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NICEATM News Archive

NICEATM News is an email list that distributes announcements about NICEATM and ICCVAM activities and other events of interest to those developing alternatives to animal use for chemical safety testing. NICEATM News announcements distributed in the last three years are listed below. Subscribe to NICEATM News

Messages more than three years old are removed from this page quarterly. Subscribers who wish to view older messages can find them on the NICEATM News home page on the NIH Listserv website.

Date Announcement Deadline/Due Date
Sep 09, 2021
Register by Friday Sept. 17 to Present Public Comments at SACATM

The annual meeting of ICCVAM’s advisory committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, is on September 28-29. An agenda, abstracts, and background materials are now available for the virtual meeting.

Agenda items for the upcoming meeting include: (1) major ICCVAM accomplishments in 2021; (2) regulatory needs and research applications for ecotoxicity testing; (3) evolving approaches to validation; and (4) update on NICEATM computational resources. Written and oral comments are invited for the agenda topics. The deadline to register to submit comments is Friday, September 17. Registration to view the meeting will be available through the end of the meeting on September 29.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors that advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

Sep 17, 2021
Sep 09, 2021
EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge Finalists to Present September 22

A webinar on Wednesday, September 22, at 4:30 p.m. EDT will feature presentations by the four finalists in the EMGS 2021 Bioinformatics Challenge:

  • Predicting Molecular Initiating Events from High Throughput Transcriptomic Screening using Machine Learning (lead institution: EPA).
  • Leveraging Zebrafish High-throughput Screening Data and Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks to Advance Predictive Toxicology (lead institution: North Carolina State University).
  • Transcriptomic Meta-Analyses Reveal a Molecular Fingerprint Underlying Hepatic Cholestasis Response (lead institution: ScitoVation LLC).
  • Exposome Target Prediction with Coupled Matrix-Matrix Completion (lead institution: University of Michigan).

The webinar is being presented in conjunction with the 2021 EMGS Virtual Annual Meeting, but it is free and open to the public, and registration for the meeting is not required to attend.

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Sep 09, 2021
Paper Describes New and Updated ICE Tools

A new paper in Computational Toxicology describes recent updates to the Integrated Chemical Environment. ICE provides data and computational tools to support chemical safety testing, allowing a broad range of users to interact with annotated and curated data. This paper includes an overview of the newest ICE tool, Chemical Quest, which allows users to search within the extensive ICE database for structurally similar chemicals to a target chemical or substructure.

Abedini et al. 2021. Application of new approach methodologies: ICE tools to support chemical evaluations. Comput Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comtox.2021.100184.

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Sep 03, 2021
Program Available for ASCCT Annual Meeting; Poster Abstracts Due Sept. 10

ASCCT is hosting their annual meeting virtually from October 12-14. The overarching theme for this year’s meeting is “Practical Applications of New Tools in Toxicology”. The agenda will include five sessions of oral presentations, posters, and other engagement opportunities. The meeting is free and open to the public but registration is required: register by October 8.

Abstracts are still being accepted for static poster presentations and are due by September 10. Abstracts should be related to in vitro and in silico toxicology, broadly defined and including science, policy, and regulatory topics.

Sep 10, 2021
Sep 03, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity at EPA Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure

A postdoctoral research opportunity is available at the EPA Office of Research and Development’s Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure located in Durham, North Carolina. Applications must be received by September 24.

This project focuses on developing computational models to predict the safety of chemicals without running tests on whole animals. The research participant will be part of a team that includes biologists, bioinformaticians, and toxicologists. The participant may evaluate a series of current hypotheses regarding the in vitro to in vivo relevance of the data and will generate and test new hypotheses as appropriate. This research will require integration of in vitro screening data from a variety of assay technologies, in vivo physiology, and toxicokinetic data and models. The participant will gain training in the general areas of computational biology, bioinformatics data science, mathematical modeling, data management, and computational toxicology.

This full-time appointment is initially for one year and may be renewed for 3-4 additional years upon EPA recommendation subject to availability of funding. The candidate should have received a doctoral degree in a relevant field within the last five years or be currently pursuing such a degree. Preferred candidates will have software development experience in Python, R, Java, or C, and proficiency in the use of relational databases. Candidates must be U.S. citizens.

Sep 24, 2021
Sep 03, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity at Indiana University Biocomplexity Institute

The Biocomplexity Institute at Indiana University has a postdoctoral position developing multicellular, multi-scale mechanistic computational models of wound closure, epiboly, and early embryonic development in zebrafish. The position is offered in partnership with Purdue University’s National Science Foundation-funded EMBRIO Institute and is located at the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering in Bloomington, IN. Contact James Glazier at jaglazier@gmail.com with questions. Applications must be received by October 7.

The research participant will work with faculty and student researchers to develop Cellular Potts and particle-based biomechanical models of zebrafish tissue dynamics and implement them in the CompuCell3D and Mechanica modeling frameworks. The models will be used to perform virtual experiments exploring hypotheses about the interplay of biochemical signaling and mechanics leading to emergent regulation in tissue dynamics. The participant will receive training from members of the Biocomplexity and EMBRIO Institutes and relevant collaborators in developmental and cellular biology and computational, mathematical, agent-based, and biological modeling.

The successful candidate will initially receive a 12-month full-time non-tenure track appointment, with the potential for the appointment to be extended annually for a maximum term of four years, subject to satisfactory performance and funding. The candidate should have a doctoral degree in bioengineering, biophysics, mathematical biology or a closely-related field. Commitment to and expertise in developmental biology are essential. Prior publications in agent-based modeling, especially multicellular or biological network modeling are required.

Oct 7, 2021
Aug 26, 2021
Applicant Assistance Program for NIH Grants: Webinar August 30

The NIH Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) provides free support for for-profit companies that are planning to apply for a Phase I NIH SBIR or STTR award. The AAP is open to current and future entrepreneurs developing innovative technology ideas in the healthcare space that who have not previously received NIH SBIR or STTR grants. This includes applicants seeking grants from NIEHS to support development of chemical safety testing methods that reduce or replace animal use. Information about small business grants available from NIEHS and NIEHS’ participation in the AAP is available on the NIEHS website.

Applications for the AAP are due September 22. Potential applicants can learn more about the AAP at an informational webinar on Monday, August 30, from 12:30-2:00 p.m. EDT. The webinar is hosted by the National Cancer Institute. The informational webinar will be followed by a Q&A webinar on Wednesday, September 8, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Sep 22, 2021
Aug 26, 2021
USDA Updates Guidance on Reference Standards; Comments Due September 20

USDA is updating Veterinary Services Memorandum (VSM) 800.211, Guidance for Master Reference Qualification, Requalification, Dating, and Monitoring. The revision of VSM 800.211, which was last updated in 2011, seeks to clarify and provide additional detail regarding dating of newly licensed product Master References and monitoring the stability of those references. This updated memorandum also includes guidance on reference qualification and requalification, including guidance for use of in vitro methods for this purpose. Comments on the revision of VSM 800.211 are requested by Monday, September 20.

Sep 20, 2021
Aug 26, 2021
EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations on Skin Sensitization Method

The EURL ECVAM scientific advisory committee has issued “ESAC Opinion on the Scientific Validity of the GARDskin and GARDpotency Test Methods.” ESAC, the EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee, advises EURL ECVAM on scientific issues. It conducts independent peer reviews of validation studies of alternative test methods and assesses their scientific validity for a given purpose. The new report relates to the peer review of the GARDskin and GARDpotency in vitro test methods for skin sensitization. The ESAC considers that GARDskin can contribute to skin sensitization hazard identification in a weight-of-evidence approach. However, ESAC identified issues with the GARDpotency assay that need to be addressed before it can be used for regulatory purposes.

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Aug 24, 2021
Agenda and Other Materials Available for September 28-29 SACATM Meeting

An agenda, abstracts, and background materials are now available for the virtual SACATM meeting on September 28-29. Registration to view the meeting will be available through the end of the meeting on September 29. Interested persons may also register to submit comments for consideration at the meeting. The deadline to register to submit comments is Friday, September 17.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors that advises ICCVAMNICEATM, and the Director of NIEHS and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. Agenda items for the upcoming meeting include: (1) major ICCVAM accomplishments in 2021; (2) regulatory needs and research applications for ecotoxicity testing; (3) evolving approaches to validation; and (4) update on NICEATM computational resources.

Sep 17, 2021
Aug 24, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity at EPA Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure

A postdoctoral research opportunity is available at the EPA Office of Research and Development’s Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure located in Durham, North Carolina. Applications must be received by September 20.

This project focuses on refining and advancing EPA's tools for high-throughput toxicokinetics (HTTK). The research participant will join a high-performing team supporting the advancement of HTTK and will be mentored in conducting independent research. Depending upon the participant's interests, the project may address (1) new mathematical toxicokinetic models for occupationally relevant routes of exposure and sensitive populations; (2) new methods, and potentially a new R package, for the analysis of in vitro toxicokinetic measurements; (3) analysis of machine learning tools for extrapolating from existing data; (4) analysis of new in vitro toxicokinetic data; and/or (5) new approaches for evaluating in vitro predictions with in vivo data.

This full-time appointment is initially for one year and may be renewed for 3-4 additional years upon EPA recommendation subject to availability of funding. The candidate should have received a doctoral degree in a relevant field within the last five years or expect to complete such a degree by September 24. Relevant fields include biomedical engineering, informatics, computer science, signal processing, machine learning, chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, pharmacology, or statistics. Candidates must be U.S. citizens.

Sep 20, 2021
Aug 24, 2021
Applications Being Accepted for Regulatory Testing Specialist at PCRM

PCRM is hiring a Regulatory Testing Specialist to join the Research and Regulatory Affairs Team. The Regulatory Testing Specialist will work to promote alternatives to the use of animals in toxicological testing and research, with an emphasis on international guidelines and activities. The applicant should have a master’s or doctoral degree in toxicology, pharmacology, cell biology, or a related field and at least two years of experience in a non-governmental organization, government, or industry position related to regulatory testing and/or compliance. Experience with OECD test guidelines and regulatory requirements is a plus. This full-time position is based in PCRM’s offices in Washington DC but may be performed remotely from any location in the United States

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Aug 18, 2021
ICCVAM Members to Serve on National Academies Panel Examining Mammalian Toxicity Tests

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Elijah Petersen of NIST are among the provisional members of a committee being convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the consensus study, “Variability and Relevance of Current Laboratory Mammalian Toxicity Tests and Expectations for New Approach Methods (NAMs) for use in Human Health Risk Assessment.” Kleinstreuer and Petersen are both members of ICCVAM. The National Academies’ Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology is accepting comment on the composition of the committee through August 29.

This study will review the variability and relevance of existing mammalian toxicity tests, specifically in the context of human health risk assessment. It will set data-driven and science-based expectations for NAMs based on the variability and relevance of the traditional toxicity testing models. 

Aug 29, 2021
Aug 18, 2021
PCRM Offering Training of Alternatives to Animal Use for Acute Toxicity

PCRM will present five virtual training and discussion sessions focused on available methods and strategies for avoiding or reducing animal tests when assessing chemicals and pesticides for six acute endpoints commonly referred to as the “6-pack.” Methods and strategies presented will be applicable to pesticides, antimicrobials, and other products. The series will be held on consecutive Thursdays starting on September 9. For a complete schedule and to register, visit https://www.pcrm.org/ethical-science/animal-testing-and-alternatives/nura.

Each session in the “Nix the Six” virtual training series will feature three to four short lectures and a roundtable discussion in a Zoom Webinar format. Attendees will be able to ask questions and provide comments; other applications may be used to enable additional interaction between attendees and panelists. Registrants may attend any or all of the sessions, which are free and open to the public. Speakers include NICEATM scientist Kamel Mansouri (Session 1, “Oral and Dermal Toxicity”), ICCVAM member Joanna Matheson, CPSC (Session 3, “Skin and Eye Irritation”), and acting NICEATM Director Kleinstreuer (Session 5, “Opportunities and Outlook”).

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Aug 18, 2021
NIH to Present Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Symposium

The NIH Office of Research Services will present a Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Symposium on Thursday, September 9, from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public but registration is required. Complete information is available on the event webpage; a link to register can be found on the left menu.

The symposium includes a morning plenary session with the keynote presentation, “Big data for health and disease” and talks on DNA structure, proteomic tumor analysis, and data integration to study COVID-19. The afternoon session includes concurrent tracks on single-cell sequencing and genomics.

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Aug 18, 2021
Webinar to Discuss Standards for Implementation of Organs-on-chips

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology in Vitro are co-hosting a webinar “Organs-on-chips: New Science and Standards for Implementation.” It will be presented Friday, September 10, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT.

The webinar will feature two presentations:

  • “Organ-on-Chip models for bioavailability, biotransformation, and (sub)chronic toxicity studies”: Meike van der Zande, Wageningen Food Safety Research, will discuss the design and characterization of intestinal and liver organ-on-chip systems and their potential applications in pharmacology and toxicology.
  • “The many roles of standards for organ on chip”: Monica Piergiovanni, European Commission Joint Research Centre, will summarize a workshop that brought researchers, developers, standards authorities, and regulators together to build a list of areas where standards would contribute to wider acceptance and use of organs-on-chips.

 

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Aug 18, 2021
University of New South Wales Seeks Collaborators for 3Rs Research Projects

The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has approved $250,000 (AUD) for research proposals that address one or more of the following criteria:

  • Show promise for replacing or substantially reducing the number of animals used in research.
  • Establish or significantly develop new methodologies.
  • Develop animal welfare applications for the University's Tecniplast digital ventilated caging system.

Funding applicants must be academic staff of the University of New South Wales, but collaborations are welcome. Applications are due September 20; for more information, visit the University of New South Wales website or contact Malcolm France.

Sep 20, 2021
Aug 12, 2021
August 18 Webinar to Provide Overview of ICE

The NIEHS Office of Data Science will present a webinar on “The Integrated Chemical Environment: Computational Tools and Curated Data to Support Toxicity Assessment” on Wednesday, August 18, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The webinar is free and open to the public. To join the webinar on August 18, go to https://nih.zoomgov.com/j/1607258769.

NTP’s Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) provides access to high-quality, curated, regulatory-relevant toxicological and chemical data and in silico predictions of chemical properties to support chemical evaluations, data integration, and model development. In this webinar, John Rooney, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), will describe how ICE uses annotations and graphic displays to provide context for high-throughput assay results. He will demonstrate some ICE tools and present case studies showing how these tools can be used for chemical analyses and comparisons.

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Aug 12, 2021
September 21 Webinar to Provide Overview of Skin Sensitization

NICEATM is partnering with the Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to present a webinar series on “Current Concepts in Quantitative Risk Assessment for Skin Sensitization.” The first webinar, which provides an introduction to skin sensitization and contact dermatitis, will be Tuesday, September 21, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The webinar is free and open to the public. Information about the webinar series and a link to register for the September webinar are available on the webinar series webpage.

Despite progress in the adoption of new approach methods as alternatives to traditional animal tests, quantitative risk assessment of skin sensitizing chemicals remains a challenging process. This webinar series will provide an overview of the current state of the science in this rapidly developing field. While the main focus of the webinars will be on testing of pesticides, the webinars will be of interest to the broader scientific community as they rely on the development of concepts and methods in other areas, e.g. cosmetics, fragrances, and consumer products.

The September 21 webinar will feature David Basketter, DABMEB Consultancy Ltd., speaking on the history and current state of play for skin sensitization testing, and Wolfgang Uter, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, discussing the epidemiology of contact dermatitis with a focus on occupational exposure and monitoring.

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Aug 12, 2021
Article Reviews Activities of MPS Working Group

A feature article published online July 28 in Drug Discovery Today reviews progress in the effort to apply microphysiological systems (MPS, also known as “tissue chips”) to the development of therapies for COVID-19. Coauthors Nicole Kleinstreuer, acting Director of NICEATM, and Anthony Holmes, National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (United Kingdom), describe the establishment of a global working group to coordinate activities around MPSs and COVID-19 and to maximize their scientific, human health, and animal welfare impacts.

Kleinstreuer, N. and Holmes, A. 2021. Harnessing the power of microphysiological systems for COVID-19 research. Drug Discovery Today. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drudis.2021.06.020

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Aug 03, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity in Cheminformatics at NIEHS

A postdoctoral position is available in the Predictive Toxicology Branch in the Division of the NTP at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Applications will be accepted until October 18 or until the position is filled.

The position will support a project to develop a comprehensive in-house in silico modeling pipeline that will combine best practices in data-curation, data-mining and predictive machine-learning tools and serve as a resource for DNTP and cross-divisional NIEHS collaborators. The postdoctoral fellow will be co-mentored by NIEHS scientists Kamel Mansouri and Charles Schmitt.

The applicant should have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline and no more than five years of postdoctoral experience. They should have experience in cheminformatics and computational chemistry; statistics and advanced data mining methods; and machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. They should also have experience with programming languages (Python, Matlab, Java), modeling and molecular simulation tools, and the KNIME environment.

Oct 18, 2021
Aug 03, 2021
NICEATM Activities at World Congress

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will take place virtually August 23-September 2. Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is on the scientific committee for the conference, and she and other NICEATM scientists will be giving over 20 platform and poster presentations. Presentations will also be given by Acting Predictive Toxicology Branch Chief Warren Casey and other ICCVAM committee and workgroup members.

A schedule of NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at World Congress is available on the NTP website.

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Aug 03, 2021
SBIR/STTR Omnibus Grant Funding Opportunity Announcements

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the 2021 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Omnibus Grant Solicitations. This funding is available for small business grant applications to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

Projects being funded by NIEHS under these solicitations include development of toxicity screening, testing, and modeling approaches that support Tox21 and other NTP goals. Areas of high priority include development of:

  • Tools for exposure assessment, including assessment of exposure to nanomaterials
  • Improved or expanded testing methods for toxicity screening
  • Computational approaches for predictive toxicology
  • Technologies such as alternative or improved methods for fixing and preserving tissues

The first deadline for applications under this announcement is September 5. More information is available on the NICEATM website.

Sep 5, 2021
Aug 03, 2021
August 5 Webinar Considers Threshold of Toxicological Concern Values

The SOT Computational Toxicology Specialty Section will present a webinar “Moving from One-Size-Fits-All to Fit-for Purpose TTC Values” on Thursday, August 5, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The webinar is free and open to the public.

Threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) values have historically been derived from datasets of structurally diverse compounds that span a wide range of toxicological or carcinogenic potency. However, there is increasing interest in developing fit-for-purpose TTC values for compounds in specific use categories or structural classes. Speakers Ron Brown, Risk Sciences Consortium, and Grace Patlewicz, EPA, will explore recent efforts to develop fit-for-purpose TTC values and describe the factors that should be considered when deriving TTC values for compounds in specific use or structural categories.

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Jul 29, 2021
Slides and Video Available from ICCVAM Public Forum

Slides and video are now available from the May 27 ICCVAM Public Forum. The Public Forum featured 13 presentations from nine ICCVAM member agencies describing activities supporting replacement, reduction, or refinement of animal use for chemical safety testing. Representatives of nine ICCVAM stakeholder organizations presented statements during the meeting. Topics addressed by the commenters included validation of new methods and incorporation of human-relevant data; communicating effectively with the public about the validity of non-animal methods; and the need for international agreement on testing requirements.

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Jul 29, 2021
September 16 Webinar to Discuss New Non-animal Test for Fish Toxicity

The internationally accepted RTgill-W1 cell line assay for acute fish toxicity will be discussed in a webinar to be presented on Thursday, September 16, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The webinar is being presented by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, and Aquatox Solutions Ltd.

The RTgill-W1 cell line assay was recently adopted by OECD, and is the first internationally accepted cell-based test for acute fish toxicity. The webinar will provide an overview of the assay and discuss its advantages, limitations, and potential future applications and developments.

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Jul 29, 2021
Paper Describes Validation Study of Endocrine Test Method

A new paper discusses validation of the AR-CALUX test method, which identifies chemicals with the potential to interact with the androgen receptor. Warren Casey, Acting Chief of the Predictive Toxicology Branch at DNTP is a co-author of the paper, which found the method was able to detect androgen receptor agonists and antagonists.

Milcamps et al. 2021. Reliability of the AR-CALUX in vitro method used to detect chemicals with (anti)androgen activity: results of an international ring trial. Toxicol Sci. https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfab078.

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Jul 13, 2021
July 13 Webinar to Discuss In Vitro Platforms for Cardiotoxicity Testing

Putting In Vitro Platforms at the Heart of Cardiotoxicity Testing” will be the focus of a webinar to be presented Tuesday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m. EDT by the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research.

A typical investigative animal study to assess cardiac contractility of drugs prior to clinical trials can use up to 24 dogs. Applying in vitro platforms early in drug development could significantly reduce these numbers. The webinar will present the results of the 2013 InPulse CRACK IT Challenge to develop a human-based in vitro system to assess cardiotoxicity in new drugs.

Chris Denning, University of Nottingham, will describe the technologies developed under the CRACK IT Challenge, how they were validated, and how they have been applied across various sectors. Peter Clements, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will describe the rationale behind the challenge and how GSK will apply the technologies developed. He will also discuss the wider scientific and 3Rs benefits of these models compared to traditional in vitro and in vivo approaches.

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Jul 13, 2021
Kleinstreuer to Participate in July 15 Livestreamed Event on Artificial Intelligence

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will be one of five experts presenting their work on artificial intelligence at a livestreamed event on Thursday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Experts in different industries will present case studies and perspectives on how computational approaches can be applied to learning and problem-solving.

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Jul 13, 2021
July 21 Webinar Considers Toxicological Aspects of COVID-19

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will present a webinar on “Bridging Toxicology and Research: COVID-19 Initiatives” on Wednesday, July 21, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Marco Travaglio, University of Cambridge, will present the results of his study examining links between COVID-19 and air pollution. He found that multiple markers of poor air quality, including nitrogen oxides PM2.5, are associated with increased COVID-19 deaths in England. Maria João Amorim, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, will discuss the CIAO project, which focuses on modeling the pathogenesis of COVID-19 using the adverse outcome pathway framework. This crowdsourcing effort is building evidence about the biological mode of action of the virus with the goal of informing policy and healthcare decisions.

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Jul 13, 2021
Registration Open for September 28-29 SACATM Meeting; Submit Comments by September 17

Registration is open for the virtual meeting of SACATM on September 28-29. Interested persons may also register to submit comments for consideration at the meeting. The deadline to register to submit comments is Friday, September 17; registration to view the webcast will be open until the meeting ends on September 29.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors that advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the Director of NIEHS and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. Preliminary agenda items for the upcoming meeting include: (1) major ICCVAM accomplishments in 2021; (2) regulatory needs and research applications for ecotoxicity testing; (3) evolving approaches to validation; and (4) update on NICEATM computational resources. More information about the meeting is available in a June 30 Federal Register notice.

Sep 17, 2021
Jul 13, 2021
EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge Finalists to Present September 22

A webinar on Wednesday, September 22, at 4:30 p.m. EDT will feature presentations by the four finalists in the EMGS 2021 Bioinformatics Challenge:

  • Predicting Molecular Initiating Events from High Throughput Transcriptomic Screening using Machine Learning (lead institution: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Leveraging Zebrafish High-throughput Screening Data and Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks to Advance Predictive Toxicology (lead institution: North Carolina State University).
  • Transcriptomic Meta-Analyses Reveal a Molecular Fingerprint Underlying Hepatic Cholestasis Response (lead institution: ScitoVation LLC).
  • Exposome Target Prediction with Coupled Matrix-Matrix Completion (lead institution: University of Michigan).

The webinar is being presented in conjunction with the 2021 EMGS Virtual Annual Meeting, but it is free and open to the public, and registration for the meeting is not required to attend.

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Jul 13, 2021
New Paper Considers Data Quality for In Silico Models

Acting NICEATM Director Kleinstreuer and NICEATM scientist John Rooney (ILS, contractor supporting NICEATM) are co-authors of a recent paper that discusses the impact of input data on artificial intelligence models. The article reviews efforts to improve confidence in the robustness of toxicological data. Case studies demonstrate the effect of data curation on the performance of artificial intelligence models for predicting skin sensitization and skin irritation.

Alves et al. 2021. Curated data in — trustworthy in silico models out: the impact of data quality on the reliability of artificial intelligence models as alternatives to animal testing. ATLA. https://doi.org/10.1177/02611929211029635.

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Jun 30, 2021
Grants for Application of Colon/Intestine Chips: Apply by June 30

Emulate, Inc., a leader in organ-on-chips technology, has developed an in vitro system that combines organoids and organs-on-chips technology to more faithfully recreate human biology. Their Colon Intestine-Chip Grant Program will offer one researcher the hardware, chips, cells, and scientific support needed to get started using Organs-on-Chips technology for colon research.

Applications must be received by June 30. One grant winner will be selected and receive over $130,000 of equipment, including the essential hardware, chips, validated cells, and scientific support to apply this technology to their research. Applicants must not be current users of the Emulate Human Emulation System. Equipment can only be shipped to facilities in the U.S., Canada, European Union, United Kingdom, or Switzerland.

Jun 30, 2021
Jun 30, 2021
Abstract Submission Open for ASCCT 2021: Deadline July 23 for Oral Presentations

ASCCT is hosting their annual meeting virtually from October 12-14. The overarching theme for this year’s meeting is “Practical Applications of New Tools in Toxicology”. The agenda will include five sessions of oral presentations, posters, and other engagement opportunities.

The abstract deadline for the ASCCT annual meeting has been extended. Abstracts to be considered for oral and “flash” poster presentations are due by July 23. Abstracts to be considered for static poster presentations only are due by September 10. Abstracts should be related to in vitro and in silico toxicology, broadly defined and including science, policy, and regulatory topics.

Volunteers are still needed for the meeting organizing committee; if you are interested, please contact the Secretary at ksullivan@ascctox.org.

Jul 23, 2021
Jun 30, 2021
Call for Submissions of Endocrine Disruptor Test Methods for Prevalidation Studies

The European Union Public-private Partnership for the Pre-validation of Endocrine Disruptors Characterization Methods (PEPPER) is seeking candidate methods for prevalidation studies. Candidate methods should have been developed in Europe in response to an identified need relevant to regulatory identification of endocrine disruptors. Methods should have an established protocol and historical data, not require specialized or expensive equipment, and have the potential to reduce or replace animal use for endocrine disruptor identification.

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Jun 30, 2021
Opportunities for Scientists at IIVS

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS) is a non-profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the advancement of in vitro methods worldwide. IIVS is unique in its position as a high-quality testing laboratory that also offers technical and educational resources to advance the field.

IIVS currently has openings for the scientific positions listed below.

  • Biologist I: Entry-level laboratory scientist position; candidate should have at least an A.A./A.S. degree in biological sciences.
  • Toxicologist I: Develops and performs a variety of toxicology studies; candidate should have either a master’s degree and 3+ years of relevant experience or a Ph.D.
  • Toxicologist I/Study Director: Develops and performs a variety of toxicology studies and participates in management of dermal and ocular programs; candidate should have either a master’s degree and 3+ years of relevant experience or a Ph.D.
  • Laboratory Administrative Support Specialist: ensures GLP compliance and prepares and reviews protocols and reports; candidate should have at least a B.A./B.S. in biological sciences or equivalent experience.
  • Respiratory Toxicology and Immunology Scientist: Develops and performs a variety of toxicology studies and participates in development of the respiratory sensitization program; candidate should have a Ph.D. and up to 3 years of relevant experience.
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Jun 21, 2021
June 23 Webinar Considers Stem Cells in Toxicology

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology in Vitro are co-hosting a webinar “Human Induced Pluropotent Stem Cells (hiPSC) in Toxicology”. The webinar will feature two presentations:

  • Catherine Verfaillie, Leuven University, Belgium: Multicellular 3D liver models based on hiPSC-derived liver cells
  • Anne Marie Vinggard, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark: Novel human pluripotent stem cell-based assays to predict developmental toxicity

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, June 23 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT; registration is required.

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Jun 21, 2021
Applications Being Accepted for Regulatory Testing Specialist at PCRM

PCRM is hiring a Regulatory Testing Specialist to join the Research and Regulatory Affairs Team. The Regulatory Testing Specialist will work to promote alternatives to the use of animals in toxicological testing and research, with an emphasis on international guidelines and activities. Applicants should have a master’s or doctoral degree in toxicology, pharmacology, cell biology, or a related field and at least two years of experience in a non-governmental organization, government, or industry position related to regulatory testing and/or compliance.

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Jun 16, 2021
NICEATM Releases ICE 3.4

On June 7, NICEATM released version 3.4 of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. This release adds new tools and expanded capabilities to the existing ICE resources.

ICE version 3.4 includes the following new tools and expanded capabilities:

  • Chemical Quest (Beta): uses fingerprints to predict structure similarity.
  • Drawing of 2D structures (part of the Chemical Quest tool): users can draw their own structures and query ICE for all chemicals that are similar to the drawn structure.
  • Query by multiple chemical identifiers: CASRNs, DTXSIDs, SMILES or InChiKeys are now accepted as inputs into all ICE tools.
  • Send assays to other ICE tools: users can switch between ICE tools and keep the same assays selected.

New data and data updates include:

  • DART in vivo assays from NTP and the European Chemicals Agency.
  • Dermal irritation in vivo assays (rat Draize skin irritation/corrosion test).
  • Updates to ICE curated high-throughput screening data and data from OPERA.
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Jun 16, 2021
OECD Issues Guideline for Skin Sensitization Assessment and Other New Documents

The OECD Test Guidelines Programme has issued a new test guideline, Defined Approaches for Skin Sensitisation. Development of the new guideline was sponsored by NICEATM in collaboration with other U.S. government agencies and scientists from Canada and the European Union. This document represents a new type of product for OECD, and will enable a non-animal approach to identifying potential skin sensitizers to be used worldwide. Validation against a curated set of human data indicates that this approach predicts human skin sensitization hazard better than the accepted animal test.

Other documents approved by OECD include:

  • A new test guideline describing use of a reconstructed human epidermis model for phototoxicity assessment.
  • Updates of six test guidelines for eye and skin irritation and skin sensitization.
  • Two new test guidelines for aquatic toxicity tests.
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Jun 16, 2021
Kamel Mansouri Receives QSAR 2021 Promising Early Career Award

The QSAR 2021 Conference Organizing Committee selected DNTP/NICEATM scientist Kamel Mansouri as the recipient of the QSAR 2021 Promising Early Career Award. The award recognizes an early career scientist that demonstrates significant contributions to the field of non-animal testing methods and shows promise in continuing to have a meaningful role in the field. The award was presented at the awards luncheon on June 9.

Mansouri is a computational chemist at NIEHS. He led an international project to build computational models to predict whether substances might be toxic when ingested. He is also the lead developer of OPERA, a free and open-source/open-data suite of quantitative structure activity relationship models that provides predictions of physicochemical properties, environmental fate parameters, and toxicity endpoints.

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Jun 07, 2021
NASA Providing Support for MPS Research: Conference June 8

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division is announcing a multi-agency initiative, “Extended Longevity of 3D Tissues and Microphysiological Systems for Modeling of Acute and Chronic Exposures to Stressors (3DTANDMPS)”. The initiative kicked off with a virtual Pre-Proposers Conference to eld on June 8, 12 noon EDT. This conference enabled NASA to provide potential proposers with information, or emphasize existing information that may benefit proposers. Proposers also had the opportunity to pose questions and receive answers and request clarifications. 

This announcement is focused on adapting existing 3D tissues and microphysiological systems (MPS) to extend the current longevity of the 3D tissues and MPS to at least 6 months. Proposals for this initiative are due June 28, 2021. For more information about the initiative contact Lucie Low.

Jun 28, 2021
Jun 03, 2021
Draft EPA Risk Assessment for Chlorothalonil Available; Submit Comments by July 20

A notice published by EPA in the May 21 Federal Register announced availability of draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for several pesticides. EPA is accepting public comment on the risk assessments through July 20. The Federal Register notice includes instructions on how to submit comments.

One of the pesticides covered by this announcement is the fungicide chlorothalonil, which was the subject of a case study to use an in vitro model to develop an inhalation risk assessment. The case study is described in an article in the 2018-2019 ICCVAM Biennial Report. Data from the in vitro model was used to derive human inhalation risk, which is included in the document “Chlorothalonil: Revised Human Health Draft Risk Assessment for Registration Review.” This and other documents relevant to the chlorothalonil evaluation are available in a docket on Regulations.gov.

Jul 20, 2021
Jun 03, 2021
16th Annual Multicell Virtual-Tissue Modeling Online Summer School and Hackathon

CompuCell 3D is hosting their 16th Annual Multicell Virtual-Tissue Modeling Online Summer School and Hackathon from August 1-8. Anyone with a current or potential interest in mechanistic modeling of biological systems is invited to participate in the event. The course covers multicellular modeling, which applies to developmental and tissue biology, tissue engineering, emergent diseases like cancer, in-host modeling of infection and immune response and tissue-level toxicology. No specific programming or mathematical experience is required.

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Jun 03, 2021
Registration Open for 11th World Congress; Summary of NICEATM Activities

Registration is open for the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, to be held online August 23-September 1. The World Congress online platform will provide a unique place for discussions of the most important topics relevant to replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use in the life sciences.

NICEATM has had three abstracts accepted to World Congress for oral presentations and nine accepted for poster presentations. Acting NICEATM director Nicole Kleinstreuer is also participating in six sessions as a speaker, co-chair, or roundtable discussant. Information about NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at World Congress will be available soon on the NICEATM website.

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Jun 03, 2021
Upcoming Events in the Environmental Health Language Collective

NIEHS is fostering a community-driven initiative, the Environmental Health Language Collaborative, to advance integrative environmental health research by developing and promoting adoption of a harmonized language. This initiative will facilitate answering large-scale complex research questions that require integration of multiple disparate data sources by developing language standards for describing data and biomedical knowledge.

To kick-start the initiative, NIEHS is hosting a series of virtual events:

  • June 24, 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT: The Value of Creating Language and Community in Catalyzing Knowledge-Driven Discovery in Environmental Health Research
  • July 20, 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT: A Primer on Using Terminologies, Vocabularies, and Ontologies for Knowledge Organization
  • September 9-10, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EDT: Catalyzing Knowledge-Driven Discovery in Environmental Health Sciences through a Harmonized Language

The events will be recorded and made available on the pre-workshop website for those unable to attend. If you have questions about the initiative, community, or the workshops, please contact Stephanie Holmgren.  

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Jun 03, 2021
Video Available: May 12 Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology

A video is available from a May 12 meeting covering “Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology.” This is an annual event organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and the Animal-Free Safety Assessment Collaboration. The video recording of the webinar can be found on the CAAT YouTube page.

The meeting featured updates on efforts to advance toxicity testing in the 21st century. Presentations from leaders in the field included an update from acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer on ICCVAM and NICEATM activities.

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Jun 03, 2021
Materials from Standardization of Organ on Chips Workshop Available

Materials are now available from an April 28-29 virtual workshop, “Putting Science into Standards - Organ on Chip: Towards Standardization.” The workshop was organized by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the European Committee for Standardization, and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.

Organs-on-chips, or more broadly microphysiological systems, are innovative devices that emulate human/animal biology and can reproduce one or more aspects of an organ’s functionality. The goal of this workshop was to facilitate the exchange of views on the future development of this technology, its application areas, and stakeholder needs in order to identify how European standardization can support safe, widescale deployment of these systems. The workshop included eight plenary sessions and three themed parallel breakout sessions.

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May 27, 2021
NICEATM to Collaborate with Unilever on Development of Predictive Model for Skin Sensitization

NICEATM has entered into an agreement with consumer products company Unilever to collaboratively test and further develop their Skin Allergy Risk Assessment (SARA) predictive model. SARA is a computational model that uses a variety of input data to estimate a probability that a chemical will cause an allergic skin reaction in humans. NICEATM will test the SARA model using a variety of chemical data sets, including chemicals of interest to U.S. and international regulatory agencies. NICEATM and Unilever will also work together to expand the SARA model to include data generated by NICEATM. The intent is to make the SARA model openly available for public use along with other NICEATM predictive models. Availability of the SARA model will help further reduce animal use for the endpoint of skin sensitization, and will improve upon existing efforts by providing points of departure for quantitative human risk assessment.

Information about other NICEATM projects to evaluate alternatives to animal use for skin sensitization is available on the NTP website.

Reference: Reynolds et al. Probabilistic prediction of human skin sensitizer potency for use in next generation risk assessment. Comput Toxiol 9:36-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comtox.2018.10.004

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May 20, 2021
Video, Slides Available from MPSCoRe Spring Workshop

MPS provide human cell-based platforms that enable the study both of normal organ function and effects on organ function by toxicants or pathogens. On April 1, NICEATM and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animal Research (NC3Rs) co-hosted a Spring Workshop for the Microphysiological Systems for COVID Research (MPSCoRe) working group.

Meeting attendees were individuals and organizations that represent MPS stakeholders as well as COVID researchers. The agenda featured talks from two sessions, “MPS Models for Testing Therapeutics” and “MPS Models for Understanding Disease Mechanisms”, followed by a Roundtable discussion. To view a recording of the presentations and other materials from the meeting, visit the NICEATM MPS page.

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May 20, 2021
Abstract Submission Open for ASCCT Annual Meeting, Deadline July 15

ASCCT is hosting their annual meeting virtually from October 12-14, 2021. The overarching theme for this year’s meeting is “Practical Applications of New Tools in Toxicology”. The agenda will include five sessions of oral presentations, posters, and other engagement opportunities.

Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are due by July 15, 2021. Abstracts should be related to in vitro and in silico toxicology, broadly defined and including science, policy, and regulatory topics.

Jul 15, 2021
May 12, 2021
May 18 Webinar Reviews In Vitro Assays for Genotoxic and Carcinogenic Potential and Cellular Stress

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology in Vitro are co-hosting a webinar “New Approach Methods in Genotoxicity and Mechanistic Toxicity Testing for the Animal-free Safety Assessment of Novel Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals”. The webinar will feature a presentation from Giel Hendriks, CEO of Toxys, who will talk about the development of in vitro cell-based assays for chemical safety assessment with the focus on understanding the mode-of-action of toxic compounds. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 18, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT. Registration is required.

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May 11, 2021
Applications Being Accepted for Staff Scientist Within NICEATM

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is seeking an experienced scientist to join NICEATM. Candidates must have:

  • Specialized experience in nonanimal alternatives and in vitro testing strategies.
  • Strong background in toxicology, physiology, molecular biology, and/or related biological science disciplines.
  • Understanding of principles used for chemical and safety hazard evaluations and risk assessment.
  • Knowledge of environmental factors capable of adversely affecting human health.
  • Experience with model systems for predicting human health effects, such as microphysiological systems, organotypic cultures, stem cell based approaches, and ‘omics technologies.
  • Understanding of the goals and activities of NICEATM and its working relationship with ICCVAM, DNTP, NIEHS, NIH, and other federal agencies, as well as experience working with NGOs, chemical industry scientists, and research organizations.

Review of applications will begin on June 3. Applicants must have a PhD, DVM, ScD, MD, or equivalent in toxicology or related fields, with at least five years of research experience after receiving the final degree, such as postdoctoral research and/or equivalent experience in their field. Application packages should include a full curriculum vitae and a 3-4 page statement of research experience and interests as well as three letters of recommendation. Please include in your CV a description of mentoring and outreach activities, especially those involving women or other underrepresented groups in biomedical research.

Jun 3, 2021
May 06, 2021
Agenda Available for May 27 ICCVAM Public Forum

An agenda is available for the ICCVAM public forum, which will be presented virtually Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. EDT. This event is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. NICEATM, ICCVAM, and a number of ICCVAM agencies will describe activities both to advance new approaches to safety testing of chemicals and medical products and to reduce the amount of testing required.

Registration is required to view the public forum webcast and will be open through the end of the meeting on May 27. Interested persons may also register to present oral public statements with associated slides on topics relevant to ICCVAM's mission. Requests to present oral statements during the meeting will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as time permits. The deadline for registering to present oral public statements is May 14.

May 14, 2021
May 06, 2021
Call for Nominations: National Academies Panel to Review the Variability and Relevance of Mammalian Toxicity Tests

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a review of the variability and relevance of existing laboratory mammalian toxicity tests for human health risk assessment. This review will inform the development of approaches for validation and establishing scientific confidence in using new approach methodologies (NAMs). The panel will also develop recommendations on expectations associated with NAMs when they cannot be compared with human studies. The work of the study committee will be informed by:

  • An initial public workshop organized by a subgroup of the committee.
  • A literature review that addresses the variability and human relevance of current laboratory mammalian toxicity tests and approaches to validation and establishing scientific confidence in using NAMs.
  • Public information gathering meetings organized by the study committee.

Nominations are due May 13 for committee members and reviewers for this study. Nominees should have expertise in the fields of in vitro assay development, model systems toxicology, human health risk assessment, biostatistics, veterinary medicine, or in silico and in vitro alternatives to animal testing systems. For more information, contact Clifford Duke at cduke@nas.edu.

May 13, 2021
May 06, 2021
Paper Describes Global Collaboration to Develop Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

A paper published April 30 in Environmental Health Perspectives describes a NICEATM-led international project to build computational models to predict whether substances might be toxic when ingested. The project produced the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite (CATMoS), which was developed specifically to help reduce or replace animal use for regulatory testing. An article about the paper is featured in the current issue of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Environmental Factor newsletter.

Mansouri et al. 2021. CATMoS: Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite. Environ Health Perspect 129(4):47013. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/EHP8495

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May 04, 2021
May 12 Webinar to Present Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and the Animal-Free Safety Assessment Collaboration are hosting their annual meeting on Wednesday May 12, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT. The topic of this year’s meeting is “Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology”.

The meeting will feature updates on efforts to advance toxicity testing in the 21st century (TT21C), and leaders in the field will provide brief presentations, including an update from acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer on ICCVAM and NICEATM activities. Ample time will be reserved for discussion among webinar participants. This annual meeting has been held in the past as a satellite meeting of the SOT annual meeting. This year, however, with SOT held virtually, it was decided to hold the TT21C meeting virtually as well, and to do so independently from the SOT meeting.

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May 04, 2021
May 13 Webinar Will Discuss Incorporating Non-animal Methods Into TSCA Testing

A webinar on “Incorporating Non-animal Alternatives Into Toxicity Testing Under TSCA” will be presented on Thursday May 13, at 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. This half-day workshop will bring together toxicity data generators, users, and a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations on the opportunities and challenges in minimizing chemical tests on vertebrate animals. Topics to be considered include effectively communicating with relevant stakeholders and the role of NAMs in improving the assessment of chemicals on vulnerable populations. The workshop will include breakout groups considering the topics of: regulatory flexibility; information gaps NAMs can fill; engaging with stakeholders; EPA directive to eliminate mammalian testing by 2035; and metrics.

The workshop is being hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the UCLA School of Law, and the Environmental Law Institute.

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May 04, 2021
Webinar Series to Consider In Silico and In Vitro Approaches for Inhalation Risk Assessment

PETA-SCI, Unilever, EPA, and Syngenta are co-organizing a virtual workshop series on “Using In Silico and In Vitro Approaches for Next Generation Risk Assessment of Potential Respiratory Toxicants”. The workshop series will take place on May 19, May 26, and June 2, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EDT. The webinars will be listening only. Registration for the individual webinars is available on the PETA-SCI website.

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May 04, 2021
SOT Poster Presentations Available on NICEATM Website

Posters presented by NICEATM at the SOT annual meeting, held virtually from March 12-16, are now available on the NICEATM webpage. NICEATM and ICCVAM had a strong presence at meeting, presenting ten posters as well as coauthoring seven others. The next annual SOT meeting will be held in San Diego March 27-31, 2022. More information about this meeting can be found on the event webpage.

NICEATM will be presenting four posters at the 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental and Health Sciences on June 7-10.

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May 04, 2021
Paper Summarizes EU Regulatory Requirements for Human Health Assessment of Chemicals

A new review article by the European Union (EU) Joint Research Centre, a participant organization in the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods, summarizes current EU regulatory requirements for the human health assessment of chemicals. This summary takes into account the respective requirements and constraints imposed by the EU Cosmetics Products Regulation, which bans animal testing for these products, and the EU REACH (registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals) regulation, which imposes information requirements for chemicals manufactured in or imported into the EU. The review considers the critical endpoints and identifies the main challenges in introducing alternative methods into regulatory testing practice. It complements efforts involved in implementing the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States with regards to defining testing needs as a prerequisite to implementation of alternatives to animal testing.

