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Master Toxicology

The research-oriented master’s degree program in toxicology conveys comprehensive knowledge about toxicants including their impact on living organisms. You will gain a profound understanding in general toxicology including pharmacology, physiology and pathophysiology, organ toxicology, pathological anatomy as well as histopathology. Furthermore, you will develop a methodological toolkit that enables you to explore and analyze these phenomena. Thereby the knowledge about chemistry, biochemistry and medicine is deepened as well as your practical competences will be extended in analytical chemistry, in vitro toxicology and in vivo toxicology (e.g. experimental animal models in toxicology). Since working as a toxicologist also implicates a juristically dimension you will gain substantial knowledge in national and international legislative and regulatory processes.

Modules offered by the Chair of Food Chemistry in the Master of Nutrition Science:

Module: Principles in Toxicology

Introduction to general toxicology; Foundations of toxicokinetics (ADME: absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion); Foundations of toxicodynamics; Interactions between toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics; Foundations of statistics, biometry, and epidemiology; Toxicological effects: classification, limits, examples.

Module: Tissue-Specific Toxicity and Histopathology

Characteristic organ-specific patterns of damage, examples of toxic effects, methods of investigation Organs: particularly the liver, lungs, kidneys and urinary system, blood and circulatory system, hematopoietic system, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract; brief introduction to the heart, eye, endocrine system, skin, ear; Foundations of immunotoxicology; Foundations of microscopy and histopatholog.

Module: Principles in experimental animal toxicity testing

Species-appropriate care, treatment and breeding of laboratory animals; Animal protection regulations and ethics; Anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the major laboratory animal species; Spontaneous illnesses, artificial illnesses; Transgenic animal models in toxicological research; Experiment planning and preparation, record-keeping, application forms, pain elimination and restriction of suffering, laboratory animal anesthesia, foundations of surgical work.

Module: Advanced toxicology

Molecular cell toxicology; Chemical mutagenesis and carcinogenesis; Foundations of the toxicology of reproduction; Food toxicology; Introduction to nanotoxicology and eco-toxicology; The seminar’s purpose is to delve more deeply into the content covered in the lecture. To that end, the students give presentations on selected current questions in toxicology.

Module: Experimental toxicity

Introduction to the topics of testing strategies (including OECD testing procedures); Standard testing procedures for pharmaceuticals, pesticides, food additives, and other chemical substances; Testing for acute and chronic toxicity, foundational aspects; Specialized testing, in particular testing for genotoxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity; The need for targeted investigations into organ toxicity; The value and execution of in vitro tests;Alternatives to animal experiments, including in vivo model organisms (Drosophila, C. elegans, zebra fish), 3R principle; Modeling, in silico methods in toxicology; Introduction to instrumental analysis: chromatographic techniques, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy; Molecular biological techniques and “omics” technologies.

Module: Applied toxicology, regulatory toxicology and risk assessment

Foundations of the legal system and institutions, national and international organization concerned with the risks of substances Risk and danger, risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication; Toxicity endpoints and their significance for risk assessment; Regulation of carcinogenic substances; Toxicity thresholds and criteria for calculating them; Exposure assessment and estimation; Practical deepening of the content of completed modules through a specialization research internship at a scientific research institution working in toxicology.

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