Why does an environmental health scientist need bioinformatics to improve public health?
Integration of complex interacting mechanisms is needed to fully understand how toxic environmental contaminants cause human diseases. Proving association of exposure with risk may help formulate polices that identify the exposures or exposure levels to avoid, but they cannot address reducing disease burden in those who were unaware of exposures or when exposures cannot be reduced below safe levels. Mechanistic studies can identify critical pathogenic regulatory pathways that can be targeted for intervention, but most mechanistic studies have been limited by linear approach to discovery. This talk will track the development of our mechanistic understanding of how environmental arsenic, arguably the most important natural contaminant affecting public health, causes pathogenic tissue remodeling and disease, as well as the need for bioinformatic approaches to developing safe strategies to prevent or treat arsenic-promoted disease.