Among first in the nation

first_imgBy Morgan RoanUniversity of GeorgiaThe University of Georgia is among the first schools in the nation to offer a graduate course on using cutting-edge technology to determine the ways chemicals affect the body.”The University of Georgia and Colorado State are the only universities training students to apply pharmacokinetic models,” said Jeffrey Fisher, head of the environmental health science department in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The physiologically-based modeling class focuses on where chemicals go in the body and how fast they’re metabolized. The equations predict the uptake, distribution and elimination of chemicals from the bodies of humans or laboratory animals.”The formulas are used for risk assessment and to establish exposure guidelines for use by federal government agencies and private industry,” Fisher said.Some models taught in the class were developed for pesticides commonly used in farming and household chemicals.”This is a quantitative toxicology class versus a descriptive, memorization-type class,” Fisher said. “Students learn what doses affect the organs as a result of exposure due to inhalation, contact by the skin or ingestion.”Students can learn how to use these models to assess health risks in sites around the state. Guest speakers from federal agencies visit to discuss real-world applications.The class is made up of pharmacology, toxicology and environmental health science students.(Morgan Roan is a student writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more