Pistollato et al. 2021. Current EU regulatory requirements for the assessment of chemicals and cosmetic products: challenges and opportunities for introducing new approach methodologies. Arch Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-021-03034-y

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Apr 21, 2021
BDRP Annual Meeting June 24-July 1; Late-breaking Abstracts Due May 7

The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (BDRP) will hold their 61st annual meeting virtually from June 24-July 7. Registration for the meeting is required. The meeting will feature award presentations, keynote speakers, platform sessions, and poster sessions. The program agenda is available.

Late-breaking abstracts are being accepted for poster sessions and are due May 7. Posters will be presented on June 28, 29, or 30 from 3:30–4:30 p.m. EDT. During the poster sessions, authors will have their own “virtual rooms” to discuss their research face-to-face with other meeting attendees.

May 7, 2021
Apr 21, 2021
NICEATM Activities at QSAR 2021; Registration Deadline May 8

The 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR 2021) will be held virtually June 7-10, 2021. The meeting program is available and registration is open; the registration deadline is May 8.

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, NICEATM computational chemist Kamel Mansouri, and senior toxicologist Agnes Karmaus (ILS, contractor supporting NICEATM) are serving on the organizing committee for QSAR 2021. NICEATM will be presenting four posters at QSAR 2021 describing NICEATM tools and data resources for development and evaluation of new chemical safety testing approaches. Information on NICEATM activities at QSAR 2021 is available on the NICEATM website.

May 8, 2021
Apr 21, 2021
New Review Article Describes Non-animal Approaches to Eye Irritation Testing

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and other NICEATM scientists are co-authors on a new review article in Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology that describes available non-animal test methods and their relevance to eye anatomy and mechanisms of eye irritation in humans. Combinations of the reviewed methods may be used in development of human-relevant integrated testing approaches.

Clippinger et al. Human-relevant approaches to assess eye corrosion/irritation potential of agrochemical formulations. Cutan Ocul Toxcol. DOI: 10.1080/15569527.2021.1910291

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Apr 09, 2021
Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum May 27

ICCVAM will hold a virtual public forum Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. EDT. This event is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. NICEATM, ICCVAM, and a number of ICCVAM agencies will describe activities both to advance new approaches to safety testing of chemicals and medical products and to reduce the amount of testing required.

Registration is required to view the public forum webcast and will be open through the end of the meeting on May 27. Interested persons may also register to present oral public statements with associated slides on topics relevant to ICCVAM's mission. Requests to present oral statements during the meeting will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as time permits. The deadline for registering to present oral public statements is May 14.

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Apr 09, 2021
DOE Offers Funding to Develop Machine Learning Tools

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will award $29 million in grants to develop new tools to analyze massive amounts of scientific information. Tools will use technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced algorithms. DOE is offering two grants for research in the following areas:

DOE National Laboratories, universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions may apply, with competitive funding awarded based on peer review.

Apr 16, 2021
Apr 09, 2021
Program Available for QSAR 2021: Register by May 8

The 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental Health Sciences (QSAR 2021) will be held virtually from June 7-June 10, 2021. Each day of the meeting will feature two concurrent platform sessions and a keynote speaker each morning, with sponsored platform presentations followed by three concurrent poster sessions in the afternoons. The full program for QSAR 2021 is available on the program website.

To register for QSAR 2021, visit the meeting registration webpage. The deadline to register is May 8.

May 8, 2021
Apr 09, 2021
Workshop to Focus on Standardization of Organ on Chips

A free virtual workshop on April 28-29 will consider the topic “Putting Science into Standards - Organ on Chip: Towards Standardization”. The workshop is hosted by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the European Committee for Standardization, and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. Registration is open.

Organ-on-chips, or more broadly microphysiological systems, are innovative devices that emulate human/animal biology and can reproduce one or more aspects of an organ’s functionality. Among other benefits, they can lead to better testing of drugs and adapted treatments to genetic diversity, ethnicity, sex and age; reduce the cost of clinical trials and replace animal testing for cosmetic products. The goal of this workshop is to facilitate the exchange of views on the future development of this technology, its application areas, and stakeholder needs in order to identify how European standardization can support safe, widescale deployment of these systems.

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Apr 08, 2021
Survey Seeks Information on Use of Animal-derived Reagents

A group of European research centers and nonprofits is conducting a survey to identify the most commonly used animal-derived materials and reagents (e.g., animal sera, antibodies, etc.) in in vitro experimentation, and characterize the current level of knowledge on available non-animal derived alternatives. Survey results will help create a framework to shape policy in science and education. The survey is being coordinated by Italian nonprofit “Oltre la Sperimentazione Animale” (OSA; English: “Beyond Animal Experimentation”).

The survey is directed to scientists at any level involved in human health or life science research. It takes about 15 minutes to complete. There is no deadline to respond. Survey organizers hope to compile responses from at least 500 researchers and share survey results in a presentation at the virtual 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in August.

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Apr 08, 2021
April 27 Webinar to Consider Legal and Policy Considerations for NAM Use

ASCCT and the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro will host a webinar on “Legal and Policy Considerations for the Use of New Approach Methodologies in Chemical Risk Assessment.” The webinar will be presented on Tuesday, April 27, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT.

  • The first presentation, "Legal and Policy Challenges in Agency Regulatory Use of NAMs," will be given by Gary Marchant of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and Kirk Hartley of ToxicoGenomica and LSP Group LLC. Marchant and Hartley will discuss the challenges of using NAMs in regulatory decision-making using case studies from EPA.
  • In the second presentation, "Case Studies of Actual Uses of NAMs in Civil Litigation Involving Diseases/Conditions," Hartley will discuss the use of NAM-based data in product liability and personal injury cases.
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Apr 08, 2021
Finalists Announced for EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

EMGS has announced the four finalists in its 2021 Bioinformatics Challenge:

  • Predicting Molecular Initiating Events from High Throughput Transcriptomic Screening using Machine Learning (lead institution: EPA).
  • Leveraging Zebrafish High-throughput Screening Data and Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks to Advance Predictive Toxicology (lead institution: North Carolina State University).
  • Transcriptomic Meta-Analyses Reveal a Molecular Fingerprint Underlying Hepatic Cholestasis Response (lead institution: ScitoVation LLC).
  • Exposome Target Prediction with Coupled Matrix-Matrix Completion (lead institution: University of Michigan).

The second-round competition will be held as a series of webinars presented in conjunction with the EMGS annual meeting in September.

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Apr 08, 2021
FDA to Hold Science Forum May 26-27

The 2021 FDA Science Forum will be held virtually on Wednesday and Thursday, May 26-27. The event allows the public to view the research and collaboration ongoing at FDA, and how FDA researchers use novel science and technologies to inform FDA’s regulatory decision-making and drive innovation.

The theme of this year’s forum is “Science as the Foundation for Protecting and Promoting Public Health,” and one of the topic areas is “Tools to Effectively Use Big Data.” The forum will feature a keynote address by is National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.

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Apr 01, 2021
CPSC Issues Proposed Guidance on Use of Alternative Methods, Comments Due June 14

In a March 31 Federal Register notice, CPSC requested comment on its “Proposed Guidance for Industry and Test Method Developers: CPSC Staff Evaluation of Alternative Test Methods and Integrated Testing Approaches and Data Generated from Such Methods to Support FHSA Labeling Requirements.” CPSC has developed this guidance, building on its Animal Testing Policy, to assist stakeholders in determining what test methods are deemed reliable for determining compliance with the labeling requirements under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. This includes clarification of CPSC informational requirements and process for evaluating new approach methodologies and integrated approaches to testing and assessment.

More information about the draft guidance and instructions on how to submit comments are available in the Federal Register notice (download notice as PDF). Comments are due June 14.

Jun 14, 2021
Apr 01, 2021
NIEHS Invites Participation in Development of a Harmonized Language for Environmental Health Research

NIEHS is leading a community-driven initiative to advance integrative environmental health research by developing and promoting adoption of a harmonized language. This initiative will facilitate answering large-scale complex research questions that require integration of multiple disparate data sources by developing standards for describing data and biomedical knowledge.

To begin the process of community development, NIEHS is hosting a session on “Enhancing Semantic Interoperability in Environmental Health Sciences Research” on Wednesday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT (3:00-4:30 p.m. UTC). This is the first of several events that NIEHS will host related to this initiative.

The April 21 event is part of the upcoming Research Data Alliance Plenary Meeting, which will be held virtually from April 20-23. Research Data Alliance is an international collaboration with the goal of building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing and re-use of data.

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Apr 01, 2021
Apply by June 30 for HESI Innovation Prize

HESI is accepting nominations for the 2021 HESI Innovation Prize. This prize recognizes scientists who share HESI’s commitment to synthesizing ideas, resources, and collaborators across scientific disciplines and sectors. The theme of this year’s prize is “health equity,” and nominees will be evaluated on their work to catalyze health equity progress in relation to HESI’s four focus areas: safe and effective medicines, food safety and security, chemical and consumer product safety, and environmental quality and sustainability.

Individual scientists who hold a master’s degree or higher may self-nominate or be nominated by colleagues; there are no geographic restrictions. Groups and institutions are not eligible. Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of work done by the nominee over the past five years. The winner will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $80,000 USD. Nominations are due by June 30; winners will be announced in August.

Jun 30, 2021
Apr 01, 2021
NICEATM Paper Describes Variability in Skin Irritation Data

To establish appropriate benchmarks for understanding the performance of new approach methodologies, the reference standard animal tests should be well characterized. To assess variability in the rabbit skin irritation test, NICEATM analyzed data from 990 substances tested at least twice each. The analysis found that chemicals classified as moderate irritants at least once were classified as mild or non-irritants at least 40% of the time when tested repeatedly. This analysis indicates that variability present in the rabbit skin irritation test should be considered when evaluating nonanimal alternative methods as potential replacements.

Rooney et al. 2021. Analysis of variability in the rabbit skin irritation assay. Reg Toxicol Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2021.104920.

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Mar 30, 2021
Nominations Due April 30 for Russell and Burch Award

HSUS has extended the deadline for nominations for the Russell and Burch Award to April 30. This award is named in honor of William Russell and Rex Burch, the scientists who formulated the three Rs approach of replacement, reduction and refinement and recognizes those who have played an important role in limiting the use and suffering of animals in laboratories. The 2021 award will be presented virtually at the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences.

For this award, HSUS welcomes nominations of scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of alternative methods in the areas of research, testing, or higher education. Applicants may nominate themselves or others. Anyone who submitted a nomination last year will not need to resubmit the application. Nominations should include a cover letter explaining the nominee’s suitability for the award, the nominee’s curriculum vitae, and three published articles that represent their work in alternative testing methods. To apply email Mary Hilley at mhilley@humanesociety.org.

Apr 30, 2021
Mar 30, 2021
ARDF Offering Research Funding: Proposals Due April 30

ARDF is soliciting proposals for research projects that focus on significantly reducing or replacing laboratory animals in biomedical research, product testing, and education. Up to $40,000 U.S. will be awarded. Proposals will be accepted from non-profit, tax-exempt educational or research institutions from any country. Preference will be given to proposals from U.S. institutions and organizations describing in silico and in vitro methods with human cells or tissues using pathway-based approaches as exemplified by the 2007 National Academy of Sciences report, “Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-first Century: A Vision and A Strategy.” The deadline to apply for the funding opportunity is April 30.

Apr 30, 2021
Mar 30, 2021
OECD Presents Webinar on Physiologically Based Kinetic Modeling May 10

OECD is presenting a webinar on physiologically based kinetic modeling (PBK) titled “Gaining Acceptance in Next Generation PBK Modelling Approaches for Regulatory Assessments.” The webinar’s six speakers will describe a scientific workflow for characterizing and validating PBK models, a template for documenting PBK models in a systematic manner, and a checklist to support model evaluation. The webinar will be held on May 10 from 7:20-9:30 a.m. EDT.

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Mar 30, 2021
Webinar on QSAR Modeling of Skin Sensitization May 19

The SOT In Vitro and Alternative Methods and Computational Toxicology specialty sections are co-sponsoring a 75-minute webinar on May 19 at 11:00 a.m. titled “State of the Science: QSAR Modeling of Skin Sensitization.” The webinar will feature three speakers:

  1. Vinicius Alves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Pred-Skin: A Web Portal for Accurate Prediction of Human Skin Sensitizers
  2. Emily Golden, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University: Evaluation of the Global Performance of Eight In Silico Skin Sensitization Models Using Human Data
  3. Glenn Myatt, Leadscope, Inc.: Skin Sensitization In Silico Protocol
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Mar 25, 2021
DNTP Postdoctoral Fellow Wins SOT Specialty Section Young Investigator Award

The SOT Computational Toxicology Specialty Section selected DNTP/NICEATM scientist Shagun Krishna as the recipient of this year’s Yves Alarie Diversity Award for Trainees and Young Investigators. This award recognizes a young investigator from an under-represented group who is working in the field of computational toxicology. The award was presented at the specialty section’s virtual reception on March 16.

Krishna is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Her mentor is Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer. The current focus of Krishna’s research is developing informatics approaches to identifying potentially cardiotoxic substances.

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Mar 25, 2021
NICEATM Paper Named Paper of the Year by SOT Specialty Section

Neepa Choksi, Principal Toxicologist at ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), is first author of the 2021 SOT Ocular Toxicology Specialty Section Paper of the Year. The paper describes validation of OptiSafe, a non-animal method to assess eye irritation hazard. The award was presented at the specialty section’s virtual reception on March 15.

Choksi et al. 2020. Validation of the OptiSafe™ eye irritation test. Cutan Ocul Toxicol 39(3):180-192. https://doi.org/10.1080/15569527.2020.1787431

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Mar 25, 2021
Paper Describes Characteristics of Positive Controls for In Vitro Assays

Because specific positive control materials are often written into testing standards for in vitro assays, selection of appropriate positive control materials can aid in ensuring the long-term relevance and usability of these standards. A recent publication in the journal ALTEX describes characteristics that should be considered when selecting a positive control material for an in vitro assay. Authors of the paper include Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and ICCVAM members John Gordon. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Elijah Petersen and John Elliott, both of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Petersen et al. 2021. Characteristics to consider when selecting a positive control material for an in vitro assay. ALTEX. https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2102111

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Mar 25, 2021
Paper Evaluates Use of In Vitro Data Alone to Estimate Dermal Absorption

Estimates of dermal absorption used in dermal toxicity hazard assessments are currently derived using both in vitro and in vivo data. NICEATM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency retrospectively evaluated agrochemical formulations to assess the feasibility of using in vitro data alone for these estimates. The comparisons presented support potentially using in vitro data alone to derive these estimates for human health risk assessment of pesticides.

Allen et al. 2021. Retrospective analysis of dermal absorption triple pack data. ALTEX. https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2101121

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Mar 25, 2021
Recent Meeting Reports
  • Acting NICEATM Director Kleinstreuer coauthored a summary of a symposium titled “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Challenges and Opportunities,” hosted by the Yale School of Public Health. The meeting focused on the current state of the science on these chemicals, highlighted the challenges unique to PFAS, and explored promising opportunities for addressing them.
    Hagstrom et al. 2021. Yale School of Public Health Symposium: An overview of the challenges and opportunities associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Sci Total Environ. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146192
  • A report is now available of the November 2018 workshop “FutureTox IV: Predictive Toxicology for Healthy Children.” Report coauthors include Acting NICEATM Director Kleinstreuer; ICCVAM members Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Donna Mendrick, both of FDA; and K. Nadira De Abrew, current chair of SACATM.
    Knudsen et al. 2021. FutureTox IV Workshop Summary: Predictive Toxicology for Healthy Children. Toxicol Sci. https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfab013
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Mar 18, 2021
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities: SOT Week 2

The following sessions during the second week of the virtual SOT meeting, March 22-26, feature presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists. Please consider adding them to your itinerary.

Monday March 22:

  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Computational Toxicology I
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Risk Assessment
Tuesday March 23:
  • Symposium Session - 11:15 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT: Opportunities for Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in In Vitro Neurotoxicity Safety Testing
  • Symposium Session - 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. EDT: Mind the Gap: Finding Practical Ways to Fast-Track the Future of Animal-Free Toxicology Testing
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Computational Toxicology II
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Alternatives to Mammalian Models I
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: DNA Damage and Repair
  • Platform Session - 2:45-4:00 p.m. EDT: Biological Models for In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation
Wednesday March 24:
  • Workshop Session - 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. EDT: Applicability Domains and Future of Nonanimal Tests for Skin Sensitization
  • Poster Session - 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT: Alternatives to Mammalian Models II
Friday March 26:
  • Continuing Education Course 11 - 11:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m. EDT: Establishing Confidence in Organ-on-a-Chip Systems for Toxicity Testing: Lung-on-a-Chip as an Example
  • Continuing Education Course 14 - 11:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m. EDT: Understanding Tox21/ToxCast High-Throughput Screening Data and Applications to Modeling
Mar 26, 2021
Mar 18, 2021
Nominations Open for Awards at QSAR 2021

Scientists planning to attend QSAR 2021 are invited to nominate themselves or their colleagues for awards to be presented at the workshop. Nominations are due by April 30.

  • Students or postdocs who have submitted an abstract to QSAR 2021 are eligible for the Student/Post-Doc Best Abstract Awards. Three awards will be presented, one each to applicants from North America, Europe, and Japan. Winners will receive complementary registration to QSAR 2021 and the next international QSAR conference.
  • Scientists who have made substantial and seminal scientific contributions to the field of in silico non-animal testing methods are eligible for the International QSAR Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominees should be active scientists involved in relevant research and must have worked at least 30 years in the field after receiving their highest degree. The winner will be honored during the QSAR 2021 awards luncheon and recognized in the meeting program and website.
  • Scientists who have made significant scientific contributions to the field of in silico non-animal testing methods are eligible for the International QSAR Mid-career Achievement Award. Nominees should be active scientists involved in relevant research and must have worked 15-30 years in the field after receiving their highest degree. The winner will be honored during the QSAR 2021 awards luncheon and recognized in the meeting program and website.
  • Scientists who have made significant scientific contributions to the field of in silico non-animal testing methods and show promise in continuing to have a meaningful role in the field are eligible for the International QSAR Promising Early Career Award. Nominees should be active scientists involved in relevant research and must have worked 5-15 years in the field after receiving their highest degree. The winner will be honored during the QSAR 2021 awards luncheon and recognized in the meeting program and website. They will also receive a £250 monetary award, courtesy of the journal ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals).
Apr 30, 2021
Mar 18, 2021
Abstract Submission Reopened for 11th World Congress, Deadline April 1

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will be held as a virtual meeting from August 23-September 2. Registration will open soon. Those who registered to attend World Congress in 2020 will not need to re-register to attend the virtual World Congress. Frequently Asked Questions about the virtual World Congress can be viewed on the meeting website.

World Congress organizers are accepting new abstracts. Abstracts previously submitted can be updated. The deadline for submitting, updating, or withdrawing abstracts is April 1. Abstracts should cover original work that may have been published recently; there is no abstract submission fee.

Apr 1, 2021
Mar 16, 2021
NICEATM Releases ICE 3.3

On March 12, NICEATM released the version 3.3 update of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. This release adds two new tools, new features including expanded activity visualization, and new datasets to existing ICE resources.

New tools:

  • Curve Surfer: allows users to view and interact with concentration-response curves from curated high-throughput screening data.
  • PBPK tool: this tool, based on the EPA httk package, allows users to generate predictions of tissue-specific chemical concentration profiles following a dosing event.

Updates to existing tools:

  • Search tool: users can get detailed visualization of query results.
  • IVIVE tool: users can now upload their own in vivo data to overlay on the results.
  • Chemical Characterization: new visualizations include bioactivity PCA plots and Consumer Use Explorer, which allows users to view chemical use categories from EPA's CPDat.

New data:

  • Cancer data from multiple sources, including detailed data from NTP two-year cancer bioassays and in vivo and in vitro genotoxicity studies.
  • DART in vivo bioassays from EPA’s ToxRefDB.
  • Updated in vivo human predictive patch test data set for skin sensitization characterization compiled by NICEATM and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

ICE is available at https://ice.ntp.niehs.nih.gov/.

 

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Mar 12, 2021
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities: SOT Week 1

The following sessions during the first full week of the virtual SOT meeting, March 15-19, feature presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists. Please consider adding them to your itinerary.

Monday March 15:

  • Workshop Session - 11:15 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT: A Future Framework for Application of In Vitro Metabolism and QIVIVE Models to Inform Risk Assessment

Tuesday March 16:

  • Symposium Session - 11:15 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT: Developmental Toxicity Hazard Assessment without Animals: Pathways and Prospects

Thursday March 18:

  • Workshop Session - 11:15 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT: New Approach Methods for Cancer Risk Assessment
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Ecotoxicology
  • Poster Session - 1:00-2:45 p.m. EDT: Regulation/Policy
  • Roundtable Session - 2:45-4:05 p.m. EDT: The Future of Uncertainty Factors with In Vitro Studies Using Human Cells

We look forward to seeing you at SOT!

Mar 19, 2021
Mar 05, 2021
March 10 Webinar Highlights Computational and AOP-based Approaches to Predicting Carcinogenicity

The PETA Science Consortium International e.V. is co-organizing a webinar series with EPA and PCRM. The eighth webinar in the series, “Use of Computational and AOP-based Approaches to Inform Carcinogenicity Assessments,” will be Wednesday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m.

This webinar features two presenters:

  • Susanne Stalford from Lhasa Limited will present on the development of an adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework being developed for carcinogenicity risk.
  • Martin Philips from the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics will present an overview of OncoLogic® Version 9, a system for predicting carcinogenicity concerns.
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Mar 05, 2021
Abstracts Due March 31 for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Society Annual Meeting

The Birth Defects Research and Prevention Society annual meeting will be held virtually from June 24-July 1. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Building Bridges in Birth Defects Research and Prevention: From Innovation to Application”.

Abstract submissions are due March 31. More information about the annual meeting and abstract submission, including a list of topics for potential abstracts, visit the Society's website.

Mar 31, 2021
Mar 05, 2021
11th World Congress to be Held Virtually

The 11th World Congress on Animal Use and Alternatives in the Life Sciences will be held virtually in late August 2021. More information will be posted as it becomes available on the World Congress website.

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Feb 22, 2021
Apply by April 9 for Free Inhalation Tissue Models

PETA Science Consortium International e.V. (PETA-SCI) is teaming up with MatTek Life Sciences to offer EpiAlveolar™ and EpiAirway™ tissues that can be used to test chemicals, drugs, nanomaterials, and pathogens. EpiAlveolar models the lower respiratory tract and includes primary human alveolar epithelial cells, pulmonary endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, while EpiAirway models the upper respiratory tract and comprises normal, human-derived tracheal/bronchial epithelial cells.

The awardee will be selected based on their proposal’s scientific merit and impact on replacing animal tests, and will receive $10,000 U.S. redeemable for EpiAlveolar or EpiAirway tissues. Researchers from any sector are encouraged to apply, and the competition is open to applicants worldwide. More information is available on the PETA-SCI website; apply by April 9

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Apr 9, 2021
Feb 22, 2021
Germolec Elected to SOT Leadership Position

Dori Germolec, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, has been elected to serve as SOT Vice President-elect for 2021-2022. The Vice President-elect serves on the SOT governing council and transitions to the role of Vice President and then President in subsequent years. Germolec will begin her term on May 1. A blog post on the SOT website summarizes Germolec's work with SOT and her vision for the future of SOT.

For several years, Germolec has led or participated in NICEATM immunotoxicity projects. She coordinated testing in three in vitro assays of over 200 chemicals nominated by ICCVAM member agencies to expand the potential applicability of defined approaches to identification of skin sensitizers. Some of these data were used to support the use of non-animal defined approaches for skin sensitization hazard assessment of isothiazolinone compounds, the basis for a recent draft U.S. Environmental Protection Agency risk assessment for these substances. Germolec is a member of the ICCVAM Skin Sensitization Expert Group and the ICCVAM Developmental Immunotoxicity Expert Group.

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Feb 22, 2021
Slides and Video Available from ICCVAM January 26 Webinar

Slides and video are now available from the January 26 ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar on "Non-animal Approaches for Mixtures Assessment." The purpose of this webinar was to present key insights and ongoing activities in the area of mixtures toxicity testing. The webinar included presentations from staff of three ICCVAM agencies, including Cynthia Rider from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Patricia Ruiz from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Kristin Isaacs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Feb 22, 2021
Chemical Research in Toxicology Special Issue Focuses on Computational Toxicology

The discipline of computational toxicology encompasses the use of computational tools to support integrative approaches to toxicological research and chemical safety assessments. Computational approaches can be applied to predictive modeling, analyses of complex data sets, and extrapolation and translation among evidence streams, particularly those from new approach methodologies that rely upon alternatives to animal testing.

Chemical Research in Toxicology has published a special issue focusing on computational toxicology. The issue includes 38 contributions from experts in the field, as well as three reviews and perspectives, 34 research articles and one ToxWatch. Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a co-editor of the special issue and co-author of three research articles. Other co-authors of articles appearing in the issue include Brian Berridge, principal representative to ICCVAM from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and Suzanne Fitzpatrick, principal representative to ICCVAM from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Feb 22, 2021
PETA-ISC Activities Now Being Conducted by PETA-SCI

In order to maintain full engagement with the European Union, the UK-based PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. announced that it will cease operations and that their activities will now be conducted as the Germany-based PETA Science Consortium International e.V. (PETA-SCI). PETA-SCI will continue to engage with NICEATM and other organizations to advance robust non-animal methods.

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Feb 22, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity at NCATS

NCATS is seeking an exceptional scientist to apply genomic tools to toxicology and pharmacology as a postdoctoral student in the Genomic Toxicology Lab. The Genomic Toxicology Lab participates in the U.S. federal Tox21 Consortium by developing methods to assess the effects of chemicals on human health.

The selected candidate will complete development and implement a novel high-throughput screening method that quantifies expression of selected genes in cultured mammalian cells. They will work with collaborators who have developed iPSC-derived endothelial cells, as well as 3-D endothelial cell models that incorporate shear flow and co-culture with vascular smooth muscle cells.

Applicants should be U.S. citizens and have a Ph.D. in a relevant field of molecular or medical biology, a strong publication record, molecular biology and mammalian cell culture skills and strong communication skills in written and spoken English. Familiarity with vascular biology, or high-throughput screening is an advantage.

To apply, please send a cover letter, that specifically addresses why you're interested in this position, a CV with bibliography, and names and contact information for three references to David Gerhold at NCATSGenomicTox@mail.nih.gov.

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Feb 16, 2021
Update Available: EPA List of Alternative Test Methods

EPA has updated the list of NAMs that the agency will consider for the purpose of satisfying information requirements under TSCA. Updates reflect changes made to OECD test guidelines. Other updates consider guidance on acute systemic toxicity testing waivers issued by the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, and availability of a new expert system to predict carcinogenicity of organic chemicals, fibers, metals, and polymers.

A 2016 update of TSCA required EPA to issue a list of methods and approaches that do not use vertebrate animals to develop new data or information required under TSCA. EPA also developed the “Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Within the TSCA Program.” Information about the NAMs list and the Strategic Plan is available on the EPA website.

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Feb 16, 2021
Video Available from MPS Workgroup Meeting

Microphysiological systems (MPS) provide human cell-based platforms that enable the study both of normal organ function and effects on organ function by toxicants or pathogens. On January 29, NICEATM and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animal Research (NC3Rs) co-hosted the first meeting of the Microphysiological Systems for COVID Research (MPSCoRe) working group.

Meeting attendees were individuals and organizations that represent MPS stakeholders as well as COVID researchers. The agenda included three presentations and a time for open discussion. To view a recording of the presentations and other materials from the meeting, visit the NICEATM MPS webpage.

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Feb 16, 2021
ICCVAM Member Honored by Chemical Research in Toxicology

ICCVAM Member Elijah Petersen, NIST, is recipient of the 2020 Young Investigator Award from Chemical Research in Toxicology. The journal has published an interview with Petersen about the award.

Petersen played a key role in NIST becoming an ICCVAM member agency in 2016 and has been NIST’s alternate principal agency representative since NIST joined ICCVAM. His work focuses on developing robust, reproducible standard methods, and he has a particular interest in the effect of nanomaterials contamination on living organisms. He is a lead investigator for an ongoing validation study of the electrophilic allergen screening assay that is being conducted by four ICCVAM member agencies.

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Feb 16, 2021
Deadline February 28 for EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

EMGS is now accepting submissions for their 2021 Bioinformatics Challenge. Abstracts are solicited for following areas:

  • Novel computational approaches, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, on high-throughput, high-content, exposure-risk assessment, and/or clinical data classification.
  • Genetic/genomic toxicological applications of model organism databases, including EcoCyc E. coli database, Saccharomyces genome database, WormBase, wFleaBase, Xenbase, and ZFIN.
  • Predictive modeling with genomic/mutation/epimutation datasets, and/or toxicology databases, including Tox21/ToxCast, Drug Matrix, TG-Gates, Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, and SeqAPASS.

Submissions should include a 250-word abstract and a data visualization or conceptual workflow pipeline. Submissions are due by February 28 to bioinformatics@emgs-us.org. Selected participants will receive a $100 monetary award and present their work in the preliminary round of the competition, which will be held as a virtual symposium in Spring 2021. The finalist teams will be invited to present during the 2021 EMGS Virtual Annual Meeting and compete for the grand prize of $1000.

Feb 28, 2021
Feb 16, 2021
Workshop Report Available: Application of NAMs in Support of Read-across

Read-across is a computational technique that uses toxicity data from data-rich chemicals to predict toxicity for an untested or data-poor chemical. The use of NAMs in support of read-across approaches for regulatory purposes is a main goal of the European Union’s EU-ToxRisk project. At a 2019 workshop, scientists from regulatory agencies, industry, and academia met to discuss this issue and consider case studies in which read-across had been applied to specific regulatory problems. Grace Patlewicz, EPA, chair of the ICCVAM Read Across Workgroup, is a co-author of the workshop report.

Rovida et al. NAM-supported read-across: from case studies to regulatory guidance in safety assessment. ALTEX. https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2010062

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Feb 09, 2021
EURL ECVAM Issues Status Report on Alternatives

EURL ECVAM has issued its 2020 “Status Report on the Development, Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods and Approaches.”

The status report describes research, development, and validation activities, as well as initiatives that promote the regulatory and international adoption and use of alternative approaches and their dissemination. Activities described in the report include:

  • Developing guidance for moving from traditional animal tests to non-animal assays for vaccine quality control.
  • Validating methods to identify substances with the potential to affect the thyroid signaling pathway, damage DNA, induce skin and respiratory sensitization, or harm fish.
  • Exploring how to apply existing toxicity information to predicting different toxicity endpoints.
  • EURL ECVAM, which is part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, coordinates research and validation studies on alternatives to animal testing within the European Union. EURL ECVAM also shares knowledge about and promotes use of alternative methods.
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Feb 09, 2021
Special Issue of Frontiers in In Vitro Toxicology on New Approach Methodologies

Frontiers in In Vitro Toxicology has launched a new research topic, Chemical Testing Using New Approach Methodologies (NAMs). The journal is actively looking for research contributions on this topic for an upcoming special issue. Contributions should be related to the use of NAMs to meet or support regulatory requirements for chemical toxicity testing. Submissions will be put online as they are accepted and the journal will also put together a special e-book of the issue after the deadline.

The optional deadline to submit an abstract is March 31, 2021. Manuscripts are due by July 31, 2021. To submit your abstract or manuscript and for more information about this research topic visit the journal website.

Jul 31, 2021
Feb 09, 2021
Postdoctoral Opportunity at NIST

NIST has an opening for a postdoctoral position in their Biosystems and Biomaterials Division. This postdoctoral opportunity will feature comprehensive examination of in vitro or other assays relevant to the biocompatibility of dental materials to improve the repeatability, comparability and interlaboratory agreement of the assay results. The position is located in the Gaithersburg, MD office.

Applicants should be U.S. citizens and have Ph.D.s in engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, or a related field. Applicants should also have experience in cell and tissue culture, cell-assay development and execution, and using other biological laboratory assays.

Applications are being received now and will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filed. To apply, applicants should send an updated CV and contact information to Elijah Petersen elijah.petersen@nist.gov.

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Feb 09, 2021
Positions Available for Biologists at EPA; Apply by February 17

EPA has openings for experienced biologists in the Health Effects Division and the Environmental Fate and Effects Division within the Office of Pesticide Programs. Successful candidates for these positions will:

  • Interpret, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize scientific data and other information for the development of human health and/or environmental assessments on the effects of pesticides from both hazard/toxicology and exposure studies.
  • Determine the general approach necessary to accomplish the review and evaluation of data.
  • Prepare reports that include evaluation of available data and assessments of exposure, hazard, and/or risk from exposure to pesticides.
  • Review and make recommendations on the exposure analyses for pesticides in various environments concerning the retention or cancellation of pesticides.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related area and at least one year of relevant experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a pre-employment background check will be required. All positions are currently located in Arlington, Virginia. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, February 17. For more information, contact Chelsea Vaughn at 919-541-4215 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov.

Feb 17, 2021
Feb 09, 2021
New Toxicity Prediction Model Provides Broader and Improved Predictions

A publication coauthored by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer describes computational models that use a variety of multitask approaches to predict acute systemic toxicity. The accuracy of the new models improves upon previous models. The new models also provide toxicity predictions for species such as dog, chicken, and rabbit.

Jain et al. 2021. Large-scale modeling of multispecies acute toxicity end points using consensus of multitask deep learning models. J Chem Inf Model. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jcim.0c01164

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Feb 05, 2021
Video Available from January 2021 Microphysiological Systems Workshop

A video recording and other materials are now available from the workshop “Microphysiological Systems (MPS): Bridging Human and Animal Research,” presented by National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research on January 19-20. Topics covered in the webinar included:

  • MPS for toxicology testing
  • Data and developmental tools
  • Public health and COVID-19
  • Commercialization
  • Integrated multi-organ systems
  • Animal cell and chip banks
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Feb 05, 2021
Materials Available from EPA's Second Annual NAMs Conference

Materials are now available from the second annual EPA conference on the “State of Science on Development and Use of NAMs for Chemical Safety Testing,” which was held October 19-20, 2020. The conference highlighted the state of the science on the development and use of NAMs for chemical safety testing. A summary of the conference including the agenda, presentations, conference recording, transcript, and conference summary report (which includes questions received during the conference and responses) can be found at the EPA’s NAMs website.

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Feb 05, 2021
Minutes Available from 2020 SACATM Meeting

Minutes from the September 2020 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) are now available. SACATM, a federally chartered advisory group, meets annually to advise ICCVAM, NICEATM and the Director of NIEHS and NTP regarding the statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and NICEATM activities.

Recognizing the occasion of ICCVAM’s 20th anniversary, SACATM members and commenters praised ICCVAM’s work to advance alternatives to animal testing and identified opportunities for further progress. Specific areas mentioned included genotoxicity and carcinogenicity and replacement of animal use for antibody production. One day of the meeting was devoted to considering sources, management, and quality of data that are needed to evaluate new methods, as well as computational tools that can both support evaluation of new methods and predict toxicity. Presentations covered the variability in animal data, applications of machine learning, and in vitro human-based models that incorporate genetic diversity.

Feb 05, 2021
NIEHS Small Business Funding to Develop AI and Machine Learning Methods

NIEHS is offering grants to small businesses to support development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches to advance environmental health research and decisions. When further developed and validated, these approaches should improve the accuracy of toxicity prediction, help in prioritizing chemicals for more relevant or targeted testing, identify and/or fill data or knowledge gaps in toxicity assessment, and promote more comprehensive understanding of human exposure effects, susceptibility and adverse health outcomes.

Letters of intent to apply for the grants are due February 28, with applications due March 29. Only U.S. small businesses are eligible to apply. Applicant organizations may submit more than one application provided that each application is scientifically distinct. NIEHS intends to commit $2 million to this program in the 2021 fiscal year that will fund up to eight awards. More information is available on the National Institutes of Health website:

Mar 29, 2021
Feb 01, 2021
Opportunity at PETA-ISC for Scientist with Regulatory Experience

PETA-ISC is hiring a scientist for its Regulatory Testing Department. With the goal of replacing animal tests required by regulatory agencies, the successful candidate will conduct independent research, attend scientific conferences, collaborate with companies and regulatory agencies, review and write technical reports, and maintain expertise in non-animal testing approaches and international regulatory requirements.

Applicants should have at least three years of experience with FDA, EPA, USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics, or a chemical, pharmaceutical, or medical device company regulated by one of these agencies.

To apply for this position and see other available positions at PETA-ISC visit their website.

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Feb 01, 2021
Deadline Extended for SOT Trainee Award

The SOT Computational Toxicology Specialty Section is soliciting applications for the Yves Alarie Diversity Award, which recognizes a motivated trainee or young investigator from an under-represented group who is working in the field of computational toxicology. The award provides $2,500 to support professional development, including travel or registration to attend a scientific meeting or training.

Applications for the award have been extended to February 10, 2021. Applicants should be enrolled in a doctoral or postdoctoral program or have completed their training within the past five years. Only current SOT members are eligible, and preference will be given to Computational Toxicology Specialty Section members or applicants. Applicants should have had an abstract accepted and be planning to attend the SOT 2021 annual meeting.

To apply for this award, please send your abstract and all other required documents to David Szabo at DSzabo@ppg.com.

Feb 10, 2021
Feb 01, 2021
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT 2021

A webpage summarizing NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at the March 12-26 virtual SOT annual meeting is now available. Please refer to this page as you plan your SOT itinerary.

NICEATM and ICCVAM will have a strong presence at SOT. NICEATM is presenting ten posters and four platform presentations. ICCVAM members are coauthors on seven posters and four talks. ICCVAM members Warren Casey (NIEHS) and Suzanne Fitzpatrick (FDA) will speak at a continuing education course on “Establishing Confidence in Organ-on-a-chip Systems for Toxicity Testing: Lung-on-a-chip as an Example”.

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Feb 01, 2021
Report Available for 2019 Acute Toxicity Workshop

A report is available from a 2019 workshop that reviewed developments in the prediction of acute oral lethality for chemicals and mixtures, as well as progress and needs in the understanding and modeling of mechanisms of acute lethality. The workshop was co-organized by NICEATM and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Workshop participants concluded that a variety of approaches will be needed to fully replace the use of animals for acute systemic toxicity testing. In the near term, non-testing approaches could be used for some assessments. These approaches, which include waiving tests, computational models for single chemicals, and calculating the acute lethality of mixtures based on the LD50 values of mixture components, may be particularly useful for chemicals in the very toxic or non-toxic classification ranges. Other needs identified in the workshop include development of agency policies indicating contexts under which mathematical approaches for mixtures assessment are acceptable; improved understanding of the variability of in vivo approaches; and mechanistically based in vitro or in silico models developed to support non-testing approaches.

Sullivan et al. 2021. Mind the gaps: Prioritizing activities to meet regulatory needs for acute systemic lethality. ALTEX. https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2012121.

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Feb 01, 2021
EPA Finalizes Guidance to Waive Toxicity Tests on Animal Skin

On January 19, EPA published final guidance that will allow researchers to forego testing chemicals on animal skin in certain circumstances. The “Final Guidance for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Single-Active Ingredient and Supporting Retrospective Analysis” allows for data waivers for acute dermal studies for single active ingredients used to develop end-use products. The document includes a policy statement to waive all acute lethality dermal studies for single active ingredients.

The new final guidance supports EPA efforts to identify opportunities for test waivers that can reduce animal use for testing required for pesticide registration. It also supports the broader EPA goal of eliminating the use of mammals for chemical safety testing by 2035.

A link to the guidance and more information about EPA waivers of animal tests are available on the EPA website.

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Jan 21, 2021
Apply by January 29 for FDA Grants to Develop PBPK Models

The FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research is offering grants to support development of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for bioequivalence studies for new generic drugs. Proposals should include scientifically justified in vitro to in vivo extrapolation strategies. They should also discuss how the models will address population variability and a plan for how to verify and validate models. Applications are being accepted now and are due by January 29. One or two awards will be made under this opportunity, with total funding of $600,000 over two years. FDA invites applications from a broad range of institutions for this opportunity, including U.S. and foreign for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Jan 29, 2021
Jan 21, 2021
January 29 Webinar to Discuss Big Data and Toxicology

The SOT In Vitro and Alternatives Methods Specialty Section is presenting a webinar titled “Big Data and Toxicology – Future is Now” on January 29 at 11:00 a.m. EST.

The first speaker is Thomas Hartung from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University. His talk, titled “A.I. and Big Data-New Kids on the Toxicology Block,” will focus on how machine learning (A.I.) and big data have impacted developments in toxicology and chemical assessment over the last several years.

The second speaker is Thomas Luechtefeld from Insilica LLC. His talk, titled “Smart Chemistry – Algorithms for Chemical Classification and Clustering,” will discuss how transfer learning approaches leverage models that are trained on one task to accelerate learning on other tasks.

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Jan 21, 2021
European Conference on Replacement of Animals for Scientific Purposes

The European Commission is organizing a February 2-3 conference on “Towards Replacement of Animals for Scientific Purposes.” The conference aims to advance progress in reducing the use of animals in science and testing. It is open to a wide and diverse audience of those working with animal models or alternative approaches in any field of basic or applied science. The main objectives of the conference are to:

  • Provide an update on the Commission’s strategic work towards the ultimate goal of replacing animals in science by advancing non-animal alternatives.
  • Illustrate how increased transparency on current animal use can help speed up the transition to non-animal approaches.
  • Showcase the most recent scientific advances in replacing animal models.

Registration is free, and a draft program is available; please note that presentation times are Central European Time (subtract six hours for U.S. Eastern Time).

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Jan 21, 2021
SOT Trainee Webinar Series Begins February 5

The SOT Carcinogenesis Specialty Section will host a series of webinars titled “Fundamentals and Frontiers in Carcinogenesis” as part of a month-long trainee workshop. This workshop will introduce foundational aspects of carcinogenesis to SOT trainees including undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and those who may not directly work in the field of carcinogenesis but wish to expand their knowledgebase. The webinars will be presented every Friday in February 2021.

  • Molecular mechanism of carcinogenesisFebruary 5 from noon-1:00 p.m. EST. Speaker: Udayan Apte – Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • Cancer risk assessmentFebruary 12 from noon-1:00 p.m. EST. Speaker: Bette Meek – McLaughlin Centre for Risk Science, University of Ottawa.
  • New tools for carcinogenicity assessmentFebruary 19 from noon-1:00 p.m. EST. Speaker: Scott Auerbach – Division of the NTP, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Cancer biomarkersFebruary 26 from noon-1:00 p.m. Speaker: Jia-Sheng Wang – Department of Environmental Health Science, College of Public Health, University of Georgia.
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Jan 21, 2021
February 25 Webinar to Discuss QIVIVE for Reproductive Endpoints

ASCCT and the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro are hosting a joint webinar on February 25, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EST. The first presentation, "Quantitative in Vitro to in Vivo Extrapolation (QIVIVE) for Predicting Reduced Anogenital Distance produced by Anti-Androgenic Pesticides in a Rodent Model for Male Reproductive Disorders," will be given by Martin Scholze, Centre for Pollution Research and Policy, Brunel University London, UK. The second presentation, "A Web-based Toolbox to Support Quantitative In Vitro-to-In Vivo extrapolations (QIVIVE)," will be given by Ans Punt, Wageningen Food Safety Research, The Netherlands.

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Jan 21, 2021
Apply by April 30 for IFER Graduate Fellowships

The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) is accepting applications for graduate fellowships. These one-year grants of approximately $12,500 support projects by master’s and Ph.D. students in the sciences. Relevant projects address development, acceptance, and implementation of innovative methods that advance science and refine, reduce, or replace the use of animals in research, testing, or education. Grants are renewable for up to three years, depending on student progress and availability of funds. Special consideration may be given to proposals that are likely to replace the use of animals in research, and for projects that are likely to refine, reduce, or replace the use of nonhuman primates or dogs in research. Applicants must be beginning or beyond their second year of graduate school as of September 2021. Applications are due Friday, April 30.

Apr 30, 2021
Jan 12, 2021
NICEATM Research Featured in Special Issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology

Two papers describing NICEATM research are now available online from Chemical Research in Toxicology. Both papers will be included in a special issue of the journal co-edited by acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer.

  • A cardiotoxicity profile was developed for the Tox21 chemical library focusing on high-throughput screening assays having targets related to cardiovascular failure modes. The profile was able to identify drugs with known cardiotoxic effects. This approach may enable development of new hypotheses around environmental chemicals of potential interest for adverse cardiovascular outcomes using Tox21/ToxCast data. Krishna et al. 2020. High-throughput screening to identify chemical cardiotoxic potential. Chem Res Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00382
  • Saagar is a novel set of extensible chemistry-aware substructures that support interpretable predictive models and read-across protocols. Saagar features are interpretable and efficiently characterize diverse chemical collections, making them a better choice for building interpretable predictive in silico models and read-across protocols. Sedykh et al. 2020. Saagar – a new, extensible set of molecular substructures for QSAR/QSPR and read-across predictions. Chem Res Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00464
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Jan 12, 2021
Register by Friday for Environmental Health Perspectives Strategic Planning Summit

Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) is seeking input from a diverse group of leaders in the field of environmental health science and scientific publishing. Participants in the upcoming EHP Strategic Planning Summit will explore the future of environmental health sciences and scholarly publishing, map a strategy for EHP, and cultivate a more connected and collaborative EHP community.

The summit will be held virtually on January 28, February 2, and February 5. Those interested in participating must register online. Registrants will be asked about their background and their perspectives on EHP and the field of environmental health sciences. Space in the summit is limited; participants will be notified about their selection by 6:00 p.m. EST this Friday, January 15.

EHP is a monthly journal of environmental health research and news published with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since its launch in 1972, EHP has established itself as a high-impact, reliable, and trustworthy source of scientific information connecting the environment and human health.

Jan 15, 2021
Jan 11, 2021
ASCCT Webinar: 2020 Annual Meeting Award Winners

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will hold a webinar featuring presentations by authors of 2020 ASCCT award winning posters on Thursday, January 14, 10-11:15 a.m. EST.

The Ed Carney Predictive Toxicology Award recognizes the first author of an outstanding poster or platform presentation that will advance predictive toxicology. The 2020 award was presented to Eva C.M. Vitucci from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her presentation "Identifying the Molecular Mechanisms of Air Pollution-Induced Cardiovascular Disease".

The Ray Tice Tox21 Student Award recognizes the best student presentation during the ASCCT meeting. The 2020 winner was Sherri Bloch from Université de Montréal for her presentation "Using in Vitro Data to Derive Acceptable Exposure Levels: A Case Study on PBDE Developmental Neurotoxicity”.

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Jan 11, 2021
QSAR 2021 Abstracts Due January 30

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR2021), which will take place on June 7-10, 2021 as a virtual event. The theme for this year’s workshop is “From QSAR to New Approach Methodologies (NAMs)”. This workshop aims to bring scientists from around the world together with developers and users of predictive models and their underlying data to foster discussion and debate around the practical implementation of NAMs.

Abstracts of original work must be submitted online by January 30. Presenters can indicate preference for an oral or poster presentation and up to two theme categories. Participants who submitted last year for QSAR2020 will need to update and resubmit their abstracts. User credentials for accessing the abstract submission system will still be valid. For more information and to register for QSAR2021 visit the workshop website or contact QSAR2021@icf.com.

Jan 30, 2021
Jan 11, 2021
New FDA Report Highlights Progress in Advancing Alternatives

A FDA report provides updates on activities to advance development of alternatives to animal use and their application to regulatory decision-making. The report, “Advancing New Alternative Methodologies at FDA,” is available on the FDA website.

This report was developed by the FDA Alternative Methods Working Group to highlight the progress FDA scientists have made in laying the groundwork to integrate alternatives to animal testing into FDA regulatory programs. The report describes activities within eight FDA offices and centers, as well as FDA working groups and interagency partnerships such as ICCVAM and Tox21. The report also summarizes FDA engagement to advance alternatives to animal testing in international venues such as the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Jan 04, 2021
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar on Mixtures Toxicity January 26

Registration is open for the ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar “Non-animal Approaches for Mixtures Assessment.” The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, at 9:00 a.m. EST. Information about the webinar and a link to register are available on the webinar information page.

While most available toxicity data are for single chemicals, humans are often exposed to chemicals as mixtures. Assessing the safety of a mixture is a complex process that requires consideration of both the toxicity of each chemical component of the mixture and the potential for interaction among the components to affect toxicity of the overall mixture. Additionally, most alternative methods and approaches used for assessing chemical safety are developed and evaluated using single chemicals. This can result in lack of clarity about whether a method is appropriate to use for assessing toxicity of a particular mixture.

This webinar will discuss new approach methodologies for assessing exposure to, and potential hazards associated with, chemical mixtures. Key insights and ongoing activities will be described in three presentations featuring speakers from U.S. federal research and regulatory agencies.

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Jan 04, 2021
ALTBIB Moves to NICEATM Webpage

NLM's ALTBIB literature search tool has moved to the NICEATM website.

ALTBIB is the Bibliography on Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing. NLM developed ALTBIB to provide access to PubMed citations for users seeking information on alternatives to animal testing. Many citations provide access to free full text.

The search strategy on the new ALTBIB site has been updated to capture key topics of current interest such as microphysiological systems and quantitative structure activity relationship models. The content has been reorganized to provide additional user support, and more links have been added to the “Additional Resources” list. Users can still edit the ALTBIB search strategy to broaden or narrow searches. The list of keywords related to specific topics that was available on the NLM ALTBIB site is not yet available on the new NICEATM site. This list is being updated and revised and will be added to the NICEATM site in early 2021.

A link on the NLM site will temporarily redirect users looking for ALTBIB on the NLM site to its new home at NICEATM. However, ALTBIB users should update any bookmarks to reflect the new location.

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Dec 22, 2020
Materials Available From Webinar on Kinetically Derived Maximum Dose

Materials are now available from the September 30 webinar “Opportunities and Challenges in Using the Kinetically Derived Maximum Dose Concept to Refine Risk Assessment.” These include abstracts, slides, and video recordings of all presentations, as well as questions submitted to speakers and speakers’ responses.

The kinetically derived maximum dose (KMD) refers to the dose at which a departure from dose proportionality or linear pharmacokinetics is observed. Toxicity findings at doses above a KMD may not be relevant to human health risks when potential exposure levels are orders of magnitude lower. However, consideration of the KMD in the design or interpretation of animal toxicity studies for environmental chemicals is rare, and many technical and scientific issues hinder its proper use. The purpose of this symposium was to highlight these commonly raised issues and provide the background information needed to develop more consistent, transparent approaches to support broader KMD application in risk assessment. The symposium was organized by NICEATM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs, and the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute

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Dec 22, 2020
Microphysiological Systems Workshop January 2021

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research are hosting a virtual webinar “Microphysiological Systems (MPS): Bridging Human and Animal Research” on January 19-20. MPS are in vitro platforms comprised of 3D constructs from human or animal origin that mimic properties of organs or tissue function. They are developed with the goal of reducing the use of whole animal studies in research. The webinar will cover:

  • MPS for toxicology testing
  • Data and developmental tools
  • Public health and COVID-19
  • Commercialization
  • Integrated multi-organ systems
  • Animal cell and chip banks
Registration for this virtual event is free.
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Dec 22, 2020
Small Business Funding to Develop AI and Machine Learning Methods

NIEHS is offering grants to small businesses to support development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches to advance environmental health research and decisions. When further developed and validated, these approaches should improve the accuracy of toxicity prediction, help in prioritizing chemicals for more relevant or targeted testing, identify and/or fill data or knowledge gaps in toxicity assessment, and promote more comprehensive understanding of human exposure effects, susceptibility and adverse health outcomes.

Letters of intent to apply for the grants are due February 28, with applications due March 29. Only U.S. small businesses are eligible to apply. Applicant organizations may submit more than one application provided that each application is scientifically distinct. NIEHS intends to commit $2 million to this program in the 2021 fiscal year that will fund up to eight awards. More information is available on the National Institutes of Health website:

Mar 29, 2021
Dec 10, 2020
December 17 Webinar to Discuss Medical Device Assessment

A webinar organized by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will describe “Medical Device Assessment: Updates for Thrombogenicity and Skin Irritation”. The webinar will be presented Thursday, December 17, from 11:00 a.m. - 12 noon EST.

Interest is growing in the use of alternatives to animal testing for safety assessments of medical devices. In this webinar, two speakers from Medtronic will describe evaluations of in vitro tests for two endpoints. Michael Wolf will describe use of human blood to evaluate a device’s potential for thrombogenicity, the tendency of a material to induce blood clotting. Kelly Coleman will provide a progress update on the use of in vitro tests as alternatives to the rabbit skin irritation tests for medical devices. He will discuss the update of International Organization for Standardization standard 10993-23 on irritation testing for medical devices, which states that the use of reconstructed human epidermis test methods is preferable to animal use for this endpoint.

Previously recorded ASCCT webinars are available on their website.

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Dec 10, 2020
Deadline Extended to January 15 for SOT Award

The SOT Carcinogenesis Specialty Section has extended the deadline to January 15 for nominations for the James A. Swenberg Carcinogenesis Merit Award. This award has been established to encourage junior faculty members to conduct transformative mechanistic research in the field of carcinogenesis. The award will recognize outstanding individuals for their cumulative contribution to advancements in understanding the mechanisms of environmental agent-associated carcinogenesis.

Candidates can self-nominate or be nominated by their peers. They must be members of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section, hold tenure- or research-track assistant professor positions in an academic institution, and have earned their highest degree within the last 15 years. Applications should be sent to Chris Corton at Corton.Chris@epa.gov by January 15.

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Dec 03, 2020
ICCVAM Member Honored at ASCCT Annual Meeting; Program Book Available

ASCCT's 9th annual meeting was held online on October 20-23. A summary of the meeting is available on the ASCCT website, and a link to a downloadable program, which includes all presentation abstracts, is also on this page.

During the meeting, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA, was honored with the William and Eleanor Cave Award for her significant contributions to Tox21 and advancing alternative approaches. The award recognizes achievements in development and implementation of alternatives to the traditional use of animals in testing, research, or education. Fitzpatrick is the primary FDA representative to ICCVAM.

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Dec 03, 2020
Submissions Open for 2021 EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

EMGS is now accepting submissions for their 2021 Bioinformatics Challenge. Abstracts are being solicited for following areas:

  • Novel computational approaches, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, on high-throughput, high-content, exposure-risk assessment, and/or clinical data classification.
  • Genetic/genomic toxicological applications of model organism databases, including EcoCyc E. coli database, Saccharomyces genome database, WormBase, wFleaBase, Xenbase, and ZFIN.
  • Predictive modeling with genomic/mutation/epimutation datasets, and/or toxicology databases, including Tox21/ToxCast, Drug Matrix, TG-Gates, Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, and SeqAPASS.

Abstracts should be 250 words and include a data visualization or conceptual workflow pipeline. Submissions are due by February 28th, 2021, to bioinformatics@emgs-us.org. Selected participants will receive a $100 monetary award and present their work in the preliminary round of the competition, which will be held as a virtual symposium in Spring 2021. The finalist teams will be invited to present at the 13th International Conference on Environmental Mutagens in Ottawa, Canada from August 28–September 2, 2021, and compete for the grand prize of $1000. For more information visit the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge website.

Feb 28, 2021
Dec 03, 2020
FDA Launches Pilot Program to Support Novel Approaches to Drug Development

On November 30, FDA announced establishment of the Innovative Science and Technology Approaches for New Drugs (ISTAND) pilot program. This program is designed to encourage innovation of drug development tools (DDTs) that are out of scope for existing DDT qualification programs but may still be useful for drug development. DDTs are methods, materials, or measures that have the potential to facilitate drug development. Approaches that could be considered under ISTAND include using tissue chips (also known as microphysiological systems) to assess safety or efficacy questions; developing novel nonclinical pharmacology/toxicology assays; or using artificial intelligence-based algorithms to evaluate patients, develop novel endpoints, or inform study design.

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Nov 30, 2020
Apply by January 31 for CAAT 2021 Reduction and Refinement Award

CAAT is accepting proposals for the 2021 Reduction and Refinement Award. The grant is intended for scientists who conduct:

  • Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or citation analyses of animal studies or similar work with the goal to reduce animal use in science.
  • Projects with the potential to improve animals’ living situation in the laboratory.

The 2021 award will provide a prize of up to $6,000. Preference will be given to studies that have broad applicability. Applications are due January 31, 2021. Applications should be submitted electronically to Kathrin Herrmann at kherrma1@jhu.edu.

Jan 31, 2021
Nov 30, 2020
Call for Papers on Integrated Strategy Approaches: Deadline February 15

Applied In Vitro Toxicology is calling for original research and review manuscripts that address the use of integrated strategy approaches to investigate and/or assess toxicological effects, to be published in its next special issue. Integrated approaches combine two or more information sources such as in vitro methodologies, computerized and in silico systems, artificial intelligence, exposure and/or kinetics modeling, systematic reviews, clinical data, etc. The integrated strategy approaches can represent a combination of existing and newly generated data, a sequential testing strategy, a parallel testing battery, or a defined approach leading to the prediction of a certain mechanism of action or toxicological effect. The deadline to submit manuscripts has been extended to February 15, 2021.

Feb 15, 2021
Nov 30, 2020
Virtual Workshop on Assessing Carcinogenicity December 7-10

The Toxicology Forum will present a virtual workshop on “Assessing Carcinogenicity: Hazard Identification, Classification, and Risk Assessment” on December 7-10. Interested persons are encouraged to register as soon as possible to allow time for review of premeeting materials. For more information and to register, visit the workshop webpage or contact Kevin Merritt at kevin@toxicology.org.

As understanding of chemical carcinogenesis has grown significantly over the last several decades, it is appropriate to look at whether long-standing test methods and risk assessment approaches should be updated based on new understanding. EPA is updating its guidelines for risk assessment, including the 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, that are used by EPA and other federal and state agencies to aid regulatory decision-making and set research priorities. This workshop will provide an opportunity for national and international experts and stakeholders to exchange information regarding these revisions. Outcomes will guide next steps toward the modernization of carcinogenicity identification and risk assessment.

This virtual workshop is planned as two parts. Immediately upon registration, registrants will have access to recorded speaker presentations that provide background on the subject matter. During the scheduled virtual workshop in December, attendees will be able to ask questions and participate in the panel and group discussions on the day's topics. To accommodate registrants from across the world, each day’s live virtual workshop will last 3 hours.

Warren Casey, former NICEATM Director, and Suzanne Fitzpatrick, U.S. Food and Drug Administration principal representative to ICCVAM, are members of the workshop organizing committee; ICCVAM co-chair Anna Lowit, EPA, is a presenter.

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Nov 16, 2020
Presentations and Video Available from EPA NAMs Conference

EPA hosted the Second Annual “Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing” virtually on October 19-20. The virtual conference was presented in response to the September 2019 directive by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to reduce the EPA’s use of mammalian studies. Conference topics included:

  • Implementation of animal testing reduction at EPA.
  • State of the science in development of NAMs.
  • Current limitations of NAMs.
  • Developing scientific confidence in NAMs.

To view the conference presentations and recordings, visit the conference website. If you attended the conference and would like to submit feedback on the EPA New Approach Methods Work Plan, email NAM@epa.gov.

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Nov 16, 2020
OECD Webinars to Consider AOP Training Needs and Resources

OECD will hold two interactive webinars to discuss opportunities for expanding the community of trainers to meet current needs for training on AOP-based approaches. Webinar participants will also discuss opportunities for engaging a broader range of communities who may benefit from such training. The webinars are particularly targeted to researchers who are engaged in developing innovative approaches based on mechanistic knowledge of toxicity pathways, have given or attended training on AOPs, or used AOP-based hypotheses for research, test development, or safety assessment purposes.

The same 90-minute webinar will be presented at two different times:

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Nov 16, 2020
FDA Partnership to Apply Lung Chips to Safety Evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapies

FDA has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Emulate, Inc. to enable multiple studies using Emulate’s Organ-Chips across FDA offices in priority research areas. Organ-Chips are in vitro systems that recreate the natural physiology of specific human tissues and organs. Some projects will evaluate COVID-19 vaccines or investigate human immune response against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Under the CRADA, FDA will use a range of Organ-Chips to study the safety, efficacy, and mechanisms of action of drugs regulated by the FDA. This new CRADA agreement follows the successful completion of the first Emulate CRADA with the FDA initiated in 2017 that focused on toxicity studies using Emulate's Liver-Chip. Details on the CRADA are provided in Emulate’s October 29 press release.

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Nov 16, 2020
November 30 Webinar to Discuss Predicting Fish Acute Toxicity

A webinar organized by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will describe “Development of a Bayesian Network Model for Predicting Fish Acute Toxicity from Fish Embryo Toxicity Data”. The webinar will be presented Monday, November 30, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EST.

To reduce animal testing, the fish embryo toxicity test has been proposed as an alternative to the juvenile acute fish toxicity test. However, data from the fish embryo toxicity test are not yet accepted as a replacement to the juvenile acute fish toxicity test for certain regulatory purposes such as REACH. Adam Lillicrap of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research will describe a Bayesian network model for predicting toxicity of substances to juvenile fish from embryo toxicity data in combination with other relevant information. The goal is to use the model in a weight-of-evidence approach to support replacing juvenile fish toxicity testing with embryo toxicity testing.

Previously recorded ASCCT webinars are available on their website.

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Oct 28, 2020
OSHA, PHMSA Request Public Input in Advance of International Meetings

OSHA and the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will hold virtual public meetings on Thursday, November 19. The purpose of the November 19 meetings is to consider public comments and gather information in advance of:

  • The 57th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCETDG) on November 30-December 8.
  • The 39th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) on December 9-11.

The PHMSA public meeting will be held on November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. The OSHA public meeting will be held November 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. General information about the OSHA meeting can be found in an October 22 Federal Register notice. Specific information regarding each meeting will be available on the OSHA website as it becomes available.

These meetings will be open to the public on a first-come, first served basis. Attendees must pre-register for all meetings; links to registration will be available on the PHMSA website.

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Oct 28, 2020
OECD Seeking Input on Training on AOPs; Respond by October 30

The Extended Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics of OECD is seeking information on currently available training courses on AOPs. Those involved in developing or conducting training courses that focus on or incorporate AOPs are invited to complete a brief survey. Completion of the survey will allow OECD to:

  • Understand the current training courses available, including the different materials, formats, and target audiences.
  • Enable better support of existing activities
  • Identify gaps where new content is needed.

The survey has 18 questions and should take 10 minutes or less to complete. Please respond by Friday, October 30.

Oct 30, 2020
Oct 28, 2020
Nominations Due December 11 for SOT Carcinogenesis Merit Award

The Carcinogenesis Specialty Section of SOT is accepting nominations for the James A. Swenberg Carcinogenesis Merit Award. This award has been established to encourage junior faculty members to conduct transformative mechanistic research in the field of carcinogenesis. The award will recognize outstanding individuals for their cumulative contribution to advancements in understanding the mechanisms of environmental agent-associated carcinogenesis.

Candidates can self-nominate or be nominated by their peers. They must be members of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section, hold tenure- or research-track assistant professor positions in an academic institution, and have earned their highest degree within the last 15 years. Applications are due December 11.

Dec 11, 2020
Oct 28, 2020
Science Adviser Position Available at HSUS

HSUS is seeking a Science Adviser for its Animal Research Issues department. The Science Adviser offers scientific advice to HSUS on programs that seek to replace the use of animals in testing and research through regulatory, legislative, and corporate reforms. Duties include researching and analyzing areas of testing and research that involve the use of animals, staying up to date on scientific advances and technologies that seek to replace the use of animals, and contributing scientific expertise to legislative and regulatory efforts. The applicant must have at least a master's and preferably a Ph.D. in a relevant field, at least two years' experience related to the use of animals in laboratories and alternatives to animal testing, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. The position will be based in Gaithersburg, MD, or Washington, DC, and applicants should be willing and able to travel. 

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Oct 26, 2020
ICE Version 3.2 Now Available

On October 20, NICEATM released an update of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. This update adds the following features to these ICE tools.

  • In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation (IVIVE): a new inhalation model from the EPA httk package is available that allows estimation of an equivalent administered dose based on a gas exposure. The IVIVE tool also now allows the user to specify whether experimental or predicted data are used for ADME parameters.
  • Chemical Characterization: query results are now displayed using two principal component analysis plots: a static plot that compares query chemicals to a background of a larger chemical set and a dynamic plot that compares query chemicals to one another based on physicochemical properties or molecular descriptors.

Other new resources in ICE 3.2 include:

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Oct 16, 2020
Molecular Virologist Position at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Laulima Government Solutions, LLC, is looking for a qualified molecular virologist to support the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, MD. Duties will include:

  • Designing and implementing in vivo, ex vivo, in situ, and in vitro test systems to address molecular virology objectives.
  • Advising program leadership on important advances in molecular virology theories and practices.
  • Managing and coordinating molecular virology support for ongoing studies.

Applicants must have a PhD in molecular virology or related field and at least five years’ specialized training and research experience. They should be proficient in techniques including reverse genetics and genomics, organs/organoids-on-a-chip, mechanism of action, viral life cycle surrogate systems, protein-protein interactions, gene knock in/knock out, and enzymatic assays. They must also be U.S. citizens, eligible for Centers for Disease Control Select Agent Program approval, and willing to work under BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 conditions.

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Oct 16, 2020
EPA PFAS Postdoctoral Research Positions

EPA has several openings for postdoctoral fellows at their Office of Research and Development laboratory in Duluth, MN. Projects are focused on applications of NAMs for characterization of PFAS. Successful candidates will have interest or experience working with PFAS chemicals. For information about each of the openings, visit the linked webpages or contact the principal investigators listed below. Application deadlines begin October 26.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Postdoctoral Positions:

University of Wisconsin-Madison Postdoctoral Position:

Oct 26, 2020
Oct 16, 2020
Opportunity at FDA for Early-career Cell Biologist

FDA has an opening for an early career scientist with cell and molecular biology lab experience. The successful candidate will support current projects including investigating microphysiological systems and the potential of human cells to model different tissues for predicting clinical drug adverse effects. Specific duties will include:

  • Culturing human cells and induced pluripotent stem cells and participating in their differentiation.
  • Assembling, operating and cleaning microphysiological systems.
  • Performing experiments with the microphysiological systems.
  • Maintaining the laboratory for work with the microphysiological systems.
  • Properly documenting data and results from experiments, assays, and analysis following established guidelines.

Applicants should have an undergraduate or master’s degree in engineering, microphysiology, cell biology, biology, or a related field, and at least one year’s laboratory experience in academia or industry. The application has no closing date. Additional details are in the attached PDF. For more information please contact Alexandre Ribeiro at 301-796-0126 or Alexandre.Ribeiro@fda.hhs.gov.

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Oct 16, 2020
Safer Alternatives Symposium and NAMs Short Courses

Registration is open for the “International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment: Current Practices and Future Prospects.” This meeting will be held virtually on October 27-29. It is organized by the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment (A4), a professional association dedicated to advancing the science, practice, and policy of alternatives assessment and informed substitution. The vision of A4 is that every essential function performed by a chemical, material, process, or product is achieved with safe and sustainable solutions.

In conjunction with the symposium, A4 is partnering with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to offer two short courses on “New Approach Methodology (NAM) Use for Regulatory Application.” The session on Monday, October 26, will introduce applied approaches to incorporate and customize read-across strategies for chemical assessments. The session on Friday, October 30, will be a deep dive into case-study illustrations of in vitro tools and next-generation risk assessment. Registration for the short courses and other symposium sessions is free.

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Oct 09, 2020
EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge Winners Announced; Challenge to Continue in 2021

Winners have been announced for EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge 2020. The Challenge encouraged EMGS members and bioinformatics/data science experts to work together to develop novel tools and approaches that harness publicly available data resources such as Tox21 and DrugMatrix to identify signatures of genotoxic hazards and provide insight into their mechanisms of action.

The first place award went to Maximillian Soltysiak for the project “Machine learning-based analysis of genome sequences for studying the impact of extreme environments on genomic signatures.” Second place went to David Chen for the project “SomaticSim: a somatic mutational signature simulator for benchmarking alignment-free machine learning analyses.” Both projects were conducted by teams with members from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Waterloo in Canada.

The Bioinformatics Challenge will be conducted again next year, with winners to be announced at the International Conference on Environmental Mutagens in August-September 2021.

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Oct 09, 2020
Lush Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony November 11-12

Lush Cosmetics sponsors a global prize fund to support initiatives to end or replace animal testing. The 2020 Lush Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony will be held as a free virtual event November 11-12. The Conference theme is “Can Big Data Replace Animal Testing?” and will include discussions on “Paving the way from big data to regulatory acceptance” and “The role of big data in next-generation risk assessment”. Speakers will include winners from this year and previous years. Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, who won a Lush Young Researcher–North America Prize in 2016, will deliver a keynote address titled “From the 3Rs to the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, commitment, and confidence.”

The Conference will be presented both days from 8:00-11:00 a.m. EDT (1:00-4:00 p.m. GMT), and the Awards Ceremony will be held November 11 from 11:00 a.m-noon EDT (4:00-5:00 p.m. GMT).

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Oct 09, 2020
OECD Releases Eight IATA Case Studies

OECD supports the development of integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATA). IATA provide a means by which all relevant and reliable information about a chemical is used to answer a defined hazard characterization question. Information considered can include toxicity data, exposure routes, use cases, and production volumes.

The OECD IATA Case Studies Project allows countries to share and explore the use of novel methodologies in IATA for chemical hazard characterization within a regulatory context. Eight new case studies illustrate the use of NAMs for predicting systemic toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and neurotoxicity from chemicals such as caffeine, p-alkylphenols, and carboxylic acids. Information about the Case Studies Project and links to the new case studies are available on the OECD website.

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Oct 09, 2020
EPA Announces Guidance to Waive Toxicity Tests on Animal Skin, New Webpages on Metrics and NAMs

On October 7, EPA requested public comment on draft guidance that would allow researchers to forego testing chemicals on animal skin in certain circumstances. Based on a retrospective analysis conducted by EPA, which concluded that such studies provide little to no added value in regulatory decision-making, the proposed guidance would allow waivers for studies on single active ingredients used in pesticides. This guidance, when finalized, is expected to save up to 750 test animals annually from unnecessary testing, as well as EPA, industry, and laboratory resources.

A page on the EPA website summarizes its strategic vision for adopting NAMs. Three webpages linked from this page have details of EPA activities in this area.

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Oct 01, 2020
Animal-free Antibody Webinar Series Continues October 15

NICEATM, PETA-ISC, and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing are presenting a series of free webinars in which experts will address the application and benefits of recombinant antibodies. Registration for the next two webinars is available. You need only register once to attend both webinars. Both webinars are at 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

  • Webinar 3, “Application of Animal-free Antibodies,” is Thursday, October 15. Giulio Russo of Abcalis will discuss replacement of animal serum-derived secondary antibodies with animal-free multiclonal antibodies. Charu Chandrasekara, Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, will describe her experience with replacement of animal-derived affinity reagents.
  • Webinar 4, “Accessibility of Recombinant Antibodies,” is Thursday, November 12. Pierre Cosson, University of Geneva, and Michael Fiebig, Absolute Antibody, will describe their institutions’ antibody production activities.

Recordings and slides from past webinars are available on the PETA-ISC website. Information about future webinars will be posted on this page when it is available.

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Oct 01, 2020
October Symposia Focus on Artificial Intelligence, Open Science

Carnegie Mellon University is hosting two free virtual symposia in October that will be of interest to data scientists. Registration is available; you need only register once to attend both events.

  • The “Artificial Intelligence for Data Discovery and Reuse” symposium will be Monday, October 19. This meeting will allow participants to explore innovative solutions to accelerate the dissemination and reuse of scientific data. The program will feature invited speakers and panel discussions from a variety of disciplines, including a focused session on COVID-19 data. Poster submissions will be accepted through October 11.
  • The “Open Science Symposium” will be Tuesday, October 20. The symposium will build awareness and support for the adoption of open research practices and encourage innovative ideas about data sharing. The full day program will feature talks from researchers, tool developers, and publishers; panel discussions; and networking opportunities.
Oct 11, 2020
Oct 01, 2020
NIH Hosting Seminar on Grants Process October 27-30

NIH will present a “Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration” on October 27-30, beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT each day. This seminar will provide attendees an opportunity to learn about the NIH grants processes, programs, and policies, and will include information specific to small business programs. It is primarily aimed at persons new to the NIH grants process but also includes sessions focused on more in-depth polices and processes for more advanced participants. The event is free.

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Sep 25, 2020
Webinar on Addition of New Approach Methodologies to TSCA

The PETA International Science Consortium is co-organizing a webinar series with EPA and PCRM. The seventh webinar in the series, “Identification of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for Placement on the TSCA Section 4(h)(2)(C) List: A Proposed NAM Nomination Form,” will be Wednesday, September 30 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

The webinar features presenter Steve Simmons of the EPA Office of Research and Development with panelists Pam Spencer, ANGUS Chemical Company; Lauren Heine, ChemFORWARD; Kristie Sullivan, PCRM; and Patrick McMullen, ScitoVation. They will discuss the initial criteria for considering scientific reliability and relevance of NAMs to be placed on the TSCA Section 4(h)2(C) list and review a proposed nomination form.

A list of previous webinars in this series can be found on the PETA International Science Consortium website.

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Sep 25, 2020
Presentations Available from September 2-3 SACATM Meeting

Presentation slides are available from the September 2-3 SACATM meeting. To view the presentations, visit the Past SACATM Meetings page on the NTP website and click on “Presentations” in the far right column of the first row. Minutes from the meeting will be posted here when they have been reviewed and approved by the committee.

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Sep 21, 2020
Paper Provides Update on EU-ToxRisk Project

In 2016, the European Commission launched the EU-ToxRisk research project to develop and promote animal-free approaches in toxicology. An editorial in Archives of Toxicology summarizes the scientific and regulatory learnings from this project. Future chemical safety science projects can draw from this experience to implement systems toxicology-guided, animal-free next-generation risk assessment.

Mone et al. 2020. Setting the stage for next-generation risk assessment with non-animal approaches: the EU-ToxRisk project experience. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-020-02866-4.

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Sep 21, 2020
Studies Support Use of In Vitro Models for Skin Irritation Testing of Medical Devices

A new paper in Toxicology In Vitro summarizes validation studies of reconstructed human epidermis as alternatives for in vivo irritation testing of medical device extracts. It concludes that these models are acceptable replacements for the rabbit intracutaneous irritation test for evaluating the irritant potential of medical devices. The senior author of the paper is SACATM member Kelly Coleman, Medtronic PLC.

DeJong et al. 2020. The suitability of reconstructed human epidermis models for medical device irritation assessment: A comparison of in vitro and in vivo testing results. Toxicology In Vitro. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104995.

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Sep 21, 2020
FDA and Global Partners to Study Coronaviruses Using In Vitro Models

FDA has awarded over $5 million to a global collaboration to inform the development of treatments and vaccines for coronavirus infections. The collaboration, led by the University of Liverpool, will sequence and analyze samples from humans and animals to create profiles of various coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

As part of this three-year project, investigators will evaluate how in vitro models of coronavirus infection, including human organs-on-chips, compare to in vivo responses in animal models and humans. Ultimately, these in vitro models may be employed in the development of biologics, drugs, or devices to treat COVID-19.

For more information about the project, visit:

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Sep 21, 2020
NICEATM Activities at ASCCT Annual Meeting

The 9th annual meeting of ASCCT will be held virtually on October 20-22 free of charge. The conference will focus on the science and policy considerations needed to enable the EPA to eliminate reliance on mammalian tests in regulatory decision making by 2035. The program will feature plenary speakers, panel discussions, oral and poster presentations drawn from submitted abstracts, and opportunities for early-career scientists through a mentoring session and poster awards. Registration and program are available on the ASCCT website.

At this year’s ASCCT annual meeting, NICEATM’s work will be featured with talks on “Providing Insight into Chemical Activity Through Data Curation and Assay Annotation” and compilation of a “Human Reference Database for Skin Sensitization.” NICEATM scientists will also present six posters, one of which will be featured in a flash presentation, a format that enables poster presenters to share their work in a 3-minute oral presentation to a broader audience.

View full list of NICEATM’s activities at ASCCT >>

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Sep 17, 2020
NIEHS Scientist Featured in Webinar on Biomarkers for Kidney Toxicity

HESI is co-organizing a webinar series with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. The first webinar in the series, “Development of Next-Generation Biomarkers for Detecting Kidney Toxicity” is Thursday, September 24, at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

In this webinar, NIEHS scientist Alison Harrill will discuss current research to identify biomarkers for kidney toxicity. While noninvasive monitoring of nephrotoxicity is challenging, there is promise in utilizing urinary biomarkers such as clusterin and renal papillary antigen-1 as indicators of nephron toxicity. Harrill is leading efforts toward developing models that incorporate host genetic susceptibility into risk assessment.

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Sep 17, 2020
Cell Culture Practitioners Invited to Serve on Scientific Advisory Committee

Scientists experienced in cell culture are invited to join the Scientific Advisory Committee for Good Cell Culture Practice (SAC GCCP). The SAC GCCP will evaluate and propose revisions to a recently published update to a 2005 Good Cell Culture Practice guidance document (GCCP 2.0). The review is being coordinated by the Center for Alternatives for Animal Testing. To apply, please email CAAT@jhu.edu.

The SAC GCCP will review and revise the GCCP 2.0 document through November 2020. Members will review and vote on suggested revisions in December and review a final revision in early 2021. The goal of this public consultation is an open and scientifically intense review of GCCP 2.0 across cell culture experts in various fields of research, in vitro testing, biotechnology development, and industry. More details of the review process are available in a recent publication in ALTEX.

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Sep 17, 2020
Thailand Joins OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data Agreement

On September 7, OECD announced that Thailand has joined the system for the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD). MAD, which sets regulatory standards for chemical toxicity testing, allows participating countries to share data results from non-clinical safety tests from chemicals and chemical products. By creating standards that all the countries involved agree on, MAD reduces the number of animals tested by minimizing duplicate testing on chemicals such as industry chemicals and pesticides. Thailand joins the 37 OECD countries as well as Argentina, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa in this initiative that creates international standards and communication for nonclinical toxicity testing.

Visit the OECD website to:

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Sep 17, 2020
Positions Available for Biologists at EPA; Apply by September 23

EPA has openings for experienced biologists in the Health Effects Division and the Environmental Fate and Effects Division within the Office of Pesticide Programs. Successful candidates will:

  • Interpret, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize scientific data and other information for the development of human health and/or environmental assessments on the effects of pesticides from both hazard/toxicology and exposure studies.
  • Determine the general approach necessary to accomplish the review and evaluation of data.
  • Prepare reports that include evaluation of available data and assessments of exposure, hazard, and/or risk from exposure to pesticides
  • Review and make recommendations on the exposure analyses for pesticides in various environments concerning the retention or cancellation of pesticides.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related area and at least one year of relevant experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a pre-employment background check will be required. All positions are currently located in Arlington, Virginia. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, September 23. For more information, contact Chelsea Vaughn at 919-541-4215 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov.

Sep 23, 2020
Sep 14, 2020
Animal-free Antibody Webinar Series Continues September 16

NICEATM, PETA-ISC, and EURL ECVAM will present a free webinar providing an overview of the scientific and economic benefits of animal-free antibodies. The webinar will be on Wednesday, September 16 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

In this webinar, Alison Gray of Afability will discuss how animal-free antibodies are developed, how they mimic the mechanistic principles evolved by nature, and the challenges that have slowed their replacement. In a second presentation, João Borroso of EURL ECVAM will share a summary of the findings from a 2018 EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee meeting that included a review of the validity and benefits of using animal-free technology to produce affinity reagents and the subsequent EURL ECVAM recommendation.

This is the second of a series of free webinars in which experts will address the application and benefits of recombinant antibodies. Information about upcoming webinars is available on the PETA-ISC website. Registration for two upcoming webinars is now open; both webinars are at 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

  • Webinar 3, “Application of Animal-free Antibodies,” is Thursday, October 15. Giulio Russo of Abcalis will discuss replacement of animal serum-derived secondary antibodies with animal-free multiclonal antibodies. Charu Chandrasekara, Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, will describe her experience with replacement of animal-derived affinity reagents.
  • Webinar 4, “Accessibility of Recombinant Antibodies,” is Thursday, November 12. Pierre Cosson, University of Geneva, and Michael Fiebig, Absolute Antibody, will describe their institutions’ antibody production activities.
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Sep 14, 2020
International FAIR Convergence Symposium to be Held Nov. 30-Dec. 4

A virtual International FAIR Convergence Symposium will be held November 30-December 4. The symposium is a forum for advancing international and cross-domain convergence around FAIR principles of digital assets. The event will bring together a global data community with a common interest of combining data across domains for a host of research issues. Topics will include Sustainable Development Goals and the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions will be a mix of discussions, collaborative workshops, and plenary sessions. The symposium is being organized by CODATA and GO FAIR.

Registration for the event is free. Proposals for sessions, posters, and lightning talks are being accepted now; submit session proposals by September 30, and abstracts for posters or lightning talks by October 31. Proposals can be submitted on the CODATA website; you will need to create a free CODATA account. For more information about the event, visit the GO FAIR website.

Session proposals: Sep 30

Abstracts: Oct 31

Sep 14, 2020
EPA Holds Second Conference on NAMs for Chemical Safety Testing

EPA will hold its 2nd annual conference on the “State of Science on Development and Use of NAMs for Chemical Safety Testing” on October 19-20. The virtual conference is being presented in response to the September 2019 directive by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to reduce the EPA’s use of mammalian studies. Conference topics will include implementation of animal testing reduction at EPA, state of the science in development of NAMs, current limitations of NAMs, and developing scientific confidence in NAMs.

Registrants who would like to submit questions or comments for consideration at the conference may use the form on the EPA website or email Dayna Gibbons.

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Sep 14, 2020
Virtual SACATM Meeting Considers ICCVAM’s Future Directions

SACATM met virtually in a public webcast on September 2-3. Over 200 people viewed or participated in the webcast, making it one of the most broadly viewed SACATM meetings ever. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

Recognizing the occasion of ICCVAM’s 20th anniversary, SACATM members and commenters praised ICCVAM’s work to advance alternatives to animal testing and identified opportunities for further progress. Specific areas mentioned included genotoxicity and carcinogenicity and replacement of animal use for antibody production.

An entire day of the meeting was devoted to considering the data that are needed to evaluate new methods and tools that can put data to use. Presentations discussed variability in animal data, applications of machine learning, and in vitro human-based models that incorporate genetic diversity. NICEATM scientists showcased computational tools for exploring toxicity data and making toxicity predictions. Presentations from the meeting will be available soon on the NTP website, and minutes will be posted following their review by the committee.

Save the date for the next ICCVAM public event: the annual ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar is planned for Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Information will be posted on the NICEATM events webpage as it becomes available.

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Aug 27, 2020
Cell Culture Practitioners Invited to Serve on Scientific Advisory Committee

Scientists experienced in cell culture are invited to join the Scientific Advisory Committee for Good Cell Culture Practice (SAC GCCP). The SAC GCCP will evaluate and propose revisions to a recently published update to a 2005 Good Cell Culture Practice guidance document (GCCP 2.0). The review is being coordinated by the Center for Alternatives for Animal Testing. To apply, please email CAAT@jhu.edu.

The SAC GCCP will review and revise the GCCP 2.0 document from September through November 2020. Members will review and vote on suggested revisions in December and review a final revision in early 2021. The goal of this public consultation is an open and scientifically intense review of GCCP 2.0 across cell culture experts in various fields of research, in vitro testing, biotechnology development, and industry. More details of the review process are available in a recent publication in ALTEX.

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Aug 27, 2020
September 16 Webinar Presents eChemPortal Case Studies

A webinar on “eChemPortal: the Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances” will be presented by OECD and the European Chemicals Agency on Wednesday, September 16, at 9:00 a.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. CEST).

OECD’s eChemPortal provides direct access to critical scientific information on chemical substances of regulatory relevance with over 800,000 substance records from over 34 databases. The portal allows countries and companies to share work, ensure resource efficiencies, and reduce animal testing. In this webinar, Gerlinde Knetsch of the German Environment Agency and Jake Sanderson of Environment Canada will describe how their agencies used eChemPortal to support improvements in chemical safety.

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Aug 27, 2020
September 24 Webinar to Discuss EPA Phenotypic Profiling Approach

A webinar organized by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will describe “Phenotypic Profiling for High-throughput Chemical Screening at the U.S. EPA”. The webinar will be presented Thursday, September 24, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

The Center for Computational Toxicology & Exposure at EPA has been an integral part of developing new approach methodologies in computational toxicology. The tiered in vitro approach to toxicity testing relies on high-throughput assays to derive a potency estimate for chemical bioactivity and to gain information about putative mechanisms of action. In this webinar, Johanna Nyffeler, EPA, will outline how image-based high-throughput phenotypic profiling (HTPP) assays can provide both types of data required for tiered in vitro testing. She will describe a study that demonstrated that the HTPP assay can be used to derive potency estimates and some mechanistic features that can be used for the prioritization of chemicals.

Previously recorded ASCCT webinars are available on their website.

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Aug 27, 2020
Paper Describes Minimal Assay Set for Androgen Activity Screening

A paper co-authored by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and NICEATM computational chemist Kamel Mansouri (ILS, contractor supporting NICEATM) describes a minimal set of assays that can identify chemicals with androgen receptor activity in initial screening. Agonist batteries of as few as six assays and antagonist batteries of as few as five assays were shown to yield balanced accuracies of 95% or better relative to a previously described set of 11 assays.

Judson et al. 2020. Selecting a minimal set of androgen receptor assays for screening chemicals. Reg Toxicol Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104764.

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Aug 27, 2020
NTP Update Newsletter

The August NTP Update newsletter is now available. In addition to summaries of NICEATM activities, the issue includes an article about Global Environmental Health Day, at which an international audience of experts discussed social-environmental tradeoffs, climate change, and more. The newsletter also features a profile of NIEHS health scientist Brandy Beverly, whose experiences growing up in small town of Oklahoma shaped her passion for research and outreach to minority students. In addition, the issue features a review of the NIEHS Biomedical career symposium, which attracted a national audience of early-career scientists who gained insights to industry, government and academic sectors of research.

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Aug 19, 2020
Symposium Webinar September 30 on Kinetically Derived Maximum Dose

A symposium webinar on “Use of the Kinetically Derived Maximum Dose in Toxicity Testing” will be held Wednesday, September 30, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT. The symposium is organized by NICEATM, the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, and the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute.

The kinetically derived maximum dose (KMD) refers to the dose at which a departure from linear pharmacokinetics is observed. In contrast to its routine use in pharmaceutical development, consideration of the KMD in the design or interpretation of animal toxicity studies for environmental chemicals is rare. Interest is growing in use of the KMD to interpret animal dose-response data or set top dose in chronic toxicity studies of these chemicals, but many technical and scientific issues hinder its proper use. The purpose of this symposium is to highlight these commonly raised issues and provide the background information needed to develop more consistent, transparent approaches to support broader KMD application in risk assessment.

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Aug 19, 2020
Submit Comments for SACATM Meeting by August 26

SACATM will meet September 2-3. This meeting will be conducted as a public webcast. An agenda and other materials, a link to register to view the webcast, and information about submitting comments are available on the NTP website. Registration to view the webcast will be open until the conclusion of the meeting.

Interested individuals are invited to submit written and oral public comments on agenda topics. The preliminary agenda allows for several public comment periods, each allowing up to three commenters a maximum of five minutes per speaker. The deadline to submit comments is Wednesday, August 26.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors, including representatives of regulated industry and national animal protection organizations. SACATM advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

Aug 26, 2020
Aug 19, 2020
FIFRA SAP to Meet in September; Pre-meeting August 25 Open to Public

EPA will convene a public peer review meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) on September 15-18. Panelists will consider and review the use of new approach methodologies (NAMs) to derive extrapolation factors and evaluate developmental neurotoxicity for human health risk assessment.

On Tuesday, August 25, there will be a virtual public preparatory meeting to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions for this peer review. More information about both meetings is available in a June 17 Federal Register notice.

The FIFRA SAP provides independent scientific advice, information and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on human health and the environment. At this meeting, EPA is seeking advice and recommendations from the FIFRA SAP on scientific issues associated with:

  • The evaluation and utility of NAMs as part of a weight of evidence evaluation of developmental neurotoxicity potential.
  • The use of in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibition data to develop interspecies and/or intraspecies data-derived extrapolation factors for organophosphate pesticides.
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Aug 19, 2020
EPA Seeks Nominees for TSCA Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals

EPA is seeking nominations of scientific experts to be considered for appointment to the TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals. The committee provides independent advice and expert consultation on the scientific and technical aspects of implementing TSCA.

Nominations should be received by September 1. This announcement was originally issued in March 2020 with an April deadline, but subsequent legal decisions have affected the criteria used to evaluate nominees. All nominations and comments submitted in response to the March notice will be considered by EPA and do not need to be resubmitted.

Nominees should have expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: human health and ecological risk assessment, biostatistics, epidemiology, pediatrics, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, toxicology and pathology, and chemical exposures of sensitive populations. An August 17 Federal Register notice [85 FR 50020] has details on the call for nominations, including instructions for submitting nominations.

