Department of Pharmaceutical Toxicology

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‘What is there that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison.  Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison.’

(Paracelsus, 1493-1541)

Toxicology can be defined as the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical or biological agents on people, animals, and the environment. In other words toxicology is the science of determining the safety limits of chemicals.

Toxicologists are scientists trained to investigate and communicate the nature of those adverse effects of chemicals and assess the possible risks to prevent and ameliorate such adverse effects.

In the twentieth century, the number of chemicals used has increased dramatically as a result of rapid industrialization. Nowadays, mostly synthetic about 100,000 chemicals as drugs, food additives, cosmetics, pesticides, etc., are in commercial use and every year an average of 1000 new chemicals are added. Consequently, humans and other living organisms expose to increased numbers of toxic chemicals, As these substances have become a part of modern life, it is getting more important to learn safe ways of using them, instead of giving up to use them.

In this aspect, toxicology has 2 important activities:
• To determine the toxicity of chemicals,
• To predict harmful effects of the chemicals to human and environment by using the toxicological data.

The variety of potential adverse effects and the diversity of chemicals in the environment make toxicology a broad science, which often demands specialization in one area of toxicology. For this reason toxicology is divided into different sub-branches.
1. Descriptive toxicology is concerned directly with toxicity testing, which provides information for safety evaluation and regulatory requirements. The appropriate toxicity tests in cell culture systems or experimental animals are designed to yield information to evaluate risks posed to humans and the environment from exposure to specific chemicals.
2. Clinical toxicology is concerned with the study of diagnosis and treatment of poisonings that can occur in humans.
3. Environmental toxicology focuses on the impacts of chemical pollutants in the environment on biological organisms.
4. Occupational toxicology is the application of the principles and methodology of toxicology toward understanding and managing chemical and biological hazards encountered at work.
5. Forensic toxicology is concerned primarily with the medicolegal aspects of the harmful effects of chemicals on humans and animals. The expertise of forensic toxicologists is invoked primarily to aid in establishing the cause of death and determining its circumstances in a postmortem investigation.
6. Analytic toxicology involves the application of the tools of analytic chemistry to the qualitative and/or quantitative estimation of chemicals that may exert adverse effects on living organisms.
7. Ecotoxicology is a specialized area within environmental toxicology that focuses more specifically on the impacts of toxic substances on population dynamics in an ecosystem.

Research İnterests:
Research Interests of our Department Members:

• Animal models in toxicology and alternative in vitro models
• Animal models in toxicology and alternative in vitro models
• Occupational toxicology
• Genotoxicity  and gene expression
• Toxicity studies of drugs and herbal products
• Oxidative stress
• Oxidation of biological macromolecules (DNA, proteins and lipids) and toxicological endpoints
• Drug biotransformation pathways and determination of intermediate reactive products,
• Development and application of biomarkers
• Environmental toxicology and environmental exposure
• Determination of endocrine disruptors (xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens), understanding their mechanism of action and evaluation their potential toxicity.
• Design and development of indole-based anticancer agents in breast cancer by using enzyme inhibition and receptor antagonism as targets for cancer treatment.

Education:
Undergraduate courses:
Pharmaceutical Toxicology 1
This course is given to students at 7. semester for 2 hrs/week by our faculty members.

Pharmaceutical Toxicology II
This course is given to students at 8. semester for 2 hrs/week by our faculty members.

Pharmaceutical Toxicology Laboratory
This laboratory is assisted by research assistants and faculty members of Toxicology department to students at 8. semester of their education for 3 X 3 hrs/week.

Academic Staff

Prof. Dr. Ferzan LERMİOĞLU ERCİYAS (Head of the Department)
Prof. Dr. Hilmi ORHAN
Prof. Dr. Hande GÜRER-ORHAN
Assist. Prof. Dr. Sumru SÖZER KARADAĞLI
Res. Assist. Rasih KOCAGÖZ
Res. Assist. Ege ARZUK