Overview of the Committee on Emerging Issues and Data on Environmental Contaminants

The Committee on Emerging Issues and Data on Environmental Contaminants was convened by the National Research Council (NRC) at the request of NIEHS. The committee serves to provide a public forum for communication between government, industry, environmental groups, and the academic community about emerging issues in the environmental health sciences. At present, the committee is focused on toxicogenomics and its applications in environmental and pharmaceutical safety assessment, risk communication, and public policy. A primary function of this committee is to sponsor workshops on issues of interest in the evolving field of toxicogenomics. These workshops are developed by ad hoc NRC committees largely composed of members from the standing committee.

In addition, the standing committee benefits from input from the Federal Liaison Group. The group, chaired at the time of the meeting by Samuel Wilson, of NIEHS, consists of representatives from various federal agencies with interest in toxicogenomic technologies and applications. Members of the Federal Liaison Group are listed in Appendix C of this report.

The workshop agenda (see Appendix B) had two related sections. Part 1 of the workshop, on current validation strategies and associated issues, provided background presentations on several components essential to the technical validation of toxicogenomic experiments including experimental design, reproducibility, and statistical analysis. In addition, this session featured a presentation on regulatory considerations in the validation of toxicogenomic technologies. The presentations in Part 2 of the workshop emphasized the validation approaches used in published studies where microarray technologies were used to evaluate a chemical’s mode of action.3

This summary is intended to provide an overview of the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop. This summary only describes those subjects discussed at the workshop and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the field. To provide greater depth and insight into the presentations from Part 1 of the workshop,


Mode of action refers to the pharmacologic or toxicologic end point or event in an organism that is elicited by a compound.

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