Sep 1, 2020
Aug 13, 2020
FDA Accepting Proposals for Alternative Methods Webinar Series

The FDA Office of the Chief Scientist is launching a webinar series on alternative methods. The webinar series supports FDA’s commitment to promote novel technologies and potentially incorporate them into its regulatory review, as applicable.

Test method developers who participate in this webinar series will have the opportunity to introduce their new technology to FDA and give individual FDA programs the option to contact them for further information. Please note, however, that participation in FDA’s webinar series does not constitute FDA’s endorsement of a new method or oblige FDA to assist the developer in qualifying a new method for regulatory use.

To be considered for the webinar series, please submit the following information to alternatives@fda.gov:

  • A description of your new method, including origin of cells or species of animal if appropriate.
  • A description of the proposed context of use of your new method.
  • A description of the regulatory issue/gap where the new method could have an impact.
  • Data from use of your method, including any publications.

FDA will respond within 60 days to your webinar submission.

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Aug 13, 2020
Webinar Will Describe a Literature Informatics Tool for Chemical Research

A webinar organized by ASCCT and ESTIV will describe “PubMed Abstract Sifter: A Literature Informatics Tool for Chemical Research.” The webinar will be presented Thursday, August 20, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

Assessing and understanding chemical effects requires assembling information from a wide variety of sources, including millions of articles in the biomedical literature. Literature informatics approaches can help researchers make use of this information in more effective ways. In the webinar, Nancy Baker, Leidos, Inc., will describe the PubMed Abstract Sifter, a freely available literature tool from EPA. With the Abstract Sifter, researchers can easily retrieve and triage citations from PubMed and visualize the literature landscape for a set of chemicals. The tool is supplied with template queries that facilitate the exploration of mechanistic information by using the language of adverse outcome pathways and key characteristics of carcinogens.

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Aug 13, 2020
Papers Due August 30 for Special Issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology

Papers are being accepted for a special issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology that will focus on computational toxicology. The deadline for submission has been extended to August 30. This special issue will bring together recent developments in computational toxicology, with equal emphasis given to methodological developments, such as statistical approaches, modeling advances, and computational resources, as well as applications and case studies demonstrating the use of existing and novel methods. In particular, the focus will be on online and freely available tools and open source software, databases, and recent studies that exemplify success or limitations of the currently used methods. The issue will be edited by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Weida Tong of the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research.

Submissions are invited on, but are not limited to, the topics of:

  • Curated data sets and models to predict human and environmental toxicity.
  • Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling.
  • Advanced approaches for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation.
  • Combining in silico predictions with in vitro and in vivo data.
  • Multiscale and agent-based models.
  • Harvesting and processing of big, heterogeneous, and nonstandard data (e.g., literature and patent mining, pathway information).
  • Toxicogenomics.
  • Systems toxicology.
Aug 30, 2020
Aug 13, 2020
EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge Finalists Announced; Presentations September 16

EMGS has announced the finalists of the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge 2020. This competition encouraged EMGS members and bioinformatics/data science experts to work together to develop novel tools and approaches that harness publicly available data resources such as Tox21 and DrugMatrix to identify signatures of genotoxic hazards and provide insight into their mechanisms of action. The list of finalists is available on the EMGS website. NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge is a member of one of the finalist teams; Berridge is NIEHS principal representative to ICCVAM.

The final round of the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge will be held on Wednesday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. CDT (2:30 p.m. EDT). Five competing teams will present their work and take questions from the audience. The Bioinformatics Challenge presentations are part of the EMGS Virtual Meeting, which will be held September 12-16. Attendance is free but registration is required. A full meeting program is available on the EMGS website.

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Aug 13, 2020
Virtual Workshop on Assessing Carcinogenicity December 7-10

The Toxicology Forum will present a virtual workshop on “Assessing Carcinogenicity: Hazard Identification, Classification, and Risk Assessment” on December 7-10. This virtual workshop is planned as two parts. Beginning in mid-November, registrants will have access to recorded speaker presentations, allowing ample time for registrants to become familiar with the diverse subject matter. During the scheduled dates of the virtual workshop in December, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the panel and group discussions pertaining to the day's subject matter. To accommodate registrants from across the world, the live virtual workshop will last 3 hours per day.

As understanding of chemical carcinogenesis has grown significantly over the last several decades, it is appropriate to look at whether long-standing test methods and risk assessment approaches should be updated based on new understandings. EPA is updating its guidelines for risk assessment, including the 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, that are used by EPA and other federal and state agencies to aid regulatory decision-making and set research priorities. This workshop will provide an opportunity for national and international experts and stakeholders to exchange information regarding these revisions, which will be of great value to guide next steps towards the modernization of carcinogenicity identification and risk assessment.

Warren Casey, former NICEATM Director, and Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA principal representative to ICCVAM, are members of the workshop organizing committee; ICCVAM co-chair Anna Lowit, EPA, is a presenter.

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Aug 03, 2020
OECD Survey on Confidential Information in Proposed Test Guidelines: Respond by August 31

OECD is collecting stakeholder input on handling of confidential information in candidate test guidelines. A short survey is available and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Responses are requested by August 31.

The OECD Test Guidelines Programme regularly receives proposals for new and innovative test methods for chemical safety testing. These methods may contain elements protected by intellectual property. As the goal of the Test Guidelines Programme is to develop and standardize relevant and reliable methods, transparency is important from a regulatory perspective. Therefore, the Test Guidelines Programme is developing a policy to deal with confidentiality claims so that it remains an attractive program for innovative methods, while ensuring that developers identify other means to protect their assets. Input received via the current survey will help evaluate of the impact of this policy on developers, regulators, and the broader community.

Aug 31, 2020
Aug 03, 2020
Paper Describes Web Tool for Predicting Human Skin Sensitizers

A paper co-authored by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer describes Pred-Skin, a web tool that integrates multiple quantitative structure-activity relationship models to predict whether chemicals might be skin sensitizers with the potential to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Pred-Skin was developed by NICEATM in collaboration with scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidade Federal de Goiás.

Borba et al. 2020. Pred-Skin: a web portal for accurate prediction of human skin sensitizers. Chem Res Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00186.

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Jul 31, 2020
ICE Version 3.1 Now Available

On July 24, NICEATM released an update of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. This update adds the following features to these ICE tools:

  • Search: query results can now be sent directly to the EPA CompTox Chemicals Dashboard.
  • In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation (IVIVE): assays can be selected based on mode of action; results can be filtered by mode of action or toxicity endpoint annotation.
  • Chemical Characterization: principal component analysis plots provide an additional option for visualization of chemical properties.

Other new resources in ICE 3.1 include:

  • New Chemical Quick Lists: EPA List of Active Ingredients and EPA List of Inert Ingredients Food and Nonfood Use.
  • Additional metadata provided in results downloads.
  • New tooltips and information buttons to help users set up queries.
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Jul 31, 2020
Small Business Grants Available for Test Method Development

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the 2020 SBIR and STTR Omnibus Grant Solicitations. These solicitations will be used by the National Institutes of Health and other offices within HHS to fund researcher-initiated projects in health, medicine, and life sciences.

Projects being funded by NIEHS under this solicitation include development of toxicity screening, testing, and modeling approaches that support Tox21 and other NTP goals. Areas of high priority include development of:

  • Metabolically competent in vitro assay systems for various tissue types.
  • Computational approaches for predictive toxicology.

The first deadline for applications under this announcement is September 8. More information is available on the NICEATM website.

NIEHS has also reissued the Funding Opportunity Announcement for its Commercialization Readiness Pilot program. These grants support commercialization of previously funded SBIR and STTR Phase II and Phase IIB projects by funding activities not typically supported through Phase II or Phase IIB grants or contracts. Small businesses that have had an active National Institutes of Health SBIR or STTR Phase II or Phase IIB award within the last 36 months are eligible to apply. Awardees will receive up to $300,000. Standard SBIR/STTR application deadlines apply for these grants; the next deadline is September 8.

Sep 8, 2020
Jul 31, 2020
September 16 Webinar Will Discuss Animal-free Antibody Benefits

NICEATM, PETA-ISC, and EURL ECVAM will present a free webinar providing an overview of the scientific and economic benefits of animal-free antibodies. The webinar will be on Wednesday, September 16 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT. In this webinar, João Borroso of EURL ECVAM will share a summary of the findings from a 2018 EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee meeting that reviewed the validity and benefits of using animal-free technology to produce affinity reagents and the subsequent EURL ECVAM recommendation.

This is the second of a series of free webinars in which experts will address the application and benefits of recombinant antibodies. Topics and some tentative dates for upcoming webinars are available on the PETA-ISC website.

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Jul 27, 2020
ICCVAM 2018-2019 Biennial Report Now Available

The ICCVAM Biennial Progress Report 2018-2019 is now available. The ICCVAM Authorization Act of 2000 directed ICCVAM to prepare a progress report on its first anniversary and every other year thereafter. The latest ICCVAM Biennial Progress Report describes ICCVAM and ICCVAM agency activities from January 2018 through December 2019. Key ICCVAM, ICCVAM agency, and NICEATM accomplishments summarized in the report include:

  • Publication of A Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.
  • Development of the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite, in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict five specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies.
  • Expansion of the Integrated Chemical Environment.
  • Development of plans to replace, reduce, or refine animal use for testing by DoD, EPA and FDA.

This edition of the Biennial Report has been reorganized to make it easier for users to find content of interest. Menu items allow users to view articles by agency or find articles relevant to topics such as in vitro to in vivo extrapolation, cardiotoxicity, or mixtures toxicity. Reference pages list publications of interest as well as providing glossary terms and acronyms relevant to ICCVAM agencies and activities.

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Jul 27, 2020
EU Launches COVID-19 AOP-focused Modeling Project; Kickoff Webinar July 28

The European Union is launching a project on “Modelling the Pathogenesis of COVID-19 Using the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework” (CIAO). CIAO will use crowdsourcing and the AOP framework to make sense of emerging COVID-19 data and relate this knowledge to what is known about similar diseases. CIAO is recruiting policy makers, health professionals, and scientists to contribute skills and knowledge to this effort. Participants will analyze relevant published knowledge and use what is learned to create or edit key events and key event relationships in COVID-19-related AOPs.

CIAO kickoff webinars will be on Tuesday, July 28 and Tuesday, August 4; both webinars will be at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1:30 Central European Time). You may register for one or both webinars. Please answer a few questions on the webinar registration page to help organizers plan the webinars.

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Jul 27, 2020
Applications Due August 1 for CAAT Award

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health sponsors the Next Generation Humane Science Award to acknowledge and encourage early-career researchers who focus on replacing animal experiments. The 2020 award will provide a prize of up to $5,000 recognizing the work of one scientist, or may be shared among two or more scientists. Factors considered in the evaluation of applications include the potential of the work to replace animal experiments and be used in a regulatory context. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents working at U.S.-based institutions and have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees no earlier than 2012. Applications are due August 1.

Aug 1, 2020
Jul 27, 2020
Online Conference to Consider Roadmap to Human Relevant Research

Cruelty Free Europe will present “Building Back Better: A Roadmap to Human Relevant Research in a Post COVID-19 World” on September 10 at 4:00-10 a.m. EDT (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Central European Time). The European Union’s plans to build back better after the coronavirus crisis include ambitious proposals to reinforce research and innovation and kick-start the economy. This online conference will bring together a broad range of stakeholders from the European Union and the U.S. to talk about:

  • The contribution new approach methodologies can make to delivering the European Union Green Deal and to building back better all over the world.
  • Initiatives underway in Europe and North America to replace animal testing.
  • What programs like Horizon Europe can do to bring about a paradigm shift.
  • How applying the logic of targets to the replacement of animal testing could be the important next step.

ICCVAM Administrative Director Warren Casey is one of the speakers.

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Jul 27, 2020
Global Summit on Regulatory Science to be Held Virtually September 28-30

The Global Summit on Regulatory Science will be held virtually September 28-30 with the theme of “Emerging Technologies and Their Application to Regulatory Science.” The meeting will feature emerging technologies from global regulatory, research, and standards communities. Topics include:

  • Emerging Technologies for the Safety Assessment of Food, Drugs, and Personal Care Products.
  • Approaches to Standardize and Validate Emerging Technologies for Regulatory Application.
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Emerging Technologies and Alternate Methods for Decision Making.

Registration for the meeting is required but there is no fee to attend. The meeting is being co-hosted by the Global Coalition for Regulatory Science Research and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

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Jul 21, 2020
OECD Issues Updated Test Guidelines; Webinar September 16

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued eight updated Test Guidelines on June 26. Included among the updated documents are tests relevant to replacing or reducing animal use for common acute toxicity endpoints.

  • Test Guidelines 437 and 491 describe the bovine corneal opacity and permeability test and the short time exposure test, respectively. Both in vitro tests are used to assess a chemical’s potential to cause eye irritation. The update to Test Guideline 437 expands the type of equipment that can be used to measure corneal opacity and revises the list of proficiency substances. The update to Test Guideline 491 revises the list of proficiency substances, addresses the testing of highly volatile substances, and provides guidance on how to use test results within the context of integrated approaches to testing and assessment.
  • Test Guideline 458 describes transcriptional activation assays for detecting androgenic activity of chemicals. The update adds two new validated methods to the test guideline and increases the sensitivity of a previously described method.
  • Test Guideline 439 describes reconstructed human epidermis models for assessing a chemical’s potential to cause skin irritation. The update represents a minor correction.

NICEATM and ICCVAM member agencies participate in the development and national review of documents issued by the OECD Test Guidelines Programme. OECD Test Guidelines are used by government, industry, and independent laboratories in the 36 member countries of the OECD to assess chemical safety. The OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data clause entails that safety data generated using an OECD test guideline will be accepted by all the member countries, avoiding redundant testing.

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and ICCVAM member Wanda Hall, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, participated in the April meeting of the Working Group of National Coordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme, which evaluated and recommended OECD adoption of the updated Test Guidelines.

An upcoming webinar will describe how Test Guidelines are developed through OECD, with a focus on nanomaterials. The webinar is scheduled for September 16 at 8:00 a.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. Central European Time).

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Jul 21, 2020
ECHA Issues Report on Animal and Alternatives Use

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has issued its fourth report on the use of alternatives to animals for testing required under the REACH regulation. Data on more than 12,000 substances show that registrants are sharing data, using adaptations to avoid animal testing, and employing alternatives to animal testing. Examples include:

  • Registrants used at least one adaptation to avoid animal testing for about 70% of substances. Read-across is the most commonly used adaptation.
  • Use of non-animal tests for evaluating potential for skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization has increased greatly since 2016.
  • Companies are reducing the numbers of animals used for repeat dose toxicity tests and reproductive screening by using the combined test described in OECD Test Guideline 422.
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Jul 21, 2020
July 23 Webinar Describes Use of Recombinant Antibodies in COVID-19 and Other Infections

NICEATM, the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PETA-ISC), and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing will present a free webinar describing how animal-free recombinant antibodies are being used to fight diseases such as COVID-19. The webinar will be on Thursday, July 23 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

In this webinar, Stefan Dübel, Technische Universität Braunschweig, will describe his work developing fully human antibodies against infections such as COVID-19 and diphtheria. Sachdev Sidhu will describe his successes at the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre in developing non-animal antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

This is the first of a series of free webinars in which experts will address the application and benefits of recombinant antibodies. Topics and some tentative dates for upcoming webinars are available on the PETA-ISC website.

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Jul 15, 2020
Report Recommends Alternatives to Laboratory Dog Use by VA

A new report presents the findings of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study to evaluate the use of dogs in biomedical research. Conducted at the request of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the study assessed whether laboratory dogs are or will continue to be necessary for biomedical research related to the VA’s mission. Former NICEATM Director Warren Casey is a coauthor of the report.

The report concludes that using laboratory dogs in research at the VA is scientifically necessary for only a few areas of current biomedical research. The report recommends that the VA adopt an expanded set of criteria for determining when it is scientifically necessary to use laboratory dogs in VA biomedical research and promote the development and use of alternatives to laboratory dogs. It also highlights opportunities for the VA to enhance the welfare of laboratory dogs that are being used in necessary biomedical research areas.

News articles about the report were published July 1 in the Military Times and the Washington Post.

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Jul 15, 2020
ASCCT Annual Meeting October 20-22; Abstracts Due August 7

Mark your calendars for the 9th Annual Meeting of ASCCT. The meeting will be held virtually on October 20-22 and no registration fee will be charged. The program will feature plenary speakers, panel discussions, oral and poster presentations drawn from submitted abstracts, and opportunities for early-career scientists through a mentoring session and poster awards. A draft program is available on the ASCCT website; a link to registration will be on this page in early fall.

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations and are due August 7. Abstracts should be 250 words or less and can address any topic of interest to the society’s membership.

Aug 7, 2020
Jul 15, 2020
World Congress Webinars on COVID-19 Research August 25 and 26

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will present two 90-minute webinars on replacing, reducing, and refining animal use in COVID-19 research on August 25 and 26. Both webinars will begin at 9:00 a.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. Central European Time). They will feature presentations highlighting innovative model systems to study COVID-19 as well as discuss new strategies for the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

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Jul 15, 2020
Article Describes Updates to ICE

A new article in Toxicology In Vitro provides an overview of and summarizes recent updates to the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides tools and curated data centered around chemical safety assessment. This article describes updates to ICE, including improved accessibility and interpretability of in vitro data via mechanistic target mapping and enhanced interactive tools for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE).

Bell et al. 2020. An integrated chemical environment with tools for chemical safety testing. Toxicology In Vitro. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104916.

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Jul 09, 2020
NIEHS Scientific Information Officer Recruitment

NIEHS is seeking an outstanding leader with expertise in scientific computing and scientific information technology to join the Division of Intramural Research. Applications for this position will be accepted through August 1, 2020. The ideal candidate will:

  • Have an advanced degree (Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent) with a record of accomplishment in information technology support to a scientific enterprise as well as application to basic and clinical research.
  • Be highly collaborative and comfortable tackling information technology interests in a scientifically diverse environment.
  • Have strong oral and written communication skills and can build and manage a team.
  • Keep abreast of the most current technological advances in support of both scientific and enterprise information technology strategy.

Knowledge of the following areas is highly desired: academic and federal scientific culture, information technology solution development in the research and research administration space, government information technology security principles, clinical and basic research data management strategies, high-performance computing systems, scientific- and data-driven computational approaches, and content management systems.

This individual will head the Office of Scientific Computing and will lead a team that is directly focused on scientific information technology. Responsibilities include strategic planning and management, scientific and high-performance computing, training, and functioning as a liaison with NIH offices and institutes, other federal agencies, and with other organizations. The successful candidate will work with scientific and technology leaders within NIEHS to establish and maintain an information technology infrastructure that supports a vast variety of biomedical computing priorities ensuring that NIEHS remains a leader in applying technology to scientific collaboration and discovery.

Aug 1, 2020
Jul 02, 2020
NICEATM Staff Scientist Recruitment

NIEHS is seeking a scientist with expertise in computational chemistry to join the NICEATM group. Review of applications will begin on July 22. Candidates must have:

  • Ph.D., D.V.M., Sc.D., M.D., or equivalent in cheminformatics, biomedical, or related fields, with at least 5 years of research experience after receiving the final degree.
  • Strong background in cheminformatics and best practices in quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling and chemical curation.
  • Experience in performing and directing computational chemistry research, in particular to support regulatory decision-making.
  • Demonstrated expertise with the integration of in silico computational approaches with in vitro toxicology and in vivo reference data for chemical prioritization and hazard characterization.

The successful candidate will lead, develop, manage, and coordinate scientific and operational activities related to the development, validation, and use of proposed computational testing methods; develop strategies with appropriate programmatic, interagency, and international committees and organizations; and represent the NIEHS Division of NTP and ICCVAM at national and international scientific workshops and meetings.

Jul 22, 2020
Jul 02, 2020
July 23 Webinar Describes Use of Recombinant Antibodies in COVID-19 and Other Infections

NICEATM, PETA-ISC, and EURL ECVAM will present a free webinar describing how animal-free recombinant antibodies are being used to fight diseases such as COVID-19. The webinar will be on July 23 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT.

In this webinar, Stefan Dübel, Technische Universität Braunschweig, will describe his work developing fully human antibodies against infections such as COVID-19 and diphtheria. Sachdev Sidhu will describe his successes at the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre in developing non-animal antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

This is the first of a series of free webinars in which experts will address the application and benefits of recombinant antibodies. Topics and some tentative dates for upcoming webinars are available on the PETA-ISC website.

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Jul 02, 2020
July 8 Webinar Describes Human Biology-based Approaches for COVID-19 Therapeutics

ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will present a free webinar describing the application of human biology-based in vitro testing platforms to study the SARS-CoV-2 virus and develop therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The webinar will be July 8 from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT.

  • Malcolm Wilkinson of Kirkstall will discuss applications of the Quasi Vivo® Systems, which introduce air and media flow over in vitro cell cultures and can be used to create multi-cell or multi-organoid models for the study of disease. Current studies relevant to COVID-19 include gaining a better understanding of viral entry and cellular response, as well as the impact of obesity and cigarette smoking on SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility.
  • Samuel Constant of Epithelix will describe application of the MucilAir and SmallAir systems, which closely mimic the morphology and function of nasal/bronchial and small-airway tissues, respectively. Current studies are focused on the SARS-CoV-2 infection process and how to apply these models to preclinical evaluation of antiviral candidates.
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Jul 02, 2020
EPA Releases New Approach Methods Work Plan

On June 23, EPA released its New Approach Methods Work Plan, which was created in response to the EPA Administrator’s 2019 directive to prioritize activities that will reduce the use of animal testing while continuing to protect human health and the environment. The work plan was developed by experts across the agency to set the objectives and strategies for using new approach methods to meet the ambitious goals set out in the Administrator's directive.

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Jul 02, 2020
SACATM to Meet September 2-3; Registration Open

SACATM will meet September 2-3. This meeting will be conducted as a public webcast. Information and registration to view the webcast and submit comments is available on the NTP website. The deadline to submit comments is August 26; registration to view the webcast will be open until the conclusion of the meeting.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors, including representatives of regulated industry and national animal protection organizations. SACATM advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the Director of NIEHS and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

Aug 26, 2020
Jun 24, 2020
Woychik Named Director of NIEHS

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has appointed Richard (Rick) P. Woychik, Ph.D., as director of NIEHS. Initially joining NIEHS in 2011 as deputy director, Woychik has served as acting director of the NIEHS since October 2019 and began his new role as the NIEHS director on June 7. He will also serve as director of the interagency National Toxicology Program.

Woychik is highly respected for his accomplishments in mammalian genetics and environmental epigenetics. His laboratory was the first to identify a gene associated with polycystic kidney disease, the first to connect a protocadherin gene ultimately linked to hearing loss in Cushing’s disease patients, and the first to clone an obesity-related gene called agouti. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1984 from Case Western Reserve University and moved into the field of molecular genetics during his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

A June 11 NIEHS press release has additional details about Woychik’s career and vision for NIEHS.

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Jun 24, 2020
NTP Postdoc Opportunity

Recruitment is underway for a postdoctoral fellow with training and experience in statistics and/or bioinformatics to join the newly formed, interdisciplinary Spatiotemporal Health Analytics Group in the Division of the NTP at NIEHS. This group is also affiliated with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The successful candidate will gain research training and experience in spatiotemporal methods and applications that bridge human health exposure science, epidemiology, and toxicology. Fellows will have the opportunity to propose related research for internal or external funding. The initial appointment is for two years.

Candidates should have doctoral degrees in statistics, bioinformatics, toxicology, or epidemiology. Other relevant experience includes scientific writing and oral communication, spatial analysis, big data, data visualization, analyzing toxicity assays and -omic data sets, and using software such as R, MATLAB, GitHub, and LaTeX.

For more information or to apply, contact Dr. Kyle Messier at kyle.messier@nih.gov.

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Jun 24, 2020
New Tool Maps Chemical Effects on the Human Body

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is coauthor of a new publication in the journal Nucleic Acids Research that describes the Tox21BodyMap tool. Tox21BodyMap is an intuitive webtool allowing a user to identify target organs in the human body where a substance is estimated to be more likely to produce effects.

Borrel et al. 2020. Tox21BodyMap: a webtool to map chemical effects on the human body. Nucleic Acids Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkaa433.

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Jun 17, 2020
Slides and Video Available from ICCVAM Public Forum

Slides and a video recording are available for the May 21 ICCVAM Public Forum. At the public forum, representatives of eight ICCVAM member agencies described work both to advance new approaches to safety testing of chemicals and medical products and to reduce the amount of testing required. Commenters at the forum commended the agencies’ progress and noted the importance of federal agencies taking leadership roles in reducing animal testing.

The annual public forum, usually an in-person event, was presented this year as a webinar that was attended by over 400 viewers. In addition to government agencies, viewers represented pharmaceutical and chemical companies, animal welfare organizations, and test method developers.

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming public meeting of ICCVAM’s scientific advisory committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods. This meeting will be held online on Wednesday, September 2, and Thursday, September 3. Materials for the meeting will posted on the NTP website as they become available.

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Jun 17, 2020
Registration Open: Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Annual Meeting

Registration is open for the 60th Annual Meeting of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (formerly the Teratology Society). This year’s meeting will be held virtually from June 25-July 2. Society members and nonmembers may register to attend the entire meeting or a single day.

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will give a presentation on “Automated applications of ontologies to standardize developmental toxicology study extraction” at a platform session beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 1. She will also present a poster on application of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation to developmental toxicity.

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Jun 17, 2020
Paper Examines Variability of In Vivo Data

A new publication in the journal Computational Toxicology describes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s studies to quantify the variance in data from systemic in vivo toxicology studies. Data from these studies are often used as a reference for evaluating new approach methodologies (NAMs). However, variability in animal study data limits NAM accuracy. The findings from this study suggest quantitative considerations for building scientific confidence in NAM-based systemic toxicity predictions.

Pham et al. 2020. Variability in in vivo studies: defining the upper limit of performance for predictions of systemic effect levels. Computational Toxicology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comtox.2020.100126.

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Jun 09, 2020
Virtual Workshop on COVID-19 Modeling Begins June 11

The Biocomplexity Institute at Indiana University is presenting the two-part virtual workshop “Open-Source CompuCell3D Multiscale, Virtual-Tissue Spatio-Temporal Simulations of COVID-19 Infection, Viral Spread and Immune Response and Treatment Regimes.” The workshop will describe CompuCell3D, an open-source tool to simulate biological processes within a cell. Attendees will learn how to use CompuCell3D to model basic patterns of infection dynamics and antiviral treatment.

  • Part I will present an overview of CompuCell3D and describe how to run it and to change model parameters for generating new biologically meaningful simulations. It will be presented twice, first on Thursday, June 11, 2:00-5:00 p.m. EST and again on Friday, June 12, 9:00 a.m.-noon EST.
  • Part II will describe how to extend the model with additional images, graphics and file outputs, additional cell types, diffusive fields, cell behaviors and interactions and improved subcellular and immune-system models. It will be presented twice, first on Thursday, June 18, 2:00-5:00 p.m. EST and again on Friday, June 19, 9:00 a.m.-noon EST.

The workshop is intended for a broad audience with interest in COVID-19 modeling; no programming experience or advanced mathematical knowledge is required.

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Jun 09, 2020
OSHA and DOT Request Public Input in Advance of International Meetings

OSHA and the DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration plan to hold public meetings on Wednesday, June 24, in advance of July meetings of:

  • The United Nations Sub-committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (OSHA)
  • The United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (DOT)

The purpose of the June 24 public meetings is to discuss proposals and receive input for the July meetings. Both June 24 meetings will be convened virtually and are open to the public. Interested parties may submit comments by June 11.

Jun 11, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
HSI Publishes Roadmap for Elimination of Vaccine Tests

HSI has published “Global Harmonization of Vaccine Testing Requirements: Roadmap for Elimination of the ATT, TABST, & LABST.” This document outlines steps that could facilitate deletion of the Abnormal Toxicity Test (ATT), Target Animal Batch Safety Test (TABST), and Laboratory Animal Batch Safety Test (LABST) from global regulations and pharmacopeias for human and veterinary batch-release testing. The roadmap also aims to foster a more harmonized regulatory environment that both recognizes and encourages alternative methods. The document has been reviewed and approved by experts and representatives from Argentina, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Russia, South Africa, and the United States.

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Jun 03, 2020
Apply by June 10 for Summer School on Innovative Approaches to Science

The Summer School on Innovative Approaches to Science will be held June 22-26 as a free virtual meeting. This event will focus on cutting-edge methods to reduce and replace animal tests in toxicology and biomedical science and is targeted to students and early-career scientists. The program will feature lectures, in-depth training, virtual laboratory tours, e-poster presentations, and virtual engagement with speakers and attendees. ICCVAM Administrative Director Warren Casey will give the keynote address and Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will present an “Overview of Evidence Integration in Toxicology.”

Apply to participate by June 10. Attendees may choose to register for one or more training or lecture sessions. Alternatively, those who register to participate in the full program will be eligible for participation awards and receive a certificate for their involvement.

Jun 10, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Webinar June 9 to Discuss Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Toxicology

A webinar organized by ASCCT and ESTIV will consider “The Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Toxicology and Risk Assessment.” The webinar will be presented Tuesday, June 9, from 11:00 a.m.-12 noon EDT.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are gaining visibility in toxicology. These algorithms can identify new patterns in data and make predictions in a way and on a scale that human scientists cannot. What are they and how do they work? How do they “learn” and help make decisions? And where do they fit into the science of toxicology? In this webinar, Timothy Allen of the Toxicology Unit of the Medical Research Council at the University of Cambridge will answer these questions and address how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used in safety science.

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May 28, 2020
Positions Available for Biologists at EPA; Apply by June 1

EPA has openings for experienced biologists in the Health Effects Division and Environmental Fate Effects Division within the Office of Pesticide Programs. Successful candidates will:

  • Interpret, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize scientific data and other information for the development of human health and/or environmental assessments on the effects of pesticides from both toxicology and exposure studies;
  • Determine the general approach necessary to accomplish the review and evaluation of data;
  • Prepare reports that includes evaluation of available data and assessments of exposure, hazard and/or risk from exposure to pesticides;
  • Review and make recommendations on the exposure analyses for pesticides in various environments concerning the retention or cancellation of pesticides.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, natural resource management, chemistry, or related area and at least one year of relevant experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a pre-employment background check will be required. All positions are currently located in Arlington, Virginia, with eventual relocation likely to Washington, DC. Applications must be submitted by Monday, June 1. For more information, contact Chelsea Vaughn at 919-541-4215 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov.

Jun 1, 2020
May 21, 2020
Publication Describes Tool to Predict Chemical-assay Interference

A paper in the journal Nucleic Acids Research describes InterPred, an online tool that combines 17 quantitative structure activity relationship models to allow users to predict the probability that a new chemical will interfere with different combinations of cellular and technology conditions used in high-throughput screening applications. The paper was coauthored by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and computational chemist Kamel Mansouri (ILS, contractor supporting NICEATM).

Borrel et al. 2020. InterPred: a webtool to predict chemical autofluorescence and luminescence interference. Nucleic Acids Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkaa378.

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May 21, 2020
Summer School on Innovative Approaches to Science Moves Online

The Summer School on Innovative Approaches to Science will now take place as a free virtual meeting. The June 22-26 meeting will feature lectures, in-depth training, virtual laboratory tours, e-poster presentations, and virtual engagement with speakers and attendees. Content will focus on cutting-edge methods to reduce and replace animal tests in toxicology and biomedical science and is targeted to students and early-career scientists. Attendees may choose to register for one or more training or lecture sessions. Alternatively, those who register to participate in the full program will be eligible for poster and participation awards and will receive a certificate for their involvement.

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May 21, 2020
HESI to Support Development of Cardiac Safety Assays; Letters of Intent Due June 8

The Health and Safety Environmental Institute (HESI) is seeking proposals for studies to develop human-relevant, mechanism-based assays evaluating cardiac safety liabilities. Assays should focus on any of six failure modes:

  • Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
  • Changes in contractility and ejection fraction
  • Electrophysiology
  • Cardiac cell injury
  • Valvular injury or proliferation
  • Hemorrhage and coagulation

Awards of up to $50,000 will be awarded for 12-month projects. Awardees must be based in the United States. Letters of intent are due June 8.

Jun 8, 2020
May 21, 2020
Webinar Discusses Computational Collaborations for Predictive Toxicology

A webinar presented by the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will discuss “International Computational Collaborations for Predictive Toxicology.” The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, from 11:00 a.m.-12 noon EDT.

Computational chemist Kamel Mansouri (ILS, contractor supporting NICEATM) will describe three projects involving over 100 scientists from governmental agencies, academia, and industry that collaboratively developed in silico tools for predicting chemical toxicity. These projects—the Collaborative Estrogen Receptor Activity Prediction Project (CERAPP), the Collaborative Modeling Project for Androgen Receptor Activity (CoMPARA), and the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite (CATMoS)—used data from both the published literature and the ToxCast/Tox21 programs. The consensus models developed through these projects have been used to screen hundreds of thousands of chemicals and are freely available for further use though open-source applications.

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May 21, 2020
EPA Requests Public Comment on Draft Risk Assessment for Antimicrobial Chemicals

In a May 14 Federal Register notice, EPA requested comment on draft human health and ecological risk assessments for registration review of a group of antimicrobial chemicals known as isothiazolinones. EPA specifically requests comment on the use of an in vitro and artificial neural network-based defined approach to determine points of departure used in the isothiazolinone draft risk assessments instead of using laboratory animal data to evaluate risks for dermal sensitization. Comments are due by July 13. The Federal Register notice includes instructions on how to submit comments.

The draft risk assessments rely heavily on work done by NTP, NICEATM, and ICCVAM. The in vitro testing was conducted by the NTP Toxicology Branch. NICEATM analyzed the in vitro data and ran the artificial neural network-based defined approach to provide quantitative potency predictions used to determine points of departure. The ICCVAM Skin Sensitization Expert Group reviewed the NTP testing report and the NICEATM analyses before data were provided to EPA for development of the risk assessments. The use of in vitro and in chemico assays and neural network-based defined approaches is the first use of such information in regulatory risk assessment.

Jul 13, 2020
May 20, 2020
NTP 2019 Annual Report Now Available

The NTP Annual Report for fiscal year 2019 is now available. In fiscal year 2019, NTP continued to advance toxicology and inform public health policy by providing information to decision makers and the public about substances in our environment. NTP, of which NICEATM is a part, also participated in activities to advance alternatives to animal testing. Among over 250 peer-reviewed research studies and articles published by NTP during fiscal year 2019 are articles describing NICEATM activities in promoting alternatives to animal testing, as well as Tox21 projects that explored toxicity mechanisms and developed new tools for toxicity testing.

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May 20, 2020
Presentations Available from Webinar on Small Business Funding

Presentations are now available from the April 17 town hall webinar on “Development of New Approach Methodologies to Reduce Animal Use in Toxicity Testing.” The webinar was presented by the NIEHS SBIR and STTR program in coordination with NICEATM. The presentations are available on the NTP website. A video of the webinar is available on the NIEHS website.

A key component of the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States is early interaction between developers of NAMs and end-users, to ensure that the proposed NAMs will meet testing requirements for agency and industry stakeholders. The goal of this webinar was to facilitate improved communication between method developers, including SBIR/STTR applicants, and end-users. The webinar provided an opportunity for assay developers to hear from ICCVAM stakeholders on the desired characteristics and requirements for NAMs. Presenters included representatives from NICEATM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, 3M Corporation, and Novartis.

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May 20, 2020
ICCVAM Public Forum This Thursday, May 21: Registration Still Open

Registration is still open for the ICCVAM Public Forum, which will be webcast Thursday, May 21, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Registration is required to view the webcast and will be open through the end of the meeting. Representatives from eight ICCVAM member agencies will give presentations on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

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May 20, 2020
EURL ECVAM Recommends Use of Nonanimal-derived Antibodies

EURL ECVAM has issued a recommendation urging end-users and other stakeholders to recognize the scientific validity of nonanimal-derived antibodies and to stop using animals for antibody development and production. The recommendation is based on the opinion of EURL ECVAM’s scientific advisory committee. It states that animals should no longer be used for the development and production of antibodies for research, regulatory, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. It also challenges misconceptions about nonanimal-derived antibodies and highlights the scientific and economic benefits of their use. The report is available on the European Joint Research Centre website; a news release summarizing the report’s recommendations is also available on the website.

Use of nonanimal-derived antibodies was the topic of the 2020 ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar, presented in January. One of the webinar presenters, Rebecca Clewell, served on the scientific advisory committee on whose opinion the EURL ECVAM recommendation was based.

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May 07, 2020
FDA Webinar to Discuss Artificial Intelligence in Regulatory Science

A webinar on “Artificial Intelligence for Regulatory Science Research” will be presented on Thursday, May 14, at 12 noon EDT. Weida Tong of the FDA National Center for Toxicological Research will review the center’s current thinking and ongoing efforts in the area of artificial intelligence. The webinar is free and open to the public.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad concept of training machines to think and behave like humans. It consists of a wide range of statistical and machine learning approaches to learn from existing data/information to predict future outcomes. This webinar will present examples of AI implementation in drug and food safety, natural language processing of regulatory documents, and biomarker discovery and development. The guiding principles and best practice of applying AI in regulatory science research will also be discussed with respect to the context of use and fit-for-purpose application.

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May 07, 2020
Workshop Report Available on Read-across for Regulatory Toxicology

NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, ICCVAM FDA Principal Representative Suzanne Fitzpatrick, and ICCVAM Read Across Workgroup Chair Grace Patlewicz co-authored a report from a workshop that considered read-across as a new approach methodology for regulatory toxicology. The report concludes that read-across is potentially a major tool for risk assessment. Currently used primarily to justify waiving in vivo tests, there is a future opportunity for read-across to be applied in combination with other new approach methodologies to increase predictivity and reliability of toxicological assessment.

Rovida et al. Internationalization of read-across as a validation new approach method (NAM) for regulatory toxicology. ALTEX. https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.1912181.

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May 05, 2020
ICCVAM Public Forum May 21: Register to Present Oral Statements by Friday May 8

ICCVAM will hold a public forum on Thursday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. EDT. This event is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. This year the public forum will be presented via webcast only. NICEATM staff and ICCVAM members will give presentations on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States. More information and a draft agenda are available on the NICEATM website.

Interested persons may register to present oral public statements with associated slides on topics relevant to ICCVAM's mission. Requests to present oral statements during the meeting will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as time permits. The deadline for registering to present oral public statements is this Friday, May 8. Registration is required to view the public forum webcast and will be open through the end of the meeting on May 21.

May 8, 2020
May 05, 2020
Webinar to Discuss Use of Non-animal Skin Sensitization Test Methods

A webinar on “Use of Non-animal Skin Sensitization Test Methods” will be presented on Wednesday, May 27, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Louis Scarano of EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics will discuss their recent review of non-animal skin sensitization tests. Hans Raabe, Institute for In Vitro Sciences, will discuss the use of non-animal skin sensitization test methods for EPA hazard classification and will provide an overview of three currently accepted regulatory test methods. The webinar is being presented by PETA-ISC, EPA, and PCRM. It is free and open to the public.

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May 05, 2020
World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences Postponed to August 2021

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, originally scheduled for August 2020, has been postponed to August 22-26, 2021. The meeting will still be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. More information about the meeting is available on the meeting website.

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May 05, 2020
Publication Discusses FDA Perspective on Use of NAMs in Drug Development

A paper coauthored by Paul Brown, ICCVAM representative from the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, discusses the center’s view on the opportunities and challenges of using NAMs in drug development, especially for regulatory purposes. The paper includes examples where NAMs are currently being used in nonclinical safety assessments and where they may supplement and/or enhance current testing methods.

Avila et al. 2020. An FDA/CDER perspective on nonclinical testing strategies: Classical toxicology approaches and new approach methodologies (NAMs). Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104662.

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May 04, 2020
SOT FDA Colloquium to Discuss Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment

SOT and the FDA will hold a colloquium on “Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment: The Future of Regulatory Toxicology Assessment” on Thursday, May 28, from 8:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m. This event is the latest in the series, “SOT FDA Colloquia on Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety.” Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA principal representative to ICCVAM, is event co-chair. The colloquium will be webcast and is open to the public.

Integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATAs) are pragmatic, science-based frameworks for chemical hazard or risk characterization. IATAs follow an iterative, integrative approach to answer a defined question with a pre-determined level of certainty in a specific regulatory context. This colloquium will introduce the concept, process, and components that comprise an IATA and present several case studies demonstrating different applications of this decision tool. Issues, challenges, and prospects of adopting IATAs in regulatory risk assessment will be discussed.

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May 04, 2020
New FDA Webpage Highlights Alternative Methods Working Group

FDA has a long-standing commitment to promote the development and use of new technologies to better predict human and animal responses to substances relevant to its regulatory mission. To strengthen that commitment, FDA launched its Alternative Methods Working Group. This group facilitates interactions with global regulatory bodies interested in implementing alternative methods in toxicology. Additionally, the group examines opportunities and viable ways by which emerging methods and new technologies can support regulatory review of risk, safety, and efficacy of FDA-regulated products.

The Alternative Methods Working Group recently launched its webpage, which will highlight FDA’s work in this area. A link to this page and to other ICCVAM agency webpages focused on alternative methods is available on the NICEATM website.

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Apr 22, 2020
NCATS Funding Use of Tissue Chips to Support COVID-19 Research

NCATS has issued two Notices of Special Interest to support research in collecting and examining data on the risks and outcomes for COVID-19 infections using MPS or tissue chips. Such work is expected to advance the translation of research findings into diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Applications for both opportunities will be accepted on a rolling basis from May 15, 2020, through January 25, 2022.

  • NOT-TR-20-016 announces the availability of one-year administrative supplements for investigators and institutions funded through existing grants of the NCATS MPS program. Proposals should address how the work will contribute to advancing translational research for COVID-19.
  • NOT-TR-20-017 announces the availability of competitive revisions for investigators and institutions funded through existing grants of the NCATS MPS program. Proposals should address development of MPS models for COVID-19, the use of MPS for rapid detection of COVID-19 infection, or the use of MPS to evaluate potential therapeutics for COVID-19.
Jan 25, 2022
Apr 22, 2020
FDA Guidance on Immunotoxicity Testing Supports Use of Alternatives

In February, FDA issued draft guidance on “Nonclinical Safety Evaluation of the Immunotoxic Potential of Drugs and Biologics.” This guidance supplements previously issued recommendations on nonclinical evaluations of immunotoxic potential and is intended to assist sponsors in such evaluations. The guidance includes several specific recommendations on assessing potential for dermal sensitization:

  • FDA no longer recommends that sponsors conduct the murine local lymph node assay to assess the sensitization potential of topical drug products due to the limitations of the assay.
  • As an alternative to accepted guinea pig tests, FDA will consider a battery of in silico, in chemico, and in vitro studies that have been shown to adequately predict human skin sensitization with an accuracy similar to existing in vivo methods.
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Apr 22, 2020
REACH Chemical Data Available Through IUCLID Database

The European Union’s REACH regulation requires companies to identify and manage risks of chemicals. Data required under REACH are submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

On April 17, ECHA updated data from REACH studies available through the IUCLID data resource. The data contain results from studies that relate to physical-chemical properties, environmental fate and pathways, and ecotoxicology and toxicological information. These data may be helpful in the development and use of alternatives to animal testing.

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Apr 16, 2020
ICCVAM Public Forum May 21: Registration Open

ICCVAM will hold a public forum on Thursday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. EDT. This event is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. This year the public forum will be presented via webcast only due to restrictions on in-person gatherings amid ongoing public health concerns. NICEATM staff and ICCVAM members will give presentations on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

Registration is required to view the public forum webcast and will be open through the end of the meeting on May 21. Interested persons may also register to present oral public statements with associated slides on topics relevant to ICCVAM's mission. Requests to present oral statements during the meeting will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as time permits. The deadline for registering to present oral public statements is May 8.

May 8, 2020
Apr 16, 2020
Call for Abstracts for ASCCT Annual Meeting: Deadline July 31

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations for the 9th Annual Meeting of the ASCCT. The meeting will be held in Durham, North Carolina, on October 21-22. The conference’s theme will address the EPA goal to eliminate reliance on mammalian tests for regulatory decisions by 2035, and the science and policy considerations related to meeting this goal. An optional training session on the EPA Chemistry Dashboard and related tools will be held October 23. Abstracts of 250 words or less are welcome on any topic of interest to the society’s membership and are due July 31.

Jul 31, 2020
Apr 16, 2020
ASCCT Webinar April 30; Call for Webinar Topics and Speakers

A webinar presented by ASCCT and ESTIV will consider “Use of New Approach Methodologies for Cosmetics Safety Assessment Without Animal Testing.” The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 30, from 11:00 a.m.-12 noon EDT.

