ONETOX: Neural Exposome and Toxicology Programs



The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) supports basic, translational, and clinical research on the brain and nervous system and uses that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease for all people. Several genetic and environmental factors affect overall brain and nervous system health, and gene-environment interactions are important in understanding complex etiologies of neurological diseases and disorders. Within the Division of Translational Research (DTR) at NINDS, ONETOX supports research and provides resources to advance knowledge of internal and external exposures that affect brain and nervous system health (Neural Exposome), leads research related to chemical threats, and provides resources that promote chemical safety.

ONETOX has three branches:

  • The Neural Exposome, which includes environmental neurotoxicants, the gut-brain axis microbiome, social behaviors, and other internal and external exposures that affect neurological disease and disorders
  • Chemical Threats, which houses the NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (NIH CounterACT) program
  • Chemical Safety, which provides resources to reduce safety liabilities related to neurotoxic drugs, biohazards, use of Select Agents, and Dual Use Research of Concern 


photo of David Jett

Dr. David Jett has been selected to lead the newly formed Office of Neural Exposome and Toxicology Research (ONETOX) at NINDS.  Located within DTR, this Office will coordinate neuro-environmental research, oversee neurotoxicology-related fields, and administer the NINDS Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program. The office will work closely with the Divisions of Neuroscience and Clinical Research to launch research efforts to better understand the consequences of the exposome and translational opportunities in neurological disorders and stroke.

Dr. Jett brings a wealth of experience to this position as he has devoted his career to neurotoxicology research and the impact of environmental factors on human health and neurologic conditions. He has a collaborative network within relevant agencies of the U.S. government and a clear vision for how to advance the mission of the Office through research excellence and collaboration. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Hampton Institute (now the Hampton University), Master of Science in Toxicology from the University of Maryland and his Doctorate in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics – Toxicology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Neurotoxicology at the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health and he transitioned to a Research Associate. Prior to joining NIH in 2001, Dr. Jett was a tenured Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Services.  He has published over 70 articles in his field of study, including in high stature journals, e.g., Science Translational Medicine, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Neurobiology of Disease (guest editor), Neurotoxicology (cover article), Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Annals of Neurology, and Toxicological Sciences. He has provided solicited commentaries in the journals Science and Nature and to several news outlets including the Washington Post and Neurology Today.  He is highly sought after as a journal reviewer and has also served on toxicology journal editorial boards.  Dr. Jett has served on many committees related to chemical safety for NIH and other agencies, as well as the Interagency Chemical Hazards Working Group and WMD-Medical Countermeasures Subcommittees at the White House.  Dr. Jett has also served as a project and initiative consultant for the FDA, EPA, and the DoD, and two terms as an advisor to the EPA. 

Dr. Jett has had a tremendously productive tenure at NINDS/NIH leading multiple efforts including Directing the CounterACT program since 2003.  He is a key opinion leader in exposome and toxicology research and recipient of several awards for his programmatic leadership, workforce diversity efforts, and mentorship. At NINDS he has been active member of many strategic planning efforts and co-led the initial new hire orientation and training program. He has received several NIH Director’s Awards: in 2020 for his programmatic leadership in NIH CounterACT, in 2019 for his participation in BRAINS R US and in 2007 for his work on designing and implementing the NIH CounterACT program and his work on NIH chemical defense programs.

Resources and Tools


David A. Jett, Ph.D. | Director, ONETOX

Neel Dhruv, Ph.D. | Health Program Specialist

Amir Tamiz, Ph.D. | Director, Division of Translational Research

Funding Opportunities 

Neural Exposome Funding Opportunities

Neural Exposome Notices and Other Funding Announcements

Chemical Threats Funding Opportunities

Chemical Threats Notices and Other Funding Announcements

Chemical Safety Funding Opportunities

Chemical Safety Notices

News & Events

Request for Information on Interdisciplinary Research Opportunities that Bridge Neuroscience and Environmental Health Science

Tamiz AP, Koroshetz WJ, Dhruv NT, Jett DA. 2022. A focus on the neural exposome. Neuron. PMID: 35349785.

Neural Exposome Funding Opportunities Webinar | January 20, 2022