Award for Adverse Outcome Pathway Development
Provided to New Contributors to the AOP Wiki
With the advent of emerging technologies and the adoption of a new vision for the science of toxicity testing, modern toxicology is moving away from the animal tests scientists have traditionally relied upon to identify chemical hazards. Tests using animals are often considered to be “black box” studies that determine whether a chemical is toxic to animals, but they do not necessarily reveal the mechanism by which the substance caused toxicity or whether it would cause similar toxicity in humans. In recent years, however, non-animal testing strategies have been developed that are geared towards probing the specific mechanism of chemical toxicity. These testing strategies can be based on Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs), which are a conceptual framework describing a sequential chain of causally linked events at different levels of biological organisation that lead to an adverse health or ecotoxicological effect.
As part of a collaborative effort between the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an AOP Wiki has been created to provide an interactive and virtual platform for AOP development and to promote international consensus on the developed AOPs. Working with the organisers of the AOP Wiki, the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC) launched a data challenge to encourage new contributors to add content to the AOP Wiki using available data.
Launch of the AOP Award at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) booth at the 51st annual EUROTOX Congress held in Porto, Portugal on 13-16 September, 2015.
Eligibility and Award Details
- Only new contributors to the AOP Wiki are eligible to win; new contributors are defined as those who had made no contributions to the AOP Wiki before 15 September 2015 and who notified PISC in the manner set forth below.
- The competition began on 15 September 2015 and ended 3 October 2016.
- Those interested in competing notified PISC to register their AOP Wiki username in the competition. This allowed:
(1) a welcome pack to be sent, which included information on how to make an account and important guidance documents (e.g. the OECD guidance document on developing and assessing AOPs (here) and the Users’ Handbook to supplement the guidance document for developing and assessing AOPs (here)), and
(2) Wiki submissions to be tracked via username.
- Contributions to the AOP Wiki will be judged by a review panel comprised of scientists participating in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Extended Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics (EAGMST).
- Contributions will be judged based on both the quantity and quality of submissions, which may take the form of either comments or, following permission from an AOP leader, directly editing an AOP.
- PISC will use the review panel’s rankings to choose the winners and will announce up to three winners in November 2016.
- First, second, and third prize winners will be awarded. In case there are not enough qualified entries, PISC reserves the right to provide fewer or smaller cash prizes.
Registration for this contest has closed.