Monday, 12 December 2022 12:26

Working Group – a Portrait: Ignacio Tripodi - Computational Toxicology instead of animal testing Featured

InVitro+Jobs regularly presents scientists and their innovative research in the form of a "Working Group - a Portrait". It focuses on newly developed methods, their evaluation, and the outlook on which animal experimental approaches can be reduced and at best replaced according to the 3R principle (reduce, refine, replace).


Idea of an artificially recreated human.
Graphic: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay.

In this issue, we focus on Dr. Ignacio Tripodi of Sciome LLC. based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He is a bioinformatician developing computer programs for contemporary risk assessment that will lead to the reduction and, hopefully, long-term replacement of animal testing.

The researcher has developed a computer system to elucidate acute toxicity mechanisms without animal testing. The system is called MechSpy. It generates the most likely toxicity mechanisms by combining data from human biology, toxicology, and biochemistry with those of gene expressions from cells of human tissue. The model can predict simple, lucid toxicity mechanisms for both well-studied compounds and other chemicals for which the toxicity mechanism has not been as well known. The MechSpy computer model can be extended to include additional toxicity mechanisms or other human biology mechanisms.(1)

At the EUSAAT congress in Linz, the scientist presented another recent work. For this purpose, he uses information from so-called Adverse Outcome Pathways to let the computer analyze the effects of chemicals on the organism.

In the concept of Adverse Outcome Pathways, biological processes such as cell receptor binding of molecules lead to harmful effects in the organ, organism, or population via several sub-steps.