Dr. Grace Chappell is a toxicologist and environmental scientist in ToxStrategies’ Asheville, NC, office. She has experience investigating and assessing the underlying molecular mechanisms of various toxicological outcomes, with a specialty in carcinogenesis associated with exposure to chemicals commonly found in the environment and/or occupational settings. She received her M.S. in Public Health and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill by completing research on epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and microRNA expression) involved in chemical-induced carcinogenesis. Her projects have included multi-institutional (and international) collaborative efforts focused on epigenetic alterations that appear to be pertinent in tumorigenic processes in organisms exposed to DNA-damaging chemicals.
Dr. Chappell is skilled in computational methods (e.g., quantification of differential signals across many endpoints, identification of functional relevance of genetic/epigenetic signatures) and tools (e.g., R, GSEA, BLAST) for analyzing large “¬omics” data sets and developing strategies for data visualization. She has extensive experience with reviewing, evaluating, and integrating high-throughput screening (HTS) assay data available through the ToxCast/Tox21 programs into various types of toxicity or hazard assessments. Dr. Chappell also has experience obtaining and evaluating data from publicly available data sets and online databases, such as those provided by The Cancer Genome Atlas, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and the Molecular Signature Database, among others. She also has extensive practical experience in cytogenetic analysis for clinical diagnostics, including karyotypic evaluation of solid tumors, hematopoietic cancers, and prenatal genetic screening, as well as experience with a variety of molecular assays (e.g., fluorescent in situ hybridization, array comparative genomic hybridization, and DNA and RNA sequencing).
Dr. Chappell has contributed to several systematic reviews, the majority of which focused on the evaluation of mechanistic data as they relate to cancer outcomes in humans. Her involvement included problem formulation and protocol development, data extraction for mechanistic endpoints across a variety of study types, review of study and data quality (reliability), relationship of mechanistic activity with cancer endpoints with a specific focus on organization by the Key Characteristics of Carcinogens, and relating mechanistic data to cancer endpoints in experimental animals and human epidemiological studies. She is proficient in several literature screening and systematic review software and online tools (e.g., Distiller SR, HAWC, SWIFT Review), as well as in the formulation of standardized search syntax to identify and categorize literature pertaining to various toxicology-relevant endpoints (e.g., developmental and reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, characteristics of carcinogens, allergenicity, cancer). She also has extensive experience in cytogenetic analysis for clinical diagnostics, including karyotypic evaluation of solid tumors, hematopoietic cancers, and prenatal genetic screening, as well as experience with a variety of molecular assays (e.g., fluorescent in situ hybridization, array comparative genomic hybridization, and DNA and RNA sequencing).
Dr. Chappell has contributed to or led several regulatory submission efforts, including notifications necessary for genetically engineered microbial species in the United States and Canada, as well as several Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) determinations for human food and animal feed ingredients. She has provided data interpretation and integration support on submissions to the US FDA for new therapeutic products.
Dr. Chappell regularly presents her research at national and international scientific meetings and is a co-author of more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.