Systems Biology in Toxicology and Environmental Health

Systems Biology in Toxicology and Environmental Health

1st Edition - June 11, 2015

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  • Editor: Rebecca Fry
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128015681
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128015643

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Systems Biology in Toxicology and Environmental Health uses a systems biological perspective to detail the most recent findings that link environmental exposures to human disease, providing an overview of molecular pathways that are essential for cellular survival after exposure to environmental toxicants, recent findings on gene-environment interactions influencing environmental agent-induced diseases, and the development of computational methods to predict susceptibility to environmental agents. Introductory chapters on molecular and cellular biology, toxicology and computational biology are included as well as an assessment of systems-based tools used to evaluate environmental health risks. Further topics include research on environmental toxicants relevant to human health and disease, various high-throughput technologies and computational methods, along with descriptions of the biological pathways associated with disease and the developmental origins of disease as they relate to environmental contaminants. Systems Biology in Toxicology and Environmental Health is an essential reference for undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers looking for an introduction in the use of systems biology approaches to assess environmental exposures and their impacts on human health.

Key Features

  • Provides the first reference of its kind, demonstrating the application of systems biology in environmental health and toxicology
  • Includes introductions to the diverse fields of molecular and cellular biology, toxicology, and computational biology
  • Presents a foundation that helps users understand the connections between the environment and health effects, and the biological mechanisms that link them


Professional researchers and graduate and postgraduate students new to the fields of toxicology and environmental health.

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Chapter 1. Systems Biology in Toxicology and Environmental Health
      • Systems Biology Defined
      • Technologies Utilized in Systems Biology
      • Applications of Systems Biology in Environmental Health
      • Applications of Systems Biology in Toxicology
      • Applications of Systems Biology in the Clinic
      • Summary
    • Chapter 2. The Cell: The Fundamental Unit in Systems Biology
      • Introduction
      • The Cell: Structure and Organelles
      • Cellular Signaling: Plasma Membrane and Signal Transduction
      • Cellular Homeostasis (I): Energy Metabolism
      • Decoding the Genome (I): Transcription
      • Decoding the Genome (II): Translation
      • Cellular Homeostasis (II): Cell Differentiation, Death
    • Chapter 3. Systems Biology and the Epigenome
      • Introduction
      • DNA Methylation
      • Molecular Basis of DNA Methylation
      • Posttranslational Histone Modifications
      • Chromatin
    • Chapter 4. Omics Technologies Used in Systems Biology
      • Introduction
      • Genomics
      • Generation of Microarray Data
      • Genomic Data Generation Using Whole Transcriptome Shotgun Sequencing (RNA-Seq)
      • Proteomics
      • Metabolomics
      • Summary
    • Chapter 5. Computational Methods Used in Systems Biology
      • Introduction
      • Study Design for Systems Biology
      • Genetics
      • Epigenomics
      • Transcriptomics
      • Proteomics
      • Metabolomics
      • Integration into a Systems Framework
      • Summary
    • Chapter 6. Priority Environmental Contaminants: Understanding Their Sources of Exposure, Biological Mechanisms, and Impacts on Health
      • Introduction
      • Top 10 Compounds from the ATSDR 2013 Priority List of Hazardous Substances
      • Carcinogenic, Organic Hazardous Air Pollutants
      • Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Concern
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 7. Environmental Contaminants and the Immune System: A Systems Perspective
      • Introduction: What Is the Immune System?
      • Innate versus Adaptive or Acquired Immunity
      • Leukocytes: Cells of the Immune System
      • Cytokines, Chemokines, and Chemotaxis
      • How Is the Immune System Linked to Inflammation?
      • Signaling Pathways That Regulate the Immune System
      • IFNγ Regulation of Immune Function
      • TGFβ and Immune Function
      • NFκB Signaling and the Immune System
      • TNF Regulation of Immune Function
      • The Role of MAPK Proteins, JNK and p38 in the Immune Response
      • The Immune System and Disease States
      • Immunodeficiency Diseases
      • Autoimmune Diseases
      • Immune Function and Type 1 Diabetes
      • Environmental Exposures and Their Impact on Immune-Related Signaling Pathways
      • Arsenic and the Immune System
      • Cadmium Effects on the Immune System
      • Air Pollution and Immune Function
      • Mercury
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 8. The Role of Apoptosis-Associated Pathways as Responders to Contaminants and in Disease Progression
      • Introduction to Apoptosis
      • Canonical Pathways that Regulate Apoptosis Initiation
      • Apoptosis Signaling Pathways and Disease
      • Apoptosis Pathways That Are Altered by Environmental Compounds
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 9. Systems Biology of the DNA Damage Response
      • Introduction
      • DNA Damage and Its Responses
      • The Systems Biology Mantra
      • Mapping the DDR Network in Yeast
      • The Systems Biology of Human Cell Response to DNA Double-Strand Breaks
      • Comparison of Yeast and Human Systems of Response to DNA Damage
    • Chapter 10. Hormone Response Pathways as Responders to Environmental Contaminants and Their Roles in Disease
      • Introduction: Overview of the Endocrine System
      • Hormone Response Pathways
      • Health Effects of Hormone Pathway Dysregulation
      • Environmental Contaminants and Hormone Response Pathways
      • Conclusions
    • Chapter 11. Developmental Origins of Adult Disease: Impacts of Exposure to Environmental Toxicants
      • Introduction
      • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Adverse Environmental Conditions in Early Life and Latent Health Effects
      • Early-Life Toxicant Exposure: Latent Health Effects and Epigenetic Alterations
      • Conclusions and Future Directions
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 284
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: June 11, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128015681
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128015643

About the Editor

Rebecca Fry

Rebecca Fry
Dr. Rebecca Fry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. She also holds appointments in the Curriculum in Toxicology and the Lineberger Cancer Center. She is the Deputy Director of UNC’s Superfund Research Program funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). She also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Curriculum of Toxicology and Co-PI of an NIEHS-funded T32 training grant. Dr. Fry received her B.S. in Biology from William Smith College. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology from Tulane University and completed her post-doctoral training at MIT. Her research focuses on unraveling the biological mechanisms by which prenatal exposures to toxic metals impact infant health. A primary goal of Dr. Fry’s research is to increase awareness of the deleterious impacts of exposures during the prenatal period and to improve public health initiatives to address this issue.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Helath, University of North Carolina Chapel HIll, Chapel HIll, NC, USA

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