Products and Tools

From Systematic Review to Assessment Development: Managing Big (and Small) Datasets with DRAGON

Categorized Under: Environment, Health



Dose Response Analytical Generator and Organizational Network (DRAGON) Logo

ICF International created the DRAGON database to facilitate the development of comprehensive risk assessments that require systematic review and synthesis of a large database of literature, including toxicologic, epidemiologic, and in vitro studies. DRAGON was specifically developed to meet emerging goals in risk assessment, including:

  • Systematic review of literature
  • Complete documentation of all decisions
  • Flexible data entry forms and fields that capture vastly different study designs
  • Unified data entry scheme to allow sharing among different organizations and groups
  • Centralized management capabilities to track different tasks in the overall work flow
  • Modular structure that can evolve as needs emerge

DRAGON currently consists of three modules that support data extraction from animal toxicology studies, human epidemiology studies, and in vitro studies and three additional modules used for literature categorization, study quality review, and assessment management. These modules facilitate collaboration between multiple scientists internal and external to ICF, allow scientists to transparently record their decisions and rationale, and reduce time spent on document production because reports can be generated automatically. 

Key Features:

  • Allows categorization and the application of exclusion criteria to a list of references; categorization can be performed independently by two scientists to ensure quality and consistency
  • Includes formed-based data entry of key information for studies, dosing-protocols, doses, and endpoints; the inputs entered into the DRAGON software can be marked as QA’d to prevent further editing and to maintain version control
  • Incorporates an Excel-based dosimetric conversion tool created by ICF to provide simple dosimetric conversions using standard U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance
  • Utilizes the BMDS Wizard, which simplifies BMD modeling by providing a structured interface to maintain all inputs, outputs, and decisions made in the BMD modeling process
  • Generates summary results tables to provide detailed results for each endpoint contained in DRAGON, including NOAEL, LOAEL, and/or BMD estimates
  • Generates customized Microsoft Word output reports to display key study findings, endpoint details, and BMD modeling results
  • Generates customizable graphical exposure-arrays to visually compare multiple endpoints

System requirements:

DRAGON is not endorsed or approved by the EPA or the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

For More Information: To schedule a one-on-one demo of the DRAGON tool, email us at

Related Resources

The DRAGON software integrates with the BMDS Wizard, which is designed to track all inputs, outputs, and decisions made when modeling one endpoint in EPA’s BMDS software. Download the BMDS Wizard.

Related Events

Related Market + Service Offerings

Related Links

Authored By

  • Audrey Turley

    Senior ManagerICF International

    Audrey Turley brings her experience in scientific workshop planning, training development, exposure modeling, and human health risk assessment. Ms. Turley has planned and executed several workshops, bringing together scientists to discuss a variety of topics, including goals for a nanomaterials research strategy, the interactions between climate and nitrogen, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for lead, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NexGen risk assessment framework. She currently leads the development of a series of training courses that describe the EPA’s approach to conducting human health risk assessment.

    Ms. Turley has an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Texas A&M University.

  • Cara Henning

    Senior Technical SpecialistICF International

    Cara Henning has six years of professional experience in exposure and risk assessment, air quality modeling, statistical modeling, and quantitative analysis. She has broad experience using and developing a wide range of exposure and risk modeling tools, including biokinetic and physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models (multiple models for exposure to lead, dioxin, cadmium, and perchlorate), dose-response models (BMDS), indoor air-quality models (MIASMA, designed by ICF; renovation rule indoor lead exposure model, designed by ICF), point source and area source emission models (SLAB and ALOHA), population exposure models (HAPEM and APEX), construction emission models (URBEMIS), and traffic emissions models (CALINE4). She has particular experience building model processing tools to facilitate running exposure and risk models in batch mode for applications such as probabilistic analysis or sensitivity analysis. Currently, she is assisting in the development of the cadmium IRIS documents and the dioxin reassessment. Dr. Henning's areas of expertise include physical modeling, statistical and probabilistic modeling, Fortran and VBA coding, database management, and data analysis.

    Dr. Henning has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from Princeton University and a B.S. in Physics with Honors and Highest Distinction from the University of North Carolina.

  • AJ Overton

    Senior AssociateICF International

    A.J. Overton provides support to clients in the areas of human health and environmental risk assessment, air quality analysis, database development, and statistical analysis.

    Mr. Overton has experience in modeling chemical fate and transport in the environment, assessing environmental exposure, and developing software tools to streamline modeling applications and data analysis. He is also a lead for developing Access®-based database solutions, and he supports ICF's statistical team using SAS® 9.3.

    Mr. Overton has a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Toxicology.

  • Pamela Ross

    Technical SpecialistICF International

    Since joining ICF, Pam Ross has used her toxicology expertise to support human health risk assessments for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ms. Ross has assisted in the preparation of several Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Toxicological Reviews. She has performed Benchmark Dose Modeling using EPA’s Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS) for relevant toxicity endpoints. She also has served as primary author for the development of provisional peer-reviewed toxicity value documents (PPRTVs) for the Superfund Technical Support Center.

    Ms. Ross holds an M.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health Sciences.

  • Josh Cleland

    Senior ManagerICF International

    Joshua Cleland has 20 years of experience providing technical support for U.S. federal environmental quality and food safety regulatory programs. His areas of expertise include chemical exposure and risk assessment, environmental modeling, and federal laws and regulations pertaining to solid and hazardous waste management, air and water pollution control, food safety, organic foods, and biotechnology.

    Mr. Cleland has used Microsoft Access and Visual Basic for Applications to create more than 30 user-friendly information management and decision support tools and models for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and other clients. For example, he built a risk-ranking model for FDA to evaluate chemicals in imported aquaculture products, a tool for USDA to aggregate salmonella monitoring data from poultry production facilities, and a tool for FAA to estimate atmospheric emissions from commercial space flight programs. For EPA, he developed the Multimedia Ingestion Risk Calculator (MIRC), a model to estimate human health risk from chemical exposures through diet and other noninhalation exposure pathways.

    Mr. Cleland holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Michigan.


Did you find this content useful?


© Copyright 1992–2015 ICF International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA.