Virtual Tissue Models for Developmental Toxicity - Posted June 5, 2015

Virtual Tissue Models for Developmental Toxicity


Brief description of research project: The proposed research project will build and implement multicellular agent-based computer models that translate high-throughput screening data into spatially-dynamic simulations that can be used for predicting chemical impacts on biological pathways underlying human developmental toxicity. Addressing the impact of environmental chemicals on pregnancy and children’s environmental health is a complex problem that requires the integration of a multiplicity of agents and exposures that may contribute to the overall risk for developmental defects and disabilities. This research project capitalizes on the latest advances in systems toxicology and computer modeling to provide extensible solutions to this problem. A major goal of this project is to develop models that simulate critical transitions in embryonic development to provide a way to translate diverse and highly distributed scientific data into phenotypic consequences. This project will address how chemicals disrupt processes such as, angiogenesis, morphogenetic fusion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or branching morphogenesis to invoke human birth defects such as cleft palate, hypospadias, congenital heart malformations, spina bifida, and skeletal abnormalities.

Geographical location of position: Research Triangle Park, NC

High priority research areas: Computational Chemistry

Scientific project area: Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) National Research Program

Educational requirements: PhD in Technology (computer science), Engineering (electrical or biomedical), or Mathematics or a related discipline. 

Specialized training and/or experience preferred: 1) A background in cell or developmental biology is preferred 2) Proficiency in mathematical and computational approaches to analyze very large data sets. 3) Knowledge of computational models of biological systems is very valuable, including ability to engineer sophisticated computer models for spatially-dynamic simulations of tissues or organs. 4) Highly desired familiarity with Science (cell/developmental biology; molecular toxicology or pharmacology). 

Projected duration of appointment: 3 years

Paid relocation to EPA work location: Yes

Application Period Open Date: May 04, 2015

Application Period Close Date: Jun 08, 2015

Scientific contact/Principal Investigator(s)*: Thomas Knudsen,, 919-541-9776




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