2016 Eminent Toxicologist Lecture Series: 45 Years Modeling Dose-Response Relationships-An Unanticipated Career!

Speaker: Melvin E. Anderson

This lecture examines my experience using quantitative models for understanding dose-response relationships, as well as touching on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and new directions in cell pathway based models. Instead of postdoctoral work on shark hemoglobin, military service directed me to assess the toxicity of chemicals found onboard nuclear submarines. Training in modeling small and large molecule kinetics led me to question why probit analyses were used for dose response, why the logarithm of inhaled concentration is a measure of dose, and what is the relationship expected between inhaled concentration and chemical in tissue or between the amount of chemical and response? The main lessons of a long career are that models require us to state our ideas clearly and quantitatively and then to see if our ideas are correct or in need of revision. The use of these models repeatedly shows that it is even more important to know our ideas are wrong than simply to think they might be right.