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Sandra Jose
OpenTox 2020 Intern

I'm in my final year of B.Tech. Biotechnology student at Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, India, and I have always wanted to earnestly explore the epidemiology of viral infections, work with small molecules to study their interactions, and validate their toxicity using in silico techniques. 

Currently, I work as a Bioinformatics research intern at YSL, Science Leadership Programme wherein I work on a library of antibacterial compounds against copper transport proteins of XDR strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Also, a group of us are working on the activity of small molecules from Inula Britannica against the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme of Shigella dysenteriae. Last summer, I worked as an intern at CSIR-NEIST, India, and completed the project entitled “Identification of Potential Phytomolecules against Spike Glycoprotein of SARS CoV-2: An in silico Approach”. 

I aspire to create an AI-based dataset for toxicity predictions which could significantly condense the time and energy spent on in vitro drug development process. Solutions are integrally tentative, but upon scientific tests and trials, they illumine and so is Bioinformatics.

Toxicology Resources - OpenTox Session

Inventory of Toxicity Prediction tools and Databases 

A chemical substance that can injure or be fatal to humans, plants, or animals is a toxicant and this can range from Botulinum toxin of which even nanogram per kilogram can kill a human to peptide chains that weigh in kilodaltons. Toxicity prediction tools and databases of toxic compounds help to reduce the time, energy spent on cost-intensive in vivo and in vitro assessments to a great extent, and the effect of such molecules can be studied more efficiently using such in silico tools. Here we discuss a database of toxicity prediction tools along with their notable advantages and disadvantages, type of assays, and species type. We also present a list of well-sorted toxic compounds’ databases for which users can be specific in choosing the right one based on use cases. These records need to be updated periodically and chosen based on user-defined terms for the ease of finding the right one from the inventory.