Computational Toxicology Research Program
What are Virtual Tissues?
Virtual Tissues (v-Tissues™) embody innovative paradigms for understanding disease progression via in silico cross-scale models of cellular organization and emergent functions. Tissues are the clinically-relevant level for diagnosing and treating the transition from normal to adverse states in chemical-induced toxicities leading to cancer, immune dysfunction, developmental defects, and more. Currently in vivo rodent experiments are used to evaluate tissue-level effects of altered molecular and cellular function; however, the extrapolation of animal models to humans is often uncertain. v-Tissues™ aim to computationally simulate key molecular and cellular processes in the context of normal tissue biology to: (a) help understand complex physiological relationships, and (b) to predict adverse effects due to chemicals. As the number of chemicals in consumer products, the workplace and the environment continues to rise, v-Tissues™ offer the promise of a more efficient, effective and humane approach for evaluating their impact on human health.