Some molecules are exclusively toxic to biological systems and classified as being non-essential, others are essential for life. Nevertheless, above certain threshold concentrations all compounds (including essential ones) become toxic. Homeostasis of essential elements and detoxification of non-essential elements are thus vital drivers of well-being, longevity and survival. The identification and characterization of these intricate pathways form the foundations of Toxicogenomics.
The exponential growth of available genetic sequences and the completion of numerous genome-sequencing projects have unveiled the next challenge: the rearrangement of vast amounts of data into functional and mechanistically meaningful units. The outcome will provide novel insights into pathogenesis, new methods of risk assessment, genetic risk-modifications in preventative medicine and new therapeutic targets for pharmaceutical and biological medicines.
By exploiting genomic, proteomic and toxicological tools within model species (the nematode C.elegans) as well as key environment organisms (the earthworm), we aim to expand the horizon of Toxicogenomics.