Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Health Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators. We advise each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regarding course levels.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Objective

    The aim of this course is to introduce students into the scientific field of toxicology. At the end of this course students is able to
    1. Explain the mode of action for toxic chemicals addressed in this course, from exposure to adverse health outcome,
    2. Interpret results from toxicity studies reported in literature and understand where these results fit in the adverse outcome pathway,
    3. Identify knowledge gaps in the adverse outcome pathways and suggest a particular type of toxicity study to fill these gaps,
    4. Construct a dose-response curve and use it for hazard characterization purposes,
    5. Apply quantitative toxicity data for risk assessment purposes according to the toxicological paradigm of Paracelsus.

    Course Content

    This course addresses exposure, effects, and risk assessment of toxic chemicals. In the exposure part, we will mainly focus on routes of
    exposure, on human biomonitoring, and on toxicokinetics. We will discuss toxic effects at different levels of biological organization ranging
    from the molecular initiating event (MIE) via key events (KE) at cellular and organ levels to the adverse outcome (AO) at population
    level, in line with the framework of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs). Different levels of toxicity testing will be covered ranging from in
    silico and in vitro studies to in vivo animal studies and epidemiological studies. Special attention will be given to mixture
    toxicity and to the position of omics-techniques in unraveling the adverse outcome pathways. Following this set-up, different compounds will be studied, including pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, neurotoxicological compounds like pesticides, mutagenic compounds, metals, and industrial chemicals. Finally, the course will address how quantitative toxicity data are used in risk assessment procedures to derive threshold doses for toxic compounds to which we are exposed through different routes of exposure (food, drinking water, air, soil, house dust, consumer goods, working place, etc.).

    All subjects above will be taught in lectures, and some will be further elaborated in working groups. In addition, a chemical compound will be assigned to each student during the course. Students will test their compound in a practical for its capacity to start a molecular initiating
    event and/or cause an adverse outcome. Based on information about this MIE and the AO and what is described about the toxicity of the compound in the literature, the students will write an AOP-based summary about the toxicity of their compound in the form of a Wikipedia page.

    Additional Information Teaching Methods

    • Lectures 20x1h
    • Working groups 4x2h
    • Practical 2x4h

    Method of Assessment

    • Written assignment (20%)
    • Multiple choice exam (80%)

    Compensation: for each part of the examination the student should have a minimum grade of 5.5.


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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