May Webinar: Ivan Rusyn, “Exploring the characterization of human variability with in vivo and in vitro experimental models”

On Monday, May 21st from 12:00 – 1:00pm EST, PROTECT will host the fourth webinar of the 2017-2018 academic schedule. This webinar will feature Ivan Rusyn, Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, Director of an NIEHS T32 training program in “Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology,”and Director of a Superfund Research Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. Professor Rusyn will speak on “Exploring the characterization of human variability with in vivo and in vitro experimental models.”

For information on joining the webinar, please contact Melanie Smith at m.smith@northeastern.edu.

Read on to learn more about the webinar and about Professor Rusyn’s impressive bio.

Abstract: The potential of chemicals and drugs to cause adverse health events is evaluated through a process of analysis and synthesis of the experimental and observational data, as well as model predictions. Most often, the desired outcome of the exercise of safety assessment is a quantitative estimate of what level of exposure is deemed to be “safe” to humans, a challenging task given the complexities and uncertainties in the database that is available to the risk assessors and regulators. While a number of systems biology approaches have expanded the boundaries of our understanding of the potential on- and off-target effects of chemicals, toxicity has usually been, and still is, evaluated in the test systems (experimental animals or in vitro) that are homogeneous in most aspects, including genetics. This presentation will describe a number of population-based in vivo and in vitro experimental approaches that are available to utilize the knowledge of genetic diversity in both mechanistic toxicology research and decision-making. Appropriate genetically defined mouse models, such as mouse Collaborative Cross, may be combined with the limited data from human studies to not only discover the genetic determinants of susceptibility, but also to understand the molecular underpinnings of toxicity. In addition, predictive in vitro human genetics-anchored models of chemical toxicity have been recently used to assess inter-individual variability and heritability of toxicity phenotypes. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that the challenge of elucidation of the genetic determinants for inter-individual differences in toxicity may be met through a combined analysis of the toxicity phenotypes, genetic and gene expression data from the population-based experimental in vivo and in vitro model systems.

Biography: Ivan Rusyn is Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, Director of an NIEHS T32 training program in “Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology,”and Director of a Superfund Research Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. Prior to joining Texas A&M University in 2014, he was Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he also served as an associate director of the Curriculum in Toxicology and deputy director of the Superfund Research Program. His laboratory has an active research portfolio with a focus on the mechanisms of chemical toxicity, genetic determinants of susceptibility to toxicant-induced disease, and computational toxicology. His studies on health effects of chemical agents resulted in 200+ peer-reviewed publications which were cited over 13,000 times (h-index=61). He has served on many US National Academies committees and is currently chairing one committee. Dr. Rusyn served on seven World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer monograph working groups (as an overall chair, or a chair of “Mechanistic and Other Relevant Evidence” sub-group) and on the Expert Taskforce for the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR). His other notable service commitments include serving on the Board of the Scientific Councilors of the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the advisory board for Texas Department of Public Health, and membership on the Research Committee of the Health Effects Institute. Dr. Rusyn received a doctor of medicine degree from Ukrainian State Medical University in Kiev and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf. Dr. Rusyn’s laboratory has been funded by grants and cooperative research agreements from the National Institutes of Health and US Environmental Protection Agency, institutional funding from Texas A&M University, and the industry.

For information on joining the webinar, please contact Melanie Smith at m.smith@northeastern.edu.