With the cancellation or postponement of in-person conferences, ASCCT webinars offer scientists an opportunity to present their work to a worldwide virtual audience of ASCCT and ESTIV colleagues and other regulators and industry and academic toxicologists. Webinars are typically scheduled once per month, but more frequent events can be scheduled based on the level of interest. To suggest a webinar topic or speaker, please contact ASCCT Secretary Kristie Sullivan at info@ascctox.org; self-nominations are welcome.

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Apr 09, 2020
Deadline Extended for EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

The Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) has extended the application deadline for the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge 2020, to be held at the EMGS annual meeting in September. This competition encourages EMGS members and bioinformatics/data science experts to work together to develop novel tools and approaches that harness publicly available data resources such as Tox21 and DrugMatrix to identify signatures of genotoxic hazards and provide insight into their mechanisms of action.

To participate, submit a 250-word abstract with a data visualization by Wednesday, April 15. Abstracts will be evaluated in part on model performance in classifying/predicting carcinogens and ability to identify novel genotoxic modes of action. Those selected to participate in the final challenge will receive a $300 monetary award for academic participants and a membership waiver for non-member participants. The overall challenge winner will receive a grand prize of $1200.

Apr 15, 2020
Apr 09, 2020
Fast-track Grants Support In Vitro Models for COVID-19

The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is redirecting funds in the Alan and Helene Goldberg In Vitro Toxicology Grants program (formerly CAAT Grants Program) to help accelerate the discovery of mechanisms, medicines, and vaccines for COVID-19. These grants of up to $40,000 each will support development of non-animal, human biology-based models to accelerate the response to current and emerging pandemics. Applications for this grant will be screened by an advisory committee and will be funded as soon as possible. The application deadline is April 30.

CAAT is accepting financial donations to support this program; for more information, contact Camila Januario.

Apr 30, 2020
Apr 09, 2020
In Vitro Methods Support EPA Prioritization for TSCA Testing

In February, EPA announced the designation of 20 chemical substances as low priority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The designation is the third and final step in the prioritization process for reviewing chemical substances under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amendments to TSCA. A low-priority designation means that risk evaluation for these substances is not warranted at this time.

For each chemical substance designated as low priority, EPA published a document describing the information, analysis, and basis for the designation. Information used to support the designation for each chemical included 3Rs approaches:

  • Data from in vitro high-throughput screening assays used in the EPA ToxCast program
  • Predictions of toxicity generated using quantitative structure-activity relationship models
  • Predictions of toxicity generated using read-across, a computational technique that uses toxicity data from a tested chemical to predict toxicity for an untested chemical

NICEATM has compiled a summary of 3Rs approaches used to designate these substances as low priority. In addition to the reduction of animal use realized by the approaches described above, designation of each substance as low priority reduces the likelihood that animals will be required for future testing of these substances.

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Mar 27, 2020
World Congress Abstract Deadline Extended to March 31

WC11 has extended its deadline for submitting abstracts for poster or platform presentations to Tuesday, March 31. Abstracts should describe original work not previously published relevant to interests and goals of WC11. There is no fee charged for abstract submission.

WC11 will be held on August 23-27 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This meeting will explore the latest in alternative methods research and development, providing a multidisciplinary program covering both traditional themes and the latest issues and novel developments in the field of alternatives to animal testing in the life sciences. The preliminary program for WC11 is available. Registration is open; discounted early registration is available through May 15.

Abstracts: Mar 31

Early Registration: May 15

Mar 27, 2020
Preproposals Due April 20 for In Vitro Toxicology Grants

CAAT is accepting preproposals for the Alan and Helene Goldberg In Vitro Toxicology Grants program (formerly CAAT Grants Program). These grants of up to $40,000 each will support projects with the potential to significantly reduce or replace the use of laboratory animals. Examples of acceptable projects include providing mechanistic understanding of in vitro responses to toxicants in human cells, development of adverse outcome pathways, or conducting systematic reviews. Consideration should be given to the translation of new methods to evaluate/predict health outcomes. Preproposals for the grants are due Monday, April 20.

Apr 20, 2020
Mar 27, 2020
Webinar April 30 to Discuss NAMs for Cosmetic Safety Assessment

A webinar presented by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will consider “Use of New Approach Methodologies for Cosmetics Safety Assessment Without Animal Testing.” The webinar will be presented Thursday, April 30, from 11:00 a.m.-12 noon EDT.

Recent advances in chemical safety assessment now allow the complete evaluation of personal care products without the use of animals. The safety assessment approach begins with problem formulation and evaluation of existing information before considering development of a targeted testing approaches. Assessment tools, often described as new approach methodologies (NAMs), can include computational models and human relevant in vitro assays which are applied in combination to provide information on ingredient hazard and risk assessment. These disparate types of information are integrated and weighted in a transparent assessment that captures uncertainty. Each presentation in this webinar will cover different aspects of this decision process.

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Mar 27, 2020
ASCCT Webinar Series Available Online

ASCCT is now making its library of past webinars available to the public at no cost. The ASCCT webinar library includes over 40 expert presentations highlighting innovation in science and policy related to in vitro and computational toxicology. Speakers represent a variety of professional backgrounds including federal and state agencies, private industry, and academia. Topics include advancing predictive toxicology, moving away from animal studies, regulatory application, organs-on-chips and 3D bioprinting.

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Mar 27, 2020
Papers Due July 31 for Special Issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology

Papers are being accepted for a special issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology that will focus on computational toxicology. The goal of this special issue is to bring together recent developments in computational toxicology, with equal emphasis given to methodological developments, such as statistical approaches, modeling advances, and computational resources, as well as applications and case studies demonstrating the use of existing and novel methods. In particular, the focus will be on online and freely available tools and open source software, databases, and recent studies that exemplify success or limitations of the currently used methods. The issue will be edited by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Weida Tong of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research.

Submissions are invited in, but are not limited to: curated data sets and models to predict human and environmental toxicity; physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling; advanced approaches for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation; combining in silico predictions with in vitro and in vivo data; multiscale and agent-based models; harvesting and processing of big, heterogeneous, and nonstandard data (e.g., literature and patent mining, pathway information); toxicogenomics; and systems toxicology. Submissions are due July 31.

Jul 31, 2020
Mar 25, 2020
Slides Available from ICCVAM Webinar on Animal-free Affinity Reagents

Slides from the January 21 ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar on “Use of Animal-free Affinity Reagents” are available on the NTP website. In this webinar, Alejandra Solache of Abcam presented an overview of production, use, and characteristics of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Rebecca Clewell of 21st Century Tox Consulting summarized a recent review by a working group of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing on the scientific validity and benefits of animal-free technologies to produce affinity reagents.

Save the following dates for ICCVAM public events later this year:

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Mar 25, 2020
EPA Seeks Nominees for TSCA Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals

EPA invites nominations of scientific experts to be considered for appointment to the TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). The purpose of the SACC is to provide independent advice and expert consultation on the scientific and technical aspects of implementing TSCA.

Nominations should be received by April 20. Nominees should have expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: human health and ecological risk assessment, biostatistics, epidemiology, pediatrics, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, toxicology and pathology, and chemical exposures of sensitive populations. A March 20 Federal Register notice [85 FR 16094] has details on the call for nominations.

Apr 20, 2020
Mar 25, 2020
NICEATM and ICCVAM Scientists Featured in SOT Virtual Meeting Webinars

Over the next few months, SOT will present scientific sessions and CE courses as live webinars. These events were originally planned for presentation at SOT’s annual meeting in Anaheim. Visit the SOT website for the complete schedule. This web page will be updated regularly as webinars are confirmed and registration details become available.

Registration is available for three CE courses that feature topics of potential interest to ICCVAM stakeholders. Please note that all CE courses require a paid registration. Those persons who registered to attend a CE course in Anaheim are registered for the webinar course. Registration has now reopened for those not previously registered.

  • Introduction to Open Access Computational Toxicology Tools: Friday, April 3, noon-3:30 p.m. EDT
    This CE course offers an introductory-level foundation for leveraging some widely accepted computational toxicology approaches, and demonstrates how to use open-source tools and resources to make use of these methods. Agnes Karmaus, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), and NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer are course co-chairs; Shannon Bell, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), is a presenter.
  • An Introduction to New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and Understanding Their Potential to Support Regulatory Decisions: Friday, May 15, noon-3:30 p.m. EDT
    This CE course will provide an overview of NAMs along with case studies where they are being used or could potentially be used for regulatory risk assessment. Suzanne Fitzpatrick, U.S. Food and Drug Administration principal representative to ICCVAM, is a course co-chair.
  • In Vitro Approaches to Assess the Toxicity of Inhaled Substances: Friday, May 15, noon-3:30 p.m. EDT
    In this course, speakers from government, contract research organizations, academia, NGOs, and method developers will discuss progress and challenges associated with various approaches for inhalation toxicity testing. ICCVAM Co-chair Emily Reinke, U.S. Department of Defense, is a course co-chair; David Allen, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), is a presenter.
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Mar 18, 2020
ICE Version 3.0 Now Available

On March 11, NICEATM released an update of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. The update introduces a new user interface to simplify searches and new tools that will let users explore chemical properties and toxicity in more detail.

The ICE 3.0 update features improvements to the in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) tool. In response to customer requests, ICE now allows users to upload their own data for IVIVE analyses. A new physiologically based toxicokinetic model has been added, and the output graphics have been improved.

Other new resources in ICE 3.0 include:

  • User interface improvements
  • Organization of Tox21 assays in query setup menus based on modes of action
  • Availability of data from in vitro dermal irritation assays
  • Updated property predictions for over 800,000 chemicals from OPERA (Open Structure-activity/property Relationship App)
  • Mapping of Tox21 assays to controlled terms from the NCI Metathesaurus
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Mar 17, 2020
NIEHS to Present Webinar on Grant Opportunities for NAM Development

The NIEHS SBIR/STTRM program, in coordination with NICEATM, will host a webinar-based town hall meeting on “Development of New Approach Methodologies to Reduce Animal Use in Toxicity Testing.” The webinar will be held on April 17 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. EDT.

A key component of the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States is early interaction between developers of NAMs and end-users, to ensure that the proposed NAMs will meet testing requirements for agency and industry stakeholders. This webinar will facilitate improved communication between method developers, including small business (SBIR/STTR) applicants, and end-users, providing an opportunity for assay developers to hear from ICCVAM stakeholders on the desired characteristics and requirements for NAMs. The agenda will include short presentations from experts from U.S. federal agencies and industries, including pharmaceutical developers, with time allowed for questions from method developers. Presenters include representatives from NICEATM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, 3M Corporation, and Novartis.

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Mar 16, 2020
SOT Presentations Available on NICEATM Webpage; Save the Date for ICCVAM Public Forum May 21

SOT announced Monday March 9 that its 2020 annual meeting was cancelled. A list of planned presentations from NICEATM and ICCVAM is available on the NTP website. Posters and other presentations planned for SOT will be made available on this page in the near future. Please visit this page occasionally to check for availability of materials of interest to you.

Updates on ICCVAM activities will be presented at the ICCVAM Public Forum scheduled for May 21. The meeting and presentations will be available for remote viewing. Additional meeting details will be shared as they become available.

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Mar 16, 2020
EURL ECVAM Issues Status Report on Alternatives

EURL ECVAM has issued its 2019 “Status Report on the Development, Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods and Approaches.” The status report describes research, development, and validation activities, as well as initiatives that promote the regulatory and international adoption and use of alternative approaches and their dissemination. Activities described in the report include:

  • Research initiatives to foster mechanistic-based toxicity testing to support risk assessment of chemicals, with a primary focus on repeated dose, developmental and reproductive toxicity
  • Exploration of the relationship between chemical exposure and public and environmental health, with particular attention being given to the area of carcinogenicity
  • Validation of methods to identify substances with the potential to affect the thyroid signaling pathway, damage DNA, or induce skin sensitization

EURL ECVAM, which is part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, coordinates research and validation studies on alternatives to animal testing within the European Union. EURL ECVAM also shares knowledge about and promotes use of alternative methods.

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Mar 11, 2020
FDA Seeking Public Input in Advance of International Meeting

FDA will hold a public meeting titled ‘‘Health Canada and United States Food and Drug Administration Joint Public Consultation on International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Human Use (ICH).’’ This meeting will allow stakeholders to receive information and comment on the current activities of ICH in advance of its upcoming meetings in Vancouver, Canada, in May 2020, which include revision of the guideline on rodent carcinogenicity studies for human pharmaceuticals.

The FDA meeting will be held Friday, April 3, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at FDA in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Registrations may be limited, so early registration is recommended. Information about the May ICH meeting is available on the ICH website.

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Mar 11, 2020
NLM ICCVAM Representative to Speak in Webinar on Toxicology Information Resources

NLM’s TOXNET resource was retired in December 2019. Most of TOXNET’s databases have been incorporated into existing resources provided by NLM and other institutions. An upcoming webinar on “Finding Toxicology-related Information in 2020 Using PubChem and Other NLM Resources,” presented by the American Chemical Society, will describe where former users of TOXNET can now go for information.

Two NLM scientists will be speaking at the webinar: Evan Bolton, Head of the Chemistry Program of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and Pertti (Bert) Hakkinen, NLM Senior Toxicologist and Toxicology and Environmental Health Science Advisor. Hakkinen is also the NLM’s principal representative to ICCVAM. The webinar will be presented Tuesday, March 17, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

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Mar 11, 2020
QSAR 2020: Late-breaking Abstract and Registration Deadlines

The 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental Health Sciences (QSAR 2020) will take place June 8-11 in Durham, North Carolina. The workshop’s theme - “From QSAR to New Approach Methodologies” - will bring scientists together with users and developers of predictive models and their underlying data to discuss the practical implementation of non-animal approaches to inform chemical hazard and risk assessment.

The deadline for discount early registration has been extended to April 15. Sponsorship opportunities for the conference are still available. Late-breaking abstracts are currently being accepted for a limited number of poster presentation slots; abstracts will be accepted until April 8 or until all slots are filled.

Abstracts: Apr 8

Early registration: Apr 15

Mar 04, 2020
WC11 Program, Travel Grants Available; Abstract Deadline March 15

The preliminary daily program is available for the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC11). The program lists the dates and times of platform sessions throughout the meeting. The program will be updated as additional details become available. Applications are also being accepted for WC11 travel grants and awards.

The deadline for submitting abstracts for WC11 poster or platform presentations is March 15. Abstracts should describe original work not previously published relevant to interests and goals of WC11. There is no fee charged for abstract submission.

Mar 15, 2020
Mar 04, 2020
EPA Issues Challenge to Develop Ecotoxicity Gene Expression Assay

EPA and government and industry partners are sponsoring the EcoTox TARGET innovation challenge. A prize of $300,000 will be awarded to the applicant who successfully develops a low-cost high-throughput technology for measuring global gene expression in samples from four common aquatic toxicity test organisms. Participants must register by March 16.

Mar 16, 2020
Mar 04, 2020
Applications Being Accepted to Attend In Vitro Summer School

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing are hosting the Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science on June 22-25 in Baltimore. This free course will focus on innovative non-animal testing approaches, such as in vitro and computational methods. The program includes lectures by experts, networking events, and laboratory visits.

Applications for the course will be accepted on a rolling basis until open slots are filled and will be evaluated in the order they are received; no applications will be accepted after May 22. Though the course is tuition-free, participants will need to cover the costs of their travel, accommodation, and daily subsistence. Applicants can apply for travel awards to help offset these costs. Applications for the Early Career Researchers Advancing 21st Century Science program award are due March 20, and applications for the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. Early Career Science Award are due March 23.

Apply by: May 22

Travel awards: Mar 20 and Mar 23

Feb 21, 2020
European Union Publishes Report on Animal Use

The EU has published the “2019 Report on the Statistics on the Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes in the Member States of the European Union in 2015-2017.” Publication of the report is in response to EU Directive 2010/63/EU, which updated existing rules governing the use of animals for experimental and other scientific purposes and addressed disparities among EU member states. Henceforth, this report will be published annually with the objective to structure collected data for an improved understanding of when and how animals are still used in science today. It is hoped that, in line with the Directive aims, these reports will facilitate the identification of animal use areas on which efforts for the development and validation of alternative approaches can be focused.

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Feb 21, 2020
Paper Describes Predictive Model for Androgenic Activity

A paper now available online from Environmental Health Perspectives describes a worldwide consortium led by EPA to develop models to virtually screen chemicals for their potential androgenic activity. The paper was coauthored by Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer; the first author is Kamel Mansouri, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM). Predictions generated by the consensus model developed for the project are available in the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment.

Mansouri et al. 2020. CoMPARA: Collaborative Modeling Project for Androgen Receptor Activity. Environ Health Perspect. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP5580.

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Feb 21, 2020
ECHA Newsletter Article Focuses on Data Resources and Collaborations

An article in the February ECHA newsletter focuses on chemical data resources. Data submitted to ECHA on chemicals available in the European market are made available through the IUCLID web resource. The newsletter article, “Working towards one global IUCLID,” summarizes features that have been added to IUCLID and the vision for future improvements. It also describes a collaboration between ECHA and ICCVAM on acute oral toxicity as a case study on the utility of these data for development of alternative methods.

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Feb 10, 2020
Submissions Due February 15 for the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

EMGS is accepting applications for the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge 2020, to be held at the EMGS annual meeting in September 2020. This competition encourages EMGS members and bioinformatics/data science experts to work together to develop novel tools and approaches that harness publicly available data resources such as Tox21 and DrugMatrix to identify signatures of genotoxic hazards and provide insight into their mechanisms of action.

To participate, submit a 250-word abstract with a data visualization by Saturday, February 15. Abstracts will be evaluated in part on model performance in classifying/predicting carcinogens and ability to identify novel genotoxic modes of action. Those selected to participate in the final challenge will receive a $300 monetary award for academic participants and a membership waiver for non-member participants. The overall challenge winner will receive a grand prize of $1200.

Feb 15, 2020
Feb 10, 2020
February 19 Webinar Will Discuss Cancer Risk Assessment

The Carcinogenesis Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. will present a webinar on “Modernization of Cancer Risk Assessment” on Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m. EST. Acting NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch Chief Warren Casey will discuss “Advances in Carcinogenicity Assessment at NTP,” and Sabitha Papineni of Corteva Agriscience will present on “ReCAAP: Carcinogenicity Case Study Waivers for Food-use Pesticide Registration.”

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Feb 10, 2020
New FDA Guidance Available for In Vitro Drug Interaction Studies

FDA published “In Vitro Drug Interaction Studies – Cytochrome P450 Enzyme- and Transporter-mediated Drug Interactions Guidance for Industry” in January. This guidance is intended to help drug developers plan and evaluate studies to determine the drug-drug interaction (DDI) potential of an investigational drug product. It focuses on in vitro approaches to evaluate the interaction potential between investigational drugs with cytochrome P450 enzymes and transporters, as well as how in vitro results can inform future clinical DDI studies. The appendices of this guidance include factors to consider when choosing in vitro experimental systems, key issues regarding in vitro experimental conditions, and more detailed explanations regarding model-based DDI prediction strategies.

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Feb 10, 2020
New Version of OECD’s eChemPortal Now Available

OECD has released eChemPortal v3.0. The new version includes a modernized user interface architecture, a refreshed design, improved navigation, and the alignment of eChemPortal to OECD Harmonised Template 2018. The user experience is now more fluid, and the user can search for chemical information more efficiently. New features include quick search functionality from the homepage, filtering and sorting on results tables, and a preliminary indication of the number of results expected in a search by chemical properties.

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Feb 10, 2020
NIEHS Data Center Outage Will Affect NICEATM Resources

NIEHS will be upgrading computing equipment Sunday, February 16 and Monday, February 17. The upgrade process will require a data center outage that will impact many NIEHS resources including the NTP website, the NICEATM website, and the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment web tool. Please be aware that these resources may not be available during this time and plan accordingly.

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Feb 10, 2020
Paper Describes Framework for Evaluation of NAMs

Former NICEATM Director Warren Casey and NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer are co-authors on a paper that describes a framework for evaluating new approach methodologies (NAMs). The goal of this framework, developed by a multi-stakeholder group of industry, academic, and regulatory experts, is to provide a structure to collect relevant information to build confidence that will accelerate, facilitate and encourage development of NAMs that can be used within appropriate regulatory contexts.

Parish et al. 2020. An evaluation framework for new approach methodologies for human health safety assessment. Reg Toxicol Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104592.

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Feb 10, 2020
Study Examines Reproducibility of Life Sciences Research

A news article in the January 22 issue of Nature describes an analysis of reproducibility of over one million freely available life sciences papers. While reproducibility has increased over time, the analysis supports recent concerns about ambiguous characterization of antibodies hampering reproducibility of research. This issue was discussed in a recent ICCVAM webinar.

Chawla. 2020. Software searches out reproducibility issues in scientific papers. Nature.

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Feb 10, 2020
Postdoctoral Position Available at EPA

The Human Studies Facility at the EPA Clinical Research Branch is seeking a new postdoctoral fellow to develop and utilize organotypic in vitro models for cellular and molecular toxicology. This position will involve the development and application of novel organotypic primary cell-based models of the human respiratory tract to identify and characterize the dynamics of molecular mechanisms involved in the response of both airway epithelial and stromal cells in response to chemical exposures in multiple airway cell types. Candidates should have a strong understanding of, and experience with, basic cell and molecular biology concepts and techniques, and experience with advanced cell and molecular biology is preferred. Contact Shaun McCullough at mccullough.shaun@epa.gov for more information.

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Feb 10, 2020
Save the Date for Birnbaum Research Symposium April 6

NIEHS will hold a research symposium Monday, April 6 in honor of former director Linda Birnbaum, who retired last fall. The symposium will pay tribute to Dr. Birnbaum’s own research and to the impact her career has had on shaping science, protecting exposed communities, impacting global health, and mentoring leaders. It will be held in the Rodbell Auditorium at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, NC. An agenda and registration webpage will be available soon on the NIEHS website.

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Feb 06, 2020
Video Available from Webinar on Acute Toxicity Modeling Tool

A video recording and slides are available from a January 22 webinar titled “CATMoS: Development and Use of the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite,” presented by the PETA International Science Consortium (PETA-ISC). Links to recordings of all webinars in the PETA-ISC series on “Use of New Approach Methodologies in Risk Assessment” are available on the PISC-ISC website.

In this webinar, NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Kamel Mansouri, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), discussed development of CATMoS, a free resource for screening organic chemicals for acute oral toxicity. Predictions generated by CATMoS compare favorably with performance characteristics of the in vivo acute oral toxicity test. Kleinstreuer and Mansouri also demonstrated how to use the modeling suite to generate acute oral toxicity predictions.

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Feb 06, 2020
ARDF Grants Available, Apply by May 1

The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) awards grants to support research projects that develop alternative methods to advance science and replace or reduce animal use. ARDF is currently accepting applications for this year’s grants, with proposals due May 1.

The maximum grant is $40,000. While preference will be given to U.S. applications, proposals are welcome from any nonprofit educational or research institution worldwide. Expert reviews of each proposal will evaluate scientific merit and feasibility and the potential to reduce or replace the use of animals in the near future. Proposals in the fields of research, testing, or education will be considered. Projects may not use intact non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals. Preference will be given to projects that use:

  • In silico and in vitro methods with human cells or tissues.
  • Pathway-based approaches as exemplified by the 2007 National Academy of Sciences report, Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-first Century: A Vision and A Strategy.
May 1, 2020
Jan 30, 2020
Paper Describes Animal-free Alternative to Produce Diphtheria Antitoxin

A paper published last week in Scientific Reports describes an animal-free alternative for production of diphtheria antitoxin, the most effective treatment for the respiratory disease diphtheria. Antitoxin is produced in horses, but this paper describes an approach that uses lab-grown cells to make human antibodies.

Wenzel et al. 2020. Human antibodies neutralizing diphtheria toxin in vitro and in vivo. Sci Rep 10:571.

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Jan 30, 2020
SOT Award Winner Helped Start ICCVAM, Served on SACATM

Sidney Green, Adjunct Associate Professor of pharmacology at Howard University, will receive the 2020 SOT Founders Award for outstanding leadership in toxicology. Green’s career in toxicology and pharmacology has spanned over 50 years, during which time he worked at FDA, EPA, and Covance before joining Howard University in 1998. While at FDA, where he served as Director of the Division of Toxicological Research, his efforts as the Agency’s chief spokesperson in the area of alternative tests contributed to the establishment of the Interagency Regulatory Alternatives Group, a predecessor of ICCVAM. Green also served on SACATM, ICCVAM’s advisory committee.

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Jan 30, 2020
FDA Colloquium on Route-to-route Extrapolation February 19

SOT and the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition announce the latest colloquium in their series, “Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety.” “Route-to-route Extrapolation in the 21st Century” will be held Wednesday, February 19, at the FDA Wiley Auditorium in College Park, Maryland. The colloquium is free and open to the public, but in-person attendees who are not federal employees must register by February 11. The meeting will also be webcast.

The toxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles of substances may vary with the exposure route. If adequate data based on the relevant route of exposure are not available, a route-to-route extrapolation methodology may be employed to predict toxicity and estimate point-of-departure for risk assessment. Route-to-route extrapolation-based approaches use physiologically based pharmacokinetic models to estimate equivalent internal dose for predicting effects. This colloquium will present considerations for conducting route-to-route extrapolations and discuss the possibility of developing consistent methods for utilizing such extrapolations for risk assessment.

Feb 11, 2020
Jan 30, 2020
February 5 Webinar Describes FDA Experience with QSAR Modeling

The SOT Computational Toxicology Specialty Section is hosting a webinar on “U.S. FDA Experience in the Regulatory Application of (Q)SAR Modeling” on Wednesday, February 5 at 11:00 a.m. EST. The webinar is free and open to the public.

Naomi Kruhlak of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research will provide an in-depth look at current regulatory practice and expectations for the use of QSAR models to evaluate mutagenic potential of drug impurities. She will also highlight emerging applications of the methodology to chemical entities of regulatory importance to FDA, as well as endpoints such as carcinogenicity and endocrine disruption.

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Jan 23, 2020
Kleinstreuer Assumes Leadership of NICEATM

As of January 1, Nicole Kleinstreuer has assumed the role of Acting NICEATM Director. Kleinstreuer has been NICEATM Deputy Director since 2016. Before that she worked for ILS, the NICEATM support contractor. In both roles, she has contributed significantly to the development of NICEATM’s capabilities in computational toxicology.

Kleinstreuer received her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and B.S. degrees in mathematics and biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Prior to joining ILS, she completed postdoctoral training at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Computational Toxicology. In addition to her work with NICEATM, Kleinstreuer holds a secondary appointment in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and adjunct faculty appointments at Yale University School of Public Health and Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC-CH. Her research focuses on mathematical and computational modeling of biological systems and their susceptibility to perturbations that result in adverse health outcomes. Her achievements have been recognized with awards from a number of organizations, including the Society of Toxicology, Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, Australian Mathematical Society, and American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

The NICEATM leadership change occurs as former Director Warren Casey has accepted the position of Acting Chief of the Biomolecular Screening Branch in the National Toxicology Program Division at NIEHS. Casey will continue as ICCVAM Executive Director, where his responsibilities will focus primarily on administrative and strategic duties.

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Jan 17, 2020
Presentations Available from EPA Conference on NAMs

Presentation slides are available from the First Annual Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing, presented by EPA on December 17. This conference was one of EPA’s commitments in the "Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing" signed by Administrator Andrew Wheeler on September 10, 2019, calling for EPA to reduce use of mammalian studies. Presentations discuss both animal and non-animal tests used to satisfy testing requirements and establishing baselines for animal use. Presenters included Acting NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch Chief Warren Casey, Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, and ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit, EPA.

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Jan 17, 2020
Publication Summarizes December Meeting on Animal-Free Antibodies

A paper now available online from ALTEX summarizes discussions on the status of development and use of animal-free recombinant antibodies and their potential to replace antibodies derived from animals from a December meeting organized by NICEATM and the PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd. Co-authors of the paper include Acting NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch Chief Warren Casey and David Allen, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM).

Groff et al. 2020. Increasing the use of animal-free recombinant antibodies. ALTEX.

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Jan 17, 2020
March 11 Webinar Features Presentations on Mechanistic Frameworks and Cell Line Characterization

A webinar presented by ASCCT and ESTIV will feature presentations by recent ASCCT award winners. The webinar is Tuesday, March 11, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

  • Ignacio Tripodi of the University of Colorado – Boulder will present “Toxicological mechanistic inference: Generating mechanistic explanations of adverse outcomes.” Tripodi will describe a mechanistic inference framework that can generate hypotheses of the most likely mechanisms of toxicity for a specific chemical and cell type, using gene expression time series on human tissue and a semantically interconnected knowledge graph.
  • Vy Tran of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University will present “Co-expression network analysis to identify heterogeneity between the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and human breast cancer tissues.” Tran’s study used weighted gene correlation network analysis to explore key similarities and differences in gene expression networks of MCF-7 cell lines and human breast cancer tissues. Study results indicate that results from MCF-7 cells have to be used with caution as a proxy for human breast cancer physiology.

ASCCT also has webinars scheduled for January 21 and February 25. Live viewing of ASCCT webinars is free and open to the public; recorded webinars are only available to ASCCT members.

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Jan 17, 2020
Graduate Fellowships Available from IFER

The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) is accepting applications for graduate fellowships. These one-year grants of approximately $12,500 support projects by master’s and Ph.D. students in the sciences. Relevant projects address development, acceptance, and implementation of innovative methods that advance science and refine, reduce, or replace the use of animals in research, testing, or education. Grants are renewable for up to three years, depending on student progress and availability of funds. Special consideration may be given to proposals that are likely to replace the use of animals in research, and for projects that are likely to refine, reduce, or replace the use of nonhuman primates in research. Applications are due Thursday, April 30.

Apr 30, 2020
Jan 17, 2020
EPA Seeks Rapid Assay Development Branch Chief; Apply by January 22

The EPA Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure within the Office of Research and Development is seeking an experienced scientist to lead the Rapid Assay Development Branch. Applicants should have degrees in biology, toxicology, physical sciences, or chemistry, and at least one year of experience in a relevant leadership position. Candidates will be evaluated on their skills in leading a scientific program, developing high-throughput assays for toxicity screening analysis, and interpretation of scientific data, as well as their ability to perform supervisory duties and communicate scientific and technical information to a diverse audience. The position is located at EPA in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Applications must be received by January 22. For more information, visit USAJobs.gov or contact Brooke Holmes.

Jan 22, 2020
Jan 16, 2020
Publication Describes In Vitro Method for Eye Irritation Testing

NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a co-author of a recent paper describing an in vitro method for eye irritation testing. A multilaboratory validation study indicated that the Vitrigel-Eye Irritancy Test could be a useful alternative to animal testing for distinguishing test chemicals that are ocular non-irritants from irritants.

Kojima et al. 2019. Multi-laboratory validation study of the Vitrigel-Eye Irritancy Test method as an alternative to in vivo eye irritation testing. Altern Lab Anim 47(3-4):140-157.

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Jan 16, 2020
Travel Awards Available for QSAR 2020

The International Council of Chemical Associations Long-range Research Initiative (ICCA-LRI) invites undergraduate or graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to apply for Student/Post-Doc Travel Awards to present a platform talk or poster at the 19th International Workshop on (Q)SAR in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR 2020). Three awards will be given, one each for North America, Europe, and Japan. Awards will be used to reimburse awardees for travel, hotel accommodations, meal expenses, and poster printing costs. Apply by February 7.

QSAR 2020 will take place June 8-11 in Durham, North Carolina. The workshop’s theme - “From QSAR to New Approach Methodologies” - will bring scientists together with users and developers of predictive models and their underlying data to discuss the practical implementation of non-animal approaches to inform chemical hazard and risk assessment. Discounted registration is available through April 1. The workshop is being organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ICCA-LRI, and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

Travel award: Feb 7

Early registration: Apr 1

Jan 16, 2020
Webinar to Present Overview of New Approach Methodologies

The Association for Advancement of Alternatives Assessment will present a free webinar on “How to Get Safer Alternatives Using Non-Animal Testing Methods” on Wednesday, January 29 at 12:00 noon EST.

Interest is growing around the application of NAMs, which use non-animal approaches as an effective means to fill data gaps on new chemicals. Over the last decade, significant investments have been made in the development of NAMs. Speakers Amy Clippinger, PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., and Pamela Spencer, ANGUS Chemical, will explore the status of these methods, the endpoints they are being used for, and the strategies being used to incorporate NAMs into chemical hazard assessments.

The Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment is a professional association dedicated to advancing the science, practice, and policy of assessment and informed substitution to accelerate the transition to the use of safer chemicals, materials, processes, and products.

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Jan 16, 2020
Upcoming Webinars on Carcinogenicity Assessment

The Carcinogenesis Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and the PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., will present webinars in January and February on new tools and approaches for carcinogenicity assessment.

  • The “Mechanistic Assessment of Carcinogenicity” webinar will feature Mirjam Luijen of RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) speaking on “Early Mechanistic Key Events for the Prediction of Carcinogenic Potential” and Chris Corton of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency speaking on “Transcriptomic Thresholds from Short-Term Assays Predict Rat Liver Tumorigens.” This webinar is Friday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
  • The “Modernization of Cancer Risk Assessment” webinar will feature acting NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch Chief Warren Casey speaking on “Advances in Carcinogenicity Assessment at NTP” and Sabitha Papineni of Corteva Agriscience speaking on “ReCAAP: Carcinogenicity Case Study Waivers for Food-use Pesticide Registration.” This webinar is Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
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Jan 16, 2020
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar to Discuss Animal-free Affinity Reagents

Registration is open for the ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar “Use of Animal-free Affinity Reagents.” The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Traditional methods for producing affinity reagents such as antibodies require immunization of laboratory animals. Therefore, even when applied to nonanimal test methods, their use is inconsistent with the spirit of replacing, reducing, or refining animal use. This webinar will present a review of the usefulness and limitations of nonanimal-derived affinity reagents and their potential to replace animal-derived reagents.

Alejandra Solache of Abcam will present an overview of production, use, and characteristics of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Rebecca Clewell of 21st Century Tox Consulting will summarize a recent review by a working group of the Scientific Advisory Committee of EURL ECVAM on the scientific validity and benefits of animal-free technologies to produce affinity reagents .

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Jan 13, 2020
January 22 Webinar to Demonstrate Tool for Predicting Acute Oral Toxicity

PETA-ISC will present a webinar titled “CATMoS: Development and Use of the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite.” The webinar is Wednesday, January 22, at 1:00 p.m. EST. It is free and open to the public. NICEATM Acting Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Kamel Mansouri, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), will discuss development of CATMoS, a free resource for screening organic chemicals for acute oral toxicity. Predictions generated by CATMoS compare favorably with performance characteristics of the in vivo acute oral toxicity test. Kleinstreuer and Mansouri will also demonstrate how to use the modeling suite to generate acute oral toxicity predictions.

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Jan 13, 2020
February 25 Webinar to Describe In Vitro Model for Inhalation Toxicity

A webinar presented by ASCCT and ESTIV will describe an in vitro method for acute inhalation toxicity. The webinar is Tuesday, February 25, at 10:00 a.m. EST. Emilie Da Silva of Technical University of Denmark/National Research Center for the Working Environment will describe the test method, which is based on the monitoring of lung surfactant function. The lung surfactant layer in the alveoli is the first barrier that inhaled compounds encounter in the lungs. Inhibition of lung surfactant function in the in vitro method correlates with decreased tidal volume in mice for a variety of compounds, including drug formulation excipients and impregnation spray products.

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Jan 13, 2020
PETA-ISC Offers Award to Attend In Vitro Summer School

PCRM and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing are hosting the Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science on June 22-25 in Baltimore. This free course will focus on innovative non-animal testing approaches, such as in vitro and computational methods. The program includes lectures by experts, networking events, and laboratory visits. Applications are due January 31.

PETA-ISC is offering a travel award to attend the summer school to an early-career scientist. The winner of this award will be reimbursed for hotel accommodation and airfare. Those eligible include students working towards their master’s or PhD who have completed one year of study, postdoctoral fellows, or scientists who have completed training within the past five years. The summer school is divided into toxicology and biomedical sciences tracks, and this award is available only to attendees of the toxicology track. The deadline to apply for the award is March 23.

Register: Jan 31

Travel award: Mar 23

Jan 13, 2020
New California Law Bans Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals

The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which took effect January 1, will ban sales in California of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The law follows an international trend, with Europe, China, and other countries having enacted similar bans or reducing requirements for animal testing for imported cosmetic products. PCRM, a frequent NICEATM collaborator, helped develop the California law.

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Jan 13, 2020
Javelin Biotech Seeking Scientist to Lead Development of Novel Testing Systems

Javelin Biotech is seeking an experienced scientist to lead development of in vitro liver tissue pharmacology testing tools for preclinical drug discovery. The scientist will work with pharmacologists and computational/data scientists to develop state-of-the-art pathophysiological hepatic tissue models. Candidates must have PhD or equivalent degrees in biological engineering, chemical engineering, biological sciences or similar disciplines and at least three years of post-graduate experience developing and using advanced tissue culture systems, including microphysiological systems, tissue chips, organ-on-chips, and 3D cultures.

Javelin Biotech is an outgrowth of the Translational Center of Tissue Chip Technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Javelin Biotech’s vision is to bring model-informed drug discovery workflows using human microphysiological systems and computational biology/machine learning to preclinical drug discovery to support mechanistic and comprehensive understanding of how drugs affect human physiology.

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Dec 18, 2019
Free Online Course on 3Rs and Animal Use in Science

Young scientists are needed to help meet the European Union’s commitment to replace animal use in science. The European Commission's Joint Research Centre is funding a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use in science) to provide ideas and examples on how to address the 3Rs in the classroom and develop students’ critical thinking and understanding of science. The course begins on January 13, 2020, and lasts for five weeks with an estimated workload of four hours per week. It is tailored to secondary school teachers but anyone can register.

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Dec 18, 2019
Abstract Submission and Registration Open for Global Summit on Regulatory Science

The Global Summit on Regulatory Science will be held September 28-30, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland, with the theme of “Emerging Technologies and Their Application to Regulatory Science.” The meeting will feature emerging technologies from global regulatory, research, and standards communities. Topics include:

  • Emerging Technologies for the Safety Assessment of Food, Drugs, and Personal Care Products.
  • Approaches to Standardize and Validate Emerging Technologies for Regulatory Application.
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Emerging Technologies and Alternate Methods for Decision Making.

Registration for the meeting is open; there is no fee to attend. Abstracts are being accepted for poster presentations; abstracts must be 300 words are less and be submitted by July 15. The meeting is being co-hosted by the Global Coalition for Regulatory Science Research and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Jul 15, 2020
Dec 18, 2019
Abstract Submission Open for World Congress, Abstracts Due March 15

Abstracts are being accepted for the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC11). Abstracts should describe recent original work and reflect one of the four conference topics, “Safety”, “Innovative Technologies”, “Ethics, Welfare and Regulation”, and “Disease.” There is no abstract submission fee and registration is not required to submit an abstract, although the designated presenting author is expected to attend. Abstracts must be 300 words or less, written in English, and submitted by March 15, 2020.

WC11 will be held August 23-27, 2020, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The theme of the meeting is “3Rs in Transition: From Development to Application.” Registration to attend the meeting is open, with advance registration discounts available until May 15. More information, including a preliminary program, is available on the conference website.

Abstract submission: Mar 15
Early registration: May 15
Dec 18, 2019
Job Opportunities for Biologists at EPA; Apply by December 26

The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs is seeking candidates for multiple biologist positions in Arlington, Virginia. Successful candidates will:

  • Evaluate and assess the validity of data from microorganisms, laboratory animals, and other study types to identify possible adverse effects to animals and/or humans.
  • Attend and participate in meetings with other organizations to prepare recommendations and/or advice.
  • Assist with the preparation of reports that provide recommendations concerning either the registration and/or testing of pesticides.

Applications must be received by December 26. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with at least a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, chemistry, or a related discipline and at least one year of relevant experience that includes analyzing scientific data, preparing reports, and providing recommendations.

Dec 26, 2019
Dec 16, 2019
Summary of ICATM Workshop Available on JRC Website

The European Union Joint Research Centre (JRC) hosted a workshop on October 22 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of ICATM. The workshop was attended by former National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge, and NICEATM Director Warren Casey. A summary of the workshop is available on the JRC website.

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Dec 16, 2019
Nature Medicine Article Discusses Chronic Inflammation in Common Diseases

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a co-author of a “Perspective” article in the December issue of Nature Medicine that examines the role of environmental factors in systemic chronic inflammation. The article discusses mechanisms and risk factors, and proposes strategies for advancing early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Furman et al. 2019. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span. Nat Med 25(12):1822-1832. https://www.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0675-0

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Dec 16, 2019
Webinar to Discuss Assessment of Endocrine Activity and Developmental Toxicity

A webinar presented by the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) will feature two recipients of 2019 ESTIV awards. The webinar is January 21 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

  • Laura Escrivá of the University of Valencia will discuss the “Role of in vitro mechanistic data for the assessment of endocrine disruptors in the regulatory context.” Escrivá will review steps for endocrine disruptor identification according to European Union regulatory guidance and illustrate the essential role of in vitro data for endocrine disruptor assessment.
  • Lenny Kamelia of Wageningen University will describe “A battery of animal-free in vitro assays for evaluating prenatal developmental toxicity potency of highly complex petroleum substances.” A study using three in vitro methods to characterize nine petroleum substances representing five product categories demonstrated that combining data from the in vitro methods with property data produced ranking and clustering outcomes that reflected in vivo prenatal developmental toxicity potency.
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Dec 16, 2019
OECD Webinar to Provide Perspectives on AOP Development

A webinar presented by OECD will focus on assembling and evaluating weight of evidence and quantitative understanding of relationships in developing AOPs. Speakers include Bette Meek of the University of Ottawa, Kristie Sullivan of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Dan Villeneuve of EPA. The webinar is January 15 at 7 a.m. EST. More information about the OECD AOP framework is available in a OECD webinar presented in April 2019.

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Dec 16, 2019
EPA Updates List of Alternative Test Methods and Strategies

On December 5, EPA released an update of its “List of Alternative Test Methods and Strategies (or New Approach Methodologies [NAMs])”. Creation and maintenance of this list was required by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, passed in 2016 to update TSCA. The list includes tests for human health effects, tests for effects on biotic systems, NAM-related EPA policies that may be relevant to TSCA, and other NAMs that may be used for TSCA.

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Dec 09, 2019
NIH to Provide Small Business Funding for Genetically Diverse Toxicity Tests

NIH announces the availability of Small Business Innovation Research grants to support the development of chemical testing resources and approaches that better reflect the genetic diversity among human populations. The resources and approaches might include panels of human cells or cell lines, panels of cell lines generated from genetically diverse rodent strains, lower organism strains with well-characterized genetic backgrounds, or in silico approaches to enhance the ability to characterize the effects of genetic variation in toxicity testing. These grants are available only to U.S. small businesses. Letters of intent are due January 19, 2020, with applications due February 19.

Feb 19, 2020
Dec 09, 2019
Abstract Deadline Extended for QSAR 2020

The abstract deadline for the 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental Health Sciences (QSAR 2020) has been extended to January 24. The workshop will take place June 8-11, 2020, in Durham, North Carolina. Abstracts may be submitted for oral or poster presentations and should address one or more of the 12 topics listed on the abstract information page. Proceedings of the workshop will be published in a special issue of Computational Toxicology, and all presenters will be invited to submit manuscripts.

The workshop’s theme - “From QSAR to New Approach Methodologies” - will bring scientists together with users and developers of predictive models and their underlying data to discuss the practical implementation of non-animal approaches to inform chemical hazard and risk assessment. Discounted registration is available through April 1, 2020.

QSAR 2020 is being organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the International Council of Chemical Associations' Long-Range Research Initiative, and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

Jan 24, 2020
Dec 09, 2019
Applications Open for SOT Trainee Award

The SOT Computational Toxicology Specialty Section is soliciting applications for the Yves Alarie Diversity Award, which recognizes a motivated trainee or young investigator from an under-represented group who is working in the field of computational toxicology. The award provides $2,500 to support professional development, including travel or registration to attend a scientific meeting or training.

Applications for the award are due January 10, 2020. Applicants should be enrolled in a doctoral or postdoctoral program or have completed their training within the past five years. Only current SOT members are eligible, and preference will be given to Computational Toxicology Specialty Section members or applicants. Applicants should have had an abstract accepted and be planning to attend the SOT 2020 annual meeting.

