Outline 2008

The International QSAR Foundation is pleased to announce the 2008 McKim Conference which will be held in Duluth, Minnesota, on September 16-18, 2008. The McKim Conference provides a retreat environment to discuss the technological requirements of more strategic approaches for chemical hazard identification. The Conference is not a forum for the presentation of individual scientific research nor for infomercials for commercial methods and products. Instead the McKim Conference is a forum for discussion of specific issues which are framed by invited speakers.

Our 2006 McKim Conference discussed the paradigm-shift which is occurring in numerous regulatory agencies, and outlined three major areas where science currently limits a more strategic paradigm in safety assessment. The 2006 conferees urged that future meetings be focused on specific gaps in predictive toxicology and chemistry. Important gaps included the models and dose metrics used for chronic non-cancer endpoints including reproductive and developmental impairment. Accordingly, the organizers of the 2007 McKim Conference invited speakers who discussed the use of chemical categories to group chemicals by hazard and to illustrate how models for reproductive impairment and neurotoxicity can be formulated. In brief, the participants discussed a novel approach of using systems biology to guide QSAR model development and use QSAR to design probes for biological systems models. Systems biology for the brain-pituitary-gonad axis was illustrated in detail.
At the 2008 McKim Conference, participants will discuss the progress on the papers conceived in 2007 and suggest experiments to refine the IQF conceptual framework for predictive toxicology. Lead authors from the conference will present the status of the papers and discuss gaps in the available data and methods to further illustrate the approach.