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The purpose of the Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) is to promote safety testing methods that protect human health and the environment while replacing, reducing, and refining animal-based test methods. NIEHS' mission is to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives. Identifying the most human-relevant tests to characterize hazards presented by chemicals is consistent with that mission. In 2016 and 2017, NIEHS continued to support ICCVAM as a member agency and through the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM).
We are very proud of the NICEATM and ICCVAM accomplishments summarized in this report. We particularly applaud the leadership roles taken by NICEATM and ICCVAM during the development of the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States. The Strategic Roadmap establishes a framework to successfully implement testing approaches that will utilize 21st century science to protect and improve public health. The collaborative and transparent approach taken by NICEATM and ICCVAM to develop the Strategic Roadmap effectively sets the stage for the collaborative and transparent approach that will be needed to foster acceptance of these new testing approaches.
The 2016-2017 Biennial Report describes a number of other important activities undertaken by ICCVAM and ICCVAM agencies to advance the ICCVAM mission. NICEATM and ICCVAM worked with stakeholders both within the U.S. and internationally to achieve major progress in advancing technologies that will reduce or replace animal use when identifying substances with the potential to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Advances were also made to reduce or replace animal use for acute systemic toxicity testing and identification of potential endocrine disruptors. NICEATM’s Integrated Chemical Environment, launched in 2017, will provide appropriate data and visualization tools needed to support continued progress towards these goals.
We are pleased to note the recognition that these accomplishments have received from ICCVAM’s stakeholder communities. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., was honored in 2016 with the F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award from the Teratology Society and the Lush Cosmetics Young Researcher – Americas Prize for her research on mathematical and computational modeling of biological systems. NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists were also recognized by the Society of Toxicology with the Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. David Allen, Ph.D., of Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., received the award in 2017 for his work as principal investigator on the NICEATM support contract. ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit, Ph.D., of EPA received the award in 2018, in recognition both of her leadership of ICCVAM and her efforts in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs to improve risk assessments while reducing animal use in toxicity testing.
Development, acceptance, and implementation of new approach methodologies have become central themes in toxicology, and NICEATM and ICCVAM are playing key roles in these areas. As we reflect on the accomplishments of the past two years, we are also looking forward to continued success in achieving the vision of 21st century toxicology.
Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.
Director, NIEHS and NTP
Brian Berridge, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P.
Associate Director, NTP
Scientific Director, NTP Division, NIEHS