Jan 10, 2020
Dec 02, 2019
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar to Discuss Use of Animal-free Affinity Reagents

Registration is open for the ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar, which will discuss “Use of Animal-free Affinity Reagents.” The webinar will be presented on Tuesday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Affinity reagents such as antibodies are used in a range of research, diagnostic, and regulatory applications. However, traditional methods for producing such reagents require immunization of laboratory animals. Therefore, even when applied to nonanimal test methods, their use is inconsistent with the spirit of replacing, reducing, or refining animal use. This webinar will present a review of the usefulness and limitations of nonanimal-derived affinity reagents and their potential to replace animal-derived reagents.

Dec 5, 2019
Dec 02, 2019
Nominations of Experts Requested by December 5 for National Academies Workshop

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine request nominations of experts to organize a June 2020 workshop to explore how experience with developing biomarkers can be applied to understanding the consequences of environmental exposures and improve environmental health decisions. The workshop will bring together scientists and public policy experts to discuss the promise and limitations of using biomarkers from model systems and clinical studies to make predictions about human health effects from environmental exposures. Workshop presentations will focus on approaches to developing early and predictive biomarkers, recent advances in imaging technologies for detecting disease onset caused by environmental exposures, validation and utility of a biomarker for medical and public health decisions, and other relevant topics.

Nominees for the workshop organizing committee should have expertise in biomarkers, biomarker validation strategies, biological mechanisms, data science, computational toxicology, precision medicine, environmental health policy, or risk assessment. Nominations should be received by December 5.

Dec 5, 2019
Dec 02, 2019
Upcoming Webinars on Carcinogenicity Assessment

The Carcinogenesis Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and the PETA International Science Consortium will present webinars in January and February on new tools and approaches for carcinogenicity assessment.

  • The “Mechanistic Assessment of Carcinogenicity” webinar will feature Mirjam Luijen of RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) speaking on “Early Mechanistic Key Events for the Prediction of Carcinogenic Potential,” and Chris Corton of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency speaking on “Transcriptomic Thresholds from Short-Term Assays Predict Rat Liver Tumorigens.” This webinar is Friday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
  • The “Modernization of Cancer Risk Assessment” webinar will feature NICEATM Director Warren Casey speaking on “Advances in Carcinogenicity Assessment at NTP,” and Sabitha Papineni of Corteva Agriscience speaking on “ReCAAP: Carcinogenicity Case Study Waivers for Food-use Pesticide Registration.” This webinar is Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
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Dec 02, 2019
Nominations Due December 6 for Lush Prize

Nominations are being accepted through December 6 for the 2020 Lush Prize, which recognizes advancement toward animal-free testing. A total of £250,000 will be awarded in the categories of Lobbying, Public Awareness, Science, Training, and Young Researcher. Alternatively, the entire £250,000 may be awarded as a Black Box Prize, to recognize a major advancement likely to lead to practical non-animal tests that could be accepted by regulators.

Candidates must self-nominate for the Lush Prize; candidates and projects from anywhere in the world are eligible. Requirements of the recipients include attending an awards ceremony and preparing an explanation of the winning project for the ceremony and the Lush Prize website.

Dec 6, 2019
Dec 02, 2019
PCRM Seeks Regulatory Testing Analyst

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is seeking candidates for a regulatory testing analyst position. The analyst will implement human-relevant test methods to replace and reduce the use of animals in domestic and international chemical and pharmaceutical testing policies and guidelines. They will work with PCRM staff and external collaborators to promote the funding and acceptance of nonanimal test methods by:

  • Training and engaging toxicologists
  • Devising strategies to make favorable changes to policies and regulations
  • Writing peer-reviewed papers as well as blogs, public comments, and web copy
  • Meeting with government, NGO, and industry stakeholders
  • Organizing topical workshops
  • Facilitating collaborative research projects

The ideal candidate for this position will have a degree in toxicology, pharmacology, environmental health, risk assessment, industrial hygiene, chemistry, or a related field; at least two years of experience related to toxicological assessment or regulations; and familiarity with in vitro and in silico test methods and national and international test guidelines and regulatory requirements. This is a full-time position located at PCRM headquarters in Washington, DC, although a remote working arrangement is possible.

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Nov 27, 2019
Free Workshop on New Approach Methodologies December 11-12

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will provide training on “New Approach Methodology (NAM) Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Integrating Modern Science Approaches” on December 11-12. The free event will be held at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas, and presentations will also be webcast.

Attendees will hear expert presentations from leaders in NAMs representing test method developers, industry, and government. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will discuss “International Approaches for Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment.” Attendees will also participate in hands-on demonstrations of in silico and in vitro predictive tools for endpoints like acute toxicity, skin sensitization, and developmental neurotoxicity. This workshop will be of particular interest to cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and chemical company staff, toxicology consultants, and regulators.

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Nov 27, 2019
EPA Public Meeting Will Discuss Implementation of TSCA New Chemicals Program

The EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention will hold a public meeting on December 10 to engage stakeholders on implementation of the TSCA New Chemicals program. Specific topics for discussion include:

  • Update of the document “New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework: Working Approach to Making Determinations Under Section 5 of TSCA”
  • Case studies of how EPA uses key concepts in the Working Approach
  • Updates on confidential business information process improvements and clarifications
  • EPA’s ongoing efforts and progress to increase transparency

The meeting will be held at EPA’s William Jefferson Clinton East Building in Washington DC. It is open to the public free of charge and will also be webcast.

EPA is setting aside one hour during the meeting for the public to share their views on the topics under discussion. Online requests to speak at the meeting must be received by December 6. A November 20 Federal Register notice has details about the meeting.

Dec 6, 2019
Nov 21, 2019
NIH to Fund Studies to Improve iPSC Reproducibility, Apply by January 6

NIH is offering Small Business Innovation Research grants to develop methods that improve the reproducibility of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derivation, growth, and differentiation. Eligible projects should seek to address the significant variability currently observed in human iPSCs in reprogramming efficiency, differentiation potential, and cell growth and stability, which is limiting the full application of these tools to research and clinical practice. Eleven NIH Institutes and centers, including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, intend to commit funds to this effort. An estimated 25 grants will be awarded to U.S. small businesses. Applications will be accepted from December 6, 2019 through January 6, 2020.

Jan 6, 2020
Nov 21, 2019
Postdoctoral Opportunity to Develop Organ-on-chip Models

A postdoctoral position is available immediately within the NIH TissueChip consortium to study antigen sampling across gastrointestinal barriers in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Montana State University. Project leaders are seeking a Ph.D. graduate with a background in mucosal immunology or developmental biology. The ideal candidate should have a strong publication record and demonstrated expertise with organoid models or other primary epithelial cell models, antigen-presenting-cells, and/or confocal microscopy. This cross-disciplinary project offers a unique opportunity to work with a dynamic team of researchers at the interface of immunology, microbiology, and biological engineering. The successful candidate will gain experience with state-or-the-art organ-on-a-chip models, human gastrointestinal organoids, primary human antigen-presenting cells, and milli- and microfluidics technologies. Screening of applicants will begin December 15.

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Nov 21, 2019
Science Adviser Position Available at HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is seeking a Science Adviser for the Animal Research Issues department. The Science Adviser offers scientific advice to HSUS on programs that seek to replace the use of animals in testing and research through regulatory, legislative, and corporate reforms. Duties include researching and analyzing areas of testing and research that involve the use of animals, staying up to date on scientific advances and technologies that seek to replace the use of animals, and contributing scientific expertise to legislative and regulatory efforts. The applicant should have at least a master’s and preferably a Ph.D. in a relevant field, two to four years’ experience related to the use of animals in laboratories and alternatives to animal testing, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. The position will be based in Gaithersburg, MD, or Washington, DC, and applicants should be willing and able to travel.

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Nov 21, 2019
Publication Describes Identification of Developmental Regulation Pathway Disruptors

A paper co-authored by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer describes use of quantitative high-throughput screening to identify compounds in the Tox21 10K library with the potential to disrupt transforming growth factor beta signaling, which could affect embryonic development. The approach represents a robust and efficient means to identify compounds for mechanistic evaluation in other assays relevant to developmental signaling to prioritize testing of putative developmental toxicants.

Wei et al. 2019. Identification and profiling of environmental chemicals that inhibit the TGFβ/SMAD signaling pathway. Chem Res Toxicol.

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Nov 01, 2019
Presentations Available from September 19-20 SACATM Meeting

Presentations from the recent SACATM meeting are available on the NTP website (click “Presentations” in far right column under “Meetings”).

SACATM met September 19-20 in Arlington, Virginia. In presentations at the meeting, scientists from NICEATM, ICCVAM member agencies, and collaborators described advances in alternatives to animal use. SACATM members expressed support for the current activities and direction of ICCVAM and noted the progress that has been made in advancing alternatives to animal testing.

Discussions on the use of computational methods focused on the limitations and applications of machine learning models in predicting toxicology. Considering the potential uses of microphysiological systems (also known as “tissue chips”) in predicting human toxicity, committee members suggested these might be most useful for early-stage toxicity screening, evaluating effects on diverse populations, and providing models for applications lacking established animal models. They cautioned, however, that the context of use for these platforms need to be clearly defined, and expressed support for developing a roadmap to build confidence in specific applications.

SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

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Nov 01, 2019
Free Workshop on New Approach Methodologies

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will present training on “New Approach Methodology (NAM) Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Integrating Modern Science Approaches” on December 11-12. The free event will be held at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas, and presentations will also be webcast.

Attendees will hear expert presentations from leaders in NAMs and participate in hands-on demonstrations of in silico and in vitro predictive tools for endpoints like acute toxicity, skin sensitization, and developmental neurotoxicity. This workshop will be of particular interest to cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and chemical company staff; toxicology consultants; and regulators.

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Oct 24, 2019
NIEHS Providing Funding to Develop In Vitro Models

NIEHS will provide funding for U.S. small businesses to develop novel, engineered 3D or organotypic in vitro systems using cells from experimental animal models typically used for toxicology testing. When developed and validated, these animal-derived in vitro systems will help predict toxicity of chemical and drug candidates, enable comparisons with existing in vivo animal toxicity data, and potentially reduce the numbers of animals used in toxicology testing.

The funding opportunity is open only to U.S. small businesses. NIEHS intends to fund six to eight awards totaling up to $4 million. Applications for renewals of existing grants are eligible. While this project is intended to facilitate comparisons to in vivo animal data, applicants should not include new in vivo animal studies in their research plan for initial development of these models. Letters of intent are due December 3, with applications due January 3, 2020.

Letters of intent: Dec 3
Applications: Jan 3
Oct 24, 2019
FDA Requests Input for International Meeting on Drug Development

FDA will hold a joint public meeting with Health Canada on November 4 in advance of an international meeting later in the month. The November 4 meeting will provide information and solicit public input on activities of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH).

ICH brings together regulators and industry to increase efficiency of development and registration of new medical products without compromising safety or effectiveness. Several items currently under consideration by ICH have potential to reduce or replace animal use. These include revisions of guidance documents “S1: Rodent Carcinogenicity Studies for Human Pharmaceuticals” and “S5: Guideline on Detection of Toxicity to Reproduction for Human Pharmaceuticals,” which explicitly mention opportunities for potential reduction of animal use.

The November 4 meeting will be held at the Sir Frederick Banting Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada and will also be webcast. An October 18 Federal Register notice announcing the meeting provides instructions for submitting comments to FDA. Those planning to attend the November 4 meeting should register by October 28. Comments relevant to the meeting should be submitted to FDA by November 8.

Meeting registration: Oct 28
Comments: Nov 8
Oct 24, 2019
Postdoctoral Position Available at CAAT

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins University has a three-year opening available for a postdoctoral fellow. The successful candidate will develop a new approach methodology for developmental neurotoxicity testing based on an iPSC-derived 3D organotypic brain model. They will design several CRISPR/Cas9-modified iPSC lines, generate 3D brain organoids, and perform screening of chemicals using high-content imaging. They will also collaborate with a bioengineering group in developing an electrophysiology recording platform.

Candidates should have PhDs in molecular or cell biology; a background in neuroscience is preferred. Training in toxicology is desired but not required. Candidates should have experience with gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and culturing iPSCs, embryonic stem cells, and neuronal cells. The position offers the opportunity to develop high-impact publications, present at conferences, and prepare for a career in academia or industry in a rich intellectual environment. To apply, send a CV and motivation letter to Lena Smirnova at lena.smirnova@jhu.edu.

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Oct 10, 2019
Workshop to Discuss Key Activities Needed to Predict Acute Toxicity

NICEATM and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will hold a workshop titled “Mind the Gaps: Prioritizing Activities to Meet Regulatory Needs for Acute Systemic Toxicity” on October 30-31 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The workshop is free and open to the public but attendees must preregister by October 24.

Acute systemic toxicity tests are the most commonly performed type of safety test worldwide. Participants in this workshop will consider approaches available to assess acute lethality associated with chemicals and chemical mixtures, with the purpose of designing comprehensive strategies to predict toxicity while avoiding animal tests. The envisioned specific areas for discussion will include:

  • Defining how to calculate the LD50 of a chemical mixture/formulated product
  • Identifying gaps where model (or assay) development or optimization is needed
  • Understanding regulatory needs for model (or assay) outputs
  • Pinpointing the types of mechanistic information that would be useful
  • Establishing the feasibility of using artificial intelligence in model development
Oct 24, 2019
Oct 10, 2019
Submissions Open for EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge

EMGS is accepting applications for the EMGS Bioinformatics Challenge 2020, to be held at the EMGS annual meeting in September 2020. This competition encourages EMGS members and bioinformatics/data science experts to work together to develop novel tools and approaches that harness publicly available data resources such as Tox21 and DrugMatrix to identify signatures of genotoxic hazards and provide insight into their mechanisms of action.

To participate, submit a 250-word abstract with a data visualization by February 15, 2020. Abstracts will be evaluated in part on model performance in classifying/predicting carcinogens and ability to identify novel genotoxic modes of action. Those selected to participate in the final challenge will receive a $300 monetary award for academic participants and a membership waiver for non-member participants. The overall challenge winner will receive a grand prize of $1200.

Feb 15, 2020
Oct 10, 2019
Workshop to Consider Use of Tissue Chips for Biomaterials Testing

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is partnering with three other institutes within the National Institutes of Health to hold an October 24-25 workshop on the use of tissue chips for biomaterials testing. The workshop will be held at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC. Attendees must register by Monday, October 14.

The “Workshop on Tissue Chip Platforms as Tools for Testing Biocompatibility and Biotoxicity of Biomaterials” will guide research into use of human tissue chip platforms for assessing biocompatibility, immunogenicity, and biotoxicity of biomaterials for research and clinical application in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, oncology, dentistry, cardiology, drug screening, and other areas. Among the priority discussion topics will be the design and validation of tissue chips platforms for assessing biomaterial properties, and application of tissue chips platforms in predicting in vivo responses of tissues and organs to biomaterials.

Oct 14, 2019
Oct 10, 2019
Travel Award Available for In Vitro Methods Workshop; Apply by October 14

The PETA International Science Consortium is offering an award for an early-career scientist to attend a workshop on Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop on January 13-16, 2020. The workshop will be presented by The Institute for In Vitro Sciences at its facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The award will provide up to $1,000 to fund workshop registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations. Those eligible for the award include (1) students working towards a master’s or PhD who have completed their first year of study; (2) postdoctoral fellows; or (3) scientists less than three years out of a master’s, PhD, or postdoctoral program. The awardee must attend all four days of the workshop. The deadline to apply is October 14.

Oct 14, 2019
Oct 07, 2019
EPA Council Achieves Cost and Animal Savings for Required Testing

An article in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology co-authored by ICCVAM co-chair Anna Lowit summarizes the activities of EPA's Hazard and Science Policy Council (HASPOC). HASPOC was established in 2012 by the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs to consider requests for waiving animal study requirements for human health risk assessments. Since its inception, HASPOC has evaluated over 1,000 requests to waive animal studies and granted waivers in response to nearly 90% of requests. These waivers have saved over 200,000 animals, $300 million in study costs, and $6 million in study review costs.

Craig et al. 2019. Reducing the need for animal testing while increasing efficiency in a pesticide regulatory setting: lessons from the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs’ Hazard and Science Policy Council. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

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Oct 07, 2019
NTP Web Update Changes Location of NICEATM Webpages

An October 2 update to the NTP website implemented a new navigation structure that affects the location and addresses of NICEATM webpages.

Please contact the NICEATM webmaster if you need any help finding specific content within the NICEATM webpages.

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Oct 07, 2019
Upcoming Webinars Focus on Organ Toxicity Models

Two upcoming webinars by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro will focus on in vitro models for toxicity to specific organs.

  • “Translational challenges in in vitro nephrotoxicity models” will be presented on Tuesday, October 22 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Roos Masereeuw of the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences at Utrecht University will present an overview of advances in 3D cultures of human renal cells and organoids. These microphysiological systems provide novel strategies for the prediction of renal drug disposition and safety assessment, but knowledge gaps in quantitative translation of renal drug disposition from microphysiological systems still exist and will be discussed.
  • “The pros and cons of 3D in vitro culture models of liver fibrosis” will be presented on Monday, November 4 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Leo van Grunsven of Vrije Universiteit Brussels will describe the mechanisms involved in liver fibrosis development. He will discuss progress achieved and challenges encountered by his group in developing an in vitro liver fibrosis model, and also summarize ongoing work by his and other groups to develop more complex co-culture models.

Register for both webinars on the ASCCT website. Links to past ASCCT webinars, available to ASCCT members only, are also on this page.

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Oct 07, 2019
Webinar Reviews Alternatives for Fish Toxicity Testing

A webinar on Wednesday, November 13 at 11:30 a.m. EST will consider “New approaches to fish toxicity testing.” David Volz, University of California – Riverside, will discuss alternatives to the fish early life-stage test and efforts to discover and annotate adverse outcome pathways for early fish development. Michelle Embry, Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, will provide an overview of recent advances toward replacing or reducing the use of traditional fish acute toxicity tests, including in silico, in vitro, and modified in vivo approaches.

This webinar is the latest in a series co-organized by the PISC, EPA, and PCRM. Recordings of past webinars are available on the PISC website.

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Oct 07, 2019
Society of Toxicology of Canada to Hold Symposium in December

The Society of Toxicology of Canada (STC) supports continuing education and excellence in research through its Annual Symposium, which provides a venue for members and international experts to present the latest advances in experimental and regulatory toxicology. This year’s symposium, December 2-4 in Ottawa, Canada, focuses on the theme “Optimizing Testing Strategies and Exploring Novel Mechanisms of Human and Environmental Toxicants.”

Registration for the symposium is open and discounted registration is available until November 8; the deadline for discounted hotel rooms is October 19. STC welcomes submission of abstracts describing original research for poster or short platform presentations; abstracts are due October 21.

Early registration: Nov 8
Abstract submission: Oct 21
Oct 07, 2019
EPA to Present Training on NAMs at SRA Meeting

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) will hold its annual meeting on the theme of “Risk Analysis in the Data Analytics Era” on December 8-12 in Arlington, Virginia. Registration for the meeting is open and discounted registration is available until October 30; the deadline for discounted hotel rooms is November 15. SRA is still accepting late-breaking abstracts, which are due November 1.

EPA will present a workshop at the SRA meeting on Sunday, December 8 titled, “Practical Applications of New Approach Methodologies (NAM) in Chemical Safety Assessment: Applying US EPA Tools/Approaches in Practice.” This workshop will demonstrate application of the CompTox Chemicals Dashboard to evaluating chemicals for potential human health or ecological risks. Workshop instructors include Grace Patlewicz, co-chair of the ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup and chair of the ICCVAM Read Across Workgroup. Register for the workshop by November 1.

Oct 30, 2019
Sep 24, 2019
EPA Releases Draft Guidance for Waiving In Vivo Avian Toxicity Studies

In a September 17 news release, EPA announced a draft science policy to reduce testing of pesticides on birds when registering conventional outdoor pesticides. The draft policy is open for public comment until November 1; email comments to OPPeco@epa.gov.

This document describes the results and implications of a retrospective study conducted by EPA and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The study explored the quantitative and qualitative contributions of risk assessment methods using single oral dose and subacute dietary toxicity endpoints to the overall conclusions of acute avian risk. The analysis indicated that, in most cases, the subacute dietary results had little impact on risk conclusions arrived upon by use of acute oral data alone. This finding is expected to reduce the number of animals tested by a total of 60 birds per test, for a total projected animal savings of over 700 animals per year.

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Sep 24, 2019
OECD Webinar on Alternatives to In Vivo Eye Irritation Testing September 27

OECD will present a webinar on “OECD Alternatives to In Vivo Eye Irritation Testing” on Friday, September 27, at 7:00 a.m. EDT (1:00 p.m. CEST). This webinar will present an overview of alternative test methods developed as OECD Test Guidelines and relevant guidance material to address eye irritation and serious eye damage for hazard classification of chemicals. Presenters include:

  • Anne Gourmelon, OECD Environment Directorate
  • Chantra Eskes, Swiss Centre for 3Rs, a lead author of the OECD guidance document on integrated approaches to testing and assessment for eye irritation
  • Bertrand Desprez, Cosmetics Europe, who will describe a project to develop defined approaches to determine eye irritation potential
  • David Allen, Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc. (contractor supporting NICEATM), who will discuss applicability and limitations of the current alternative methods

This is the latest in a series of OECD webinars on testing and assessment methodologies; links to previous webinars on the adverse outcome pathway framework and defined approaches to skin sensitization are available on the OECD website.

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Sep 11, 2019
Preregistration for ASCCT Meeting Closes September 13

Preregistration closes Friday, September 13, for the annual meeting of ASCCT scheduled for September 24-26 at the Hilton Washington DC North in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The theme of the meeting is “Computational Toxicology: Peeking into the Clouds While Keeping Our Feet on Solid Ground.” Program highlights include a mentoring event, poster session, and computational toxicology software showcase.

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a featured speaker at the meeting, with a presentation on “The March Toward Big Data in Toxicology: Striking a Balance Between Machine Learning and Mechanistic Modeling.” Shannon Bell, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM) will give an oral presentation titled “Good Decisions Require Good Data: Creating Curated and Structured Resources for Toxicology.” NICEATM will also have two presentations at the poster session. More about NICEATM activities at ASCCT>>

Sep 13, 2019
Sep 11, 2019
September 20 Webinar to Present Introduction to In Silico Toxicology

The Computational Toxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology will present a free webinar titled “An Introduction to In Silico Toxicology” on Friday, September 20, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

In silico models are built from existing knowledge or automatically derived from training sets of historical toxicity data. This webinar will outline the process of developing and using in silico methods to predict toxicity. Two commonly used in silico methodologies, expert rule-based (or structural alerts) and statistical-based (or QSAR models), will be described. The webinar will describe construction of these models as well as how these models could be used to make a prediction and support an expert review. This process will be illustrated with a series of case studies using first principles and commercial software.

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Sep 11, 2019
EPA Announces Directive, Funding to Reduce Animal Testing

In a September 10 press release, EPA announced a directive to prioritize efforts to reduce animal testing. The directive, issued by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, calls for reducing mammal study requests and funding 30% by 2025 and completely eliminating them by 2035.

Wheeler also announced $4.25 million in funding to five universities to research the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies that reduce, refine, and/or replace vertebrate animal testing. Studies funded include in vitro models to test for developmental and reproductive toxicants, neurotoxins, and toxicity of complex environmental mixtures.

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Sep 09, 2019
Preregistration for SACATM Meeting Closes September 12

SACATM will meet on September 19-20 at the Crowne Plaza Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of NIEHS regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. Preliminary agenda items for the upcoming meeting include:

  • New approaches to the principles and practice of validation
  • Developing a next generation data infrastructure to support the development and implementation of new approach methodologies (NAMs) for complex endpoints
  • Translational impact and human relevance of NAMs

The SACATM meeting is open to the public and attendance is free. Those wishing to attend in person and/or submit public comments should register to do so by September 12. Registration to view the webcast will be open until the meeting ends.

Sep 12, 2019
Sep 09, 2019
September 17 Webinar to Highlight Chip Model for Neuropathy

A free webinar titled “Nerve-on-a-Chip Platform for Assessing Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy” will be presented on Tuesday, September 17, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Lowry Curley of AxoSim, Inc., will describe a study in which a novel 3D microphysiological cell-based model of the peripheral nerve was used to investigate the in vitro manifestation of neuropathy induced by chemotherapeutic agents. Results suggest that this system can be used as a clinically relevant model to study neurotoxicity, as well as a potential screen for agents that can counteract those effects.

The webinar is being presented by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members.

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Sep 09, 2019
Teratology Society Presents Webinar on September 24

The Teratology Society is hosting a webinar on “Computational and Biotechnology Approaches to Predict Developmental Toxicity” on Tuesday, September 24, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The speaker is George Daston of Procter & Gamble. The webinar is free.

Techniques like cheminformatics, global gene expression analysis, and high-throughput screening are producing a large volume of information on how chemicals interact with their endogenous targets and the initial biological responses that emanate from these interactions. This webinar will consider strategies for using these new techniques to predict the toxicity of new chemicals while continuing to leverage existing toxicology data.

The webinar is being presented by the Teratology Society in collaboration with the American College of Toxicology, the Developmental Neurotoxicity Society, and the Society of Toxicology’s Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section.

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Sep 09, 2019
Free Training on Computational Toxicology Tools September 26

PCRM will hold a free training session on New Approach Methodology Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Tools for Computational Toxicology on September 26 from 1:00-5:30 p.m. The training session will follow immediately after the ASCCT annual meeting in the same venue, the Hilton Washington DC North in Gaithersburg, MD. Registration to attend the training session is separate from ASCCT, those interested in attending the training must register by September 25. Lunch will be served.

The training session will feature expert presentations from computational leaders and customizable demonstrations on predictive tools like OPERA, ICE, UL Cheminformatics Toolkit, DEREK, and QSARs to support regulatory guidelines. This training will be of particular interest to pharmaceutical and chemical company staff, toxicology consultants, and regulators.

Sep 25, 2019
Sep 09, 2019
Abstract Submission Open for QSAR2020 Workshop

Abstracts are being accepted for the 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR2020). The workshop will be held June 8-11, 2020, in Durham, North Carolina. It will bring together scientists along with developers and users of predictive models and their underlying data to discuss the practical implementation of non-animal approaches to inform chemical hazard and risk assessment. The workshop is being organized by the EPA, the International Council of Chemical Associations' Long-Range Research Initiative, and ASCCT.

Abstracts may be submitted for oral or poster presentations and should address one or more of the 12 themes listed on the abstract information page. Abstracts are due December 15. Proceedings of the workshop will be published in a special issue of Computational Toxicology, and all presenters will be invited to submit manuscripts.

Dec 15, 2019
Sep 09, 2019
NURA Modern Science Portal Launched

PCRM and IIVS have launched the NURA Modern Science portal. From the portal, users can download presentations and other materials from the May 2019 workshop, New Approach Methodology Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Evaluating Toxicological Information Using Modern Science. Other resources available include journal articles, government publications, and other documents relevant to development of new approach methodologies.

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Sep 09, 2019
EPA CompTox Dashboard Updated

A new version of EPA’s Comptox Chemicals Dashboard was released on August 9. Included in this release are updates to the hazard data in the ToxVal database and an update to the ToxCast in vitro database. The release also addresses a number of minor bugs. The CompTox Chemicals Dashboard includes data and information on over 875,000 chemicals. Full details on the new release are available in the Release Notes.

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Aug 27, 2019
FDA to Present Update on Predictive Toxicology Roadmap September 18

On Wednesday, September 18, FDA will host a free public meeting to provide updates on implementation of its Predictive Toxicology Roadmap. Speakers from seven FDA centers will describe how predictive toxicology methods are being advanced towards application to safety and risk assessments. An announcement about the meeting was published in the August 20 Federal Register.

The meeting, to be held at FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, will also be webcast. Information about registration and a preliminary agenda are available on the FDA website. Those interested in attending or viewing the webcast should register by Monday, September 16.

Sep 16, 2019
Aug 27, 2019
EPA to Fund Toxicokinetics Studies, Apply by September 24

EPA is seeking applications for a new funding opportunity, Advancing Toxicokinetics for Efficient and Robust Chemical Evaluations. Toxicokinetics describes the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of chemicals and their metabolites by the body. The research activities to be funded under this announcement are intended to improve the development of chemical toxicokinetic tools and approaches for broader applicability during chemical evaluations. Of particular interest are projects that will increase throughput and predictivity of current in vitro to in vivo extrapolation approaches while reducing the uncertainty of these approaches.

Eligibility for this funding is limited to U.S.-based public and private non-profit institutions and government entities. Applications will be accepted through September 24.

Sep 24, 2019
Aug 27, 2019
Registration Open for In Vitro Methods Workshop; Travel Award Available

Registration is open for a Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop on January 13-16, 2020. Presented by The Institute for In Vitro Sciences at its facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, this intensive workshop will allow participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with non-animal methods in a small-group setting. A $200 discount is available for registrations received by September 30.

The PETA International Science Consortium is offering an award for an early-career scientist to attend the workshop. The award will provide up to $1,000 to fund workshop registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations. Those eligible for the award include (1) students working towards a master’s or PhD who have completed their first year of study; (2) postdoctoral fellows; or (3) scientists less than three years out of a master’s, PhD, or postdoctoral program. The awardee must attend all four days of the workshop. The deadline to apply is October 14.

Discount registration: Sep 30
Travel award: Oct 14
Aug 27, 2019
Review Describes Identification of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Using Gene Expression Biomarkers

A review article coauthored by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and EPA collaborators describes the use of gene expression biomarkers to identify endocrine-disrupting chemicals. This approach can identify both androgen and estrogen receptor agonists and antagonists with over 90% accuracy in microarray data derived from human breast or prostate cancer cell lines. Predictions generated with this approach can help prioritize chemicals with the greatest risk of potential adverse outcomes in the endocrine systems of animals and people.

Corton et al. 2019. Identification of potential endocrine disrupting chemicals using gene expression biomarkers. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2019.114683

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Aug 19, 2019
Agenda, Registration Available for ASCCT Annual Meeting

ASCCT will hold its annual meeting on September 24-26 at the Hilton Washington DC North in Gaithersburg, MD. The theme of the meeting is “Computational Toxicology: Peeking into the Clouds While Keeping Our Feet on Solid Ground.” Program highlights include a mentoring event, poster session, and computational toxicology software showcase. The online registration deadline is September 13.

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a featured speaker at the meeting, with a presentation on “The March Toward Big Data in Toxicology: Striking a Balance Between Machine Learning and Mechanistic Modeling.” Shannon Bell, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM) will give an oral presentation titled “Good Decisions Require Good Data: Creating Curated and Structured Resources for Toxicology.” NICEATM will also have two presentations at the poster session. More information about NICEATM activities at ASCCT >>

Sep 13, 2019
Aug 19, 2019
OECD Publishes New AOPs

OECD has published seven new AOPs. An AOP is a framework that identifies the sequence of biochemical events required to produce a toxic effect. AOPs can help outline evidence and evidence gaps about a particular toxicological pathway, aid interpretation of mechanistic data for regulatory decision-making, and facilitate development and use of in vitro and in silico approaches for toxicity testing. Three of the new AOPs are relevant to neurotoxicity; others describe perturbations of the aryl hydrocarbon and PPAR-alpha receptor pathways. Information about the OECD AOP Development Programme is available on the OECD website.

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Aug 19, 2019
NIH Small Business Opportunities

NIH is accepting applications to two SBIR/STTR programs to assist small businesses with commercialization of their technologies.

  • The NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program is a competitive program designed to help small businesses with meeting their commercialization objectives. Participants selected for the program will receive help with establishing market and customer relevance, building commercial relationships, and identifying revenue opportunities. Small businesses whose NIH SBIR and STTR Phase II, Phase IIB, or Phase II portion of a fast-track award is current or was active in the past five fiscal years are eligible to apply. The application deadline is August 22.
  • The NIH Commercialization Readiness Pilot program facilitates the commercialization of previously funded SBIR and STTR Phase II and Phase IIB projects by funding activities not typically supported through Phase II or Phase IIB grants or contracts. Small businesses that have had an active NIH SBIR or STTR Phase II or Phase IIB award within the last 36 months are eligible to apply. Awardees will receive up to $300,000. Standard SBIR/STTR application deadlines apply for these grants; the next deadline is September 5.

CAP: Aug 22
CRP: Sep 5

Aug 19, 2019
Postdoctoral Position Available at CAAT

CAAT at Johns Hopkins University has a three-year opening available for a postdoctoral fellow. The successful candidate will develop a new approach methodology for developmental neurotoxicity testing based on an iPSC-derived 3D organotypic brain model. They will design several CRISPR/Cas9-modified iPSC lines, generate 3D brain organoids, and perform screening of chemicals using high-content imaging. They will also collaborate with a bioengineering group in developing an electrophysiology recording platform.

Candidates should have PhDs in molecular or cell biology; a background in neuroscience is preferred. Training in toxicology is desired but not required. Candidates should have experience with gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and culturing iPSCs, embryonic stem cells, and neuronal cells. The position offers the opportunity to develop high-impact publications, present at conferences, and prepare for a career in academia or industry in a rich intellectual environment. To apply for the position, send a CV and motivation letter to Lena Smirnova at lena.smirnova@jhu.edu.

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Aug 15, 2019
SACATM to Meet September 19-20; Registration Open and Agenda Available

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet on September 19-20 at the Crowne Plaza Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. Preliminary agenda items for the upcoming meeting include:

  • New approaches to the principles and practice of validation
  • Developing a next generation data infrastructure to support the development and implementation of new approach methodologies (NAMs) for complex endpoints
  • Translational impact and human relevance of NAMs

The SACATM meeting is open to the public and attendance is free. Registration is open to attend the meeting in person or view the webcast. Those wishing to attend in person and/or submit public comments should register to do so by September 12.

Sep 12, 2019
Aug 05, 2019
Grants Available to Support Alternative Methods for Vaccine Testing

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is offering $1.5 million in grants to develop and implement innovative technologies for vaccine and biological manufacturing. A major area of interest is development of alternative in vitro assays to reduce the reliance on animal testing required for lot release.

Those interested in applying for these grants must submit a four-page concept paper by September 10. This paper should present an overview of the proposed project; no teaming, detailed budget, or cost share information is required. Following submission of concept papers, invitations will be issued to participate in the Project Call 3.1 Summit in October. At this event, proposers will have opportunities to network and discuss their project. This phase will conclude with invitations issued to submit a full proposal in Stage 2 of the process.

More information about the funding opportunity, including slides from a July 23 webinar, is available on the NIIMBL website. This funding opportunity is supported by the NIIMBL Global Health Fund, a collaboration between NIIMBL and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sep 10, 2019
Aug 05, 2019
PCRM Offers Student Travel Award

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is offering $1000 to support attendance of an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in November.

Applicants for the PCRM travel award must be attending an accredited U.S. higher learning institution. They must have had an abstract accepted at ABRCMS that describes human-relevant research using microphysiological systems, bioengineering, computational modeling, organoids, or other non-animal approaches. Projects using or suggesting future use of animals are not eligible. Applications will be evaluated in part on the student’s demonstrated interest in ethical sciences and commitment to pursue a career using non-animal methods. Applications are due September 6.

Sep 6, 2019
Jul 31, 2019
ICE Update Launched July 30

On July 30, NICEATM released the latest version of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE now includes:

  • Updates to Tox21 data
  • Predictions of endocrine activity using in silico models
  • Improved performance and output standardization for the In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation tool
  • Simplified outputs for the Machine Learning tool
  • Revised and improved user instructions

ICE is a publicly available, web-based resource that provides curated data and tools to facilitate safety assessment of chemicals.

The recent updates will be among ICE features highlighted in a webinar to be presented July 31 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar, “The Integrated Chemical Environment: Tools and Data to Support Toxicity Assessments,” is hosted by the PETA International Science Consortium (PISC). The webinar will be recorded and made available on the PISC website after presentation.

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Jul 31, 2019
NIH to Fund Studies to Improve iPSC Reproducibility

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is offering Small Business Innovation Research grants to develop methods that improve the reproducibility of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derivation, growth, and differentiation. Eligible projects should seek to address the significant variability currently observed in human iPSCs in reprogramming efficiency, differentiation potential, and cell growth and stability, which is limiting the full potential of these tools for research and clinical practice. Eleven NIH Institutes and centers, including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, intend to commit funds to this effort, with an estimated 25 awards to be awarded to U.S. small businesses. Applications will be accepted from December 6, 2019 through January 6, 2020.

Jan 6, 2020
Jul 31, 2019
Report Available from Workshop on Developmental Toxicity

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a coauthor of the report on the Ninth Berlin Workshop on Developmental Toxicity held in September 2018. Attendees at this workshop considered the future of in vitro methods for developmental and reproductive toxicology, the potential relevance of alternative species in testing of developmental effects, and risk and hazard assessment of developmental and endocrine effects. Recommendations included the need for a harmonized terminology for classification of anomalies in laboratory animals in developmental toxicity studies for human health risk assessment.

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Jul 18, 2019
July 31 Webinar to Highlight Updates to ICE

A webinar titled “The Integrated Chemical Environment: Tools and Data to Support Toxicity Assessments” will be presented Wednesday, July 31 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Shannon Bell, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), will provide an overview of the updated Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), a publicly available, web-based resource that provides curated data and tools to facilitate safety assessment of chemicals. Attendees will view a live demonstration of ICE and learn about newly added features. The webinar is hosted by the PETA International Science Consortium.

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Jul 18, 2019
FDA to Present Update on Predictive Toxicology Roadmap September 18

On Wednesday, September 18, FDA will host a free public meeting to provide updates on implementation of its Predictive Toxicology Roadmap. Speakers from seven FDA centers will describe how predictive toxicology methods are being advanced towards application to safety and risk assessments. The meeting, to be held at FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring, MD, will also be webcast. Information about registration and a preliminary agenda are available on the FDA website. Those interested in attending or viewing the webcast should register by Monday, September 16.

Sep 16, 2019
Jul 18, 2019
Report Available from Rabies Vaccine Workshop

A report is available from the October 2018 workshop “Implementing Nonanimal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond.” NICEATM Director Warren Casey and David Allen, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), workshop participants, coauthored the report.

This workshop, co-sponsored by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization-North America, explored how to advance alternative methods for human and veterinary rabies virus vaccine potency testing. The workshop attendees agreed that a more suitable, scientifically based in vitro assay is needed as an alternative to the current in vivo challenge potency test. ELISA assays specific for rabies virus glycoprotein were identified as the most appropriate in vitro alternative test candidates for further development.

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Jul 18, 2019
Report Available from Artificial Intelligence Summit

A report is available from the “Summit on Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Health Science and Decision Making,” held in October 2018. The goal of the summit was to identify and prioritize environmental health sciences (EHS) research questions that might be investigated with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) techniques. The summit described some early opportunities for the application of AI/ML in EHS. Participants also identified action items for advancing the field in the three areas of (1) data, research, and practice; (2) education and training; and (3) community and field development. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Lyle Burgoon, U.S. Department of Defense, co-chair of the ICCVAM Ecotoxicology Workgroup, were among the presenters at the summit.

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Jul 07, 2019
OECD Issues New and Updated Test Guidelines

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued three new and six updated Test Guidelines on June 18. Included among the new documents are tests relevant to replacing or reducing animal use for common acute toxicity endpoints.

  • Test Guideline 494 (new) describes the in vitro Vitrigel-Eye Irritancy Test (EIT) to identify chemicals not requiring classification and labelling for eye irritation or serious eye damage. The Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods coordinated validation of the EIT. NICEATM staff served on the management team for the validation study, and an ICCVAM member participated in the peer review.
  • Test Guideline 442C (updated) describes in chemico assays that measure covalent binding of a test chemical to skin proteins, a key event in the adverse outcome pathway for skin sensitization. The previous TG 442C described the direct peptide reactivity assay. The updated Test Guideline also describes a similar method, the amino acid derivative reactivity assay (ADRA), and discusses how in chemico protein binding assays could be used within integrated approaches to testing and assessment for skin sensitization. NICEATM staff served on the validation management team for the ADRA and participated on the OECD Expert Group that reviewed the methods included in the test guideline.
  • Test Guideline 492 (updated) describes in vitro reconstructed human corneal epithelium test methods to identify chemicals not requiring classification and labelling for eye irritation or serious eye damage. The Test Guideline is based on four commercial methods of this type. It includes descriptions of essential test method components and a list of chemicals to be used to demonstrate proficiency with the assays. NICEATM staff participated on the OECD Expert Group that reviewed the methods included in the test guideline.
  • Test Guidelines 431 and 439 (updated) describe in vitro reconstructed human epidermis test methods to identify chemicals that may cause skin corrosion (TG 431) or irritation (TG 439). The test guidelines were revised to include a greater number of commercial methods of this type. Both Test Guidelines include lists of chemicals to be used to demonstrate proficiency with the assays. NICEATM staff participated on the OECD Expert Group that reviewed the methods included in the Test Guidelines.

NICEATM and ICCVAM member agencies participate in the development and national review of documents issued by the OECD Test Guidelines Programme. OECD Test Guidelines are used by government, industry, and independent laboratories in the 36 member countries of the OECD to assess chemical safety. The OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data clause entails that safety data generated using an OECD test guideline will be accepted by all the member countries, avoiding redundant testing.

NICEATM Director Warren Casey and ICCVAM member Wanda Hall, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. National Coordinator, participated in the April meeting of the Working Group of National Coordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme, which evaluated and recommended OECD adoption of the new and updated Test Guidelines.

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Jul 01, 2019
World Congress Session Proposal Deadline Extended to July 7

The deadline for session proposals for the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences has been extended through July 7. Proposals for symposia, workshops, roundtables, or other session types should reflect any of the four themes “Safety,” “Disease,” “Innovative Technologies,” and “Ethics, Welfare, and Regulatory Affairs.” To submit a proposal, you will be asked to create a World Congress account, provide a working title and short description of the proposed session, and identify possible funding sources. Proposals should support the integration of submitted abstracts and the participation of speakers from a diversity of sectors.

The 11th World Congress will be held August 23-27, 2020, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is on the scientific committee for World Congress, which will focus on “3Rs in Transition from Development to Application.” Pages within the meeting website allow you to submit session proposals, subscribe to the meeting newsletter, and get details on the location, venues, sponsorship, and travel to Maastricht.

Jul 7, 2019
Jul 01, 2019
September 17 Webinar to Highlight Chip Model for Neuropathy

A free webinar titled “Nerve-on-a-Chip Platform for Assessing Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy” will be presented on Tuesday, September 17, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Lowry Curley of AxoSim, Inc., will describe a study in which a novel 3D microphysiological cell-based model of the peripheral nerve was used to investigate the in vitro manifestation of neuropathy induced by chemotherapeutic agents. Results suggest that this system can be used as a clinically relevant in vitro model to study neurotoxicity, as well as a potential screen for agents that can counteract those effects.

The webinar is being presented by the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members; information is available on the ASCCT website.

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Jul 01, 2019
NAS Graduate Fellowships Available, Apply by September 6

Applications are being accepted through September 6 for the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program, a full-time educational program for early career individuals. Fellows will spend 12 weeks in early 2020 at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) in Washington, DC, learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation. The fellowship offers a unique opportunity to obtain the essential skills and knowledge needed to work in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.

Applicants should be current graduate or professional school students, or have received degrees within the last five years. Applicants need not be U.S. citizens but must be legal residents of the U.S.; NAS does not sponsor visas for the fellowship program. Applicants must provide two references relevant to their academic or professional experience before applications will be accepted.

Sep 6, 2019
Jun 25, 2019
Positions Available at EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs has multiple biologist/toxicologist openings for each of the following opportunities. Those hired for any of these positions will assist with extrapolating data on laboratory animals to evaluate possible human effects of pesticides and preparing reports providing pesticide registration recommendations.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in biology, toxicology, or related area and one year of relevant experience, and must be U.S. citizens. All jobs are located in Arlington, VA. For more information, contact Chelsea Vaughn at 800-433-9633 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov.

  • Public: Jun 27
  • Federal Employees: Jul 12
  • Recent Grads: Jul 1
Jun 25, 2019
Upcoming Webinars Describe Resources for Non-animal Toxicity Testing

The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) will present three webinars in July relevant to non-animal approaches to toxicity testing.

