School awarded $1.2 million EPA grant to continue computational toxicology research

August 27, 2012
Dr. Ivan Rusyn

Dr. Ivan Rusyn
Dr. Fred Wright

Dr. Fred Wright

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant for research conducted by the Carolina Center for Computational Toxicology. Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD, professor of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, will serve as principal investigator for the project, “Carolina Center for Computational Toxicology: Assays, models and tools for NextGen safety assessments.”

Fred Wright, PhD, professor of biostatistics at the UNC public health school, and Alexander Tropsha, PhD, professor and associate dean for research at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, are project co-investigators.

The Center’s mission is to devise novel experimental approaches and computational tools and methods that will prove beneficial to the EPA’s research and regulatory objectives.

The grant is funded by the U.S. EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program. Administered by the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), the STAR program aims to “support high-quality research by the nation’s leading scientists and engineers that will improve the scientific basis for national environmental decisions.”

The award will promote the Center’s goal to advance the field of computational toxicology through collaborative efforts and the development of new methods and tools. Since 2006, EPA/NCER has awarded three other such grants to UNC investigators (professors Rusyn, Wright and Tropsha) in the area of computational toxicology – a fact, Rusyn said, which confirms the unique strength of this research area at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“This award is one indication that the Center has been successful in devising novel computational tools, methods and information, all of which are needed by regulatory agencies – and the greater environmental health sciences community – for protecting the environment and human health,” said Rusyn.

In January 2012, Rusyn was honored with an appointment to the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology. Read more online.


UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Linda Kastleman, communications editor, (919) 966-8317 or