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MPS World Summit in New Orleans

The inaugrual MPS World Summit culminated with the creation of the International MPS Society, the first of its kind in the biotech arena. This organization draws leading experts from academia, government, NGOs, and the biotech industry to exchange knowledge, to connect professionals, and to educate on innovative ideas. 

MPS, an acronym for microphysiological systems, is a field of science that uses stems cells to recreate individual organs as well as whole bodies on microchips. These organs-on-a-chip can replace animals in testing pharmaceutical drugs and performing toxicological assessments.

The city of New Orleans welcomed the 665 in-person and virtual attendees from 26 countries with the largest global contigency arriving from Japan. Conference goers heard from the leading medical and engineering researchers about organoids and organ-on-a-chip technologies. The program had 142 speakers; 80 of them were invited and 62 selected from the 318 abstracts submitted. Young investigators submitted 163 abstracts. 

The final session of summit revealed Berlin, Germany, as the location for the MPS World Summit 2023. The next summit will be hosted by CAAT-Europe  Co-director Marcel Leist, TissUse CSO Uwe Marx, and EUROoCs Chair Peter Loskill. The second global gathering will be June 26-30, 2023.


CAAT’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Opening remarks – Andrew Rowan and Alan Goldberg

Developmental NeuroToxicity (DNT) – Helena Hogberg and Tim Shafer

Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC) – Sebastian Hoffmann and Daniele Wikoff

Good Cell Culture Practice (GCCP) Program – Marcel Leist and Sandra Coecke

Green Toxicology – Nick Anastas and Alexandra Maertens

Cosmetic and TestSmart Program – Tony Gaspari and Julia Fentem

Education program – Deborah Rudacille and Lena Smirnova

Refinement Program – Joanne Zurlo and Kathrin Herrmann

World Congress on Alternatives – Bert van Zutphen

Policy Program – Paul Locke and Pamela Frasch

Future Perspectives – Thomas Hartung
 


Challenges and Opportunities for Overcoming Dog Use in Agro-chemical Evaluation and Registration

The 90-day dog study is being conducted for agro-chemical authorization when it is not always needed to adequately address hazard identification and human safety and risk. This virtual workshop will host a series of presentations on the role the dog study has played in regulation of agro-chemicals in both the U.S. and Europe during the past 20 years and what approaches may be employed to substantially reduce its use. The public will have the opportunity to submit comments and questions to be discussed during the following invitation-only workshop.
Presentations:
• Title: The value of the 90-day dog study in pesticide registration toxicity testing in the U.S.
Authors: Patricia L. Bishop (The Humane Society of the United States), Douglas C. Wolf (Syngenta Crop Protection), and Vicki Dellarco (Independent Consultant)
• Title: Incorporating toxicokinetic and toxicity data to evaluate the value added from using dogs in subchronic toxicity testing for agrochemicals
Authors: Lynea Murphy (Corteva AgriScience), Robert Mingoia (Corteva AgriScience), Jean Domoradzki (Corteva AgriScience) Claire Terry (Corteva AgriScience)
 • Title: Relevance of dog studies for the derivation of health-based guidance values for Plant Protection Products Approval - EFSA
Authors:  Martina Panzarea (EFSA) and Andrea Terron (EFSA)
• Title: Species Liver-Chip to assess cross-species drug toxicity and human relevance.
Author: Kyung-Jin Jang (Emulate)
 


Alternative approaches in Developmental Neurotoxicity - a farewell symposium for CAAT’s deputy director Helena Hogberg

There is a paucity of information concerning the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) hazard posed by industrial and environmental chemicals, drugs and consumer products. New testing approaches will most likely be based on batteries of alternative and complementary (non-animal) tests.

This symposium has the objective to discuss and present the status of DNT and honor Helena Hogberg for her 12 years working at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and moving further to NICEATM at NIEHS.

Helena Hogberg – Open remarks

Alan Goldberg and Pamela Lein – DNT—How it all began

Lena Smirnova – DNT journey of CAAT research

Ellen Fritsche – Scientific validation of the neurosphere DNT test methods

Iris Mangas - The DNT programme in EFSA, past, present and future.

Tim Shafer - DNT NAMs are already being used

Magda Sachana - OECD DNT project: seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

Anna Price – Future of DNT testing: evaluation of effects induced by mixtures using NAMs

Mamta Behl - Beyond DNT-  A great colleague and a wonderful friend

Thomas Hartung – Director remarks

Helena Hogberg – Closing remarks
 


EBTC December, 2021 Symposium

Toxicological research is often conducted according to highly uneven standards. Difficulties in comparing the methods used by individual studies often seriously limits our ability to draw firm conclusions from even quite large bodies of evidence.

EBTC's December symposium was about new developments in solving this problem, in particular the marrying of novel techniques in semantic technology to traditional but challenging assay ring-testing and development.

There will be presentations and a Q&A panel from three highly experienced researchers in this space.

Dr Anne Thessen (University of Colorado Anschutz) will introduce some of the more surprising issues around assay consistency, including recent research that suggests scientists cannot reliably distinguish between live and dead zebrafish embryos. She will then describe how semantic technology can help improve this situation - not only in terms of data interoperability, but in reliably performing tasks such as scoring images of larvae.

Dr Sebastian Hoffmann (EBTC) will present an overview of EBTC's recent systematic review of zebrafish embryotoxicity assays. He will show why standardization is becoming such an important issue, particularly in an age where studies are viewed collectively and evidence synthesis is increasingly central to toxicology and chemical risk assessment.

Dr Kristen Ryan (National Toxicology Program) will discuss how broader uptake of the use of zebrafish in toxicology screening is hampered by lack of harmonization in experimental protocols, data analysis, and reporting of research. The SEAZIT program has been launched to address this; Dr Ryan will present on the goals of the program and how it will achieve them.

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