Title Outline knowledge of subspecialty topics
Type Stage One
Code HLS002
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of the training period trainees will, in respect to outline knowledge of subspecialty topics be able to:

  • Analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge
  • Perform a range of technical and clinical skills and procedures
  • Demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for professional practice as a consultant clinical scientist dealing with the complexities, uncertainties and tensions of professional practice at this level

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant knowledge and its application to their professional practice in relation to:

 3.1 Analytical toxicology (1 month)

  • Sample matrices (whole blood, plasma/serum, urine, oral fluid, vomit/gastric contents, hair/nail, other tissues, ‘scene residues’)
  • Sample collection, transport, and storage; sample preparation
  • Analytical methodology: colour tests, UV/Visible spectrophotometry, GC, HPLC, mass spectrometry, immunoassay; trace elements and toxic metals; point-of-care laboratory testing
  • Clinical biochemistry and the poisoned patient
  • Analytical and forensic aspects of alcohol, drugs and other chemicals.

3.2 Biochemical toxicology (1 month) 

  • Biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, including examples of (i) classical poisons and (ii) those of clinical and commercial importance; dose dependence; species and strain specific mechanisms
  • Phase 1 and 2 metabolic pathways and their importance in toxicology.
  • Covalent binding and methodologies for detecting tissue damage both in vivo and in vitro.
  • Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics and their application in toxicology.

3.3 Genotoxicology (1 month) 

  • The types of DNA damage and the in vitro and in vivo methods for its detection
  • Relationship between mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
  • Genotoxic mechanisms involved in experimental and human carcinogenesis
  • Classic examples of human genotoxic carcinogens and their mode of action such as 4- aminobiphenol and β-naphthylamine
  • Quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR)
  • Newer approaches including genetically engineered animals, their use and limitations.
  • Outline of laboratory methods.

3.4. Environmental/occupational toxicology (1 month)

  • Basic environmental/occupational toxicology
  • Current concerns relating to chemical exposure and human health
  • Monitoring exposure
  • Approaches to setting exposure limits: BOELVs, IOELVs, MELs, OELs, OESs, TWAs, etc.

3.5. Immunotoxicology (1 month)

  • The immune system
  • Immunotoxicology and the evaluation of immunotoxicity in animals and man
  • Regulatory guidelines in immunotoxicity – ICH, etc.
  • Allergy; sensitisation; autoimmunity
  • Approaches to investigation of contact sensitisation and respiratory allergy
  • Outline of laboratory methods
  • Biomarkers of immune modulation.

3.6. Medical toxicology (1 month)

  • Epidemiology of acute poisoning
  • Poisoning and antidotes
  • Drugs of abuse [opioids including diamorphine and methadone, cocaine, amphetamines including methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), cannabis (including synthetic cannabinoids), anabolic steroids, and ‘legal highs/street drugs’.
  • Poisons information services and chemical incidents.

3.7. Reproductive/developmental toxicology (1 month)

  • Basic principles of reproductive toxicology; study design and interpretation
  • Methodologies used to identify abnormalities in foetuses and sperm
  • Classic examples of medical reproductive toxicology
  • The reproductive cycle in commonly used species in preclinical toxicology.

3.8. Toxicological pathology (1 month)

  • General knowledge of disease, and the background pathology of experimental species including age related pathologies
  • Knowledge of histology and common responses to disease processes
  • Clinical animal monitoring for signs of toxicity and more specialised monitoring, such as ECG, and other physiological functions, cell and organ function and viability
  • Awareness of the relationship between preclinical studies conducted in animals and the relationship with early clinical trials in man.
  • Interpretation of carcinogenicity studies, and extrapolation between species.

Technical and clinical skills

This module has no technical and clinical skills.

Attitudes and behaviours

This module has no attitude and behaviours information.


Code Title Action
HLS1-5-20 Analytical Toxicology [v1] View