  • Replacing Foetal Bovine Serum in Cell Culture Media”, presented July 11 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), will feature three expert presentations on replacing fetal bovine serum (FBS) in cell-based assays. Jan van der Valk, Utrecht University, will discuss the benefits of alternatives to FBS and resources for finding reagents. Carol Treasure, XCellR8, will describe how to transition cells from media containing FBS to media supplemented with human serum. Sandra Coecke, European Commission Joint Research Centre, will share insight into implementation of the Good In Vitro Method Practices guidance document issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • The Integrated Chemical Environment: Tools and Data to Support Toxicity Assessments” will be presented July 31 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. This webinar will provide an overview of the updated Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), a publicly available, web-based resource that provides curated data and tools to facilitate safety assessment of chemicals. Attendees will view a live demonstration of ICE and learn about newly added features.
  • “New Approaches for Fish Toxicity Testing” is the fourth in a series of webinars on the Use of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in Risk Assessment co-organized by PISC, EPA, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The webinar will be presented sometime in July.
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Jun 19, 2019
NICEATM at the Teratology Society Annual Meeting

NICEATM will give the following presentations at the annual meeting of the Teratology Society, June 22-26 in San Diego, California:

  • An update on activities of the NTP Systematic Evaluation of the Application of Zebrafish in Toxicology (SEAZIT) initiative: Poster Session 1, Sunday, June 23, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Nautilus Room.
  • A poster titled “Application of a Controlled Vocabulary to Curated Databases of In Vivo Developmental Toxicity Data”: Poster Session 2, Monday, June 24, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Nautilus Room.
  • A presentation by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, “Federal Agency Activities to Identify and Implement Alternatives” at a session on “Establishing Scientific Confidence in Alternate Approaches,” Tuesday, June 25, 9:05 a.m.-12 noon, Harbor Island 2 Room.
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Jun 19, 2019
July 24 Webinar to Describe Computational Approach to Drug Screening

A free webinar titled “Using Quantitative Systems Toxicology (QST): Improving the Safety of Drugs While Reducing Animal Testing” will be presented on Wednesday, July 24, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Paul Watkins of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill will describe a computational approach that considers chemical properties, mechanisms of drug-induced liver injury, and human variability to predict the likelihood of a new compound to induce a toxic response.

The webinar is being presented by the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members.

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Jun 19, 2019
Training on New Approach Methodologies and AOPs Offered at IUTOX

ASCCT is presenting a session titled “Training on New Approach Methodologies: Alternatives for Acute and Contact Toxicity Assessment” at the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, July 15-18. The ASCCT session is July 17 from 1:00-2:20 p.m. in the Hibiscus 1 & 2 meeting room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The ASCCT session will cover scientific and regulatory progress in the development and acceptance of new approach methodologies in the chemical, pesticide, and personal care sectors, and provide practical advice on implementing them. Speakers include NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Grace Patlewicz, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, co-chair of the ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup and chair of the ICCVAM Read Across Workgroup.

ASCCT and the Human Toxicology Project will also present a session titled “AOP Hands-on Training: Building the Foundation for Predictive Toxicology” on July 16 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., also in the Hilton Hibiscus 1 & 2 room. This session will provide an introduction and overview of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, present a case study of AOP development and application, and guide participants through an example of AOP building in the AOP Wiki.

More information about IUTOX

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Jun 17, 2019
Use of Cell-Based Assay for Botulinum Toxin Products Approved

Ipsen Pharma has received approvals from U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities for use of their in vitro Cell-Based Assay to establish stability and potency of its botulinum toxin products. This follows prior approval received in the European Union and Switzerland for this application of the Cell-Based Assay.

The basis of the Cell-Based Assay is the BoCell® technology platform, developed by BioSentinel Inc., a Madison, Wisconsin-based company that specializes in developing platforms for the detection and measurement of botulinum toxins. BioSentinel and Ipsen collaborated closely in development of the Cell-Based Assay, which achieves a level of precision comparable to the mouse-based LD50 assay.

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Jun 10, 2019
Slides and Video Available from ICCVAM Public Forum

Slides and a video recording are available from the May 23 ICCVAM Public Forum.

The meeting was held at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Over 40 attendees and more than 200 webcast viewers heard presentations by ICCVAM members representing eight U.S. agencies on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches. Presenters described member agency activities to implement the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States. A key focus was progress made towards reduction and replacement of animal use for acute toxicity tests required by regulatory agencies: acute systemic toxicity, skin and eye irritation, and skin sensitization testing. Public comments submitted to the meeting praised specific actions agencies have taken in the past year to advance the strategic roadmap goals, and suggested additional activities that could support further progress.

ICCVAM activities will also be discussed at the September 19-20 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, to be held at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland. Information about that and other upcoming NICEATM events is available on the NICEATM 3Rs Meetings and Workshops page.

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Jun 10, 2019
OSHA and DOT Request Public Input in Advance of International Meetings

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration plan to hold separate public meetings on Thursday, June 20, in advance of July meetings of:

  • The United Nations Sub-committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (OSHA)
  • The United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (DOT)

The purpose of the June 20 public meetings is to discuss proposals and receive input for the July meetings. Both June 20 meetings will be held at the DOT Headquarters Conference Center in Washington, DC. They are open to the public and remote access is available.

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Jun 10, 2019
Preliminary Agenda Available for ASCCT Annual Meeting

The eighth annual meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be September 25-26 at the Hilton Washington DC North in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The meeting will focus on computational toxicology, with NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer scheduled to give a plenary presentation. Other agenda items include a panel discussion on data and methodology quality and transparency, and a social reception. A pre-meeting mentoring event is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, September 24.

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations. The submission deadline for abstracts to be considered for oral presentations is June 28; the poster abstract deadline is August 1. Posters and oral presentations may address any topic related to cellular and computational toxicology.

  • Oral presentation abstracts: Jun 28
  • Poster abstracts: Aug 1
Jun 10, 2019
World Congress Session Proposals Due June 30

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will be held August 23-27, 2020, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is on the scientific committee for World Congress, which will focus on “3Rs in Transition from Development to Application.” Visit the meeting website to submit session proposals, subscribe to the meeting newsletter, and get details on the location, venues, sponsorship, and traveling to Maastricht.

Proposals for sessions for the 11th World Congress will be accepted through June 30, 2019. Proposals for symposia, workshops, roundtables, or other session types should reflect any of the four themes “Safety,” “Disease,” “Innovative Technologies,” and “Ethics, Welfare, and Regulatory Affairs.” To submit a proposal, you will be asked to create a World Congress account, provide a working title and short description of the proposed session, and identify possible funding sources. Proposals should support the integration of submitted abstracts and the participation of speakers from a diversity of sectors.

Jun 30, 2019
Jun 04, 2019
ICE Version 2.0 Now Available

On May 20, NICEATM released a major update of the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). ICE provides data and tools to help develop, assess, and interpret chemical safety tests. The update introduces a new user interface to simplify searches and new tools that will let users explore chemical properties and toxicity in more detail.

The new ICE home page delivers easy access to all the tools within ICE, as well as user guides and related information. The updated ICE search tool includes a new module that simplifies assay selection. Another new feature allows users to add chemicals with the same core structure, such as different salt forms and stereochemistry, to their search, which expands the relevant toxicity data returned from the search.

In addition to the search tool, ICE includes in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), machine learning, and chemical characterization tools. The updated IVIVE tool provides more complex models, including those from the EPA’s httk package, to improve prediction accuracy.

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Jun 04, 2019
June 12 Webinar to Describe New Test for Potential Sensitizers

A free webinar titled “GARD™air: An In Vitro Assay to Test for Respiratory Sensitizers Using Genomic Biomarkers and Machine Learning” will be presented on Wednesday, June 12, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Joshua Schmidt of SenzaGen Inc., USA, and Andy Forrryd of SenzaGen AB, Sweden, will describe their genomics-based in vitro platform for identifying potential sensitizers. Originally developed to identify skin sensitizers, the GARD assay has now been adapted to identify respiratory sensitizers.

The webinar is being presented by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members; information is available on the ASCCT website.

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May 20, 2019
ICCVAM Public Forum This Thursday, May 23; Agenda Available

The ICCVAM Public Forum will be Thursday, May 23, at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Registration for webcast viewing will be open through the end of the meeting. Information and an agenda for the meeting are available on the NICEATM website.

The ICCVAM Public Forum is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions to ICCVAM from stakeholders. This year’s meeting will include presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

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May 20, 2019
Free Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning June 6-7

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold a workshop on “Algorithms, Air Pollution, and Adverse Outcome Pathways: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Advance Environmental Health Research and Decisions.” The workshop is June 6-7 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, and will also be webcast. Registration is free.

Approaches such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are being applied to environmental health to characterize pollution, predict chemical toxicity, estimate human exposures, and identify health outcomes. Participants in this workshop will discuss issues of data availability, quality, bias, transparency, and uncertainty in the data used to develop machine learning algorithms that need to be addressed to apply these tools to inform environmental health research and decision making.

The workshop is sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is on the organizing committee.

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May 20, 2019
Small Business Grants Available from HHS; Webinar May 29

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the 2019 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Omnibus Grant Solicitations. These solicitations will be used by the National Institutes of Health and other offices within HHS to fund researcher-initiated projects in health, medicine, and life sciences.

Projects being funded by NIEHS under this solicitation include development of short-term assays to reduce or replace existing regulatory animal studies for acute toxicity, reproductive or developmental toxicity, carcinogenicity, or ocular toxicity. NIEHS will also fund projects to develop computational tools for integrating toxicity data, including in vivo and in vitro data, to analyze and visualize data across different screening systems. The first deadline for applications under this announcement is September 5.

A May 29 webinar will provide a brief overview of SBIR/STTR funding and instructions for applying.

Sep 5, 2019
May 03, 2019
Preregistration Closes May 10 for ICCVAM Public Forum

Preregistration to attend the ICCVAM Public Forum in person closes Friday, May 10. Prepared statements on topics relevant to the meeting should also be submitted by that date. Registration for webcast viewing will be open through the end of the meeting on May 23.

The meeting will be Thursday, May 23, at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The ICCVAM Public Forum is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions to ICCVAM from stakeholders. This year’s meeting will include presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

May 10, 2019
May 03, 2019
Postdoctoral Opportunity at NIST

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is supporting a postdoctoral fellow opportunity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The successful candidate will comprehensively examine in vitro assays to improve the repeatability and interlaboratory agreement of the assay results. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in biology, chemistry, engineering or a related area and be a U.S. citizen. Work will be done at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD, outside Washington, DC. The closing date for applications is August 1. For more information contact Elijah Petersen at Elijah.Petersen@nist.gov

Aug 1, 2019
May 03, 2019
May 9 Webinar to Discuss EPA Computational Tools

A free webinar titled “New Computational Tools from EPA” will be presented on Thursday, May 9, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Antony Williams and Grace Patlewicz of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide overviews of the CompTox Chemicals Dashboard and the EPA’s generalized read-across (GenRA) application. The webinar is being presented by the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members.

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May 03, 2019
Cell-Based Assay for Botulinum Toxin Products Approved

Ipsen Pharma has received approvals from U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities for use of its in vitro Cell-Based Assay to establish stability and potency of its botulinum toxin products. This follows prior approval received in the European Union and Switzerland for this application of the Cell-Based Assay.

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Apr 25, 2019
Submit Abstracts for ASCCT Annual Meeting

The eighth annual meeting of ASCCT will be September 25-26 in the Washington, DC, area. The meeting will focus on computational toxicology, with NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer scheduled to give a plenary presentation. Other agenda items include a panel discussion on data and methodology quality and transparency, a social reception and networking event, and a mentoring activity and awards for young scientists.

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations. Abstracts for oral presentations should be submitted by June 28; the poster abstract deadline is August 1. Abstracts are welcome on all topics related to cellular and computational toxicology.

  • Oral presentation abstracts: Jun 28
  • Poster abstracts: Aug 1
Apr 25, 2019
EPA Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available, Deadlines Next Week

EPA has multiple positions open for biologists/toxicologists and related specialties in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The closing date for applications is Monday, April 29. Successful candidates for these positions will:

  • Evaluate hazards and risks from exposure to industrial chemicals, biological agents, and nanomaterials, and prepare hazard and risk characterizations
  • Analyze strategies and methodologies for hazard prioritization, screening, and assessment
  • Collect and analyze data, and evaluate and develop hazard assessment methods, tools, databases, and models
  • Develop briefing materials and presentations on hazard prioritization, screening, and assessment

Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology, toxicology, or related areas and have at least one year of full-time experience analyzing human health, environmental hazard, or risk assessments, or have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a relevant area. All openings are in Washington, DC. Candidates must be U.S. citizens. For more information contact Chelsea Vaughn at 800-433-9633 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov

Apr 29, 2019
Apr 25, 2019
CalEPA Webinar May 2 Will Focus on Applications of Read-across

The CalEPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment will present a workshop on “Understanding and Applying Read-across for Human Health Risk Assessment” on Thursday, May 2, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. An agenda for the workshop is attached; speakers include NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and Grace Patlewicz, EPA, chair of the ICCVAM Read-across Workgroup and co-chair of the ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup. For more information contact Abraham Meyers at Abraham.Meyers@calrecycle.ca.gov

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Apr 25, 2019
FDA Webinar May 2 to Review Non-animal Cosmetic Safety Testing

FDA will host a webinar, “Decision-making in Non-animal Cosmetic Safety Assessment,” on Thursday, May 2, from 12 noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will introduce a new collaboration, Non-Animal Cosmetic Safety Assessment Globally, formed among stakeholder groups with the goal of globally implementing non-animal cosmetic safety assessment by 2023. Webinar speakers will discuss how next-generation risk assessment principles will be applied to this goal and consider case studies from Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Estee Lauder. The webinar may be accessed using the following credentials:

  • Meeting number (access code): 909 211 090
  • Meeting password: aWxQrWv2
  • Dial-in U.S.: 210-795-0506 (toll), 877-465-7975 (toll-free)
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Apr 18, 2019
Free Training May 21-22 on Regulatory Use of NAMs

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is sponsoring a free workshop May 21-22 on how to incorporate new approach methodologies (NAMs) into regulatory testing applications. Experts will outline currently available in vitro methods for skin sensitization, eye irritation, and other endpoints, and present hands-on demonstrations with the latest computational tools. Representatives from EPA and industry will describe how these methods can be applied to regulatory requirements and development of greener and safer chemistries. The workshop will be held at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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Apr 18, 2019
April 29 Webinar to Focus on Prioritization of Evaluation of Drinking Water Chemicals

The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute will present a free webinar titled “Exposure and Hazard Driven Prioritization for Evaluation of Chemicals in Canadian Drinking Water” on Monday, April 29, from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Ivy Moffat of Health Canada will describe their use of the RISK21 framework to prioritize evaluation of 421 chemicals potentially found in drinking water. View full abstract of the presentation and registration form

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Apr 18, 2019
EPAA Accepting Applications for Awards

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) is a collaboration among the European Commission, European trade associations, and industry to accelerate the development, validation, and acceptance of alternative approaches to animal use in regulatory testing. EPAA is accepting applications for two awards to recognize scientists contributing to this goal.

  • EPAA will provide grants of up to €1000 to support student attendance to three scientific meetings in 2019. Applicants may be citizens of any country. They must have completed a bachelor’s-level degree and be enrolled full-time in a graduate program in a European Union country. The next application deadline is August 19.
  • The 2019 EPAA Refinement Prize will recognize a laboratory technician, animal caretaker, or technologist who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in advancing implementation or raising awareness of new refinements for animal testing. A €6000 prize will be awarded to recognize an individual or a team. Applicants must work in a European Union or neighboring country. Awardees will be expected to attend the EPAA annual conference on October 29. The application deadline is September 2.
  • Student travel award: Aug 19
  • Refinement prize: Sep 2
Apr 18, 2019
Publication Describes Analysis Supporting Reduction of Testing for Ecological Endpoints

A recent publication describes a retrospective analysis of toxicity data for 119 pesticides with publicly available ecological risk assessments. The analysis indicated that in most cases avian risk can be assessed without conducting the currently required sub-acute dietary test, which may provide an opportunity for reduction of animal use. ICCVAM co-chair Anna Lowit of EPA is a co-author on the paper.

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Apr 15, 2019
Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum

ICCVAM will hold a public forum on Thursday, May 23, at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The ICCVAM Public Forum is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions to ICCVAM from stakeholders. This year’s meeting will include presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

Registration is now open for both in-person attendance and webcast viewing of the public forum. Those planning to attend the meeting in person should preregister by Friday, May 10; prepared statements on topics relevant to the meeting should also be submitted by that date. Registration is required for webcast viewing and will be open through the end of the meeting on May 23.

May 10, 2019
Apr 15, 2019
Video Highlights Alternatives to Animal Models

A TEDx Talk titled “It’s Time to Think Outside the Cage” is available on YouTube. The presentation highlights work being done at the University of Windsor and other institutions to develop non-animal models for human diseases. Speaker Charu Chandrasekera directs the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM). CCAAM and its subsidiary, the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, participate as partners with Health Canada in activities of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods, in which NICEATM and ICCVAM also participate.

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Apr 11, 2019
Webinar on New Approaches for Respiratory Sensitization April 24

A free webinar on “New Approaches for Respiratory Sensitization” will be presented on Wednesday, April 24, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Steve Enoch of Liverpool John Moores University will speak on “Chemistry-based Approaches for Identifying Respiratory Sensitizers” and Arno Gutleb of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology will discuss “In Vitro Models to Identify Respiratory Sensitizers.”

This is the third in the “Webinar Series on the Use of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in Risk Assessment” co-organized by the PETA International Science Consortium, EPA, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Links to slides and video recordings from webinar 1, “Skin Sensitization Testing,” and webinar 2, “MMPD and CFD Modeling to Predict Dosimetry of Inhaled Substances,” are available on the PISC website.

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Apr 11, 2019
April 25 Webinar to Discuss Automated Workflow for AOP Hypothesis Generation

A free webinar titled “Automated and Integrated Analysis Workflow for Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Identification, Hypothesis Generation and Risk Assessment” will be presented on Thursday, April 25, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Noffisat Oki and Tatyana Doktorova of Edelweiss Connect will discuss computational approaches for data integration with the potential to support chemical risk assessment, identify data gaps where additional testing may be needed, and guide the development of integrated testing strategies in regulatory settings.

The webinar is being presented by ASCCT and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro. Videos of past ASCCT webinars are available for viewing by society members.

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Apr 11, 2019
Report Available from Validation Workshop

A 2017 workshop organized by the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment focused on the drivers and barriers to implementing innovative approaches that can replace, reduce, or refine animal use for regulatory toxicology. A workshop report, coauthored by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, provides recommendations for the development and validation of such approaches and identifies steps to facilitate regulatory acceptance.

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Apr 11, 2019
Postdoctoral Opportunities at EPA NCCT, Other Offices

The EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology in Research Triangle Park, NC, has postdoctoral positions available for scientists with diverse expertise in computational and experimental laboratory research. These scientists will develop mathematical and computer models and new chemical testing technologies to help predict potential risk, and apply cellular, molecular, and systems biology to support better evaluations of potential health and environmental effects.

These are among 80 postdoctoral opportunities currently available throughout EPA’s Office of Research and Development. These are three-year federal positions with full benefits. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applications are being accepted now and are due by May 2.

May 2, 2019
Apr 11, 2019
Postdoctoral Opportunities at the U.S. Army Chemical Biological Center

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are supporting two postdoctoral positions at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland. Both positions are open to U.S. citizens only.

  • An appointment focused on in vitro models of organ toxicity will develop and optimize existing organoid systems to characterize human toxicity. While the primary focus will be on models of respiratory toxicity, development or optimization of organoid models that replicate cardiac, hepatic, vascular, and central nervous system acute toxicity will also be considered.
  • An appointment focused on electrophysiological characterization of ion channel modulating substances will create, adapt, and optimize methods used in drug development for rapid toxicological assessment of chemical warfare agents and threat compounds.
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Apr 05, 2019
SOT FDA Colloquium on 3D Bioprinted Tissue Models: Tuesday, April 9

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a workshop on “Alternative Methods for Predictive Safety Testing: 3D Bioprinted Tissue Models” on Tuesday, April 9, at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland. This workshop is the latest in the series, “SOT FDA Colloquia on Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety.”

Human 3D bioprinted tissues represent a valuable in vitro approach for chemical, personal care product, cosmetic, and preclinical toxicity/safety testing. Bioprinting of skin, liver, and kidney is already appearing in toxicity testing applications for chemical exposures and disease modeling. The use of 3D bioprinted tissues and organs may provide future alternative approaches for testing that may more closely resemble and simulate intact human tissues to more accurately predict human responses to chemical and drug exposures.

Preregistration to attend the workshop in person has closed, and only federal employees may register on-site to attend. However, the workshop will also be webcast, for which registration is still open.

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Apr 05, 2019
China Accepts Certain Non-animal Testing Methods for the Regulation of Cosmetics

China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has accepted certain non-animal test methods for the regulation of cosmetics. In a March 22 notice, NMPA announced acceptance of nine test methods, including the direct peptide reactivity assay for skin sensitization and the short time exposure test assay for eye irritation. These new regulations will go into effect January 1, 2020 and will be the preferred toxicological tests for the registration and pre-market approval of cosmetic ingredients. More information about the announcement is available on the website of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, which has been working with China to implement alternatives to animal testing.

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Apr 05, 2019
Grants Available for Approaches to Reduce or Replace Animal Use

The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing is offering grants of up to $40,000 to support development of alternatives to animal testing. Supported projects should have the objective of significantly reducing or replacing laboratory animal use. Examples of acceptable projects could include: providing mechanistic understanding of in vitro responses to toxicants in human cells, development of adverse outcome pathways, or conducting systematic reviews. Consideration should be given to the translation of the new method to evaluate/predict health outcomes. Preproposals are due May 5.

May 5, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
World Congress on Alternatives: Call for Session Proposals; Awards Available

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will be held August 23-27, 2020, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is serving on the scientific committee for World Congress, which will focus on “3Rs in Transition from Development to Application.”

Proposals for sessions for the 11th World Congress will be accepted through June 30, 2019. Proposals for symposia, workshops, roundtables, or other session types should reflect any of the four themes “Safety,” “Disease,” “Innovative Technologies,” and “Ethics, Welfare, and Regulatory Affairs.” To submit a proposal, you will be asked to create a World Congress account, provide a working title and short description of the proposed session, and identify possible funding sources. Proposals should support the integration of submitted abstracts and the participation of speakers from a diversity of sectors.

The European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) is sponsoring two awards for young scientists related to World Congress:

  • ESTIV Travel Grants will be awarded to two ESTIV members. Each grant will cover travel and accommodation costs to attend the meeting, up to 500 Euros. Applicants must be 35 years old or younger, have attained at least a master’s degree, and have lived and worked in Europe during the past three years. Application deadline is July 1, 2020.
  • The ESTIV Best Poster Award will provide 500 Euros and free ESTIV membership for the year 2021 to a young scientist who is first author on a poster presented at World Congress. Applicants must be 35 years old or younger, be working towards or have attained a Ph.D., and be registered to attend World Congress. Application deadline is August 1, 2020.
Jun 30, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
Applications Due April 14 for CAAT Award

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health sponsors the Next Generation Humane Science Award to acknowledge and encourage early-career researchers who focus on replacing animal experiments. The 2019 award will provide a prize of up to $9,000 recognizing the work of one scientist, or may be shared among two or more scientists. Factors considered in the evaluation of applications include the potential of the work to replace animal experiments and be used in a regulatory context. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents working at U.S.-based institutions and have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees no earlier than 2010. Applications are due April 14.

Apr 14, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
EPA Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available, Deadlines Next Week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has positions open for Biologists/Toxicologists in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). Multiple positions are available for each of the following opportunities. The closing date for both announcements is Thursday, March 21.

  • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/527021100 describes permanent positions for early career professionals who have completed bachelor’s or master’s degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas. Bachelor’s-level applicants should have at least one year of full-time experience assisting in the review of human health and/or environmental hazard information and/or risk assessments.
  • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/526915200 describes permanent positions for more experienced candidates who have completed bachelor’s or higher degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas.

Applicants will be evaluated in the following areas: experience in preparing and evaluating environmental hazard information and risk assessments; knowledge of risks and/or hazards associated with industrial chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials; ability to work on a multi-disciplinary team of scientists; experience preparing hazard and risk characterizations; experience developing methodologies to improve environmental hazard information and risk assessments; written and oral communication skills; and data analysis skills.

All openings are in Washington, DC. Candidates for all opportunities must be U.S. citizens, and all positions may require one to five days of travel per month. Apply online at the USAJOBS.gov website. For more information about the opportunities, contact Sherron Gardner at 800-433-9633 or gardner.sherron@epa.gov

Mar 21, 2019
Mar 12, 2019
ARDF Grants Available, Application Deadline May 1

The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) awards grants to support research projects that develop alternative methods to advance science and replace or reduce animal use. ARDF is currently accepting applications for this year’s grants, with proposals due May 1.

The maximum grant is $40,000. While preference will be given to U.S. applications, proposals are welcome from any nonprofit educational or research institution worldwide. Proposal reviews, coordinated by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, will evaluate scientific merit and feasibility and the potential to reduce or replace the use of animals in the near future. Proposals in the fields of research, testing, or education will be considered. Projects may not use intact non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals. Preference will be given to projects that use:

  • In silico and in vitro methods with human cells or tissues
  • Pathway-based approaches as exemplified by the 2007 National Academy of Sciences report, Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-first Century: A Vision and A Strategy
May 1, 2019
Mar 12, 2019
EPA Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available, Deadlines Next Week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has positions open for biologists and related specialties in the Office of Pesticide Programs within the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Multiple positions are available for each of the following opportunities. The closing date for both announcements is Monday, March 18.

Successful candidates for both positions will:

  • Review and evaluate scientific data on the effects of pesticides to support regulatory decisions on pesticides’ registration and reevaluation
  • Develop new approaches to investigate problems associated with the registration and reevaluation of pesticides through application of data manipulation techniques
  • Prepare reports that evaluate data and assessments of pesticides exposure, hazard, and risk
  • Make recommendations on hazard or exposure analyses for pesticides to support the Agency's pesticide risk assessment

The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/526780800 describes permanent positions for candidates who have completed bachelor’s degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas and have at least one year of full-time experience conducting statistical/scientific evaluations of laboratory research data or applying scientific concepts in analyzing, compiling, or computing data as it relates to chemicals.

The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/526609000 describes permanent positions for more experienced candidates who have completed bachelor’s degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas and have at least one year of full-time experience reviewing statistical/scientific evaluations of laboratory or field research data pertaining to the use, benefits, and/or efficacy of chemicals; or reviewing the impacts chemicals have on human health. This position may require one to five days of travel per month.

All openings are in Arlington, VA. Candidates for all opportunities must be U.S. citizens. Apply online at the USAJOBS.gov website. For more information about the opportunities, contact Marketa Evans at 800-433-9633 or evans.marketa@epa.gov

Mar 18, 2019
Mar 06, 2019
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT

A webpage summarizing NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at the March 10-14 Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting is now available on the NICEATM website. Please refer to this page as you plan your SOT itinerary.

NICEATM and ICCVAM will have a strong presence at SOT. ICCVAM members are presenting at three continuing education sessions and two ancillary meetings; ICCVAM member agency NIEHS is sponsoring three exhibitor-hosted sessions; NICEATM is presenting at four platform sessions and four poster sessions; and ICCVAM members are coauthors on abstracts being presented at eight platform sessions and 13 poster sessions. ILS staff, in support of NICEATM, will offer an overview and hands-on tutorial on the Open Structure-Activity/Property Relationship App (OPERA) and the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) web tools during three sessions at the NTP ToxExpo booth. Detailed information about NICEATM and ICCVAM activities will be provided in a NICEATM News issue to be sent later this week.

View complete agenda for SOT

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Mar 06, 2019
March Workshop to Focus on Use of Dogs in Research

In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are conducting a study to review the care and use of dogs in research funded by or conducted at the VA. NICEATM Director Warren Casey is a member of the study committee.

The study will (1) evaluate whether dogs are or will continue to be necessary for research related to the mission of the VA, (2) identify relevant ethical standards and practices supporting the care, use, and welfare of dogs used in research, (3) evaluate whether current practices at the VA conform to those identified during the course of this study, and (4) make recommendations for changes, should those be deemed necessary.

A public workshop to discuss the study will be held on March 27. More information about the study is available on the study website, and details about the March workshop will be posted on this page when they are available.

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Mar 06, 2019
April Workshop to Focus on Cancer Pathways; Poster Abstracts and Information Requested

NTP will present a workshop “Converging on Cancer” on April 29-30 at the William Jefferson Clinton East Building, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. The workshop will address using systems biology and knowledge of cancer pathways to better understand how environmental chemicals lead to cancer. Potential applications of this understanding include building a framework for incorporating mechanistic data into cancer risk assessment, developing effective screening tools to detect the carcinogenic potential of environmental chemicals (including mixtures), engineering safer products, and designing more effective therapeutics.

This free meeting is open to the public with attendance limited only by the space available. The meeting will consist of plenary sessions, breakout discussion sessions, and a poster session. The plenary sessions only will be webcast. Those wishing to attend in person must register by April 22; registration to view the plenary sessions by webcast is open through the end of the workshop on April 30. More information and links to register are available on the NTP website.

A limited number of abstracts will be accepted for poster presentations at the meeting. Abstracts of 250 words or less on topics relevant to the meeting should be submitted by March 31; submitters will be notified of acceptance by April 8. More information about submiting abstracts

In support of the workshop, NTP requests information regarding assays and approaches for evaluating chemical effects on cancer pathways. Relevant information may include but is not limited to: systematic review approaches; assays associated with pathways and characteristics of carcinogens; assays that integrate across multiple cancer-related pathways; modeling approaches to assess the joint effects of multiple chemicals on carcinogenic potential; and input on types of data needed to address knowledge gaps and innovative technology and research approaches that could be used to generate these data. Information should be submitted by April 22.

Submit abstracts: Mar 31
Register for workshop/submit assay info: Apr 22
Register for webcast: Apr 30
Feb 26, 2019
NICEATM Publications Honored by SOT Specialty Section

Two NICEATM publications have been honored by the Risk Assessment Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology (SOT).

Non-animal methods to predict skin sensitization (II): an assessment of defined approaches” was awarded Best Paper of 2018 in the category of “Advancing the Science of Risk Assessment.” NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is first author on the paper, and NICEATM Director Warren Casey and three scientists supporting NICEATM through a contract with ILS are co-authors. More information about NICEATM projects to develop defined approaches for skin sensitization hazard prediction is available on the NICEATM website.

“Adding context to Tox21/ToxCast data: linking in vitro assays to toxicity outcomes” was recognized as one of the top 10 risk assessment abstracts at the 2019 SOT Annual Meeting. Agnes Karmaus, ILS, is first author on the abstract, and Casey, Kleinstreuer, and two ILS contractors supporting NICEATM are co-authors. The abstract and a complete list of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at SOT are available on the NICEATM website.

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Feb 26, 2019
April Workshop to Consider Alternatives to Animal Tests for Vaccines

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) will hold a workshop on “Replacing Animal-based Release Testing for Vaccines” on Thursday, April 18. This workshop will explore current animal-based release testing and discuss alternative approaches. Workshop discussions will consider knowledge and data gaps for alternative release testing methods as well as research, development, and validation activities needed to advance alternatives.

The workshop will be held in the Washington DC area. Registration and other information will be posted on the NIIMBL website when available.

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Feb 20, 2019
FDA Announces Creation of Botanical Safety Consortium

In a February 11 press release, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced policies aimed at modernizing the oversight and regulation of dietary supplements. Steps FDA will take to implement these policies include:

  • Develop new ways to communicate to the public about unlawful and potentially dangerous supplement ingredients
  • Establish a regulatory framework that evaluates product safety while promoting innovation, chiefly through fostering the submission of New Dietary Ingredient notifications
  • Improve internal processes to support effective enforcement actions
  • Engage the public in discussions about how to modernize the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
  • Collaborate with industry to support the development of new products, ingredients, and delivery systems while protecting public health and safety

To support the final step, the FDA has established the Botanical Safety Consortium, a public-private partnership of industry, academia, and government that will promote scientific advances in evaluating the safety of botanical ingredients and mixtures in dietary supplements. This group will look at novel ways to use cutting-edge toxicology tools, including alternatives to animal testing, to promote the goals of safety and effectiveness.

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Feb 20, 2019
Presentations Available from October 2018 Workshop on New Approach Methodologies

Presentation videos and other materials are now available from the October 2018 workshop on “New Approach Methodology Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Integrating New Approaches into Your TSCA Testing.” At this workshop, expert presentations and demonstrations from a panel of scientists addressed how to incorporate in vitro, computational, and literature mining approaches into testing strategies and safety assessments. Presenting scientists included NICEATM deputy director Nicole Kleinstreuer and computational chemist Kamel Mansouri, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM). The workshop was organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Underwriters Laboratories, and was held at the Underwriters Laboratories facility in Research Triangle Park, NC.

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Feb 12, 2019
EURL ECVAM Issues Status Report on Alternatives

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has issued its 2018 “Status Report on the Development, Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods and Approaches.” The status report describes research, development, and validation activities, as well as initiatives that promote the regulatory and international adoption and use of alternative approaches and their dissemination. Key findings include:

  • Significant progress has been made in combining in vitro and computational methods to 'read-across' toxicological properties between similar chemicals to avoid unnecessary animal testing.
  • There is increased use of alternatives to identify endocrine disruptors and assess chemical mixtures.
  • Challenges still prevent the use of alternatives alone to fully characterize complex toxicological properties of chemicals that cause chronic systemic health effects.

EURL ECVAM, which is part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, coordinates research and validation studies on alternatives to animal testing within the European Union. EURL ECVAM also shares knowledge about and promotes use of alternative methods.

A link to the report and an interview with two of its authors are available on the Joint Research Centre's website.

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Feb 07, 2019
SOT FDA Colloquium on Redesigning the Rodent Bioassay: Wednesday, February 20

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a “Colloquium on Redesigning the Rodent Bioassay for the 21st Century” on Wednesday, February 20, at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland. This workshop is the latest in the series, “SOT FDA Colloquia on Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety.” The workshop is chaired by Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA principal representative to ICCVAM; NICEATM Director Warren Casey is co-chair.

In carrying out its mission to protect and promote public health, FDA must use the best scientific and technological information available to make decisions on the products it regulates. This workshop will consider how one important toxicology tool, the rodent chronic bioassay, should be redesigned to meet the needs of 21st century risk assessment. FDA envisions that this workshop will begin an ongoing dialogue between stakeholders on the utility of the chronic rodent bioassay for regulatory risk assessment.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Attendees who are not federal employees must preregister; federal employees may register on-site. The workshop will also be webcast.

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Feb 07, 2019
Next Webinar in PISC Series on NAMs Rescheduled for February 14

A webinar on “MPPD and CFD Modeling to Predict Dosimetry of Inhaled Substances” will take place on February 14 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Dr. Bahman Asgharian of Applied Research Associates and Dr. Richard Corley of Greek Creek Toxicokinetics Consulting will discuss the use of multiple-path particle dosimetry (MPPD) and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models to predict dosimetry. This webinar was originally scheduled for January 23 but was postponed due to the partial federal government shutdown.

This free webinar is the second webinar in the series on the Use of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in Risk Assessment, which is co-organized by the PETA International Science Consortium, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

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Feb 07, 2019
Data Center Outage February 15-20 to Impact NICEATM Resources

The National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), which houses NTP and NICEATM, has scheduled a data center outage to begin 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 15, to install equipment upgrades. The following impacts are expected:

  • The NIEHS website will not be available.
  • The NTP website, including https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/niceatm and other pages describing NICEATM and ICCVAM activities, will not be available.
  • The Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) and Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) websites will not be available.
  • Access to NICEATM federal and ILS contractor staff via email may be limited.

The outage is scheduled to last until 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20, but some resources may not be restored until Thursday, February 21. If these outages will affect your interactions with NICEATM, please make a note of these dates and plan accordingly.

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Jan 31, 2019
Paper Describing NICEATM Collaboration Honored by Society of Toxicology Specialty Section

“Pathway-based predictive approaches for non-animal assessment of acute inhalation toxicity” (Clippinger et al. 2018), a NICEATM collaborative work product, has been recognized as an Honorable Mention winner for Best Paper of 2018 by the Biological Modeling Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology. Preparation of the review was a recommendation of a 2016 workshop on inhalation toxicity that was co-organized by NICEATM.

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Jan 31, 2019
European Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing to be Held in August

The European Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing will be held at the University of Linz, Austria, on August 25-28. Some of the topics to be considered at the Congress include:

  • Replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use (3Rs)
  • International 3Rs activities
  • Organ chips and 3D models
  • In silico models
  • Applications of alternatives in various sectors: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, cosmetics, etc.
  • Neurotoxicity and developmental neurotoxicity
  • Ecotoxicity

Registration and abstract submission will open March 1, with abstracts due May 31.

May 31, 2019
Jan 28, 2019
Graduate Fellowships Available from IFER

The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) is accepting pre-proposal applications for 2019-2020 Graduate Fellowships. These are one-year grants of typically $12,500 for projects that support development, acceptance, and implementation of innovative methods that advance science and refine, reduce, or replace the use of animals in research, testing, or education. Grants are renewable annually for up to three years, depending on student progress and availability of funds. Special consideration and additional financial support may be given to proposals that are likely to replace the use of animals in research, and for projects that are likely to refine, reduce, or replace the use of nonhuman primates in research. Applications are due Tuesday, April 30.

Apr 30, 2019
Jan 28, 2019
Postdoctoral Opportunities Available at NTP

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting applications for postdoctoral fellows to develop human cell- and protein-based assays for assessing cardiotoxicity of new drugs. These projects are part of an initiative to design, build, and test new non-animal approaches to assess cardiotoxicity hazard. The initiative is supported jointly by NTP (Biomolecular Screening Branch and NICEATM), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and the Health and Environment Sciences Institute.

Candidates for these two postdoctoral positions should have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in computer sciences or life/health/medical sciences within the last five years and must have resided in the United States for at least three of the past five years. Work will be done at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC.

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Jan 28, 2019
Webinars to Focus on Computational and Predictive Toxicology

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will present free webinars in February and March focusing on computational and predictive toxicology. “Combining Biological and Computational Approaches” will be presented on Thursday, February 21, 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. “Advancing Tools for Predictive Toxicology” will be presented on Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

A full list of upcoming and past webinars with links to register for upcoming webinars is available on the ASCCT website. Upcoming webinars are available for all to watch at no charge. Recordings of past webinars are available only to society members.

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Jan 23, 2019
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT

A webpage summarizing NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at the March 10-14 Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting is now available. Please refer to this page as you plan your SOT itinerary.

NICEATM and ICCVAM will have a strong presence at SOT. ICCVAM members are presenting at three continuing education sessions and a satellite meeting; ICCVAM member agency NIEHS is sponsoring three exhibitor-hosted sessions; NICEATM is presenting at four platform sessions and four poster sessions; and ICCVAM members are coauthors on abstracts being presented at eight platform sessions and 13 poster sessions.

View a complete agenda for SOT

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Jan 23, 2019
PISC January 23 Webinar Postponed

The webinar on “MPPD and CFD Modeling to Predict Dosimetry of Inhaled Substances” announced in the January 17 NICEATM News has been postponed and will be rescheduled after the U.S. government resumes normal operations. An announcement of the rescheduled webinar will be posted on the PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) website.

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Dec 20, 2018
Availability of the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite

NICEATM has released the Collaborative Acute Toxicity Modeling Suite (CATMoS), a free resource for screening organic chemicals for acute oral toxicity. CATMoS is implemented in v2.0 of the Open Structure-Activity/Property Relationship App (OPERA), a free and open-source quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) tool. OPERA v2.0 can be downloaded from the NIEHS Github repository.

CATMoS is the result of a global collaboration to develop in silico models to predict acute oral toxicity. It is a suite of consensus models developed by combining the results of individual models contributed by participants in the April 2018 Workshop on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity (Kleinstreuer et al. 2018). The individual models were built using information on chemical structures and rat oral acute toxicity data for nearly 9000 chemicals, and tested using approximately 3000 chemicals.

CATMoS includes models for predicting five acute oral toxicity endpoints: very toxic, non-toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hazard classification, United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemical (GHS) hazard classification, and LD50. Predictions generated by CATMoS may be useful to those developing or triaging new chemicals or for prioritizing existing chemicals for more detailed and rigorous toxicity assessments.

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Dec 20, 2018
EPA Seeks Comments on TSCA Panel Nominees

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment on nominees for ad hoc participation and possible membership on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). SACC nominees are experts in toxicology, environmental risk assessment, exposure assessment, and related fields. Nominees will constitute a pool of experts from which EPA can draw to assist with reviews of chemical substances addressed under TSCA.

The request for comment was issued in a Federal Register notice published December 14. Comments on nominees are requested by January 14.

Jan 14, 2019
Dec 20, 2018
Symposium to Discuss Global Harmonization of Vaccine Testing Requirements

The Humane Society International will present a symposium on Global Harmonization of Vaccine Testing on March 19, 2019, in Rome. This event will bring together experts to discuss the elimination of abnormal toxicity tests and target animal batch safety tests for batch release of biologicals and immunologicals for human and veterinary use, a milestone that has been achieved in some regions. A key goal of the symposium is to explore barriers faced in regions still using these tests and what kind of actions should be taken or suggested to achieve elimination of these tests worldwide. For more information, contact Laura Vivani at lviviani@hsi.org.

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Dec 04, 2018
ASCCT Webinar to Discuss Metabolomics in Stem Cell Assays

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will present a free webinar on “Development of In Vitro Toxicology Assays using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells and Targeted Metabolomics.” The webinar will be presented on Thursday, December 13, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Developing predictive human cell-based assays to aid in the early discovery-phase detection of potential toxicants could reduce product development time and costs. Jessica Palmer of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc., will describe two in vitro toxicology assays, devTOX quickPredict and Cardio quickPredict, that utilize human pluripotent stem cells or their derivatives and targeted metabolomics to address these needs.

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Dec 04, 2018
DOT Requests Comment on Harmonization Proposal

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is requesting comment on proposed revisions to the Hazardous Materials Regulation to better align with international standards. Included in the proposal are criteria that would enable consideration of existing data on chemical properties as a non-testing alternative for classifying corrosive materials. This would be expected to reduce animal use for this testing.

Comments on the proposal are requested by January 28, 2019. More information about the proposal is available in a November 27 Federal Register notice.

Jan 28, 2019
Dec 04, 2018
JRC Summer School on Non-animal Approaches to be Held in May 2019

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which runs the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL-ECVAM), is organizing a Summer School on May 21-24, 2019 at the JRC Ispra site in Italy. The “JRC Summer School on Non-Animal Approaches in Science: Challenges and Future Directions" will share knowledge and experience on the latest non-animal approaches used in research and testing, including in vitro methods and computational modeling. The Summer School is tailored for students pursuing master’s and Ph.D. degrees and recent degree recipients in fields related to toxicology, biomedical research, alternative methods, exposure science, or risk assessment.

Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2019. Selection of participants will consider relevance of the Summer School to current area of study or job, clarity and relevance of submitted motivation letter, and scientific quality of submitted poster abstract.

EURL-ECVAM is a partner with NICEATM and ICCVAM in the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods. NICEATM will co-organize the 2020 Summer School, which will be held in the eastern United States.

Jan 15, 2019
Dec 04, 2018
ESTIV and ASCCT to Present Applied In Vitro Toxicology Course in April 2019

The European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and ASCCT are organizing the next ESTIV Applied In Vitro Toxicology Course, which will take place at University of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania, on April 14-19, 2019.

There is an urgent need for toxicologists and risk assessors to implement in vitro testing results into regulatory safety evaluation of chemicals. This course aims at meeting this need by training individuals who wish to pursue a career in this direction or update their knowledge of applied in vitro toxicology. The course is intended for doctoral students and early-stage scientists from industry, academia, or regulatory agencies who recently became active in the field of in vitro toxicology. Applicants should have backgrounds in toxicology, biology, chemistry, (bio)medical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, veterinary sciences, or related fields.

The course combines lectures by leading experts with interactive group exercises. The lectures cover subjects pertinent to regulatory, screening, and investigative in vitro toxicology. The group exercises consist of real-life case studies in which participants will apply principles of in vitro toxicology to risk assessment of chemical substances. Participants will also gain hands-on experience with in vitro skin and eye irritation testing.

Enrollment is limited to 30 students. Discounted registration is available for ESTIV and ASCCT members.

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Dec 04, 2018
Review Describes Testing Needs for Eye and Skin Irritation

A review article by the ICCVAM Ocular and Dermal Irritation Workgroup surveys U.S. agency information needs relevant to ocular and dermal irritation hazard. The review (Choksi et al. 2018.) was published online November 11 by Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology.

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Nov 29, 2018
Proposal Developed to Incorporate In Vitro Methods Criteria into GHS

The United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is used internationally for classification and labeling of substances for potential hazard. Classification criteria for the GHS are predominantly based on animal tests. A working group led by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands has developed a proposal to incorporate non-animal test data into classification criteria for skin irritation and corrosivity. Adoption of the proposal will be considered at a December meeting of the United Nations GHS subcommittee.

Details on the GHS proposal and other international activities to advance use of in vitro methods are described in the November 2018 issue of RIVM 3Rs Quarterly.

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Nov 29, 2018
EPA Advisory Panel Meeting to Consider Inhalation Toxicity Case Study

The Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act will meet on December 4-7 at EPA's Potomac Yards site in Arlington, VA. The meeting’s topic is "Evaluation of a Proposed Approach to Refine Inhalation Risk Assessment for Point of Contact Toxicity: A Case Study Using a New Approach Methodology."

The case study focuses on use of a human tissue-based in vitro assay to characterize the hazard of the pesticide chlorothalonil and derive a point of departure (POD) for use in human health risk assessment. EPA is soliciting advice from the SAP on the derivation of the POD from the in vitro assay and the integration of the in vitro POD for calculation of human equivalent concentrations for inhalation risk assessment.

The meeting is open to the public and will be webcast via Adobe Connect. Preregistration is not required to attend the meeting or view the webcast. Visit the EPA website for more information about meeting logistics and additional information about the meeting.

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Nov 29, 2018
Positions Open for Researchers to Support the EPA EDSP

EPA is seeking candidates for three postgraduate research projects in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). These appointments are through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellows program, a joint venture between EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. They are one-year appointments with the opportunity for renewal. Positions are open to U.S. citizens only, and qualifying degrees should have been received within the past 60 months.

  • A position in the Washington, DC, area will provide a candidate who has received a master’s or doctoral degree an opportunity to investigate thyroid-related adverse outcome pathways through the development of biological models. The researcher will develop alternative testing strategies and new approach methodologies based on these pathways and supported by literature reviews and integration of relevant data. Candidates should have previous research experience focusing on thyroid endocrinology, general endocrinology, and biochemistry.
  • A position in the Washington, DC, area will provide a candidate who has received a bachelor’s degree an opportunity to develop artificial intelligence-based tools and techniques for systematic reviews of scientific literature. The researcher will also support the development of strategies for chemical assessment using cheminformatics, ToxCast, and Tox21. Candidates should have degrees in biological, chemical, or computational sciences.
  • A position in the Duluth, MN, area will provide a candidate who has received a doctoral degree an opportunity to develop, test, and apply bioinformatics tools to predict cross-species chemical susceptibility and assess the relevance of chemical toxicity data generated with model organisms. Candidates should have degrees in bioinformatics, computational biology, genetics, molecular biology, toxicology, or a related field.
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Nov 19, 2018
Nominations Open for International 3Rs Prize

Nominations are now open for the International 3Rs Prize, which recognizes highly original or innovative primary research papers that advance replacement, refinement, or reduction of animal use in any area of medical, biological, or veterinary research. Papers published in the last three years by academic or industry laboratories anywhere in the world are eligible for consideration.

The National Centre for the Replacement Reduction & Refinement of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is a UK-based scientific organization dedicated to replacing, refining, and reducing the use of animals in research and testing. Every year the NC3Rs highlights outstanding and original research with a high 3Rs impact through its International 3Rs Prize. This award, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, consists of a £28k prize grant and a £2k personal award, to be presented in London in March 2019.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 5.

Dec 5, 2018
Nov 19, 2018
Webinar Series on Use of NAMs in Risk Assessment

A new webinar series on the use of new approach methodologies (NAMs) in risk assessment is being organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. The first webinar in this series was presented on November 7. The next webinar in the series is planned for January 2019, and details of the webinar will be posted on the PISC webpage.

The November 7 webinar focused on the two testing strategies included in EPA’s “Policy on the Use of Alternative Approaches for Skin Sensitization Testing.” Susanne Kolle described BASF’s “2 out of 3 approach” and Taku Nishijou discussed Kao Corporation’s sequential testing strategy for in vitro skin sensitization testing.

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Nov 13, 2018
Upcoming EPA Advisory Panel Meetings

The next meeting of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act will take place on December 4-7 at EPA's Potomac Yards site in Arlington, VA. The meeting topic is "Evaluation of a Proposed Approach to Refine Inhalation Risk Assessment for Point of Contact Toxicity: A Case Study Using a New Approach Methodology."

A preparatory virtual meeting will be held on November 14 in advance of the full meeting. Both meetings are open to the public and will be webcast. More information is available in a Federal Register notice published November 2.

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Nov 13, 2018
National Academies Workshop on Systematic Review December 10-11

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold a workshop on December 10-11 in Washington, DC, on current state-of-the-art practices in performing systematic reviews of mechanistic data to support chemical assessments. Topic areas include:

  • Approaches and tools to search and screen the literature for mechanistic data
  • Approaches to evaluating the validity of mechanistic studies
  • Methods for assimilating and using mechanistic information to support evidence synthesis and integration
  • Practical experience with implementing systematic reviews of mechanistic evidence into human health assessments

The workshop will explore relevant strategies and tools being developed and used across the systematic review and risk assessment communities. Outcomes will assist EPA with developing guidance on performing systematic reviews of mechanistic data to support the chemical assessments in its Integrated Risk Information System program. A poster session will have examples demonstrating the application of systematic review approaches to mechanistic data.

Register to attend the workshop in person or view the webcast

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Nov 13, 2018
SOT Endowment Fund to Support Advances in Regulatory Toxicology

The field of safety evaluation is undergoing a paradigm shift towards a predictive, mode-of-action-focused discipline. To support this evolution, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section (RSESS) is establishing a Future of Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Endowment Fund. This fund will provide monetary awards to graduate students and postdocs to recognize scientific excellence and contributions toward novel, improved, and fit-for-purpose modern approaches to safety evaluation and/or regulatory toxicology. The fund may also support SOT programs to foster knowledge sharing in the fields of safety evaluation and/or regulatory toxicology.

RSESS is currently raising the $50,000 required to permanently establish the fund, and is asking SOT members to consider making a contribution as they renew their membership. RSESS will match the first $7,000 donated to the fund before December 31. Details about the fund are available on the SOT website.

Dec 31, 2018
Nov 13, 2018
CCAAM Seeks Candidates for Research Scientist Position

The Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, aims to develop, validate, and promote non-animal, human biology-based platforms in biomedical research, education, and chemical safety testing. To advance this goal, CCAAM is seeking a scientist to develop human biology-based in vitro platforms for human disease modeling and toxicity testing. Areas of interest include cellular engineering, tissue engineering (including organoids and 3D bioprinting), synthetic biology, and in vitro toxicology.

Candidates should have a PhD in molecular/cellular biology, biomedical engineering, or related field and at least four years of postdoctoral training in a relevant field. Good laboratory technique and superior problem-solving, organizational, and exceptional communication skills are required.

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Nov 06, 2018
NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment Updated

Updates to the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) resource were launched in September and November.

Successful computational toxicology projects depend on freely available, high-quality data that are formatted for use in computational workflows. ICE provides data from NICEATM and its partners, as well as other resources and tools in an environment designed to support chemical safety assessment and new method development.

Recent ICE updates have:

  • Expanded physicochemical property predictions to include over 720,000 chemicals using an updated set of predictive models (described in Mansouri et al. 2018)
  • Updated the curated high-throughput screening data from the Tox21 initiative to include increased curation and the most up-to-date data release
  • Added new workflows to enable:
    • In vitro to in vivo extrapolation (method described in Casey et al. 2018)
    • Construction of machine-learning models to predict chemical hazard
    • Characterization of chemical lists using physicochemical properties to relate chemicals
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Nov 06, 2018
Canadian Symposium to Focus on NAMs

The 50th Annual Symposium of the Society of Toxicology Canada (STC) will focus on new approach methodologies (NAMs) with the theme “What’s in a NAM? Benefits, Limitations, Translations, Communication.” The symposium is December 10-12 in Toronto. Presenters will include ICCVAM Chair Anna Lowit, speaking on “Recent Progress on Implementing New Approach Methodologies at USEPA” and Charu Chandrasekara, University of Windsor (Ontario), giving an “Overview of the New Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods.”

Registration for the symposium is open through November 30; discounted rates are available through November 16. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and breaks. A VIA Rail Canada discount is also available for travel to the symposium.

Nov 16, 2018
Nov 06, 2018
DoD Environmental Research Program Invites Funding Proposals

The Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking environmental research and development proposals for funding beginning in FY 2020. SERDP is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other federal and non-federal organizations. SERDP invests across a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development.

Funded projects will be selected through a competitive process. The Core Solicitation provides funding opportunities for basic and applied research and advanced technology development. The SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation provides funding opportunities for work that will investigate innovative environmental approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept.

SERDP Core pre-proposals are due January 8, 2019. SEED proposals are due March 5, 2019.

SERDP Core: Jan 8, 2019
SEED: Mar 5, 2019
Nov 06, 2018
Recent Publications by NICEATM and ICCVAM
  • An article describing “Skin Sensitization Testing Needs and Data Uses by U.S. Regulatory and Research Agencies” (Strickland et al. 2018), written by the ICCVAM Skin Sensitization Working Group and co-authors from U.S. federal agencies, is now available online.
  • A new book, “The History of Alternative Test Methods in Toxicology,” uses a chronological approach to demonstrate how the use of alternative methods has evolved from their conception as adjuncts to traditional animal toxicity tests to replacements for them. A chapter by NICEATM Director Warren Casey and ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit describes the contributions of ICCVAM and NICEATM to advancement of alternative test methods.
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Nov 01, 2018
NIH Seeks Input on Data Sharing and Management Policy; Webinar Nov. 7

On October 10, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a Request for Information to solicit public input on proposed key provisions that could serve as the foundation for a future NIH policy for data management and sharing. Feedback will inform the development of a draft policy, which is expected to be released for an additional public comment period upon its development. Comments on the proposed key provisions will be accepted through December 10.

To further engage stakeholders, NIH will be hosting a webinar on the proposed key provisions on November 7 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST.

Dec 10, 2018
Nov 01, 2018
NICHD Launches Placental Analysis Tool

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) recently launched the Placental Atlas Tool (PAT). PAT is a free resource incorporating placental data from publications and public databases into a reference tool for studying placental development and function throughout pregnancy. Investigators from all backgrounds can use PAT to generate new ideas and build models by analyzing differential gene expression and gene set enrichment and visualizing heat maps, pathways, and networks for hypothesis generation or testing. PAT is accessible on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

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Oct 23, 2018
NCATS to Fund Tissue Chips to Model Opioid Use Disorders

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has released a notice of intent to publish a funding opportunity announcement for tissue chips to model nociception, addiction, and overdose. This funding will support creation and testing of human-based microphysiological systems, also known as “tissue chips,” that can model the mechanisms or effects of nociception/pain-relevant signaling, addiction, or opioid use disorders.

The notice of intent is being provided in advance to allow potential applicants time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. The funding opportunity announcement is expected to be published in early December, with application due dates planned for February 2019. It is anticipated that institutions eligible for this funding will include public and private higher education institutions, nonprofits, small businesses, and U.S. state, local, and tribal governments.

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Oct 23, 2018
PISC and Epithelix to Provide Grants for Tissue Systems: Deadline October 31

The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) and Epithelix are soliciting applications from researchers to win three-dimensional reconstructed human respiratory tissue systems from Epithelix. The awardee will receive a $5,000 award redeemable for Epithelix MucilAirTM or SmallAirTM tissues. Applications are welcomed from institutions worldwide in any sector. The award winner will be selected based on their proposal’s scientific merit and potential to replace animal testing. The deadline to submit a proposal is October 31.

Oct 31, 2018
Oct 23, 2018
CAAT Awards to Recognize Work to Replace, Reduce, and Refine Animal Use

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is offering two awards to recognize and support investigators who are working to replace, reduce, and refine animal use. Applications for both awards are due December 31.

  • The Next Generation Humane Science Award is presented to acknowledge and encourage early-career researchers who focus on replacing animal experiments. The 2018 award will provide a prize of up to $9,000 recognizing the work of one scientist, or may be shared among two or more scientists. Factors considered in the evaluation of applications include the potential of the work to replace animal experiments and be used in a regulatory context. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents working at U.S.-based institutions and have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees no earlier than 2010.
  • The Science-based Refinement Awards support projects to refine animal use by enhancing animal welfare or reduce animal use by (for example) identifying applications where animal models lack reproducibility and translational value. Two grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to animal welfare scientists, veterinarians, or animal care technicians working to enhance animal welfare, or to researchers who conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies.
Dec 31, 2018
Oct 10, 2018
NICEATM Requests Feedback on ICE Update

On September 28, NICEATM released a beta version of the latest update to its Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE). The update includes a number of new features for which NICEATM would welcome feedback from users.

  • Curated high-throughput screening data from Tox21 and ToxCast were updated with improved filtering criteria that uses flags to remove low confidence calls.
  • ICE now includes eight physicochemical property predictions for over 720,000 chemicals using an updated set of predictive models (Mansouri et al. 2018).
  • This update contains the first ICE workflow, a one-compartment in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) workflow that makes predictions for over 7,500 chemicals.

Submit comments on the new features via email to ICE-support@niehs.nih.gov.

A full ICE release is scheduled for the end of October. This will add two more workflows, a machine learning workflow and a chemical list characterization that uses physicochemical properties to relate chemicals.

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Oct 10, 2018
FDA Requests Input for International Meeting on Drug Development

FDA will hold a joint public meeting with Health Canada on October 17 in advance of an international meeting in November. The October 17 meeting will provide information and solicit public input on activities of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH).

ICH brings together regulators and industry to increase efficiency of development and registration of new medical products without compromising safety or effectiveness. Several items currently under consideration by ICH have potential to reduce or replace animal use. One of these is a revision of guidance document “S5: Guideline on Detection of Toxicity to Reproduction for Human Pharmaceuticals,” which explicitly mentions opportunities for potential reduction of animal use. Other topics include provisions for waivers of bioequivalence studies for biopharmaceuticals, microsampling for toxicokinetics, guidance for rodent carcinogenicity studies, and items concerning preclinical studies.

The October 17 meeting will be held at the Sir Frederick Banting Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada and will also be webcast. An October 4 Federal Register notice provides instructions for submitting comments to FDA. Those planning to attend the October 17 meeting should register by October 12. Comments relevant to the meeting should be submitted to FDA by October 31.

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Oct 10, 2018
October 31 Webinar to Describe Update to Chemicals Database

An October 31 webinar will describe a major update to the IUCLID chemicals database planned for release on October 24. Attendees of “New and Improved IUCLID: What Changes” will learn about the updates and have opportunities to ask questions of IUCLID experts.

IUCLID (International Uniform ChemicaL Information Database) is a software application to record, store, maintain, and exchange data on intrinsic and hazard properties of chemical substances. It is developed by the European Chemicals Agency in association with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The new release, IUCLID 6.3, has a completely new user interface that requires only a standard web browser, with no additional software requirements.

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Oct 10, 2018
DOT, OSHA Request Input for International Meeting on Chemical Safety

In preparation for upcoming United Nations meetings focused on chemical safety, DOT and OSHA will hold meetings on November 13 at DOT headquarters in Washington, DC.

  • From 9 a.m.-noon, DOT will gather public input in advance of the meeting of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.
  • From 1-4 p.m., OSHA will gather public input in advance of the meeting of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

An October 2 Federal Register notice announced the meetings. Remote participation will be available.

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Oct 02, 2018
Grant Opportunities for Development of Alternative Methods

Colgate-Palmolive, in cooperation with the Society of Toxicology, is offering grants for scientists at all levels who are promoting, developing, refining, or validating non-animal methods for safety assessment of new chemicals and formulations. The deadline to apply for all awards is October 9th.

  • Scientists at all levels are eligible for the Colgate-Palmolive Grant for Alternative Research. This award provides a grant of up to $40,000 to support efforts that promote, develop, refine, or validate scientifically acceptable animal alternative methods to facilitate the safety assessment of new chemicals and formulations.
  • Postdoctoral trainees in their first year of study beyond the PhD, MD, or DVM degree may apply for the Colgate-Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in In Vitro Toxicology. The award provides a stipend and research-related costs of up to $44,000 for one year to trainees who are advancing the development of alternatives to animal testing in toxicological research.
  • Students pursuing an MS or PhD degree in toxicology may apply for the Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods. The purpose of this award is to enhance graduate student research training using in vitro methods or alternative techniques to replace the use of animals in toxicological research. Proposals should include a budget of up to $3,750 to defray travel, per diem, training expenses, and research costs.
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Oct 02, 2018
NIH to Build Cell Map of Human Body

The National Institutes of Health has issued its first set of research funding awards for the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP). HuBMAP is an open, global framework that will support research community efforts to map the adult human body at the level of individual cells. The project is planning to award $54 million over the next four years to support:

  • Generating, standardizing, and validating data sets on cell organization and variability
  • Development of new tools and techniques to construct high-resolution tissue maps
  • Coordinating program activities, managing HuBMAP data, and building an atlas of tissue maps
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Sep 28, 2018
Superfund Research Program Webinar Series Concludes October 1

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) Progress in Research webinar series concludes October 1 with presentations from centers at Boston University, Texas A&M University, and the University of California, Davis. The SRP Centers, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, seek practical scientific solutions to protect health, the environment, and communities from exposure to hazardous substances, such as industrial solvents, arsenic, lead, and mercury. Approaches used include in vitro models and computational and statistical tools.

The webinar will be presented on Monday, October 1, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Recordings of the previous webinars are available on the NIEHS website.

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Sep 28, 2018
Postdoctoral Opportunities Available at NTP

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting applications for postdoctoral fellows to develop human cell- and protein-based assays for assessing cardiotoxicity of new drugs. These projects are part of an initiative to design, build, and test new non-animal approaches to assess cardiotoxicity hazard. The initiative is supported jointly by NTP (Biomolecular Screening Branch and NICEATM), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and the Health and Environment Sciences Institute.

Candidates for these two postdoctoral positions should have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in computer sciences or life/health/medical sciences within the last five years. Work will be done at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, NC. More information about the projects and instructions for applying are available on the NICEATM website.

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Sep 28, 2018
Upcoming Nanotechnology Events in Washington, DC Area

Three upcoming meetings in the Washington, DC area will focus on toxicology, dosimetry, and exposure assessment for nanomaterials.

  • October 9-10: The “2nd Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials in Manufactured Products (QEEN II) Workshop” will highlight new research on the tools and methods available to characterize and quantify effective population exposures, as well as the presence and release potential of nanomaterials. This event is sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and co-hosted by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the NNI. Registration is free.
  • October 11-12:2018 U.S.-EU: Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts Joint Workshop” will bring together the U.S.-EU Communities of Research, allowing American and European scientists to share information on nanomaterials environment, health, and safety research. Attendees of QEEN II are encouraged to attend this workshop as well. It is organized by NNI and the European Commission. Registration is free.
  • November 8-10:7th Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization Conference” will focus on how to reach sustainability through nanotechnology. Session topics include fate and exposure, ecotoxicology, sensors/measurement, and nanomedicine/alternative test methods. The conference will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, VA; a special room rate is available through October 24 or until rooms are sold out. Conference fees include some meals; early registration discounts are no longer available but partial cancellation refunds are available through October 8.
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Sep 28, 2018
Meeting October 18-19 on Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Health Science

Registration is still open for a meeting on “Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Health Science and Decision Making” on October 19 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The meeting will be preceded by a workshop on October 18 providing training on artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques using the BayesiaLab software. Both events are free and hosted by the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative.

The October 19 meeting will bring together environmental health scientists and experts in artificial intelligence and big-data science to identify and prioritize environmental health research questions that could be investigated with artificial intelligence. Case studies presented at the meeting will illustrate applications of using artificial intelligence in environmental health sciences. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will describe the use of machine learning methods to predict toxicity. Lyle Burgoon, co-chair of the ICCVAM Ecotoxicology Workgroup, will describe research conducted by the Department of Defense to apply artificial intelligence to chemical toxicity and environmental impact.

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Sep 28, 2018
Papers Describe Database and Non-animal Approach to Identifying Androgen-active Chemicals

Two recent papers in Reproductive Toxicology describe data and methods used by EPA, OECD, and NICEATM scientists and collaborators to develop a reference database and evaluate an in vitro model to identify chemicals with the potential to interact with the androgen receptor (AR). The AR model is potentially a rapid, cost-effective replacement for the in vivo Hershberger assay.

  • Browne et al. describes assembly and curation of a data set of results for the Hershberger and other in vivo assays for AR activity. Ultimately, 49 chemicals were identified with reproducible AR pathway responses confirmed in at least two in vivo rodent studies that could be considered reference chemicals useful for validating alternative methods.
  • Kleinstreuer et al. describes use of the reference chemicals identified through the data curation effort to interrogate the performance of a ToxCast/Tox21 AR model based on 11 high-throughput assays. The AR model had 100% positive predictive value for the in vivo response, where chemicals with conclusive AR model results were consistently positive in vivo.
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Sep 24, 2018
FutureTox IV Abstract Deadline Extended to October 15

FutureTox IV Progress to Maturity: Predictive Toxicology for Healthy Children” will be held on November 14-16 in Arlington, VA. The submission deadline for abstracts for poster presentations has been extended to Monday, October 15. Abstracts should relate to the development, utilization, or translation of 21st-century methodologies and data to support regulatory decision-making for developmental and reproductive health outcomes.

This SOT Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology meeting will be an interactive forum highlighting use of the latest science and technology to help make decisions about effects of chemicals on adverse birth outcomes and chronic conditions manifested postnatally. Participants will discuss the prevalence of children’s adverse health outcomes in the United States and the growing need for research to understand the impact of environmental factors on human development and for actionable solutions to evaluate chemical toxicity, drug efficacy, and safety assessment impacting children’s health.

More information about the meeting, agenda, and links to registration and abstract submission are available on the SOT website. Early bird registration rates are available through October 31, and discounted registration is available for students.

Abstract submission: Oct 15, 2018

Early registration: Oct 31, 2018

Sep 24, 2018
Webinars for Rabies Vaccine Workshop Begin September 25

Registration is still open for the October 16-17 workshop, “Implementing Nonanimal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond.” The workshop will be held at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. It is co-organized by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization.

This workshop will bring together scientific and regulatory leaders from government, academia, and industry to develop recommendations to advance alternative methods for human and veterinary rabies vaccine testing. Additional workshop sessions will spotlight state-of-the-science animal alternatives for other antigens and future possibilities for advancing animal reduction and replacement initiatives.

A series of three webinars beginning on September 25 will provide background information for the workshop. Registration for the workshop and webinars is free, and remote viewing of the workshop will be available.

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Sep 24, 2018
South Korea Eliminates Requirement for Dog Test on Pesticides

South Korea’s pesticide authority has announced that it will no longer require a one-year dog test for pesticide registration. The decision was announced as a part of the “2018 Regulatory Innovation” project by Korea’s Rural Development Administration to harmonize pesticide regulation internationally.

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Sep 19, 2018
EPA Requests Nominees for TSCA Advisory Committee

EPA requests nominations of scientific experts for ad hoc participation and possible membership on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Science Advisory Committee for Chemicals (SACC). The SACC will be conducting peer reviews of EPA’s risk evaluations for the first 10 chemical substance addressed under TSCA. Nominations must be submitted by October 29.

Any person or organization may nominate qualified individuals, and interested individuals may self-nominate. Nominees should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: women’s health; children’s health; genetic variability; disproportionately exposed populations; aging; other susceptible populations; biochemistry; chemistry; epidemiology; human health risk assessment; pathology; physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling; pharmacology; ecological risk assessment; environmental fate; environmental toxicology; occupational, consumer, and general exposure assessment; toxicology; dose response modeling; environmental engineering; biostatistics; computational toxicology; fiber science; inhalation toxicology; volatile organics; and systematic review.

Oct 29, 2018
Sep 19, 2018
ECHA Conducts Survey on Testing for Prenatal Developmental Toxicity

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is sponsoring a survey on the utility of rabbits for prenatal developmental toxicity (PNDT) testing of specific types of substances. The project aims to clarify the human relevance of gastrointestinal toxicity observed in rabbit PNDT studies. The survey is aimed at contract research organizations and others involved in the performance or evaluation of PNDT.

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Sep 19, 2018
NICEATM Publication Describes In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation Models

An article in Environmental Health Perspectives describes in vitro to in vivo extrapolation models developed by NICEATM. These approaches accurately estimate chemical exposure levels that elicit positive responses in the rodent uterotrophic bioassay. A workflow to run these models is freely available and can be parameterized entirely using freely available in silico tools.

Reference: Casey et al. 2018. Evaluation and optimization of pharmacokinetic models for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation of estrogenic activity for environmental chemicals. Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Sep 19, 2018
Kleinstreuer Comments on Pathway-based Approaches to Risk Assessment

A commentary on “Pathway-Based Approaches to Chemical Risk Assessment: A Public Health Perspective” by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer appears in the current issue of Adverse Outcome Pathways News. Adverse Outcome Pathways News is a newsletter published by the United Kingdom’s National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research. It is aimed at scientists, risk assessors, and regulators interested in pathways-based approaches.

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Sep 11, 2018
Registration Open for Meeting on Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Health Science

A meeting on “Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Health Science and Decision Making” will be held on October 19 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The meeting will be preceded by a workshop on October 18 providing training on artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques using the BayesiaLab software. Both events are free and hosted by the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative.

The October 19 meeting will bring together environmental health scientists and experts in artificial intelligence and big-data science to identify and prioritize environmental health research questions that could be investigated with artificial intelligence. Case studies presented at the meeting will illustrate applications of using artificial intelligence in environmental health sciences. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will describe the use of machine learning methods to predict toxicity. Lyle Burgoon, co-chair of the ICCVAM Ecotoxicology Workgroup, will describe research conducted by the Department of Defense to apply artificial intelligence to chemical toxicity and environmental impact.

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Sep 11, 2018
Update of ToxTutor Available

The National Library of Medicine has updated its online ToxTutor course. ToxTutor is a self-paced tutorial for users of NLM chemical and toxicology databases that covers the key principles of toxicology.

The August 2018 release of ToxTutor adds "The Microbiome" as a new topic, expands content on alternatives to animal testing and human-on-a-chip testing approaches, and includes induced pluripotent stem cells as an emerging approach for toxicity testing. The tutorial has also added more content on adverse outcome pathways and new sections on "Intuitive Toxicology and Risk Communication" (including content on uncertainty) and "Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Health, and One Health."

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Sep 11, 2018
Defense Threat Reduction Agency Seeks Scientist to Direct Medical Countermeasure Research

The Department of Defense is seeking an experienced scientist to serve as the senior subject matter expert for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in pharmacology, drug development, clinical trials, human- and animal-use models and related fields applicable to developing medical countermeasures for the effects of exposure to chemical threat agents.

Applicants should have:

  • Extensive experience in planning, coordinating, integrating, and evaluating research and development programs
  • Extensive experience in establishing and leading interdepartmental and intergovernmental relationships and agreements
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills
  • Knowledge of acquisition policies and procedures
  • Experience in using guidelines, such as broad policy statements, basic legislation, recent scientific findings, or reports that require extensive interpretation, to evaluate and guide programs

Applicants must be U.S. citizens eligible for Top Secret security clearance. For more information and to apply, visit the USA Jobs website. Applications must be received by Thursday, September 13.

Sep 13, 2018
Aug 31, 2018
Poster Abstract Deadline Extended to September 14 for Rabies Vaccine Workshop

The abstract submission deadline has been extended to September 14 for the October 16-17 workshop, “Implementing Nonanimal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond.” The workshop will be held at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. It is co-organized by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization.

Scientists conducting research aimed at reducing or replacing animal use for testing or development of any vaccine or antigen are invited to submit abstracts for the workshop poster session. Accepted abstracts will be published in the workshop program e-book and may also be referenced in the workshop report to be published in Biologicals. The August 31 deadline has been extended to September 14. Submission instructions, registration information, and other details about the workshop are available on the workshop website.

This workshop will bring together scientific and regulatory leaders from government, academia, and industry to develop recommendations to advance alternative methods for human and veterinary rabies vaccine testing. Additional workshop sessions will spotlight state-of-the-science animal alternatives for other antigens and future possibilities for advancing animal reduction and replacement initiatives.

Sep 14, 2018
Aug 29, 2018
Registration Open for International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment

Registration is open for the “Second International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment: Building the Field.” This meeting will be held at the California Environmental Protection Agency in Sacramento, CA, on November 1-2. It is organized by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is a sponsor.

Because of increasing regulatory and consumer demands to substitute chemicals of concern in consumer products, the field of alternatives assessment has grown significantly over the last decade. This two-day international symposium will provide a forum for governmental agency staff, university researchers, industry sustainability professionals, environmental health consultants and advocates to understand evolving practices and challenges in this field and develop collaborations and educational initiatives.

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Aug 29, 2018
OECD Guidance Document on Good In Vitro Methods Practices Available

OECD Series for Testing and Assessment No. 286, Guidance Document on Good In Vitro Methods Practices is now available on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website and will soon be available through the OECD iLibrary site.

This comprehensive guidance document provides information on best practices throughout the life cycle of in vitro methods on both the method and the physical environment in which data are generated. The target users include test method developers, researchers, and users of test guidelines generating date for regulatory purposes. The guidance is intended to improve the scientific integrity and quality of data resulting from in vitro test methods and thus improve the confidence decision makers have in using in vitro data for regulatory decisions.

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Aug 29, 2018
11th World Congress in August 2020; Input Wanted on Scientific Program

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC11) will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 23-27 August 2020. Visit the congress website for the latest updates.

The general theme of the congress, “3Rs in Transition: From Development to Application”, emphasizes the increasing focus on the use of better, more human-relevant models for personalized and preventive health care, safer products and innovative research. A scientific committee is currently being established and the first meeting will take place before the end of this year. The scientific committee will set up the scientific program of the congress around four main themes: safety, disease, innovative technologies, and ethics and welfare. Input on topics for the scientific program is welcomed; please visit the congress website for details.

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Aug 28, 2018
Registration Open for Rabies Vaccine Workshop; Poster Abstracts Due August 31

Registration is open for the October 16-17 workshop, “Implementing Nonanimal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond.” The workshop will be held at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. It is co-organized by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization.

This workshop will bring together scientific and regulatory leaders from government, academia, and industry to develop recommendations to advance alternative methods for human and veterinary rabies vaccine testing. Additional workshop sessions will spotlight state-of-the-science animal alternatives for other antigens and future possibilities for advancing animal reduction and replacement initiatives.

Scientists conducting research aimed at reducing or replacing animal use for testing or development of any vaccine or antigen are invited to submit abstracts for the workshop poster session. Accepted abstracts will be published in the workshop program e-book and may also be referenced in the workshop report to be published in Biologicals. Abstracts are due August 31. Submission instructions, registration information, and other details about the workshop are available on the workshop website.

Aug 31, 2018
Aug 28, 2018
Public Invited to Participate in Meeting on Accelerating the Pace of Chemical Risk Assessment

An international meeting on “Accelerating the Pace of Chemical Risk Assessment” will take place on October 10. This is the third in a series of workshops that have brought together representatives of regulatory agencies and their scientific support colleagues to discuss what chemical risk assessments should look like in the 21st century. Previous meetings were hosted by the U.S. and European Union; this year’s meeting is being hosted by Health Canada.

The organizers of this year’s meeting would like to include non-governmental entities in part of the workshop to share the results of activities initiated during previous workshops. This session will include updates on collaborative case studies and recent advances in new approach methodologies development.

The public session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT on October 10 and will be open to the public observers via WebEx. To learn more about the meeting and register, visit the WebEx registration page. Registration will be open through October 8 or until the registration limit is reached.

Oct 8, 2018
Aug 28, 2018
Register to Attend or View Webcast of SACATM and ICATM Meetings

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet September 5-6 in the Rodbell Auditorium, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The meeting will focus on addressing the goals stated in the Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States. It is open to the public and will also be webcast; both are free but attendees or webcast viewers must register. Links to registration, agenda, and meeting materials are available on the NTP website.

Following the SACATM meeting, a public meeting of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) is planned for Thursday, September 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the NIEHS Rodbell Auditorium. If you would like to attend the ICATM meeting or view the webcast, please register to attend the SACATM meeting regardless of whether you wish to attend both meetings or only the ICATM meeting. Those who are registered to attend the SACATM meeting do not need to register separately to attend the ICATM meeting.

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Aug 22, 2018
SACATM Meeting September 5-6, Registration and Agenda Available

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet September 5-6 in the Rodbell Auditorium, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. The meeting will focus on addressing the goals stated in the Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.

The SACATM meeting is open to the public and attendance is free. Registration is open to attend the meeting in person or view the webcast. Links to registration, agenda, and meeting materials are available on the NTP website.

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Aug 22, 2018
ICATM Partners to Present Public Update September 6

Following the SACATM meeting (see item above), a public meeting of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) is planned for Thursday, September 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the NIEHS Rodbell Auditorium. Representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Korea, and the United States will provide an update on 3Rs activities in their respective countries. In addition, a representative from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will provide an overview of new programs expected to impact the use of animals in chemical safety testing.

If you would like to attend the ICATM meeting, please register to attend the SACATM meeting regardless of whether you wish to attend both meetings or only the ICATM meeting. Those who are registered to attend the SACATM meeting do not need to register separately to attend the ICATM meeting.

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Aug 22, 2018
PISC Offers Early-career Scientist Award to Attend IIVS Workshop

The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) is sponsoring an award to attend a workshop on “Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology.” The workshop, offered by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), will be held on January 14-19, 2019, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It will include lectures by experts in the field of in vitro toxicology and hands-on laboratory training on in vitro methods. Toxicological endpoints to be covered include skin and eye irritation and corrosion, skin sensitization, phototoxicity, and cytotoxicity. Attendees will gain a better understanding of in vitro methods, assay design, laboratory techniques, and data interpretation.

To be eligible for the PISC award, applicants must be current master’s or Ph.D. students who have completed their first year of study, postdoctoral fellows, or scientists who have completed a master’s, Ph.D., or postdoctoral appointment within the last three years. The award will cover the recipient’s registration costs and provide a travel stipend. The deadline for applying for the award is October 24. More information is available on the PISC website.

Oct 24, 2018
Aug 22, 2018
Spanish Translation of U.S. Strategic Roadmap Available

The Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States has been translated into Spanish. The Spanish translation of the document, as well as previously released translations into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese, are available on the NICEATM website.

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Aug 15, 2018
FIFRA Advisory Panel to Meet in December, Nominations Requested

The scientific advisory panel for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA SAP) will meet December 4-7 at EPA in Arlington, VA. The FIFRA SAP provides independent scientific advice, recommendations, and information to the EPA Administrator relating to the impact of pesticide regulatory actions on human health and the environment. The upcoming meeting will focus on "Evaluation of a Proposed Approach to Refine the Inhalation Risk Assessment for Point of Contact Toxicity: A Case Study Using a New Approach Methodology." The meeting is open to the public and will be webcast.

EPA seeks nominees to serve as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP for this meeting, specifically nominees with expertise in development and implementation of new approach methodologies. Nominations should be submitted by September 7. More information is available in an August 8 Federal Register notice.

Sep 7, 2018
Aug 15, 2018
EPA Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Alternative Methods Development

EPA is funding research to promote the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies that reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing. Pertinent research includes approaches such as analog/read-across techniques, mathematical models, and tiered-testing approaches that integrate evidence from multiple sources to help accomplish these goals. Research activities should advance the science underpinning the use of non-vertebrate test methods and develop actionable alternative approaches for developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity, or ecotoxicity testing.

This opportunity is expected to fund five grants of up to $850,000 each. Eligible institutions include U.S. state, local, and territory governments; federally recognized Indian tribal governments; and public and private nonprofits, hospitals, and academic institutions located in the U.S. Applications are due September 25.

Sep 25, 2018
Aug 15, 2018
Webinar on NICEATM Data Resource August 29

An August 29 webinar will discuss “New Tools and Features in the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE).” Shannon Bell of ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM), will present an overview of the ICE database and interface to familiarize users with how to access the available data and tools. In addition to curated in vitro, in vivo, and in silico data, ICE now houses on-line tools allowing users to leverage this data to fill in gaps and perform analyses. The webinar will demonstrate ICE’s new one-compartment in vitro to in vivo extrapolation tool. Other resources coming soon include a generalized physiologically based pharmacokinetics calculator, machine learning workflow, and chemical characterization workflow. The webinar is free and will be presented from 12 noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

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Aug 15, 2018
Free Workshop on New Approach Methodologies October 1-2

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Underwriters Laboratories will hold a workshop on “New Approach Methodology Use for Regulatory Application (NURA): Integrating New Approaches Into Your TSCA Testing” on October 1-2 in Research Triangle Park, NC. Expert presentations and demonstrations from a panel of scientists will address how to incorporate in vitro, computational, and literature mining approaches into testing strategies and safety assessments. Presenting scientists include NICEATM deputy director Nicole Kleinstreuer and computational chemist Kamel Mansouri, ILS (contractor supporting NICEATM). This workshop will be of particular interest to chemical company staff and consultants and chemical safety officers. The workshop is free but preregistration is required.

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Aug 09, 2018
Webinars Available on Inhalation Toxicity

The PETA International Science Consortium has produced a series of webinars focused on alternative approaches for testing the toxicity of inhaled substances. These 17 pre-recorded webinars feature international experts from industry, government, and non-profit organizations presenting on in silico models, in vitro test systems, and integrated approaches to testing and assessment. Additional webinars will be added in September. More information about the Consortium’s activities in inhalation toxicity is available on its website.

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Aug 09, 2018
Article Describes New Marker for Androgen Activity

An article published online July 31 in Toxicological Sciences describes the development and validation of a novel gene expression biomarker to identify AR-modulating chemicals using a pattern-matching method. This collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NICEATM demonstrates how high-throughput transcriptomic approaches can be used to identify molecular targets for environmental chemicals and provide a mechanistic context for regulatory testing.

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Aug 07, 2018
ICCVAM Publishes 2016-2017 Biennial Report

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) has published its 2016-2017 Biennial Report. The report highlights member agency activities supporting toxicology innovation, as well as regulatory agency initiatives to promote the 3Rs (replace, reduce, or refine animal use) and to provide information about the use of in vitro methods. Key ICCVAM, ICCVAM agency, and NICEATM accomplishments summarized in the report include:

  • Publication of A Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.
  • Guidance documents published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describing approaches to reduce animal use in testing required for pesticide registration.
  • Notices published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture describing approaches to reduce animal use for vaccine testing.
  • A Predictive Toxicology Roadmap published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • A non-animal defined approach developed by NICEATM and EPA that identifies substances that may interact with the androgen receptor.
  • A non-animal defined approach developed by NICEATM and ICCVAM to predict skin sensitization risk.
  • A proposed method developed in collaboration with international partners to evaluate non-animal approaches to identify skin sensitizers.
  • Launch of the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), an online resource that provides high-quality curated data and computational workflows for chemical safety assessment.
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Aug 02, 2018
Funding Available for Tissue Chip Models

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has issued funding opportunities to support development of tissue chip technologies.

  • The National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control are offering support to develop technologies and methodologies in the biomedical and behavioral sciences with potential to succeed as commercial products. As part of this opportunity, NCATS seeks proposals for novel media and materials to be used in microphysiological systems (MPS, or organs-on-chips). Applications are due October 22. An informational webinar will be presented Thursday, August 16, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
  • NCATS is also offering funding to support development of MPS models of nociception (detection of pain or potentially damaging stimuli), opioid addiction, and overdose. Eligibility for these funds is limited to investigators and institutions currently being funded through the Tissue Chip Consortium. Approximately $2,000,000 will be awarded in FY 2018 to fund 10-12 awards. Applications are due August 24.

NCATS: Aug 24, 2018

NIH/CDC: Oct 22, 2018

Aug 02, 2018
Proposals Invited for New Applications for In Vitro Respiratory Toxicity Systems

The PETA International Science Consortium and Epithelix seek proposals for applications for MucilAir™ or SmallAir™ three-dimensional reconstructed human respiratory tissues from Epithelix. The winning proposal will receive $5,000 redeemable for a MucilAir or SmallAir system. Proposals will be evaluated based on their scientific merit and potential to replace animal testing. Researchers from any sector and geographical region are encouraged to apply. Proposals are due October 31.

Oct 31, 2018
Aug 02, 2018
FDA Webinar on In Silico Medicine August 9

FDA will present a webinar on “What We’re Doing to Advance In Silico Medicine at FDA.” Tina Morrison, Ph.D., chair of FDA’s Modeling and Simulation Working Group and Regulatory Advisor of Computational Modeling for FDA’s Office of Device Evaluation will give an overview of in silico modeling and simulation approaches used by FDA. Her presentation will highlight success stories with simulation and discuss the potential for in silico clinical trials for advancing medical products. The webinar will be presented on Thursday, August 9, from noon-1:00 p.m. EDT. Continuing education credit is available for viewing the webinar.

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Aug 02, 2018
Registration Open for ASCCT, Poster Abstracts Due September 1

The 7th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be held on September 11 at the Lister Hill Auditorium at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The theme of the meeting is “Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches.” Speakers will include NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge and ICCVAM representatives Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Goode, FDA, and Pertti Hakkinen, National Library of Medicine. The deadline for oral presentation abstracts has passed, but abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted, space permitting, until September 1.

Sep 1, 2018
Aug 02, 2018
NICEATM/EPA Project Receives EPA Award

EPA annually recognizes outstanding scientific work of its employees with the Scientific Technological Achievement Awards (STAA). An EPA collaboration with NICEATM, “Using Novel Zebrafish Toxicity Assays to Evaluate a Predictive Model of Development Vascular Toxicity,” has received a Level III STAA, for projects accomplishing an unusually notable research or technological effort.

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Jul 10, 2018
Small Business Funding Available for Assessing Nanomaterials Toxicity

NIEHS has issued a funding opportunity to support development of technologies to assess exposure of engineered nanomaterials and characterize their effects on biological systems. In particular, this funding opportunity supports development of mid- to high-throughput assays or high-content assays for characterizing the effects of specific nanomaterials on biological pathways, including cytotoxicity, cellular uptake, inflammatory pathways, and oxidative stress in target tissues.

NIEHS intends to fund four or five awards totaling $1 million in 2019. This funding opportunity is open only to U.S. small business concerns. Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct. Letters of intent are due August 11, with applications due September 11. More information is available on the National Institutes of Health Grants website.

Aug 11, 2018
Jul 10, 2018
FDA Workshop on Dermal Safety Testing September 10

FDA is hosting a workshop on human dermal safety testing for topical drug products. Workshop participants will review current approaches to the collection of human data during clinical development of topical drug products. The workshop will also address the impact of human skin toxicity studies on drug labeling and consider alternative approaches to providing information about skin toxicity.

The workshop will be held on September 10 at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland and will also be webcast. Those interested in attending in person or viewing the webcast should register by September 4. More information about the workshop is available on the FDA website. Information for visitors to the FDA White Oak Campus is also available on the FDA website.

Sep 4, 2018
Jul 10, 2018
Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Open at EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has several Biologist/Toxicologist positions open in the Health Effects Division and the Antimicrobials Division within the Office of Pesticide Programs.

  • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/504164300 describes a one-year developmental program which may lead to a permanent appointment. Candidates should have received bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas within the past two years or be current students who will complete such degrees within the next two months. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, July 18.
  • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/504135400 describes permanent positions for candidates who have completed bachelor’s degrees in biology, toxicology, or related areas. Candidate must have at least one year of full-time experience developing hazard, dose response, and/or risk characterizations for chemicals and reviewing data on the effects chemicals have on humans and/or the environment. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, July 11.

All openings are in the Washington, DC area. Candidates for both opportunities must be U.S. citizens, and all positions may require one to five days of travel per month. Apply online at the USAJOBS.gov website.

Jul 11-18, 2018
Jul 05, 2018
FDA Public Hearing on Predictive Toxicology Roadmap September 12

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 on its Predictive Toxicology Roadmap. The Agency is seeking comments on how to foster the development and evaluation of emerging toxicological methods and new technologies and incorporate them into regulatory review, as applicable.

The public hearing will be held at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Those wishing to attend in person or view the webcast must register by Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

Read the June 30 Federal Register notice announcing the public hearing and providing instructions on submitting comments.

Aug 29, 2018
Jul 05, 2018
OECD Adopts New Test Guidelines

On June 25, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted a set of new and updated test guidelines for chemical safety testing. Two new Test Guidelines on in vitro methods for fish hepatic clearance improve in silico predictions of test chemical bioaccumulation in fish. Important updates to existing test guidelines include inclusion of endocrine-related endpoints in the 90-day repeated dose toxicity study and the developmental toxicity study. The test guideline describing the isolated chicken eye test for eye irritation has been updated to improve predictivity of the test, and other eye and skin irritation test guidelines have been updated to include similar “me-too” methods.

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