fetal development.
  • Design, interpretation, review, and reporting of general toxicology and carcinogenicity studies usually in rodent models as well as studies to evaluate targeted effects on the immune system, reproduction, development and interference with chromosomes and DNA for substances studied by the NTP.
  • Integration of information derived from studies of absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion of test substances within the body and the development of mathematical models that utilize this information in the extrapolation and prediction of findings across different species and exposure conditions. Branch staff also analyzes and develops models using information derived from studies of gene expression in different tissues as well as the reporting of all these specialized toxicology studies.
  • Development of new methodologies for toxicological assessments.
  • Guidance on the proper utilization of new types of toxicology information in hazard identification, hazard characterization and regulatory decision-making.

The current portfolio of activities ranges from evaluations of the potential health impact of cell phone radiation, medicinal herbs, environmental substances that can mimic or interfere with endogenous hormones, occupational exposures, and gene therapies, to the study of mold and novel substances such as nanoscale materials. The NTP invites interested members of the public and groups to nominate substances for possible testing. All nominations go through a formal review and selection process (, which includes opportunity for public input, and studies are initiated as time and resources permit.

Scientific Support Staff

Bonnie Allen
Administrative Specialist
Tel (919) 541-3449
Fax (919) 541-4255

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Last Reviewed: September 12, 2008