NTP welcomed Brian Berridge, D.V.M., Ph.D., as its new associate director on January 7, 2018. He hopes to help NTP integrate cutting-edge toxicology methods, including animal studies, cell-based toxicity testing, and data intensive computer modeling.
As the former director of Worldwide Animal Research Strategy at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he led efforts to improve animal and non-animal methods for testing pharmaceuticals. He has contributed this expertise to the federal Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods since 2015.
One part of Berridge’s role at GSK was decreasing dependence on animal studies by exploring alternative ways to test drugs under development, such as by using cells or computer modeling. These alternative toxicological methods are a priority for NTP.
Berridge worked as a safety assessment pathologist at Eli Lilly and Company before moving to GSK, where he served first as a regulatory toxicologic pathologist. He is now looking forward to applying this experience to the NTP mission.
Berridge said that it has been satisfying to work in the pharmaceutical industry, developing drugs that help people live longer and feel better. "I’m interested in a bigger picture, particularly now that I have two granddaughters," he added. "The environmental public health mission of NTP is really appealing."
Berridge acknowledged that when environmental pollutants have long-term implications, for example, on aging or brain development, toxicology can become really challenging. "But it’s a mission worth doing," he said. "It’s not easy, but even incremental progress can have real impact on people."