ized genetic information about increased risk, the most effective methods of informed consent and data sharing, and what needs to be communicated.


Given the complexity of toxicogenomics, the generation, analysis, and interpretation of toxicogenomic information represents a challenge even in the scientific community and requires the collaborative interdisciplinary efforts of scientific teams of specialists. Therefore, it is essential that education and training in toxicogenomics become a continuous process that reflects the rapid developments in these new technologies. There is a need to develop education and training programs for health professionals, regulators, attorneys and judges, persons communicating to the public, and scientists in training.

Recommendation 14: Develop education and training programs relevant to toxicogenomic applications to predictive toxicology.

The following specific steps meet this recommendation:

  1. Conduct educational initiatives to raise awareness of the general public, vulnerable subgroups, and health professionals about toxicogenomic findings that can affect health.

  2. Establish a training program for regulators, attorneys, and judges to ensure a basic understanding of the generation and interpretation of toxicogenomic datasets, as applied in regulatory decision making.

  3. For media and experts in communication, provide training that may include short courses on what types of toxicogenomic information will be helpful for the public to understand and how to explain the technical information in an understandable way.

  4. For new scientists, it may be appropriate to develop programs at the master’s and Ph.D. levels that include bioinformatic and toxicogenomic applications in toxicology curricula.

  5. For scientists not specializing in toxicogenomics—such as epidemiologists, environmental scientists, and physicians—and for institutions, include didactic instruction in degree programs and curricula, with the goal of educating them on the principles and practice of toxicogenomics.

  6. Appropriate federal agencies should develop “points to consider” that identify and discuss ethical, legal, and social issues relevant to individual researchers, institutional review boards, research institutes, companies, and funding agencies participating in toxicogenomic research and applications.

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