Emerging scientific studies suggest environmental chemicals may be contributing factors to the epidemics of diabetes and obesity. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) headquartered at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sponsored a workshop in January 2011 to evaluate the science associating exposure to certain chemicals or chemical classes with the development of diabetes and/or obesity in humans. In a variety of targeted plenary and workgroup sessions, participants evaluated the strength/weaknesses, consistency, and biological plausibility of findings reported in humans and experimental animals for certain environmental chemicals.
On this national conference call CHE hosted three leaders in this growing field of interest who were also instrumental in the shaping the scope of the NTP workshop. They presented a summary of the conference findings, highlighted current research indicating possible links between some chemicals and diabetes and obesity, and discussed future plans to address research gaps, including ongoing evaluation of relevant pathways and biological assays for the Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century high throughput screening initiative (“Tox21”).
Featured speakers included:
Kristina Thayer, PhD, Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)
Bruce Blumberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, Irvine
Jerry Heindel, PhD, Program Administrator and acting Branch Chief in the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT)