Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Page Content

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC and research information from NIH.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Share This:
https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/niceatm-news

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 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.

-

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.

-

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:

-

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 >>

-

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.

-

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.

-

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:

-

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

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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

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.

-

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

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. 

-

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.

-

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 30This 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

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.

-

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.

-

Aug 3, 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

Aug 3, 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.

-

July 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.

-

July 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

July 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.

-

July 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.

-

July 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.

-

July 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

July 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. 

-

July 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. 

-

July 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). 

-

July 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.

The report and a summary of the report can be found on the ECHA website under the subheading “Reports on Alternatives to Animal Testing."

-

July 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.

-

July 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.

-

July 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

July 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. 

-

July 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.

-

July 9, 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

July 2, 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

July 2, 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 .

-

July 2, 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.

-

July 2, 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. 

-

July 2, 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

June 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.

-

June 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.

-

June 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.

-

June 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.

-

June 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.

-

June 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.

-

June 9, 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. 

-

June 9, 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

June 11

June 3, 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. 

-

June 3, 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

June 3, 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.

-

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

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.

-

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. 

-

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

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.

-

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

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.

-

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.

-

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. 

-

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. 

-

May 7, 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.

-

May 7, 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.

-

May 5, 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

May 5, 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.

-

May 5, 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.

-

May 5, 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.

-

May 4, 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.

-

May 4, 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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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

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

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.

-

Apr 9, 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

Apr 9, 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

Apr 9, 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.

-

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
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.

-
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. 

-
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
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:

-
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
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.
-
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
      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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. 
      -
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      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 4, 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
      Mar 4, 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
      Mar 4, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      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
      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.” 

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      Feb 6, 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.

      -
      Feb 6, 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
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.
      -
      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 .

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      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
      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
      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.

      -
      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

      -
      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.
      -
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      Dec 9, 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
      Dec 9, 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
      Dec 9, 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
      Dec 2, 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
      Dec 2, 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
      Dec 2, 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.
      -
      Dec 2, 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
      Dec 2, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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
      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

      -
      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. 

      -
      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.

      -
      Nov 1, 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.

      -
      Nov 1, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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
      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
      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
      Oct 7, 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.

      -
      Oct 7, 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.

      -
      Oct 7, 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.

      -
      Oct 7, 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

      -
      Oct 7, 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 7, 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
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      Sep 9, 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
      Sep 9, 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.

      -
      Sep 9, 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.

      -
      Sep 9, 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
      Sep 9, 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
      Sep 9, 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.

      -
      Sep 9, 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.

      -
      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
      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
      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

      -
      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
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      Aug 5, 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
      Aug 5, 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
      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.

      -
      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
      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. 

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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. 

      -
      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.

      -
      Jul 7, 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.

      -
      Jul 1, 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
      Jul 1, 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.

      -
      Jul 1, 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
      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.
      -
      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.
      -
      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.

      -
      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

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      Jun 4, 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.

      -
      Jun 4, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      May 3, 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
      May 3, 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
      May 3, 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.

      -
      May 3, 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.

      -
      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
      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

      -
      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)
      -
      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.

      -
      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

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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.

      -
      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

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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
      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.
      -
      Apr 5, 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.

      -
      Apr 5, 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.

      -
      Apr 5, 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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      Mar 6, 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

      -
      Mar 6, 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.

      -
      Mar 6, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      Feb 7, 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.

      -
      Feb 7, 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.

      -
      Feb 7, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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

      -
      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.

      -
      Jan 23, 2019
      April Workshop to Focus on Cancer Pathways; Assay Information Requested

      NTP announces a workshop titled “Converging on Cancer” scheduled for 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.

      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; those wishing to view the plenary sessions by webcast may register any time through the end of the workshop on April 30.

      In support of the workshop, NTP requests information regarding assays and approaches to measure the key biological mechanisms/pathways associated with chemical carcinogenesis. Information should be submitted by March 31.

      Register for workshop: Apr 22
      Register for webcast: Apr 30
      Submit assay info: Mar 31
      Jan 23, 2019
      Innovation in Regulatory Science Award: Apply by February 6

      The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Innovation in Regulatory Science Award provides up to $500,000 over five years to academic investigators developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that will ultimately inform the regulatory decisions made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others. These awards are open to U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have a faculty or adjunct faculty appointment at a North American degree-granting institution. Individuals with expertise in mathematics, computer science, applied physics, medicine, engineering, toxicology, epidemiology, biostatistics, systems pharmacology, and related areas are encouraged to apply.

      Applications are due February 6. All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this award. If eligibility criteria are met, applicants will be automatically directed to the web-based proposal form.

      Feb 6, 2019
      Jan 23, 2019
      Kleinstreuer, Others Discuss Computational Methods in Nature Lab Animal Story

      A January 14 news story in Nature Lab Animal discusses the potential for in silico modeling approaches to help reduce the number of animals needed to test chemical toxicity. The article features remarks by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, who described the recent NICEATM project to develop predictive models for acute oral toxicity as a way to apply crowdsourcing to these approaches.

      -
      Jan 17, 2019
      Register for Skin Sensitization Workshop by January 23

      The training and knowledge-sharing workshop “Applying Non-animal Strategies for Assessing Skin Sensitization” will take place on February 7-8, 2019, in Helsinki, Finland. It is hosted by the European Chemicals Agency and organized jointly by the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches, the European Chemical Industry Council, and the International Fragrance Association–Europe. Those planning to attend should register by Wednesday, January 23.

      The main objective of the workshop is to discuss how the information produced from non-animal assays for skin sensitization can be used in regulatory decision-making, both for hazard identification and risk assessment. Presentations and discussions in breakout groups will support development of final conclusions and recommendations on the applicability or limitations of existing alternative approaches and eventual further work that may be needed.

      Jan 23, 2019
      Jan 17, 2019
      Next Webinar in PISC Series on NAMs on January 23

      A webinar on “MPPD and CFD Modeling to Predict Dosimetry of Inhaled Substances” will take place on January 23 at 9:30 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 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. Because the webinar is co-organized by the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it will not be held if the partial U.S. government shutdown is still ongoing on that date.

      Jan 23, 2019
      Jan 9, 2019
      Registration Open for Webinar on Non-animal Approaches for Inhalation Toxicity Testing

      Registration is open for the 2019 ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar on “Non-animal Approaches for Inhalation Toxicity Testing.” It will be presented on January 22, 2019, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinar is organized by NICEATM on behalf of ICCVAM.

      The webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required to attend. Please note that NICEATM is operating normally, and the webinar will be presented regardless of whether the partial government shutdown has been resolved by January 22.

      The webinar will provide an overview of several ongoing collaborative efforts associated with acute and subchronic inhalation toxicity testing, with emphasis on available human cell-based and in silico methodologies, considerations of dosimetry, and developing technologies that could provide predictive test methods in the future. The webinar will also present a case study describing a source-to-outcome approach that uses in vitro and in silico methods to refine inhalation risk assessment for point of contact toxicity.

      Jan 22, 2019
      Jan 9, 2019
      ICCVAM Members Recognized by SOT

      SOT will present awards to two ICCVAM members at its annual meeting in March.

      Suzanne Fitzpatrick of FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) will receive the 2019 SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. This award recognizes contributions that advance toxicological science through development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. This marks the fourth consecutive year that an ICCVAM or NICEATM affiliated scientist has been honored with this award. Fitzpatrick, who is principal FDA representative on ICCVAM, is a Senior Science Advisor for Toxicology at CFSAN. She is the FDA lead for Tox21 and chair of the FDA Predictive Toxicology Roadmap Committee. She also plays a leading role in FDA evaluations of organs-on-chips technology.

      NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will receive the 2019 SOT Achievement Award. This award is presented to an SOT member who, within 15 years since obtaining their highest degree, has made significant contributions to toxicology. Kleinstreuer’s research focuses on mathematical and computational modeling of biological systems and perturbations that result in adverse health outcomes. She has made key contributions to strategies that combine in vitro high throughput assay data with computational models to predict the likelihood of toxicity. She also represents NIEHS on ICCVAM.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      Dec 4, 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.

      -
      Dec 4, 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 4, 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 4, 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.

      -
      Dec 4, 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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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.
      -
      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.

      -
      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.

      -
      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 

      -
      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. 

      -
      Nov 6, 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
      -
      Nov 6, 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 6, 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 6, 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. 
      -
      Nov 1, 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 1, 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.

      -
      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. 

      -
      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      Oct 2, 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.

      -

      Oct 2, 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

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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."

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      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.

      -

      Aug 9, 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.

      -

      Aug 9, 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.

      -

      Aug 7, 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.

      -

      Aug 2, 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 2, 2018
      Proposals Invited for New Applications for In Vitro Respiratory Toxicity Systems

      The PETA International Science Consortium and Epithelix seek proposals for applications for MucilAirTM or SmallAirTM 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 2, 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.

      -

      Aug 2, 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 2, 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.

      -

      Jul 19, 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 19, 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 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.

      Jun 27-28, 2018

      Jul 5, 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 5, 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.

      -

      Jun 27, 2018
      EPA Releases Strategic Plan to Promote Alternative Methods

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Within the TSCA Program. The document describes how EPA will promote development and implementation of methods and strategies that reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing to provide chemical safety information required under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

      The core components of the plan are (1) identifying, developing, and integrating new approach methodologies (NAMs) for TSCA decisions; (2) building confidence that the NAMs are scientific reliable and relevant for TSCA decisions; and (3) implementing the reliable and relevant NAMs for TSCA decisions.

      The strategic plan and related documents are available on the EPA website.

      -

      Jun 27, 2018
      Physical Scientist Opportunity at Department of Defense

      The Defense Threat Reduction Agency in the Department of Defense is seeking a Physical Scientist to plan, implement, and evaluate research and development programs in drug discovery, development, and safety. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and should have (1) experience in drug discovery and development research and (2) relevant knowledge in the areas of chemistry, biology, toxicology, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory process. For more information and to apply, visit the USAJobs website. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, July 4.

      Jul 4, 2018

      Jun 27, 2018
      Translations 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 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. The translated documents are available on request from NICEATM. For further information, contact NICEATM at niceatm@niehs.nih.gov.

      -

      Jun 22, 2018
      EPA Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available, Deadlines Next Week

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has Biologist/Toxicologist positions open in the Risk Assessment Division of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics within the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Multiple positions are available for each of the following opportunities:

      • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/502951800 describes a one-year developmental program which may lead to a permanent appointment. Candidates should have received bachelor’s 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, June 27.
      • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/502960100 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 evaluating hazard information or risk assessments related to the effects of industrial chemicals, biological agents, or nanomaterials. The successful candidate will serve as a subject matter expert on evaluating the risks these materials pose to wildlife species. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, June 27.
      • The announcement at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/503085500 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 evaluating hazard information or risk assessments related to the effects of industrial chemicals, biological agents, or nanomaterials. The successful candidate will serve as a subject matter expert on evaluating the risks these materials pose to humans. The closing date for applications is Thursday, June 28.
      All openings are in the Washington, DC area. 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 Chelsea Vaughn at 800-433-9633 or vaughn.chelsea@epa.gov.

      Jun 27-28, 2018

      Jun 22, 2018
      ASCCT to Meet September 11, Abstracts for Oral Presentations Due June 29

      The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will hold its annual meeting on September 11 in the Lister Hill Auditorium at the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. This is a change to the originally announced dates of September 11-12; the meeting has been shortened to accommodate a conflicting meeting.

      The theme of the ASCCT meeting is Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches, and speakers will include NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge and ICCVAM representatives Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Goode, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Pertti Hakkinen, National Library of Medicine.

      The program will include poster and oral presentations drawn from submitted abstracts. Abstracts must be submitted by June 29 to be considered for oral presentations, but abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted until the meeting date as space permits.

      Jun 29, 2018

      Jun 22, 2018
      OpenTox USA Meets July 11-12

      OpenTox USA 2018 will be held July 11-12 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The theme of the meeting is Maximizing the Benefits of In Vitro-In Silico Approaches in Toxicology and Risk Assessment in an Ever-changing Data Landscape. Topics include use of ontologies for interoperability of data, precision medicine, reproducibility of in silico analysis, and open data standards and data sharing principles.

      Registration for the conference is open, and the full conference program is online. Discounted registration is available for OpenTox Association members and students.

      -

      Jun 22, 2018
      FDA Issues Guidance on Nonclinical Testing of Cancer Drugs

      In a June 18 Federal Register notice, the FDA announced release of a Q&A to help stakeholders interpret international guidance on nonclinical evaluation of cancer drugs. The Q&A includes statements about reduction of animal use or use of in vitro alternatives in these studies. The Q&A is available on the FDA website.

      -

      Jun 22, 2018
      HESI Workgroup Surveying Use of Thyroid Assays

      The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Technical Committee Thyroid Hormone Workgroup and the European Teratology Society Thyroid Hormone Task Force have initiated a survey to collect historical data for thyroid hormone measurements from nonclinical studies. This effort aims to provide clarification and guidance regarding the collection, assessment, and interpretation of thyroid hormone data for regulatory toxicology and risk assessment. The data collected will be anonymously archived in a database that will ultimately be available for public use and incorporated into a workshop planned for spring 2019. The ultimate goals of this effort are to improve data interpretation, establish biologically relevant ranges for each assessment, and develop recommendations for best practices for thyroid assessment.

      If your organization conducts or has conducted these assays and you are interested in participating in the survey and contributing to the data collection effort, please contact Connie Chen at cchen@hesiglobal.org for more information.

      -

      Jun 21, 2018
      Agenda and Registration Available for Workshop on Rabies Vaccine Testing

      A preliminary agenda and registration are available for a workshop on Implementing Non-animal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond. The workshop will be held October 16-17 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. It is co-organized by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization. The workshop is open to the public, there is no registration charge, and participants may attend in person or view a webcast.

      Testing to ensure effectiveness and safety of vaccines often requires the use of large numbers of animals. However, technological advances have led to the development of methods that could reduce or eliminate the need for animal testing. 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. Workshop sessions will also spotlight state-of-the-science animal alternatives for other antigens and future possibilities for advancing animal reduction and replacement initiatives.

      -

      Jun 21, 2018
      Report Available from BioMed21 Workshop

      The June 2017 BioMed21 workshop, co-organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, examined actions needed to implement a human systems-biology approach to understanding disease and improving interventions. The report from the workshop has been published in the journal Drug Discovery Today.

      -

      Jun 21, 2018
      Netherlands Updates Roadmap for Elimination of Animal Testing

      An update of the Roadmap for Animal-free Innovations in Regulatory Safety Assessment has been issued by the Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This document describes steps required to facilitate the transition to animal-free safety assessment, with the goal of establishing the Netherlands as a front-runner in animal-free innovation by 2025.

      Implementation of the roadmap was discussed at a June 14 workshop on the future of safety assessment, which was organized by RIVM and attended by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer. This workshop followed a June 13-14 workshop, organized by RIVM and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, on validation and regulatory acceptance of innovative 3Rs approaches in regulatory toxicology. At this workshop, Kleinstreuer chaired a breakout group on facilitating regulatory acceptance of defined approaches and integrated approaches to testing and assessment.

      -

      Jun 21, 2018
      Special Issue of Applied In Vitro Toxicology Focuses on Inhalation Testing

      The June issue of the journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology focuses on in silico and in vitro approaches to assess toxicity of inhaled substances. A roundtable discussion summarized in one article included ICCVAM co-chair Emily Reinke, Department of Defense, and David Allen, ILS, principal investigator on the NICEATM support contract. Other articles in the issue, which includes both reviews and original research, were authored by NICEATM collaborators and grantees of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

      -

      Jun 21, 2018
      European Agencies Publish Guidance on Identifying Endocrine Disruptors

      A document published June 7 provides guidance from two European Union agencies on how to identify substances with endocrine disrupting properties in pesticides and biocides. The European Chemicals Agency will begin using this guidance immediately for assessment of biocides. The European Food Safety Authority will use the guidance in assessments of pesticides for which a registration decision is scheduled for November 10, 2018 or later.

      -

      Jun 13, 2018
      NICEATM Requests Information on Technologies for Detection and Measurement of Botulinum Neurotoxin

      NICEATM requests available data and information on approaches and/or technologies currently used for detection and measurement of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). Submitted information will be used to assess the state of the science and determine technical needs for non-animal test methods used to detect the presence of BoNT and measure potency of BoNT preparations.

      Respondents to this request should provide information on any activities relevant to the development or validation of alternatives to in vivo test methods currently used by federal agencies for regulatory and other decision contexts. NICEATM also requests available data from in vivo BoNT tests used for similar applications as the proposed alternative, such as distinguishing between BoNT serotypes in biological matrix samples or measuring the potency of therapeutic BoNT preparations.

      The deadline for receipt of the requested information is July 11. More information is available on the NICEATM website.

      Jul 11, 2018

      Jun 13, 2018
      Special Journal Issue on In Vitro Testing of Medical Devices

      A special issue of the journal Toxicology In Vitro describes the conduct and results of an international study to evaluate reconstructed human epidermis models for skin irritation testing. These models have the potential to replace animal use for this purpose.

      -

      Jun 13, 2018
      HHS Initiative to Develop Innovative Responses to Public Health Threats

      DRIVe (Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures) is a new initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to seek novel ideas and approaches to prevent and protect against health security threats. DRIVe will seek a limited number of innovative solutions to transform health security. These include, but are not limited to, creating universal treatment options for broad classes of pathogens, ensuring access to life-saving medical countermeasures, and transforming medical countermeasure development by eradicating animal testing. More information about DRIVe is available on the program website.

      -

      Jun 11, 2018
      Slides and Videocast Recording Available for ICCVAM Public Forum

      Slides and the videocast recording from the recent ICCVAM Public Forum are now available.

      ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. At the May 24 meeting, nearly 40 attendees and about 60 webcast viewers heard presentations by ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches. ICCVAM member agencies providing updates on activities included the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA, and Gino Scarano, EPA, described strategic plans developed by their agencies to promote the use of non-animal methods, while Rick Paules, acting chief of the NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch, described the updated Tox21 strategic plan and goals for the program’s next five years.

      A main focus of this year’s meeting was implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer summarized ongoing implementation activities in the areas of skin sensitization and acute systemic toxicity, while Jill Merrill, FDA, described activities relevant to skin and eye irritation testing. Public comments submitted to the meeting focused largely on the strategic roadmap. Commenters offered suggestions on specific actions that should be taken to advance the goals of the strategic roadmap, and encouraged agencies that have been less active in ICCVAM activities to take a greater role.

      ICCVAM activities will also be discussed at the September 5-6 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, to be held at NIEHS. Information about that and other upcoming NICEATM events is available on the 3Rs Meetings and Workshops page.

      -

      Jun 11, 2018
      NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Data Science, Seeks Chief Data Strategist

      Storing, managing, standardizing, and publishing the vast amounts of data produced by biomedical research is a critical NIH mission. In support of this effort, NIH has released its first Strategic Plan for Data Science, which provides a roadmap for modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem.

      The strategic plan calls for the appointment of a Chief Data Strategist. This person will guide the development and implementation of NIH’s data-science activities and provide leadership within the broader biomedical research data ecosystem. Applications will be reviewed starting July 9 and will be accepted until the position is filled.

      -

      Jun 11, 2018
      European Joint Research Centre Conducting Survey on Training Resources

      The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) has launched a study to review available education and training resources that support replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal procedures used for scientific purposes. This global study aims to provide an overview of education and training opportunities offered at high school, university, and professional levels, including courses, modules, teaching materials, guidance and other resources. The review is expected to be completed during 2019 and the information gathered will be made publicly available.

      In conjunction with this effort, the JRC is conducting a survey to identify courses, modules, teaching materials, guidance, and other resources, to form a snapshot view of how, where, and to whom the 3Rs principles and alternatives to animal approaches are currently being taught. The survey primarily targets education and training providers, but participation is also welcomed from those who are aware of or have participated in relevant courses.

      The survey is available on the European Commission website and responses are requested by June 30. Please make a separate survey entry for each course. More information about the survey and the study are available on the JRC website.

      Jun 30, 2018

      Jun 11, 2018
      OECD Conducting Survey on Use of Systematic Literature Review

      The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will host a workshop in October on the use of existing data and systematic literature review for endocrine disrupting chemicals. To guide discussions at the workshop, OECD is conducting a brief survey on how systematic literature review is used in the context of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Responses are requested by June 29.

      Jun 29, 2018

      Jun 11, 2018
      Government Accountability Office Issues Report on Animal Use

      The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed several issues related to animals used in federal research in the U.S., focusing on guidance provided to research facilities on information required about their animal use programs. A report of the GAO review was published on May 31.

      -

      Jun 11, 2018
      Roundtable Discussion Addresses Inhalation Toxicity

      An expert roundtable discussion summarized recently in Applied In Vitro Toxicology considered the development and implementation of 21st century non-animal approaches to assess the toxicity of inhaled substances. ICCVAM co-chair Emily Reinke, Department of Defense, and David Allen, ILS, principal investigator on the NICEATM support contract, were participants in the roundtable.

      Clippinger AJ, Allen D, Behrsing H, Hinderliter PM, Landsiedel R, Reinke EN, Stone V. 2018. Nonanimal approaches to assessing the toxicity of inhaled substances: current progress and future promise. Appl In Vitro Toxicol 4(2): 1-7.

      -

      May 30, 2018
      May 31 Webinar to Discuss Modernizing Safety Testing

      A May 31 webinar will discuss “Modernizing Safety Testing.” Speakers will consider new and emerging strategies for chemical safety evaluation. These include in vivo, in vitro, and in silico models to address population variability and in vitro high-throughput assays that can provide useful information for hazard assessment of complex mixtures. The webinar will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time; register on the NIEHS website.

      This webinar is last in a series presented by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences highlighting research that may be useful as new approaches and methodologies for toxicity testing. This series coincides with recent initiatives found in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft strategic plan for reducing animal testing required by the Toxic Substances Control Act and ICCVAM’s Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.

      Slides from the previous webinars are available on the NIEHS website.

      -

      May 30, 2018
      Abstract Submission Open: Triangle Global Health Annual Conference

      The 2018 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference will be held on September 27 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Triangle Global Health Consortium is a nonprofit organization with a mission to establish North Carolina as an international center for research, training, education, advocacy, and business dedicated to improving the health of the world's communities. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is a consortium member.

      The theme for this year’s annual conference is “Looking Toward the Future: Innovation for Global Health Impact.” Abstracts are currently being accepted for panel discussions, workshops, storytelling presentations, and posters. Abstracts for posters are due August 15; abstracts for all other presentation types are due July 11. More information is available on the conference website.

      Oral abstracts due: Jul 11, 2018

      Poster abstracts due: Aug 15, 2018

      May 22, 2018
      FDA Final Guidance on Toxicokinetics Studies Available

      In a May 10 Federal Register notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced availability of final guidance on the benefits and limitations of the use of microsampling techniques in toxicokinetics studies. Benefits of these techniques include reducing the numbers of animals needed for these studies.

      View all FDA guidance documents

      -

      May 22, 2018
      May 23 Webinar to Review Tools for Assessing Exposure and Toxicity

      A May 23 webinar will discuss “Tools for Assessing Exposure and Toxicity.” Speakers will discuss tailoring read-across methodology to address chemical evaluation challenges, explore analysis of environmental toxicants in the environment, and highlight genetic screening tools to examine mechanisms of toxicity. The webinar will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

      This webinar is second in a series presented by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences highlighting research that may be useful as new approaches and methodologies for toxicity testing. This series coincides with recent initiatives found in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft strategic plan for reducing animal testing and the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.

      A third webinar on May 31 will discuss “Modernizing Safety Testing.” Slides from the May 11 webinar, “Toxicity Testing Strategies and Model Systems,” and more information about the webinar series are available on the NIEHS website.

      -

      May 22, 2018
      Workshop to Showcase Use of Toxicity and Exposure Tools in Regulatory Contexts

      A workshop on “Demonstrating 21st Century Methods and Critical Tools for Risk-Based Decisions” will be held in Ottawa, Canada, on June 20-21. The workshop, presented by the International Council of Chemical Associations’ Long-Range Research Initiative (ICCA-LRI), is being co-organized by EPA and Health Canada.

      Global stakeholders have greatly accelerated development of advanced methods for assessing chemical toxicity and exposure. This workshop will showcase examples of how these advancements and tools can support risk-based screening and assessment of chemical products. NICEATM Director Warren Casey will give a presentation on the theme of Establishing Scientific Confidence in New Approach Methods and Setting Expectations: Variability and Reproducibility in Existing Toxicological Models.

      Registration for the workshop is free. A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for participants of the workshop at the meeting venue, the Fairmont Château Laurier, located in downtown Ottawa.

      -

      May 22, 2018
      ASCCT Annual Meeting September 11-12; Abstracts Due June 29

      The 7th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be held on September 11-12 at the Lister Hill Auditorium of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The theme of the meeting is “Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches.” Plenary lectures will be given by NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (FDA). Other ICCVAM members scheduled to speak include Jennifer Goode (FDA) and Pertti Hakkinen (NLM).

      Activities planned for the meeting include a poster session, a mentoring activity, and a panel discussion on the theme of public-private partnerships. Abstracts are due June 29; details on abstract submission and registration will be available soon on the ASCCT website.

      Jun 29, 2018

      May 22, 2018
      Workshop on Pyrogen Testing Methods September 18-19

      NICEATM is co-organizing a workshop on September 18-19 with the PETA International Science Consortium to discuss non-animal approaches for pyrogen testing. The workshop will be held at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and will focus on the use of the monocyte activation test (MAT) as a standalone release test for medical devices. Registration and materials will be posted on the NICEATM website when available.

      Pyrogens are substances such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that can produce fever. Medical products for implantation or injection must be shown to be free of pyrogens before use. This workshop will bring together scientists and regulatory authorities from government and industry to review the MAT and discuss ongoing challenges such as identifying material-mediated and other non-endotoxin pyrogens. Participants will also describe industry experience and use of the MAT and identify any issues to be addressed to enable its implementation.

      -

      May 10, 2018
      Registration, Comment Deadlines This Friday for ICCVAM Public Forum

      Register by this Friday, May 11, to attend ICCVAM’s May 24 Public Forum. The meeting will be from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Walk-in registration will be available only as space permits. The meeting is free and open to the public. The meeting will also be webcast; webcast registration will be available through the end of the meeting. Information about the meeting and links to register to attend or view the webcast are available on the meeting webpage.

      Persons planning to submit statements on topics relevant to ICCVAM activities for consideration at the Public Forum should email statements to ICCVAMquestions@niehs.nih.gov by this Friday. If you are planning to present a statement orally, please sign up to attend the meeting in person and indicate on the registration form that you are planning to submit public comments. Written statements may be submitted either as stand-alone documents or to supplement and expand oral statements. Written statements will be posted on the NICEATM website and distributed to NICEATM and ICCVAM members before the meeting.

      ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions 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 11, 2018

      May 10, 2018
      PISC Offers Award for Early-Career Scientist to Attend ESTIV2018

      Early-career scientists are invited to apply for an award to attend the 20th International Congress on In Vitro Toxicology (ESTIV2018) in Berlin, October 15-18. The award, presented by the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC), will cover the cost of conference registration and contribute towards travel and accommodation expenses.

      Applications are welcomed from master's and Ph.D. students who have completed their first year of studies, postdoctoral fellows, and scientists who have been out of a postdoctoral program for less than three years. Applicants should submit abstracts to the conference, as only applicants whose abstracts have been submitted to and accepted by ESTIV will be considered by PISC for the award.

      The application deadline is June 17, which is also the submission deadline for ESTIV abstracts. For more details and to apply, visit the PISC website

      Jun 17, 2018

      May 10, 2018
      Program Available for OpenTox USA 2018 on July 11-12

      A preliminary program is available for OpenTox USA 2018, to be held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Durham, NC, on July 11-12. The theme of the conference is Maximizing the Benefits of In Vitro-In Silico Approaches in Toxicology and Risk Assessment in an Ever Changing Data Landscape. Abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted through June 15. Registration to attend the conference is open, with discounted registration available for students, postdocs, and OpenTox Association members.

      Jun 15, 2018

      May 10, 2018
      Upcoming SBIR Road Tour Events for Small Business Outreach

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) offers funding for small businesses developing alternative testing approaches and technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These funding opportunities are provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

      The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort to connect with businesses in communities that have historically underutilized SBIR/STTR programs. SBIR Road Tour events provide opportunities for business owners to meet directly with federal and state program managers and learn about state-sponsored innovation support infrastructure. The next round of SBIR Road Tour events will take place June 18-22 with stops in Rochester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Huntington, WV; and Durham, NC. Events later this year will focus on the Pacific Northwest region (July 17-20) and New England (August 20-24).

      For more information about the SBIR Road Tour stops, visit the SBIR Road Tour website. For more information about NIEHS SBIR/STTR grants, visit the NIEHS website.

      -

      May 8, 2018
      NICEATM Requests Information on Technologies for Identifying Developmental Toxicants

      NICEATM requests available data and information on approaches and/or technologies currently used for identifying potential developmental toxicants. Submitted information will be used to assess the state of the science and determine technical needs for non-animal test methods used to evaluate the potential of chemicals to induce adverse effects in offspring. The deadline for receipt of the requested information is June 15.

      Respondents to this request should provide information on any activities relevant to the development or validation of alternatives to in vivo developmental toxicity test methods currently used by federal agencies for regulatory and other decision contexts. NICEATM also requests available data from in vivo developmental studies, human or animal studies, or accidental human exposures, using the same chemicals used to evaluate the alternative developmental toxicity test methods. 

      Jun 15, 2018

      May 8, 2018
      Free May 9 SOT Webinar to Discuss Dermal Irritation Testing Methods

      Two specialty sections of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) will present a free webinar, “An In Vitro Skin Irritation Test for Detection of Irritant Activity in Medical Device Extracts,” on May 9 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The webinar, presented by the SOT In Vitro and Alternative Methods Specialty Section and the SOT Medical Device and Combination Product Specialty Section, will discuss an international validation study of reconstructed human epidermis models as potential replacements for the rabbit skin irritation test. The study showed that these models could detect the presence of strong skin irritants at low levels in dilute medical device polymer extracts. More information about the webinar and a link to register

      -

      May 8, 2018
      Comments on EPA Draft Strategy Due May 11

      Comments on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft strategy to reduce use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing are due Friday, May 11. The draft strategy and related documents are available at https://www.regulations.gov/ under docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559. Comments received will be considered in the Agency's development of the final strategy.

      The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act, mandated development of the strategy, which was released March 7. 

      May 11, 2018

      May 8, 2018
      Pan-American Conference on Alternatives: Abstracts Deadline Extended to May 15

      The abstract submission deadline for the Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods has been extended to May 15. The conference will be held on August 23-24 at the Windsor Florida Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This conference provides a forum for scientists from across the Americas to further alternatives to animal testing and build collaboration for the exchange of ideas. The conference is organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (EPA), and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are on the scientific committee.

      There is no registration fee to attend the conference, and travel grants are available. More information about abstract submission and conference logistics is available on the CAAT website.

      May 15, 2018

      May 8, 2018
      NIEHS Webinars to Discuss New Approaches and Methodologies for Chemical Safety Evaluation

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program is hosting a webinar series highlighting research that may be useful as new approaches and methodologies for toxicity testing. This series coincides with recent initiatives found in the EPA draft strategic plan discussed above and the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.

      Session 1, presented on May 14 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, will discuss “Toxicity Testing Strategies and Model Systems.” Speakers will provide an overview of toxicity testing strategies to advance the use of 21st-century science in chemical safety evaluation. Speakers will also describe the pros and cons of model systems such as zebrafish and cell-based assays in hazard identification.

      Session 2, on May 23, will focus on “Tools for Assessing Exposure and Toxicity,” and a third session on May 31 will discuss “Modernizing Safety Testing.” More information and links to register for all three webinars are available on the NIEHS website.

      -

      May 8, 2018
      NTP Update Newsletter

      The May NTP Update newsletter includes recent NICEATM activities as well as summaries of the April 11-12 workshop, “Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity” and an April 26 expert panel review of the findings of the NTP CLARITY-BPA Core Study.

      -

      Apr 27, 2018
      EURL ECVAM Conducting Survey on In Vitro Method Use

      The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is conducting a survey to better understand the current level of uptake and satisfaction regarding complex in vitro models and the current thinking around how best to establish their validity for use in research and testing. In this context, the term “complex in vitro models” describes systems such as 3D cell cultures, spheroids, bioprinted tissues, bioreactor cultures, and microphysiological systems (e.g., tissue-/organ-/human-on-chip) that are intended to represent complex aspects of human biology in practical experimental setups. The survey seeks the opinion of all those interested in complex in vitro models and their potential applications, irrespective of how familiar the respondent may be with the subject area.

      The survey is available through May 31. EURL ECVAM will make the findings of the survey publicly available once the responses have been analyzed. It is hoped that survey results will be combined with information gathered from other sources to inform validation strategies and technology-transfer initiatives to expedite the uptake and use of complex in vitro models in a variety of sectors.

      May 31, 2018

      Apr 27, 2018
      NIEHS Opening for Supervisory Public Health Scientist/Medical Advisor

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is seeking candidates for the position of Supervisory Public Health Scientist/Medical Advisor. The ideal candidate will have considerable knowledge and expertise to facilitate NIEHS’ mission to discover how the environment affects people to promote healthier lives. He or she will supervise an office with responsibilities that include oversight and coordination of the NIEHS Global Environmental Health Program, the WHO Risk Assessment Network, and the coordination and funding for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine research forums and committees. The position is located at the main National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

      Candidates must have an M.D. or equivalent medical degree, medical board certification or eligibility in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. They should also have experience supervising senior professionals and with collaborating, partnering, and communicating across the institutes or centers at the National Institutes of Health, with the executive branches of other federal agencies, and with clinical, environmental and disease advocacy groups. Demonstration of substantive clinical expertise and scholarship, including recognition and publications in occupational and environmental health, toxicology, epidemiology, exposure science, applied public health research, and basic science research, from bench to public health, are also necessary for this position. For more information, contact Leslie Lynch at lynch2@niehs.nih.gov; applications are due by May 11.

      May 11, 2018

      Apr 27, 2018
      Paper Describes “3Ss” Approach to Alternatives Development

      A recent article in the journal ALTEX summarizes current systemic testing approaches and the development of alternative approaches. The authors, including NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), argue that a systematic approach is needed to curate and integrate existing knowledge to guide the development of alternative approaches that can assess the effects of toxicity on the whole organism. The article discusses the use of computational and experimental systems toxicology approaches in this context.
      Smirnova et al. 2018. 3S – Systematic, systemic, and systems biology and toxicology [published online ahead of print 20 April 2018]. ALTEX.

      -

      Apr 23, 2018
      Pan-American Conference on Alternatives: Abstracts Due April 30

      The Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods will be held on August 23-24 at the Windsor Florida Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This conference provides a forum for scientists from across the Americas to further alternatives to animal testing and build collaboration for the exchange of ideas. The conference is organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]), and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are on the scientific committee.

      Abstract submission is open for the conference, and abstracts are due April 30. There is no registration fee to attend the conference, and travel grants are available. More information about abstract submission and conference logistics is available on the CAAT website.

      Apr 30, 2018

      Apr 23, 2018
      EPA Releases ToxCast Owner’s Manual

      EPA recently released its ToxCast Owner’s Manual. Since its launch in 2007, EPA’s Toxicity Forecaster (ToxCast) high-throughput screening program has generated data for approximately 1,800 chemicals for more than 700 assay endpoints, making ToxCast a major contributor to the federal Tox21 collaboration. All ToxCast data is publicly available.

      The Owner’s Manual provides information on how ToxCast data is generated and processed. It also provides guidance for exploring and using the data. The Owner’s Manual and links to additional information about ToxCast are available on the EPA website.

      -

      Apr 16, 2018
      3Rs Resources Inventory Available from EURL ECVAM

      The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) conducted an assessment of current technologies, information sources, and networks from all relevant sectors with potential impact on the advancement of the refinement, reduction and replacement of animals used for scientific purposes (the "Three Rs"). Relevant resources identified have been compiled into a database available on the European Commission Joint Research Centre website. Documents available at this page include the database, which is contained in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet, as well as background information and links to publications discussing knowledge sharing in this area.

      -

      Apr 16, 2018
      FDA Requests Input in Advance of International Meeting on Cosmetics Regulation

      In a Federal Register notice published April 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a June 7 meeting to gather public input in advance of the July 10-12 meeting of the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR). ICCR is a voluntary international group of cosmetics regulatory authorities that seeks to minimize regulatory obstacles to international trade while maintaining global consumer protection.

      The purpose of the June 7 meeting is to invite public input on various topics pertaining to the regulation of cosmetics. The meeting will be held at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland; remote access by phone will be available. Those interested in attending the meeting should register by sending an email including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone to Jonathan Hicks at jonathan.hicks@fda.hhs.gov by May 24.

      May 24, 2018

      Apr 16, 2018
      Presentations Available from Data Integration Workshop

      All recorded presentations from the February 2018 National Academies workshop on Informing Environmental Health Decisions Through Data Integration are now available on the workshop website. This workshop explored the opportunities and challenges inherent to integrating large quantities of data from multiple, disparate sources to understand complex environmental health questions.

      -

      Apr 16, 2018
      Article Describes New Strategic Plan for Tox21

      An article published online March 8 in the journal ALTEX describe a new strategic and operational plan for Tox21 that expands the focus of its research activities. The new focus areas include developing an expanded portfolio of alternative test systems, addressing technical limitations of in vitro test systems, curating legacy in vivo toxicity testing data, establishing scientific confidence in the in vitro test systems, and refining alternative methods for characterizing pharmacokinetics and in vitro assay disposition. Co-authors include NICEATM Director Warren Casey and ICCVAM members Richard Paules (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS]), Suzanne Fitzpatrick (FDA), and Donna Mendrick (FDA).
      Thomas et al. 2018. The US Federal Tox21 Program: A strategic and operational plan for continued leadership. ALTEX.

      -

      Apr 12, 2018
      EPA Requests Comments on Draft Policy on Skin Sensitization Testing

      On April 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Science Policy to reduce animal use in testing strategies to evaluate chemicals for their ability to cause an allergic reaction, inflammation, or sensitization of the skin. “This draft policy is another step toward achieving EPA's goal of reducing the use of animals and increasing the use of cutting-edge science in chemical testing,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in an EPA Office of Pesticide Programs news release.

      The draft policy is the result of national and international collaboration among ICCVAM, NICEATM, Cosmetics Europe, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

      Comments on the draft skin sensitization policy can be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0093 at www.regulations.gov through June 9. The April 10 news release is available on the EPA website.

      Jun 9, 2018

      Apr 9, 2018
      Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum

      Registration is open for ICCVAM’s May 24 Public Forum. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting will also be webcast.

      ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions 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. The meeting is free and open to the public.

      Those planning to attend the meeting in person should register by May 11. Webcast registration will be available through the end of the meeting on May 24.

      May 11, 2018

      Apr 9, 2018
      Call for Applications for Grants and Awards from CAAT

      The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is accepting applications for research grants and the Next Generation Humane Science Award.

      • Pre-proposals are being accepted through April 30 for grants of up to $40,000 to support projects with the objective of reducing or replacing laboratory animals in biomedical research or safety testing. Projects should be developed to provide mechanistic understanding of in vitro responses to toxicants in human cells. Pre-proposals can be submitted via the form on the CAAT website. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a complete grant application package.
      • Applications are due May 30 for the CAAT Next Generation Humane Science Award, given annually to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage researchers who focus on replacing animal experiments. The 2018 award will provide a prize of up to $9,000 recognizing the work of one young scientist, or may be shared among two or more young scientists. Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States working at U.S.-based institutions and have received Ph.D. or similar degrees no earlier than 2010. Complete application instructions are available on the CAAT website.

      Grants: Apr 30, 2018

      Awards: May 30, 2018

      Apr 9, 2018
      Positions Available at FDA for Pharmacology/Toxicology Reviewers

      Scientific Reviewer positions are available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. These scientists review a wide variety of advanced therapies, including stem cell and stem cell-derived products, functionally mature and differentiated cells, gene therapies, products for xenotransplantation, blood- and plasma-derived products, and combination products. Positions are located at the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

      Candidate scientists and biomedical engineers should have training or experience in pharmacological, toxicological, biological, or veterinary sciences. Involvement in research projects investigating tissue-engineered stem cell therapy or gene therapy products is beneficial.

      For more information or to apply, email Mercedes Serabian at Mercedes.Serabian@fda.hhs.gov.

      -
      Mar 26, 2018
      SOT-FDA Colloquium on Testing of Food Mixtures March 27

      Humans are routinely exposed simultaneously to numerous chemicals in food, yet risk assessments of chemicals in food rely on test data from individual chemicals. A March 27 colloquium sponsored by the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider whether new testing approaches such as in vitro assays, in silico models, and non-mammalian in vivo models could be used to assess the potential health impacts of exposure to chemical mixtures in food.

      Can Alternatives Inform a Risk Assessment of Mixtures in Food?” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Wiley Auditorium, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, College Park, Maryland. Preregistration to attend the colloquium in person has closed; walk-in registration is available to U.S. federal employees only. The colloquium will also be webcast.

      -
      Mar 26, 2018
      New Features and Handbook Available for AOP Wiki

      Release 2.2 and an updated AOP Developers’ Handbook are now available for users of AOP Wiki. AOP Wiki serves as the primary repository of qualitative information for the international adverse outcome pathway (AOP) development effort coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

      Features of AOP Wiki release 2.2 include:

      • New interface featuring sortable key event and key event relationship tables, navigational tips, an improved network view, and reordered menu
      • Definition of key events using a set of structured ontology terms
      • New AOP-XML format to export AOP content from AOP Wiki to other platforms

      Updates to the AOP Developers’ Handbook include:

      • Revised guidance relating to branching in an AOP
      • New text to describe how to depict feed-forward/feedback loops
      • New text describing AOP networks and applicable filters to simplify viewing
      • New guidance on assigning calls for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability for key event relationships
      • Further clarification on current quantitative understanding of AOPs
      -
      Mar 15, 2018
      Integrated Chemical Environment Adds Formulations Viewer

      A recent update to the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) added a formulations viewer that allows users to explore toxicity data on formulations and their active ingredients. ICE currently includes data for about 700 formulations from six-pack studies for pesticide registration: acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity; skin sensitization; and skin and eye irritation. Active ingredient lists from a formulations query can be used to query the ICE Integrator for data on these substances from other in vivo and in vitro assays.

      The recent ICE update also added updated and expanded physicochemical property predictions, updated androgen and estrogen pathway model predictions, and improved filtering on assay endpoints. Additional updates planned for the near future include interactive workflows for prediction of physicochemical property data; chemical use category information; and in vitro to in vivo extrapolation predictions using ICE data.

      -
      Mar 15, 2018
      Save the Date: ASCCT Annual Meeting September 11-12

      The Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will be Sept. 11-12 at Lister Hill Auditorium, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The theme of the meeting will be “Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches.” Plenary session speakers will include NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

      ASCCT will accept abstract submissions for poster and oral presentations at the meeting; abstracts are due June 29. The meeting will also feature a panel discussion on public-private partnerships, a social reception and networking event, and mentoring activities for young scientists. Registration and abstract submission details will be available soon on the ASCCT website.

      June 29, 2018
      Mar 15, 2018
      NICEATM Research Featured in C&EN Article

      Endocrine disruptor assays go fast track,” an article in the March 12 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), discusses U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to implement more efficient approaches to identifying potential endocrine disruptors. In the article, NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer describes NICEATM’s collaborations with EPA to develop computational models to predict estrogenic and androgenic activity. The article also discusses current EPA activities in the areas of thyroid disruption and steroidogenesis.

      -
      Mar 12, 2018
      EPA Releases Draft Strategy to Reduce Animal Use for TSCA Testing

      On March 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft strategy to reduce use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing for public comment. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), mandated development of the strategy. A March 12 Federal Register notice has additional details. The draft strategy will be available for comment at Regulations.gov under docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 for 45 days. Comments received will be considered in the Agency's development of the final strategy. A public meeting on the draft strategy will be held in Washington, DC, on April 10.

      Apr 21, 2018
      Mar 12, 2018
      NIH Requests Comments on Draft Strategic Plan for Data Science

      To capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in data science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a Strategic Plan for Data Science. This plan describes NIH's overarching goals, strategic objectives, and implementation tactics for promoting the modernization of the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem.

      NIH published a Request for Information that seeks input from stakeholders, including members of the scientific community, academic institutions, the private sector, health professionals, professional societies, advocacy groups, patient communities, as well as other interested members of the public. To ensure consideration, comments must be submitted by April 2.

      Apr 2, 2018
      Mar 12, 2018
      Next Deadline for Small Business Grants April 5

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) offers funding for small businesses developing technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These technologies include improved or expanded testing methods for toxicity screening, computational approaches for predictive toxicology, and other technologies such as alternative or improved methods for fixing and preserving tissues. The funding is offered as part of the 2018 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration for small business grant applications to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

      The next due date for applications for this funding is April 5. More information is available on the NICEATM website.

      Apr 5, 2018
      Mar 12, 2018
      Papers Published Describing Analysis of Defined Approaches to Skin Sensitization

      A collaboration between NICEATM and Cosmetics Europe has produced two papers describing important resources for non-animal approaches to identifying potential skin sensitizers.

      • The first paper describes a database that includes data from human, animal, and five non-animal tests for 128 chemicals. The chemicals in the database represent a wide variety of chemistries and use categories. The database is proposed as a point of reference for the evaluation and development of new testing strategies.
        Hoffmann et al. 2018. Non-animal methods to predict skin sensitization (I): the Cosmetics Europe database. Crit Rev Toxicol
      • The second paper describes an analysis of multiple non-animal data integration approaches for skin sensitization safety assessment of cosmetics ingredients using the database described above. Many of these approaches were found to perform as well or better than animal methods to predict human skin sensitization hazard.
        Kleinstreuer et al. 2018. Non-animal methods to predict skin sensitization (II): the Cosmetics Europe database. Crit Rev Toxicol

      Both papers were published February 23 in Critical Reviews in Toxicology and are available to all readers regardless of subscription status.

      -
      Mar 12, 2018
      NTP Update Newsletter

      The March NTP Update newsletter is now available. This month's issue includes an article about an NTP research initiative into health effects of bisphenol A, a summary of a recent meeting on research and public health issues surrounding polyfluorinated and perfluorinated substances, and an announcement of an April NICEATM workshop.

      -
      Mar 7, 2018
      NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT

      Consider adding these sessions to your Society of Toxicology annual meeting itinerary:

      • Satellite Meeting: Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing: Saturday, March 10, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
      • Continuing Education Courses: Sunday, March 11, Convention Center 300 Level
        • The What, When, and How of Using Data from Alternative Testing Methods in Chemical Safety Assessments
        • In Vitro Testing: Tales from the Real World
        • Consumer Products Safety Assessment: Progress in the Use of Alternatives to Animal Models
      • Implementing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States (sponsored by NTP and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences): Monday, March 12, 9:00-10:00 a.m., Conference Center Room 217C
        This session will focus on the U.S. Strategic Roadmap
      • In Vitro Toxicology Lecture and Luncheon: Monday, March 12, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C1
        "More than Skin Deep: When Alternative Approaches Outperform Animal Tests," NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer
      • U.S. EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act: Strategy for Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Animal Testing (sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency): Wednesday, March 14, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., Conference Center Room 217D
      • The U.S. Tox21 Collaboration: A Decade of Experience and a New Vision for the Future: Wednesday, March 14, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C2
      • Satellite Meeting: Updates on Activities Related to 21st-century Toxicology and Related Efforts: Thursday, March 15, 12:30-4:00 p.m., Grand Hyatt Bowie A-B

      Presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will also be given at 11 platform sessions and 18 poster sessions throughout the meeting. More information about NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at SOT

      -
      Feb 27, 2018
      Registration Open for Workshop on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity

      NICEATM will hold a Workshop on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity on April 11-12 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The workshop is free and open to the public and will be webcast. More information and links to registration

      The ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup, with support from NICEATM, sponsored a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict five specific endpoints identified by member regulatory agencies. This workshop will provide an opportunity for project participants to present their submitted models. Workshop participants will also discuss developing a consensus model that integrates the submitted models to predict acute oral toxicity, as well as next steps needed to encourage appropriate use of these models in regulatory contexts.

      Apr 6, 2018
      Feb 27, 2018
      Webinar on Microphysiological Systems March 8

      The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will present a webinar on "Microphysiological Systems: Innovative Tools for Drug Development and Disease Modeling." Lucie Low of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences will discuss U.S. federal government activities to develop bio-engineered microdevices that represent functional units of major human organ systems. A new five-year program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health focuses on application of these devices to study disease mechanisms and candidate drug efficacy. The webinar will discuss the current status of this program and efforts to further evolve these technologies.

      The webinar will be presented Thursday, March 8, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and is free. Register for the webinar

      -
      Feb 27, 2018
      Internship Opportunities with the U.S. Air Force

      The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine is accepting applications for its High Performance Computing Internship Program. Interns are being recruited to work on four projects:

      • High-performance computing of quantitative structure activity relationship models applied to toxicology and adverse outcome cellular pathway analysis
      • Application of machine learning and image analytics methods to improve assessment of cellular images
      • Establishment of analytical tools and pipeline to uncover epigenetic markers of lifestyle and occupation
      • Integrative phenotype databases for predictive toxicology
      Applications are due March 16 and are welcomed from undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral candidates. Candidates must have a 3.0 or higher GPA, be U.S. citizens, and be eligible to obtain a security clearance. Interns will work on-site at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, during June-August 2018, with the option to continue work remotely from their school. For more information and to apply, contact Heather Pangburn at heather.pangburn.1@us.af.mil.
      Mar 16, 2018
      Feb 27, 2018
      Stakeholders Invited to Discuss Performance Standards for Microphysiological Systems

      Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) invites stakeholders to discuss performance standards for microphysiological systems (MPS). The discussion will encompass questions like:

      • What defines an MPS?
      • What defines a good MPS in terms of fit-for-purpose, reproducibility, relevance, validity?
      • How does an MPS need to be documented and reported?
      • How can a lab show proficiency in testing with an MPS?
      • What quality assurance and management need to be in place?
      This call for expression of interest will identify possible partners from academia, regulatory agencies, industry (users and technology providers), and nongovernmental organizations. The ultimate goal is to develop quality assurance standards to complement the technical developments that have occurred in this area.

      Those interested in participating are invited to contact CAAT at caat@jhu.edu. Letters of motivation and referrals to relevant activities in this area are welcomed. CAAT will organize the dialogue according to the responses received.

      -
      Feb 27, 2018
      SOT Sessions on Alternatives Implementation

      As you are planning your itinerary for the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting, consider including these sessions relevant to alternative methods implementation:

      • Implementing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States (sponsored by NTP and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences): Monday, March 12, 9:00-10:00 a.m., Conference Center Room 217C
      • U.S. EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act: Strategy for Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Animal Testing (sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency): Wednesday, March 14, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., Conference Center Room 217D
      • The U.S. Tox21 Collaboration: A Decade of Experience and a New Vision for the Future: Wednesday, March 14, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C2
      More information about NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at SOT
      -
      Feb 21, 2018
      NEI Sponsors Competition to Develop In Vitro Retina Models

      On February 13, the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge. This $1 million federal prize competition is designed to support development of lab-grown human retinas from stem cells. Organoids developed for the competition will mimic the structure, organization, and function of the human retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye.

      In the current phase of the challenge, NEI will award up to $100,000 each to as many as six teams whose models best address the challenge's scientific criteria. Participating teams must designate a captain who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Private entities participating must maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Federal offices or employees are not eligible to participate, and federal funds may not be used to develop submissions. Submission deadline is October 1; winners will be announced in December. 

      Oct 1, 2018
      Feb 21, 2018
      OECD Releases Update of QSAR Toolbox

      On February 5, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched version 4.2 of QSAR Toolbox. QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed to assess the hazards of chemicals. Features in version 4.2 include updated profilers and metabolic simulators. Five new databases include data on developmental toxicity, genotoxicity, food toxicity hazards, and bioaccumulation data. The ability to load text files containing CAS or SMILES has been restored. Other functionalities include clustering by profile/structure similarity, a new report generation system, and improved alert performance. More information about the update, links to download QSAR Toolbox, and background information are available on the OECD website.

      -
      Feb 21, 2018
      SOT Ancillary Meeting to Focus on Respiratory Toxicology

      An ancillary meeting at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting on Tuesday, March 12, will feature "Updates from Multi-stakeholder Collaborations to Advance Non-animal Approaches to Respiratory Toxicology." NICEATM Director Warren Casey and other speakers will discuss ongoing work to advance mechanistically based non-animal approaches to respiratory toxicology. The meeting is from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Republic Room A-C at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. It is open to the public and will include time for open discussion of the next steps needed to facilitate the implementation of these approaches.

      -
      Feb 21, 2018
      EPA Releases Strategic Plan

      On February 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan states as one of the EPA's goals, to "Administer the law, as Congress intended, to refocus the Agency on its statutory obligations under the law." One of the objectives under this goal is to "prioritize robust science", which includes an intention to "Use ToxCast/Tox21 data to develop high-throughput risk assessments, particularly for chemicals for which adequate risk assessment information has been historically unavailable."

      -
      Feb 21, 2018
      Postdoc Opportunity Available with CCAAM

      The University of Windsor in Windsor, Canada, invites qualified candidates to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship opportunity within the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) and its subsidiary, the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact with a diverse team of national and international interdisciplinary academics, industry partners, and regulators to advance CCAAM's goal of replacing animals in Canadian biomedical research, education, and regulatory testing through 21st-century science, innovation, and ethics.

      The candidate must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field in science or mathematics, and should also have a basic understanding of statistics and computer programming ability. The ideal candidate will have experience in toxicogenomic, immunologic, biochemical, and molecular biology-based assay systems as well as knowledge and experience in physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling, read-across, trend analysis, quantitative structure-activity relationships models, and using adverse outcome pathways to investigate mechanisms of toxicity.

      To apply for this position, please send your curriculum vitae with a cover letter describing your research background, interests, qualifications, and the reasons for your interest in CCAAM and its vision to CCAAM Executive Director Dr. Charu Chandrasekera.

      -
      Feb 2, 2018
      Abstracts Due February 2 for SOT Satellite Meeting on Organotypic Culture Models

      Abstracts are due Friday, February 2, for a Society of Toxicology (SOT) Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting titled "Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing." This satellite meeting of the SOT Annual Meeting will focus on the development and use of organotypic cultures as alternatives to 2-D cultures that integrate surrounding architecture components (e.g., stroma, extracellular matrix) and provide a better in vitro representation of the in vivo biology. Presenters will discuss emerging organotypic models that may inform mechanistic understanding, as well as practical considerations that are key to incorporating these tools into the next generation of in vitro research and safety evaluation.

      The meeting will be held Saturday, March 10 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is open to SOT members and nonmembers; early-bird registration is open through February 9. There is a registration fee to attend the meeting but no additional fee is required to submit an abstract. For more information, visit the SOT website.

      Feb 2, 2018
      Feb 2, 2018
      ASCCT Providing Funding to Attend International QSAR Conference

      The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will provide funding for one student or postdoc from North America to attend the 18th International Conference on QSAR in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR2018). The conference will be held on June 11-15 at Hotel Golf in Bled, Slovenia.

      Conference sessions will discuss regulatory use of quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models; models for human health effects; models for ecotoxicological and environmental effects; protein-ligand interactions; and software and tools. More information about the conference is available on the conference website.

      The ASCCT travel award will cover registration and provide $2000 towards travel and lodging for one student or postdoc. Applications should include:

      • The abstract the applicant plans to submit to the conference
      • A short (500 words or less) statement discussing the applicant's interest in QSAR
      • A note from the applicant's supervisor or advisor certifying student or post-doc status
      Please email applications and any questions to ksullivan@ascctox.org. Applications are due by Wednesday, February 14.
      Feb 14, 2018
      Jan 30, 2018
      ICCVAM Elects Co-chairs

      At its January 24 meeting, ICCVAM elected Anna Lowit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Emily Reinke, Department of Defense, to serve two-year terms as co-chairs of ICCVAM.

      • Lowit is a senior science advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. She has been a member of ICCVAM since 2011 and has served as an ICCVAM co-chair since 2013.
      • Reinke is a biologist at the U.S. Army Institute of Public Health and has been an ICCVAM member since 2015. As co-chair of ICCVAM, Reinke succeeds Abigail Jacobs, who served as an ICCVAM co-chair from 2013 until her retirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2017.
      -
      Jan 30, 2018
      Society of Toxicology Announces 2018 Awardees

      The Society of Toxicology (SOT) has announced recipients of its 2018 awards. Several of this year's awardees have connections to NICEATM or ICCVAM or have made important contributions to advancing alternatives to animal testing.

      • Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NTP, will receive the Arnold J. Lehman Award. Named for a co-founder of SOT, the award recognizes an individual who has made a major contribution to risk assessment or the regulation of chemical agents. NICEATM is an NTP office.
      • Anna Lowit, senior science advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, will receive the Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. The Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award recognizes contributions made towards the development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. Lowit is co-chair of ICCVAM.
      • Robert Kavlock, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Research and Development, will receive the SOT Merit Award, which recognizes distinguished contributions to toxicology throughout an entire career in areas such as research, teaching, regulatory activities, consulting, and service to the Society. Kavlock played a key role in establishing the EPA's ToxCast program and the federal interagency Tox21 research consortium.
      • Sreenivasa Ramaiahgari, NIEHS postdoctoral fellow, is lead author of the Toxicological Sciences article, "Three-dimensional (3D) HepaRG Spheroid Model with Physiologically Relevant Xenobiotic Metabolism Competence and Hepatocyte Functionality for Liver Toxicity Screening," which will receive a Best Postdoctoral Publication Award. Ramaiahgari's work is part of Phase III Tox 21 research ongoing at NTP.
      Awards will be presented at the SOT Annual Meeting in March.
      -
      Jan 30, 2018
      Grants Available From IFER

      The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) is accepting pre-proposal applications for its 2018-2019 graduate fellowships. These one-year grants of up to $12,500 will be awarded to projects that support the development, acceptance, and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing or education. Projects will also be considered in fields such as education, psychology, humanities, journalism, and the law that show promise to increase public awareness or to promote changes in the legal system or public policy regarding the use of animals in research, testing, and education. Grants are renewable annually for up to three years, dependent on student progress and availability of funds. Proposals will be accepted through April 30.

      Apr 30, 2018
      Jan 30, 2018
      Travel Grants Available From the Burroughs Wellcome Fund

      The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Collaborative Research Travel Grant program provides up to $15,000 of relatively unrestricted travel funds to faculty and postdocs at U.S. or Canadian degree-granting institutions. Grants must be used for domestic or international travel to another lab to learn new research techniques or begin or continue a collaboration to address biomedical questions. All proposals must be cross-disciplinary. Grants may not be used to travel to conferences, meetings, or courses.

      All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this award. Applications from eligible candidates require submission of a CV, biosketch, research plan and budget, and supporting letter from the host or collaborator. Applications are due February 1; more information is available on the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website.

      Feb 1, 2018
      Jan 30, 2018
      U.S. Strategic Roadmap Published

      ICCVAM has coordinated the development of "A Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States." It describes a framework for safety testing that will provide more human-relevant toxicology data while reducing the use of animals. Prepared with support from NICEATM, it was published January 30.

      Discussions among ICCVAM and its stakeholders over the last several years established that a national strategy is needed to ensure the safe, effective, and timely implementation of human-relevant predictive approaches in toxicity testing in the United States. In response, ICCVAM coordinated the development of this document during 2017 with participation from the 16 ICCVAM member agencies and multiple interagency workgroups, as well as input from a broad range of stakeholder groups. The strategic roadmap describes a new framework that will enable development, establish confidence in, and ensure use of new approaches to toxicity testing that improve human health relevance and reduce or eliminate the need for testing in animals.

      Activities to implement the strategic roadmap goals are already underway. ICCVAM workgroups will develop detailed implementation plans to address roadmap goals, tailored to specific toxicological endpoints of concern. The NICEATM website includes an overview of roadmap implementation with links to summaries of planned activities in the areas of acute systemic toxicity, skin and eye irritation, and skin sensitization.

      ICCVAM and NICEATM are developing a communication plan to broaden awareness of and invite engagement with the strategic roadmap. The first public discussion of the strategic roadmap with stakeholders will take place on Monday, March 12, at an ICCVAM exhibitor-hosted session at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting. Other opportunities for stakeholders to engage in advancement of the roadmap goals will be available at the ICCVAM Public Forum on May 24 and public events throughout 2018.

      -
      Jan 19, 2018
      ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar Next Tuesday

      The fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 23, at 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar topic is "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

      This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Sean Ekins, Chief Executive Officer of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

      The webinar is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Jan 19, 2018
      NIEHS Offers Funding to Small Businesses for Toxicity Screening, Testing, and Modeling

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is offering funding for small businesses developing technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These technologies include improved or expanded testing methods for toxicity screening, computational approaches for predictive toxicology, and other technologies such as alternative or improved methods for fixing and preserving tissues. The funding is being offered as part of the 2018 Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration for small business grant applications to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

      The next application deadline is March 5. Complete information about the grants is available on the NIH Grants website:

      More information about these and other NIH grants is available on the NICEATM website.
      Mar 5, 2018
      Jan 19, 2018
      Grants Available From ARDF

      The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) Annual Open Grant Program funds research projects that develop alternative methods to advance science and replace or reduce animal use. Proposals are welcome from any nonprofit educational or research institution worldwide, although preference will be given to U.S. applications.

      Expert reviewers will evaluate proposals based on scientific merit and feasibility and the potential to reduce or replace the use of animals in the near future. Proposals will be considered in fields of research, testing, or education. Pathway-based approaches that use in silico and in vitro methods with human cells or tissues are of particular interest. Proposals for projects that use intact, non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals will not be considered.

      Proposals will be accepted through May 1; awards up to $40,000 per project will be announced by July 17. More information is available on the ARDF website.

      May 1, 2018
      Jan 19, 2018
      Registration and Abstract Submission Open for Meeting on High-Throughput Screening and Environmental Risk Assessment

      The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry will hold a meeting on High-Throughput Screening and Environmental Risk Assessment, State of the Science and Emerging Applications on April 16-18 at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, North Carolina. This meeting will provide environmental toxicologists and risk assessors with an introduction to high-throughput data and tools. Participants will learn about the state of the science of high-throughput toxicology, and leave the meeting equipped to critically evaluate how these approaches can be employed in a broad range of environmental risk assessment scenarios.

      Early-bird registration and free abstract submission end on February 14. For more information, visit the meeting website.

      Feb 14, 2018
      Jan 19, 2018
      Report Available on World Congress Roundtable on Big Data

      A roundtable discussion at the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives in August 2017 examined what big data means for replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use in testing, and reviewed progress in the application of big data in this area. A summary of the roundtable, coauthored by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, has been published as a guest editorial in Archives of Toxicology.

      -
      Jan 09, 2018
      ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar January 23

      Registration is open for the fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar scheduled for January 23. The webinar topic is "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

      This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Sean Ekins, Chief Executive Officer of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

      The January 23 webinar will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Jan 09, 2018
      USDA Issues Updated Guidance on Vaccine Testing Exemptions

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics recently added Veterinary Services (VS) Memorandum 800.116 Target Animal Safety Testing Exemption to its website. View all USDA VS Memoranda

      VS Memorandum No. 800.116, signed in August 2017, replaces an earlier version issued in July 2013. The memorandum provides guidance to licensed firms on requesting an exemption under title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR), part 113.4, to target animal safety testing as required for testing of live and inactivated vaccines and antibody products. Such exemptions can reduce animal use in facilities that have documented consistency in manufacturing processes and product safety.

      -
      Jan 09, 2018
      IVIVE Workshop Report Publicly Available Through February 23

      A report of the February 2016 workshop, In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation for High-Throughput Prioritization and Decision Making, and the preceding webinar series was published online December 5 by the journal Toxicology In Vitro. Toxicology In Vitro is making the workshop report publicly available to all readers, regardless of subscription status, through February 23.

      The workshop report discusses activities and resources that promote inclusion of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) in regulatory decision-making. It considers properties of models that successfully generate predictions of in vivo doses from effective in vitro concentration, areas of success, and areas for improvement to reduce model uncertainty. Finally, the report provides case studies on the uses of IVIVE in safety assessments.

      View materials from the workshop (co-organized by NICEATM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development)

      Feb 23, 2018
      Jan 09, 2018
      Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available at EPA

      The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs is hiring multiple toxicologists and biologists for its Health Effects Division, Antimicrobials Division, and Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division offices in Arlington, VA. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The current application deadline is Wednesday, January 10, although this may be extended.

      • Applicants for the GS 9-11 level positions must have a bachelor's degree in biology, toxicology, or a related area and at least one year of experience reviewing toxicological studies, or have a master's or Ph.D. degree.
      • Applicants for the GS 12-13 level positions must have a bachelor's degree in biology, toxicology, or a related area and at least one year of experience developing hazard, dose response, and/or risk characterizations for chemicals.
      Interested candidates with questions about the positions may contact Anna Lowit, Senior Science Advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, at Lowit.Anna@epa.gov or 703-308-4135.
      Jan 10, 2018
      Dec 22, 2017
      ICCVAM Co-chair Lowit to Receive SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award

      Anna Lowit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be awarded the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2017 Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. Lowit, a Senior Scientist in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, has been serving as co-chair of ICCVAM since 2013. She has played a key role in advancing EPA initiatives to reduce and eventually replace animal use for the "six-pack" of required acute toxicity tests for pesticide registration. During her tenure as ICCVAM co-chair, she has supported ICCVAM efforts to increase communication and collaboration with stakeholders, and played a key role in advancing international harmonization of non-animal tests for skin sensitization.

      The Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award is presented annually to an SOT member to recognize contributions made towards development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. Lowit will receive the award at the SOT annual meeting in March 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

      -
      Dec 22, 2017
      ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar January 23

      The fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar will be presented January 23, 2018, on the topic "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

      This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Two experts in the use of machine learning in toxicity testing applications will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

      The January 23 webinar will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Dec 22, 2017
      Grants Offer Support for Tissue Chip Development

      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced several funding opportunities for research and development of microphysiological systems (MPS; "tissue chips") for studying human physiology and assessing toxicity and safety of new drugs and other substances. All of these funding opportunities are open to U.S.-based for-profit, non-profit, academic, and government institutions.

      • NIH is offering 1-2 year(s) of support for later stage research and development activities necessary support commercialization of MPS devices for drug efficacy and safety assessment prior to clinical trials. Details of this funding opportunity are available on the NIH Grants website. Applications are due March 21, 2018, and only one application will be accepted from an institution.
      • New and renewal cooperative agreement applications are invited for the Tissue Chip Testing Center MPS Data Center, which supports the NIH Tissue Chip Consortium. The MPS Data center will be the central clearinghouse for tissue chip data management and will incorporate novel approaches and technologies for data management, data mining, and data sharing across many organs and tissues, diseases, data types, and tissue chip platforms. Details of this funding opportunity are available on the NIH Grants website. Applications are due March 21, 2018, and only one application will be accepted from an institution.
      • NIH and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) are funding opportunities for conducting tissue chip research onboard the International Space Station. The NIH-CASIS Coordinated Microphysiological Systems Program for Translational Research in Space promotes the development of tissue chips to study human physiology in space and to assess biomarkers, bioavailability, efficacy, and toxicity of therapeutic agents prior to entry into clinical trials. Information about this grant opportunity is available on the NIH Grants website. The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to February 8, 2018.
      Mar 21, 2018
      Dec 22, 2017
      USDA Releases Guidance Documents on Animal Health

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards for the humane care and treatment of animals used in research. USDA Animal Care has developed two Tech Notes for Animal Welfare Act licensees and registrants to help improve adherence to animal welfare standards.

      • "Incentives for Identifying, Reporting, Correcting, and Preventing Noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act" describes resources available to help facilities address compliance challenges.
      • "Daily Observation" provides helpful tips and spotlights best practices used in daily observation of animals to assess health and well-being.
      Publication of the two Tech Notes was announced in a December 15 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service bulletin. The recent Tech Notes and other publications relevant to animal welfare are available on the USDA Animal Welfare website.
      -
      Dec 19, 2017
      Prediction Data Available: Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

      The prediction data set is now available for the ICCVAM-sponsored global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity. The goal of this project is to develop in silico models that will predict five specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. Endpoints of interest include identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg), "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

      Models will be developed and evaluated using rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Models meeting criteria defined by the project organizing committee will be used to generate consensus predictions for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest. A summary of the project and developed models will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed literature, and the toxicity predictions generated by the models will be made available via EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

      Resources available on the project page include data files, timeline, and a downloadable document that specifies project objectives and scope, details on the data and processing steps, model evaluation criteria, and additional considerations for project participants. Model prediction results for both the training and prediction sets must be submitted by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

      Feb 09, 2018
      Dec 19, 2017
      EPA Requests Nominees for Scientific Advisory Panel

      EPA is seeking nominations of ad hoc members for its Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP). The FIFRA SAP will meet in 2018 to consider physiologically based pharmaokinetic models to address species differences in pharmacokinetics for pesticide active ingredients. The request for nominees was published in a December 18 Federal Register notice.

      The FIFRA SAP provides scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues impacting health and environmental regulatory actions. Nominees to serve on the FIFRA SAP for the upcoming meeting should have expertise in areas including physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic modeling, in vitro to in vivo extrapolation, human health risk assessment, neurotoxicity, and exposure assessment. Nominations should be submitted by January 17, 2018; the meeting will be scheduled and details announced after the panel members are selected.

      Jan 17, 2018
      Dec 18, 2017
      NIDDK Offers Support for Development of Tissue Chips

      The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is establishing a new research consortium "Microphysiological Systems for Modeling Diabetes." This consortium will support the development and validation of human tissue chips that closely mimic the normal physiology of key metabolic tissues, including the pancreatic islet, liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue. An essential feature of this consortium will be a multidisciplinary approach that brings together basic science experts and physician scientists in stem cell biology, bioengineering, computational biology, pharmacology, liver biology, islet biology, adipose biology, metabolism and diabetes.

      To establish the consortium, NIDDK intends to commit up to $3 million per year for Fiscal Years 2018 through 2019, and up to $6 million per year for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2022 to fund 2-3 awards. Eligible institutions include U.S.-based higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and government entities.

      Letters of intent are due February 20, 2018; applications are due March 20, 2018. Complete funding information is available on the NIH Grants website. Helpful information about applying for NIH grants is available on the NICEATM website.

      Mar 20, 2018
      Dec 18, 2017
      IVIVE Workshop Report Available

      A manuscript summarizing a February 2016 workshop, In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation for High-Throughput Prioritization and Decision Making, and a preceding webinar series was published online December 5 by the journal Toxicology In Vitro. The workshop was co-organized by NICEATM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Center for Computational Toxicology.

      The workshop report discusses activities and resources that promote inclusion of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) in regulatory decision-making. It considers properties of models that successfully generate predictions of in vivo doses from effective in vitro concentration, areas of success, and areas for improvement to reduce model uncertainty. Finally, the report provides case studies on the uses of IVIVE in safety assessments.

      View materials from the workshop

      -
      Dec 18, 2017
      EURL ECVAM Status Report for 2017 Available

      The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) regularly publishes reports on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches. A report describing activities in this area since November 2016 is now available on the EURL ECVAM website.

      The report describes EURL ECVAM participation in research projects; coordination and undertaking of validation studies; dissemination and sharing of information on replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use; and promotion of dialogue towards the international acceptance and uptake of alternative methods and approaches. A key ongoing project is EU-ToxRisk, which is tackling complex health effects such as repeated-dose and reproductive toxicity. The VAC2VAC project is progressing the development, optimization, and evaluation of non-animal methods for routine batch testing of vaccines in order to avoid animal testing. Other research aims to integrate advances into experimental and computational biology and toxicology to link chemical exposure to potential adverse outcomes in humans and environmental species.

      -
      Dec 07, 2017
      FDA Launches Predictive Toxicology Roadmap

      In an article published December 6 on the FDA Voice blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced publication of FDA's Predictive Toxicology Roadmap for integrating predictive toxicology methods into safety and risk assessments. The Predictive Toxicology Roadmap presents a framework for new or enhanced FDA engagement in the science of toxicology that includes six elements:

      1. An organizing committee to help identify areas where research is needed and reduce duplication of efforts
      2. Training in use of new test methods
      3. Communication among the Agency, sponsors, and test method developers
      4. Fostering collaborations across sectors and disciplines nationally and internationally
      5. Research to identify data gaps and promote promising technologies
      6. Oversight to track progress

      FDA will be holding a public workshop as part of its efforts to foster opportunities for sharing ideas, discussing new technologies, and highlighting collaborations to develop and test new methods.

      Read the complete blog post, with links to the Predictive Toxicology Roadmap and related activities

      -
      Dec 07, 2017
      Journal to Focus on Inhalation Toxicity

      The journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology is accepting manuscript submissions for a special issue on alternative approaches for inhalation toxicity testing. Submissions must be received by December 15.

      Inhalation toxicity testing provides information for hazard labeling and risk management of chemicals when there is potential for exposure of the respiratory tract. Regulatory test guidelines typically describe rodent tests. However, work is underway to develop reliable non-animal approaches for assessing inhalation toxicity that will provide more human-relevant data and a better understanding of the mechanism of toxicity. This special issue of Applied In Vitro Toxicology will explore the regulatory and non-regulatory needs for inhalation toxicity data and the alternative approaches that may be used to meet those needs.

      More information about the special issue: questions about the special issue should be emailed to guest editor Amy Clippinger.

      Dec 15, 2017
      Dec 07, 2017
      Proposals for Organotypic Culture Models Due December 12

      The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is offering Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to develop novel in vitro systems using cells from experimental animal models typically used for toxicology testing. The intent is that these systems will replicate biological responses within the corresponding animal tissues or organs. When developed and validated, these systems will (1) provide information needed to predict toxicity of chemical and drug candidates, (2) enable comparisons with existing in vivo animal toxicity data, (3) serve as newer assays for toxicology testing, and (4) have the potential for reducing the numbers of animals used in toxicology testing.

      These grants of up to $150,000 for Phase I awards and up to $1 million for Phase II awards are only available to U.S. small businesses. Letters of intent to apply for these grants are due December 12, with an application due date of January 12, 2018.

      Read the funding announcement for this opportunity

      Get more information about NIEHS SBIR grants

      Dec 12, 2017
      Dec 07, 2017
      Informational Webinar on Tissue Chip Grants December 14

      The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund new opportunities for conducting research onboard the International Space Station.

      A free informational webinar discussing both opportunities will be presented Thursday, December 14, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
      -
      Dec 04, 2017
      Keystone Symposia Conference in April on Organs-on-chips

      Abstract submission and registration are now open for Keystone Symposia's upcoming conference on "Organs- and Tissues-on-Chips". The conference will review the state of the technology for microphysiological organs and tissues-on-chips. Attendees will also consider the challenges of gaining acceptance for these approaches as alternatives to traditional animal or simple two-dimensional in vitro testing, incorporating perspectives from regulators, drug developers, and tissue chip testing center laboratories.

      The conference will be held April 8-12, 2018, in Big Sky, Montana. Scholarships of up to $1200 U.S. are available to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows enrolled or employed at academic institutions at the time of the meeting. Scholarship applications with research abstract must be received by December 6. The deadline for general abstract submission is January 9, 2018. Speakers for short talks will be chosen from all abstracts submitted. The deadline for discounted registration is February 6, 2018. For more information, please visit the Keystone Symposia website.

      -
      Dec 04, 2017
      CAAT Young Scientist Award: Deadline Extended to December 31

      The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University is offering a Next Generation Humane Science Award to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage research to replace the use of animals in experiments. The 2017 award will be a prize of up to $9,000 to recognize the work of one young scientist, or the prize may be shared among two or more young scientists.

      Applicants' research must be focused on the replacement of animals used in experimentation. To be eligible for the award, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident working at a U.S.-based institution and have received a Ph.D. or similar degree no earlier than 2012.

      The application deadline has been extended to December 31. To apply, visit the CAAT website.

      Dec 31, 2017
      Dec 04, 2017
      EPA Webinar on Steroidogenesis Assay December 14

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present a webinar titled "High-Throughput H295R Steroidogenesis Assay: Utility as an Alternative and a Statistical Approach to Characterize Effects on Steroidogenesis" on Thursday, December 14, from 11:00 a.m.-noon U.S. Eastern Time. The speaker is Dr. Derik Haggard, ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow with the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology.

      To access the webinar via Adobe Connect, go to the EPA web conferencing site. To listen in via telephone, call (866) 299-3188 (toll-free U.S.) or (706) 758-1822 (international toll number) and use the conference code 9195411522. Those in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, area who would like to attend the seminar in person should email Cameron Clark.

      This is the latest in EPA's Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice webinar series. Visit the EPA website for more information about the webinar series and slides and recordings from past webinars.

      -
      Dec 04, 2017
      AAALAC International Seeks Public Comment on Position Statement Revision

      The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) is seeking public comments on its proposed revision of the Position Statement on the Definition of "Laboratory Animals."

      AAALAC International uses position statements to supplement its three primary standards used to evaluate animal care programs. The proposed revision of this Position Statement broadens it to apply to any animal used or intended for use in basic and applied scientific investigation, testing, the production of biological materials, and educational activities.

      View the proposed revision and submit comments: comments must be submitted by December 22.

      Dec 22, 2017
      Dec 04, 2017
      SOT Satellite Meeting to Focus on Organotypic Culture Models

      A Society of Toxicology (SOT) Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting titled "Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing" will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018. This satellite meeting of the SOT Annual Meeting will focus on the development and use of organotypic cultures as alternatives to 2-D cultures that integrate surrounding architecture components (e.g., stroma, extracellular matrix) and provide a better in vitro representation of the in vivo biology. Presenters will discuss emerging organotypic models that may inform mechanistic understanding, as well as practical considerations that are key to incorporating these tools into the next generation of in vitro research and safety evaluation.

      The meeting will be held in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is open to SOT members and nonmembers; early-bird registration is open through February 9, 2018. Abstracts will be accepted through February 2, 2018; there is a registration fee to attend the meeting but no additional fee is required to submit an abstract. For more information visit the SOT website.

      Feb 02, 2018
      Nov 17, 2017
      Data Available for Project on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

      NICEATM invites participation in a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict five specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. Data to train models for this project are now available.

      ICCVAM agencies identified multiple endpoints of interest for this project, including identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg), "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

      Models will be developed and evaluated using rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Models meeting criteria defined by the project organizing committee will be used to generate consensus predictions for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest. A summary of the project and developed models will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed literature, and the toxicity predictions generated by the models will be made available via EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

      View detailed project information: resources available on this page include data files, timeline, and a downloadable document that specifies project objectives and scope, details on the data and processing steps, model evaluation criteria, and additional considerations for project participants. Prediction results from models on two different datasets (training and evaluation set) must be submitted by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

      Feb 09, 2018
      Nov 17, 2017
      Workshop Examines Use of New Data Streams in Decision Making

      The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine will present a workshop on Understanding Pathways to a Paradigm Shift in Toxicity Testing and Decision Making on November 20-21 in Washington, DC.

      Technological advances have led to new approaches to understanding the toxicity of chemicals in humans. However, many questions remain about whether and how to make the shift to using new data streams as the basis for the wide array of research, policy, and regulatory decisions. This workshop will explore key factors that influence how scientists, policymakers, risk assessors, and regulators incorporate new science into their decisions.

      The workshop is free and will be webcast. More information and a link to registration are available on the National Academies website.

      -
      Nov 17, 2017
      NIEHS Webinar Series on Adverse Outcome Pathways Continues November 29

      The Superfund Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is presenting a webinar series on adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), structured ways to represent biological events leading to adverse health effects. The second webinar in the series will be presented November 29. Presenters will discuss the development of AOPs and how they may be used to support hazard and risk assessment.

      • Carole Yauk of Health Canada will present an overview of AOP development.
      • Ed Perkins of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center will discuss how an AOP framework can be integrated with in vitro and in vivo data to support hazard and risk assessment.
      • Justin Teeguarden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will discuss approaches to exposure assessment.
      The webinar will be hosted on the EPA Contaminated Site Clean-Up Information website; registration is free. More information about the webinar series is available on the NIEHS website. This page has a link to a recording of the first webinar in the series, which introduced the AOP concept.

      The webinar series provides background information for an April 2018 workshop on Understanding the Combined Effects of Environmental Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors: Atherosclerosis as a Model. The workshop is being planned and public comments are welcomed: please visit the NIEHS website for details.

      -
      Nov 17, 2017
      FDA Requests Comments on Draft Guidance for Reproductive Toxicity Testing

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested comment on draft guidance ICH S5(R3), "Detection of Toxicity to Reproduction for Human Pharmaceuticals." This document clarifies the qualification and potential use of alternative assays to assess reproductive risk and includes a list of compounds suggested for qualification of assays. FDA recognizes that this list is not complete and is requesting information on potential additional compounds to be added to the list.

      The draft guidance ICH S5(R3) is available on the FDA website. An announcement in the November 13 Federal Register includes instructions on submitting comments on the draft guidance. To ensure consideration as the guidance is finalized, comments should be received by February 12, 2018.

      Feb 12, 2018
      Nov 17, 2017
      ICATM Position Paper on Skin Sensitization Available

      A position paper by representatives of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) proposes practical ways to further promote the regulatory use and facilitate adoption of non-animal defined approaches for skin sensitization assessments. The paper, published online November 10 by Archives of Toxicology, is a work product of the October 2016 workshop, International Regulatory Applicability and Acceptance of Alternative Approaches to Skin Sensitization Assessment of Chemicals. The workshop was hosted by ICATM and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal testing, and was attended by representatives from more than 20 international regulatory authorities, including representatives from NICEATM and ICCVAM.

      The position paper abstract is available on PubMed. More information about the October 2016 workshop and ICATM

      -
      Nov 17, 2017
      Videocast Recording Available of November 2 EPA Meeting on Alternatives

      A videocast recording is available of the November 2 public meeting, Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Vertebrate Animal Testing under the Toxic Substances Control Act, on the NIH Videocast website.

      The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended Section 4(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act to require EPA to develop a Strategic Plan to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine or replace vertebrate animal testing. EPA held this public meeting to obtain input on development of the Strategic Plan. Interested parties may continue to provide input about the draft Strategic Plan through January 3, 2018, by submitting written comments to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 at www.regulations.gov.

      The meeting is summarized in an article on the Chemical Watch website that features comments by ICCVAM member Louis Scarano, EPA, and NICEATM Director Warren Casey.

      -
      Nov 13, 2017
      ICCVAM Initiates Project on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

      The ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup is initiating a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. These endpoints include identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg) and "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

      Models will be developed and evaluated using a large body of rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Submitted models meeting defined criteria will be used to build consensus models for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest to regulatory agencies. It is envisioned that results of the project will be published in a high-profile journal, and the predictions will be made available via the EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

      Data for model development will be released November 17; data files and detailed project information will be available on the NTP website. Project participants will be asked to submit prediction results from their models on two different datasets (training and evaluation set) by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

      -
      Nov 13, 2017
      NC3Rs Offers Cash Prize for 3Rs Advances

      The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and GlaxoSmithKline are sponsoring an award of £30,000 (about $40,000 U.S.) to recognize an outstanding original contribution to scientific and technological advances in replacement, reduction, or refinement in animal use (3Rs) in the biological sciences. This award is open to researchers in academia and industry based anywhere in the world. Research must have been published or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal since September 1, 2014. Nominations must be received by December 4. More information is available on the NC3Rs website.

      Dec 04, 2017
      Nov 13, 2017
      NCATS Presents Webinar on Small Business Funding

      The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) actively supports development of alternatives to animal testing through its research programs and extramural grants. On Tuesday, November 14, NCATS will present a webinar on programs and funding that support small businesses and technology transfer organizations, including those involved in the development of alternative testing approaches. This free webinar will provide overviews of funding opportunities and focus areas and tips for submitting a successful grant application. Register to attend the webinar

      -
      Nov 13, 2017
      SOT Continuing Education Courses Focus on Alternatives

      In conjunction with its 2018 annual meeting, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) will offer continuing education courses on March 11, 2018. Three of these include ICCVAM participation and focus on developing and using alternative methods.

      • ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will co-chair "The What, When, and How of Using Data from Alternative Testing Methods in Chemical Safety Assessments." This course will provide an overview of high-throughput screening assays, in silico tools, and other emerging technologies. Case study exercises will demonstrate use of data from these approaches in different sectors.
      • NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, (NIEHS), NICEATM scientist David Allen (ILS), and ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (EPA), will present at "In Vitro Testing: Tales from the Real World." This course will discuss the application of in vitro, in silico, and in chemico tests to acute toxicity endpoints such as skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization.
      • ICCVAM member Joanna Matheson, Consumer Product Safety Commission, will present at "Consumer Products Safety Assessment: Progress in the Use of Alternatives to Animal Models." This course will provide an overview of the progress in the field of safety evaluation of consumer products ingredients using alternative approaches, including perspectives from regulators and method developers and case studies in use of alternatives with cosmetics and cleaning products.
      Complete information about the SOT continuing education courses is available on the SOT website. Registration for the SOT annual meeting is required to attend the courses; the early-bird deadline for SOT registration is January 12, 2018.
      -
      Oct 30, 2017
      Public Meeting on EPA Plan to Promote Alternative Tests November 2

      The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended Section 4(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing. The Act requires EPA to develop a Strategic Plan for this purpose by June 22, 2018.

      EPA will hold a public meeting on November 2 to obtain input from interested parties and the public on the Agency's development of the Strategic Plan. EPA believes this early feedback will be important in developing a strong Plan. The Agency will consider input from the meeting and from written comments to develop a draft Plan that will be shared with the public for comment.

      The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Porter Neuroscience Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting is open to the public with attendance restricted only by the space available, and will also be webcast. It is being co-organized by EPA and ICCVAM.

      Get more information and register

      Goals and objectives to inform the Strategic Plan are available on the EPA website at and may be used for discussion and comment during the meeting. Interested parties may provide input about the draft Strategic Plan during the meeting. Written comments may be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 at www.regulations.gov. The deadline for receipt of written comments is January 1, 2018.

      -
      Oct 30, 2017
      EPA Seeks Input on Endocrine Panel Questions: Webinar November 6

      EPA will hold a virtual meeting on November 6 to get public input in advance of a November 28-30 meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP). Both meetings will focus on the topic of "Continuing Development of Alternative High-Throughput Screens to Determine Endocrine Disruption, focusing on Androgen Receptor, Steroidogenesis, and Thyroid Pathways."

      The FIFRA SAP will meet in person on November 28-30 to discuss high-throughput screens to determine endocrine disruption. The purpose of the November 6 virtual meeting is to get input from the panel and the public on the draft charge questions for the in-person meeting.

      Those wishing to make oral comments during the November 6 virtual meeting should register by noon on Wednesday, November 1. Those wishing to listen in on the meeting may register at any time. Written comments on the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0214 on www.regulations.gov by noon, November 1. More information about the virtual meeting and the FIFRA SAP are available on the EPA website.

      Register for the virtual meeting

      -
      Oct 26, 2017
      Apply by November 30 for CAAT Young Scientist Award

      The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University is offering the Next Generation Humane Science Award to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage research to replace the use of animals in experiments. The 2017 award will be a prize of up to $9,000 to recognize the work of one young scientist, or the prize may be shared among two or more young scientists.

      Applicants' research must be focused on the replacement of animals used in experimentation. To be eligible for the award, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident working at a U.S.-based institution and have received a Ph.D. or similar degree no earlier than 2012.

      Applications are due no later than November 30. To apply, visit the CAAT website.

      Nov 30, 2017
      Oct 26, 2017
      Report Recommends Dropping Dog Test Requirement in Japan

      A report commissioned by the Japanese Food Safety Commission indicates that there is sufficient evidence to waive the requirement for a one-year repeat-dose test in dogs for pesticides. An October 18 press release by Humane Society International summarizing the report noted that if the Japanese government accepts the waiver recommendation, South Korea would be the last major economy to require such testing.

      The report (in Japanese) is available on the Japanese Food Safety Commission website. Read the Humane Society International press release

      -
      Oct 26, 2017
      Groups Encourage Update of Animal Research Rules in U.S.

      The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and three allied groups are advocating sweeping changes to U.S. animal research rules. Their proposal, described October 24 in the journal Science, would make a single federal research agency responsible for oversight of all research activities using animals, require less frequent lab inspections, and give researchers greater say in crafting new rules. In response to the proposal, animal welfare advocates have raised concerns that such changes would reduce needed oversight of animal use.

      The AAMC proposal is part of an effort to address a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed last year by Congress, which requires the NIH and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the "administrative burden" on U.S. researchers and institutions that use animals. NIH is required to publish recommendations on this provision by December 2018.

      Read the Science article

      -
      Oct 17, 2017
      Scholarship Available for ScitoVation PBPK Course

      The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) and ScitoVation are offering a scholarship to attend ScitoVation's course on (PBPK) modeling in the 21st century. Attendees of this course will learn to apply PBPK modeling to translate the results of in vitro toxicity assays into estimates of safe human exposure. The course will be offered November 6-10, 2017, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Registration and more information

      The ASCCT scholarship is available to graduate students and postgraduates in their first postdoctoral appointment who have demonstrated interest in computational and in vitro toxicology. Those who have already registered for the course are eligible for the award. The award will cover course registration plus up to $1000 in travel cost reimbursement.

      Please submit applications by October 20 to Miyoung Yoon (myoon@scitovation.com) and ASCCT Secretary Kristie Sullivan at ksullivan@ascctox.org. Applicants should provide a CV and a statement of up to 500 words summarizing their interest in computational and in vitro toxicology, why they would like to attend the course, and how it will help them in their career. The winner will be announced by October 25.

      Oct 20, 2017
      Oct 17, 2017
      OECD Releases New Test Guidelines

      On October 9, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released 17 new, updated, corrected, or deleted guidelines for the testing of chemicals. New or updated test guidelines include methods to address the safety of nanomaterials, tests for acute inhalation and acute dermal toxicity that use fewer animals, a new non-animal method for skin sensitization testing, and updates to incorporate integrated approaches to testing and assessment into test guidelines for eye irritation hazard. A list of newly released test guidelines, links to documents, and more information about the OECD Test Guidelines Programme are available on the OECD website.

      -
      Oct 05, 2017
      Grants Available to Support Alternative Methods Development

      The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is accepting applications through Monday, October 9, for the following grant opportunities.

      Oct 10, 2017
      Sep 29, 2017
      Presentations and Videocast of SACATM Meeting Available

      Presentations from the September 18-19 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) are available on the NTP website. Video recordings of the meeting are also available on the National Institutes of Health Videocast website.

      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 main focus of the September 18-19 meeting was to receive input from SACATM on the proposed U.S. Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products.

      The next meeting of SACATM will be held September 5-6, 2018, at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

      -
      Sep 14, 2017 SACATM to Meet Next Week -
      Sep 14, 2017
      Award Offered to Attend IIVS In Vitro Toxicology Workshop

      The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) is offering an award to enable early-career scientists to participate in the Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop. The workshop will be presented by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on January 16-19, 2018. It will include lectures from experts on in vitro toxicology and hands-on laboratory experience in applying in vitro methods.

      The award will cover workshop registration ($1,950 U.S.), as well as airfare and hotel expenses up to $1,000 U.S. Graduate students who have completed their first year of study and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply. The winner must attend the entire four-day workshop. For more information and to apply, please visit the PISC website. The deadline to apply is October 15; the winner will be announced in November.

      Oct 15, 2017
      Sep 14, 2017
      NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at ASCCT Annual Meeting

      The American Society of Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will hold its sixth annual meeting on September 21-22 at IIVS in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Day 1 will focus on alternatives to animal use for acute toxicity testing and feature a plenary presentation by ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The focus of Day 2 will be the directives for use of alternatives to animal testing included in the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, with ICCVAM member Louis Scarano of EPA giving a plenary speech. Other meeting activities include a poster session and reception, a mentoring event, and a tour of the IIVS laboratories.

      Registration for the meeting is still open and a full agenda is available on the ASCCT website. A summary of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities is available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Sep 14, 2017
      SOT and FDA Present Free Webinar October 24

      The Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will present a colloquium on October 24 on In Vitro to In Vivo Concordance for Toxicity Prediction and Use in Safety Assessments. This program is the latest in the series SOT FDA Colloquia on Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety. The October 24 colloquium will feature expert reviews on state-of-the-art in vitro technologies for safety assessment and how they are being utilized.

      The colloquium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the FDA Wiley Federal Building in College Park, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Registration for either in-person attendance or webcast viewing is free. In-person attendance is available to U.S. federal employees only, and those planning to attend in person must register by October 10. More information is available on the SOT website.

      -
      Sep 17, 2017
      Registration Open for SACATM Meeting; Comments Due September 11

      The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet September 18-19 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. The main focus of the upcoming meeting is to receive input from SACATM on the proposed U.S. Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products.

      The SACATM meeting is open to the public and attendance is free. Registration is now open to attend the meeting in person or view the webcast. Those wishing to submit written comments or register to present oral comments at the meeting should do so by Monday, September 11. Links to registration, an agenda, and all meeting materials are available on the NTP website.

      -
      Sep 17, 2017
      NIEHS Offers Grants for Development of Culture Models

      NIEHS is providing grants for development of novel in vitro systems using cells from experimental animal models typically used for toxicology testing. The intent is that these systems will replicate biological responses within the corresponding animal tissues or organs. When developed and validated, these systems will provide information needed to predict toxicity of chemical and drug candidates, enable comparisons with existing in vivo animal toxicity data, serve as newer assays for toxicology testing, and have the potential for reducing the numbers of animals used in toxicology testing.

      These grants of up to $150,000 for Phase I awards and up to $1 million for Phase II awards are only available to U.S. small businesses. Applications will be accepted starting December 12, with an application due date of January 12, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow time before the due date to correct errors that may be found in the application. Details about the grants are available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.

      Jan 12, 2018
      Sep 17, 2017
      Challenge Supports Development of Biomedical Research Models

      The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation is sponsoring the Alternatives in Research (AiR) Challenge. The AiR Challenge is intended to stimulate innovative research that advances medical progress using methods that do not involve animals. Up to five grants of $20,000 each will be awarded to projects that employ new or modified disease models, new uses of existing models, or new or modified techniques in biomedical research applications. Proposals will be judged by a scientific advisory committee on their scientific merit and feasibility, potential impact in their area of biomedical research, and their potential ability to replace or reduce the use of laboratory animals.

      Only U.S. academic, government, or small business institutions are eligible for the AiR Challenge awards, and no proposals that use intact non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals will be considered. Pre-proposals must be submitted by October 5, with full proposals due December 15. More information is available on the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation website.

      Information about this and other funding opportunities for alternative methods development is available on the NICEATM website.

      Dec 15, 2017
      Sep 17, 2017
      New Review Describes Use of AOPs in EPA Screening Program

      A review in the September issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives describes how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses adverse outcome pathway (AOP) and toxicity pathway frameworks in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The review, co-authored by NICEATM Director Warren Casey, describes how these frameworks help to establish biologically plausible links between endocrine mechanisms and apical responses when those end points are not measured in the same assay.

      -
      Aug 31, 2017
      NTP to Present Webinars on Genomic Dose-response Modeling

      An ongoing NTP webinar series focuses on the use of genomic features to assess dose-related response to test article treatment. The first two webinars, presented August 30 and September 1, discuss approaches to genomic dose-response modeling being explored by NTP and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, respectively. Webinars to be presented later in September will discuss methods developed at North Carolina State University and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

      The webinars are free and open to the public. More information is available on the webinar series webpage; recordings of past webinars will also be available on this page.

      -
      Aug 31, 2017
      Registration Open and Agenda Available for ASCCT Annual Meeting

      The Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be held September 21-22 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Day 1 of the meeting will focus on alternatives to animal use for acute toxicity testing, while Day 2 will focus on the directives for use of alternatives to animal testing included in the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.

      Registration for the meeting is open and a full agenda is available on the ASCCT website. ASCCT will accept abstracts for poster presentations on any topics related to in vitro and computational toxicology through this Friday, September 1; abstract submission details are available on the meeting webpage.

      -
      Aug 31, 2017
      Small Business Grant Deadline September 5

      As part of a large Department of Health and Human Services solicitation of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant applications, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is providing support for development of technologies to improve predictivity in toxicology testing to support the goals and initiatives of Tox21.

      The next application deadline for these grants is next Tuesday, September 5. Details about the grants are available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website; additional information and resources are available on the NICEATM website.

      NIH recognizes that businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey may find it difficult to meet the upcoming deadline and will consider accepting applications late on a case-by-case basis under specific circumstances. An announcement describing implementation of relevant NIH policies for businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey is available on the NIH website.

      Sep 05, 2017
      Aug 31, 2017
      EPA Requests Comment on Candidates for Advisory Panel

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) on November 28-30 in Arlington, Virginia. The FIFRA SAP provides scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. The November meeting will focus on "Continuing Development of Alternative High-Throughput Screens to Determine Endocrine Disruption, focusing on Androgen Receptor, Steroidogenesis, and Thyroid Pathways."

      A list of ad hoc candidates to serve on the panel at the November meeting has been posted on the EPA website. EPA is accepting comments on the candidates through Thursday, September 7. Comments on panel nominees should be provided to the Designated Federal Official, Dr. Todd Peterson, via email at peterson.todd@epa.gov or telephone at (202) 564-6428.

      Sep 07, 2017
      Aug 31, 2017
      Proceedings and Presentations from Tenth World Congress

      In its latest issue, the journal ALTEX Proceedings has published all abstracts from the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. The issue is available on the ALTEX website. View a list of NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at the Tenth World Congress

      -
      Aug 15, 2017
      Workshop on Expanding Nonanimal Research at World Congress

      NICEATM Director Warren Casey will join experts from a broad range of stakeholder groups to discuss "Breaking Through Scientific and Cultural Barriers to Expand Nonanimal Research." This interactive workshop will be held Sunday, August 20, from 3:30-6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington, and is organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

      The event is being held in conjunction with the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. However, you do not have to be registered for World Congress to attend. Attendance is free but those planning to attend should RSVP.

      -
      Aug 15, 2017
      OECD Releases New Version of QSAR Toolbox

      The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched version 4.1 of QSAR Toolbox. QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed for assessing the hazards of chemicals. Features in version 4.1 include updated profilers and metabolic simulators along with new databases, functionalities, and migration tools. More information about the update, links to download QSAR Toolbox, and background information is available on the OECD website.

      -
      Aug 15, 2017
      19th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference

      The 19th Annual HHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Conference will convene on November 7-9, 2017 at the Hilton Milwaukee Conference Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

      This meeting is designed to educate attendees about the SBIR and STTR programs, and how to develop competitive proposals and secure awards. Representatives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Small Business Administration (SBA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Administration for Community Living (ACL) will be present. The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will also attend to give presentations and answer questions during one-on-one meetings.

      More information about the meeting, including a draft agenda and registration information is available on the Medical College of Wisconsin website.

      -
      Aug 15, 2017
      NC3Rs Workshop Report Published

      The U.K. National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) has published a report from the February 2017 workshop "Applying Exposure Science to Increase the Utility of Non-Animal Data in Efficacy and Safety Testing." The workshop, organized in collaboration with Unilever, was attended by 83 expert scientists from government, academia, and the (agro)chemical, consumer products, and pharmaceutical industries. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer gave a presentation entitled "Incorporating exposure driven approaches and in vitro data into regulatory decision making" as part of the workshop. The report is available for download from the NC3Rs website.

      -
      Aug 08, 2017
      OECD Issues Guidance Relevant to Alternative Methods Development

      The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently issued two guidance documents relevant to alternative methods development:

      A full list of OECD guidance documents for chemical safety testing is available on the OECD website.
      -
      Aug 08, 2017
      NIH to Hold Small Business Workshop

      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a Multi-Institute Small Business Workshop September 7-8 in New Orleans. This event will inform attendees about the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, which provide support for researchers developing new methods for testing of chemicals. The workshop will feature presentations from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other institutes, and provide detailed guidance for applying to these funding programs and successfully managing an award. Attendees will interact with SBIR/STTR program staff, investors, commercialization experts, and successful entrepreneurs. There is no charge to attend the event. Register and get more details

      -
      Aug 08, 2017
      Opportunity Available for Regulatory Science Advisor

      Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States are seeking a Regulatory Science Advisor – Toxicology to work in North America on regulatory affairs and corporate outreach. The successful applicant will have a number of communications and outreach responsibilities focused on accelerating regulatory acceptance and corporate use of scientifically valid alternative non-animal test methods and strategies in the North American chemicals and pesticides sectors. The position requires an M.S. or Ph.D. in toxicology or a related discipline with at least five years' experience in a government regulatory position or industry regulatory affairs role. It will be located at either the Washington, DC, or Montreal, Canada, office of HSI, and thus candidates must be eligible to work in either the United States or Canada. More information is available on the ChemicalWatch website; applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Aviva Vetter at avetter@hsi.org by August 28.

      Aug 28, 2017
      Jul 31, 2017
      USDA Exemptions Help Reduce Live Animal Use in Leptospira Vaccine Potency Testing

      Leptospirosis is a transmissible bacterial disease of animals and humans caused by infection with any of the pathogenic members of the genus Leptospira. The organism is shed in the urine and milk of infected animals and may cause symptoms of renal and hepatic disease, which could be fatal. Disease transmission to man and animals is reduced by the vaccination of cattle, swine, and dogs. In light of this, the potency of these vaccines must be tested by law.

      In April 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service–Center for Veterinary Biologics (USDA-APHIS-CVB) issued CVB Notice 17-06, "Option to Remove Back-titration Hamsters from In Vivo Potency Tests for Leptospira Serogroups Pomona and Grippotyphosa." This notice permits the removal of back-titration hamsters when potency testing vaccines containing L. pomona and L. grippotyphosa in accordance with 9 CFR 113 §101-104. This exemption to the codified test can reduce animal use up to 50% for these serogroups. CVB Notice 17-06 along with the 2015 CVB Notice 15-13, "Option to Remove Back-titration Hamsters from In Vivo Potency Tests for Leptospira Serogroups Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae" are available on the USDA-APHIS website.

      CVB Notice 17-06 is the latest action in a continuing effort by USDA, an ICCVAM member, to reduce the number of hamsters required for potency testing of leptospirosis vaccines. In 2013, APHIS issued Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.102, which permitted the use of the in vitro ELISA test developed by CVB as a complete alternative to live animal usage required under 9 CFR 113 §101-104. CVB provides supplemental assay methods for in vitro testing using the ELISA test. All of these documents are available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Jul 31, 2017
      NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at World Congress

      NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will be active participants at the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, which runs August 20-24 in Seattle, Washington. ICCVAM members will co-chair four presentation sessions and participate on roundtable panels on regulatory issues and big data. NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will also share their latest work in 16 oral and poster presentations. A full list of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at World Congress is on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Jul 18, 2017
      Toxics Accepting Applications for Postdoc Travel Award

      The journal Toxics is accepting applications for a travel award from postdoctoral fellows or trainees involved in toxicology research. The award of 800 Swiss francs (approximately $800 U.S.) will support travel to an international conference in 2018 at which the awardee will give an oral or poster presentation.

      Applicants should submit the following to toxics@mdpi.com by November 30:

      • A 500-word description of current and future work
      • CV including complete publication list
      • A description of the conference to be attended and the work to be presented
      • A letter of recommendation from the applicant's supervisor or PI
      Applications will be assessed by an evaluation committee chaired by Toxics Editor-in-chief Prof. Dr. David Bellinger. The winner will be announced in January 2018.
      Nov 30, 2017
      Jul 18, 2017
      World Congress Late-breaking Abstracts Due July 31

      Late-breaking abstracts will be accepted through July 31 for the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, which runs August 20-24 in Seattle, Washington. Full instructions for submitting late-breaking abstracts are available on the World Congress website, as are the complete scientific program, registration and housing information, and other conference information.

      -
      Jul 18, 2017
      Slides Available from BioMed21 Workshop

      Presenters' slides from the June 26-27 workshop "BioMed21 – A Human Pathway-based Approach to Disease and Medicine" are now available. The presentations from government, academic, and industry scientists addressed how to implement a human systems-biology platform for understanding disease and improving interventions.

      The workshop was co-organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium. In addition to the presentations, an overview of the workshop and background materials are available on the NICEATM website.

      -
      Jul 05, 2017
      ASCCT Abstract Submssion Deadline Extended

      The deadline for abstract submissions for the annual meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology has been extended to July 10. ASCCT will consider abstracts relevant to replacement of animal use for acute systemic toxicity testing or implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for oral presentations during the plenary sessions focused on these topics. ASCCT also welcomes submission of abstracts on other topics relevant to in vitro and computational toxicology and will consider these for oral or poster presentations. Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by August 1.

      The meeting is September 21-22 at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences in Gaithersburg, MD. More information about the meeting, a preliminary program, and a link to register are available on the ASCCT website.

      Jul 10, 2017