The immediate objectives of this interest group include, but are not limited to:
- Explicitly defining OMIC tools, applications and their integration into decision making;
- Working towards validation, standardization and guidelines for the use of OMIC techniques in ecotoxicology. For example, the group has made contacts with ECHA, and the European Commission, the US EPA and Environment Canada;
- Linking molecular events to organismal apical endpoints and ecological adverse outcomes and other key biological events;
- Developing coordinated case studies to provide proof-of-concepts for clear areas of application for OMIC technologies;
- Planning workshops, such as a Pellston workshop, and scientific sessions to present the state of the science plus identify and address knowledge gaps.
The interest group on OMICs will work to fundamentally improve the way OMICs scientific findings can be used to help protect human health and the environment within the researcher's community of SETAC and beyond:
- We will identify colleagues with expertise and experience on OMICs technologies within SETAC for their input into the work of the IG.
- We will conduct gap analysis of current environmental research utilizing OMICs tools and their connectivity to apical endpoints or adverse outcomes.
- We will develop methods, tools and strategies tailored to address gaps in OMICs approaches and applications in environmental science, as well as criteria development.
- We will develop methods, tools and frameworks for mixture/whole effluent testing.
- We will establish training opportunities for SETAC members interested at applying OMICs towards Risk Assessment.
- We will continuously review the state-of-art in OMICs technologies and adapt, as well as develop, novel concepts for a successful outreach of scientific findings from environmental research.
- We will work to ensure high quality of OMICs related science within the SETAC community.
- We will disseminate high quality information through scientific journals, media and other avenues for public outreach.
In the near term, the analysis, identification and articulation of specific requirements for the implementation of OMICs into environmental and health decision-making will be the primary focus of the IG. Its product will consist of a strategic road-map for coordinated activities that will help create fundamental knowledge and a translational path to transform the way risk is estimated for chemicals, natural toxins (cyanobacteria/algae), nanomaterials and other stressors and how they are regulated. The combined expertise on OMICs within the IG will also lead to a regular series of technical reports that facilitate a shared understanding on the growing value and limits of OMICS in real world risk assessment applications. These activities are envisaged to strengthen the value and visibility of the IG within SETAC and beyond. Yet we will also specifically seek the involvement of members participating in other SETAC IGs, with the goal of increasing synergism among groups.
We will continually interact with SETAC and non-SETAC members from the regulatory and industry sector through workshops that inform and educate participants about the state-of-OMICS-science and to discuss current scientific issues and needs within specific areas of application. Overall, regular interactions with SETAC members will grow the number and diversity of individuals having a working knowledge of the OMICs and their applications to environmental and health decision making.