E-learning package and wrap-up webinar  /  March 15, 2023  -  June 30, 2023

EFSA training: In-silico models and other relevant modeling approaches

E-learning under Topic 3: Use of new-approach methodologies (e.g. in-silico and in-vitro tools) in chemical risk assessment

This e-learning package will introduce participants to the main principles of different structure-based in-silico approaches for estimation of mainly human health toxicological endpoints. The application of in-silico approaches in ecotoxicology will not be addressed in this course.

Statistical and rule-based quantitative structure activity models will be introduced and how to assess the outcome of these predictions by using expert review. Strengths and weaknesses of individual modeling approaches will be explained. Examples will deal with the prediction of genotoxicity following the workflow as outlined e.g. in the ICHM7 guidance.

The second topic to be introduced is read-across, which is usually applied to predict the toxicological properties of a data-poor target compound based on one or several data-rich similar source compounds. Recent guidance documents such as the RAAF will be taken into account. The different options for similarity assessments will be outlined as well as the main assessment elements of a read-across assessment. Exercises will give the opportunity to train on well-known tools such as the OECD QSAR toolbox and Vega.

The third concept is TTC (threshold of toxicological concern). This concept is used for unknown compounds occurring at low levels in feed/food.

Another important approach is physiologically-based kinetic PBK modeling. One e-learning will outline the basic principles of PBK modeling.

Each of the four topics will first be introduced using pre-recorded lectures, followed by exercises and quizzes, which participants can use to gain experience with the trained method and also to verify their understanding. In a wrap-up webinar with the tutors before the end of the e-learning period, participants will get a chance to ask their questions.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the differences between QSAR, read-across and TTC approaches and when to use them in hazard assessment
  • Understand the applicability domain of different models
  • Apply QSAR models and understand the principle of combining evidence by using different QSAR model types
  • Understand the principles of expert review to deal with conflicting data
  • Have a first insight into different tools such as the OECD QSAR toolbox and Vega

Who will be admitted?

The EFSA e-learning is open to members of the EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels as well as to Working Group members, Network members and EFSA staff, furthermore to members of other European agencies or European institutions. Registrants from other affiliations are not eligible. EFSA reserves the right to select the trainees from all registered persons. If the number of eligible registrants exceeds the number of available places, the first-come, first served principle will be applied. After the registration deadline, all registrants will be informed, and the selected trainees will receive login data for the e-learning platform.