Public Consortium Efforts in Toxicogenomics

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Public consortia provide a forum for addressing questions requiring more resources than one organization alone could bring to bear and engaging many sectors of the scientific community. They are particular well suited for tackling some of the questions encountered in the field of toxicogenomics, where the number of studies and microarray analyses would be prohibitively expensive for a single organization to carry out. Five consortia that stand out in the field of toxicogenomics are the Institutional Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Committee on the Application of Genomics to Mechanism Based Risk Assessment, the Toxicogenomics Research Consortium, the MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) Consortium, the InnoMed PredTox effort, and the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium. Collectively, these consortia efforts have addressed issues such as reproducibility of microarray results, standard practice for assays and analysis, relevance of microarray results to conventional end points, and robustness of statistical models on diverse data sets. Their results demonstrate the impact that the pooling of resources, experience, expertise, and insight found in consortia can have.