Toxicology, as recently defined by the Society of Toxicology, is "the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects."
The field draws on expertise from chemistry, physiology, pathology, genetics, statistics, risk assessment sciences and others.
Duties of a toxicologist include the identification and assessment of environmental exposures of concern; elucidation of mechanisms by which toxicants (chemical, biological, or radiological agents) perturb homeostasis or induce disease; identification of interventions for the prevention of adverse effects; and estimation of acceptable levels of exposure for the protection of public health.
The University of Iowa excels in many of these key areas, both in training and in research, and therefore, is well-positioned to train toxicologists at the MS and PhD level. The development of individuals with this specialty is of critical importance when considering the prevalence of chemical use and toxicant exposure in our society.
The successful establishment of the Interdisciplinary Program in Human Toxicology enables the University to realize its potential for training the future leaders of this field.