Join us at our SOT satellite meeting for the latest updates on 21st century toxicology

Attending the the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting this March? Join the Human Toxicology Project Consortium (HTPC) and the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at our annual satellite meeting on advancing 21st century toxicology activities. The meeting provides an informal setting for interested stakeholders to update one other on this important topic. A number of invited presentations are featured; there will also be time for an “open microphone” segment in which participants are welcome to make announcements or to comment on germane topics, with or without a few slides.

Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology:
Invited Presentations and Open Microphone
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 12:30-4:00 pm
Hilton Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD

Registration

Please register by email at your earliest convenience with Camila Januario at cjanuar1@jhu.edu. Box lunches will be available to those who have pre-registered.

Agenda

12:30  Welcome – Martin Stephens (Johns Hopkins University); Box lunch (for pre-registered participants)

1:00    Invited updates (10-minute talks each followed by up to 5 minutes of discussion)

  • ToxCast – Russell Thomas (EPA)
  • Tox21 – Rick Paules (NIEHS)
  • EU Tox-Risk – Bob van de Water (Leiden University)
  • ICCVAM – Nicole Kleinstreuer (NICEATM)
  • Organ-on-a-chip & Predictive Toxicology Roadmap – Suzanne Fitzpatrick (FDA)
  • Progress in implementing NAMs under TSCA – Gino Scarano (EPA)
  • Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods – Charu Chandrasekera (University of Windsor)
  • Evidence-based data analytics predict human DILI using ToxCast data – Katya Tsaioun (Johns Hopkins)
  • Human Toxicology Project Consortium – Catherine Willett (Humane Society International)
  • CAAT’s In Silico Prediction Tool – Thomas Hartung (Johns Hopkins)

3:30    Open microphone for comments, announcements, and discussion

4:00    Adjourn

CAAT HTPC partners organs-on-chips Tox21 ToxCast

Human Toxicology Project Consortium at the Society of Toxicology meeting in New Orleans

You’ll find the Human Toxicology Project Consortium at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting in New Orleans next week – in the ToxExpo center, poster sessions, workshops, and seminars.

  • Visit HTPC’s informational booth at ToxExpo, booth #1704.
  • HTPC is co-sponsoring a “hands-on” seminar, “Creating an Adverse Outcome Pathway in the AOP Wiki,” on Tuesday, March 15, from 5-7PM in the Hilton Riverside.  More details about the seminar can be found here.
  • HTPC is also once again co-sponsoring and presenting at the annual SOT Satellite Meeting, Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology and Related Efforts: Invited Presentations and Open Microphone, on Thursday, March 17, 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Jefferson Ballroom. As always, this informative meeting features a number of invited presentations, and also allows time for an “open microphone” segment in which participants are welcome to give brief presentations on germane topics.

The draft program is as follows:

12:30 PM—Box Lunch (for pre-registered participants) and Welcome by Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins University

1:00 PM—Invited Speakers (10 minute presentations each followed by 5 minute of discussion)

ToxCast Update: Russell Thomas, US Environmental Protection Agency

EDSP21 Update: David Dix, US Environmental Protection Agency

Tox21 Update: Richard Paules, US National Toxicology Program

Hamner TT21C Update: Melvin Andersen, Hamner Institutes

NICEATM Update: Warren Casey, NICEATM

SEURAT/EU Tox-Risk Update: Michael Schwarz, University of Tuebingen

CAAT’s Read-Across Initiative and Human Toxome-Related Activity Update: Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins

Human Toxicology Project Consortium Update: Catherine Willett, HTPC

Evidence-Based Toxicology Update: Martin Stephens, Johns Hopkins

3:15 PM—Open Microphone for Additional Presentations and Discussion

4:00 PM—Adjourn

  • Kate Willett will also present a poster in the Regulation and Policy session, Wednesday, March 16, 1:15 PM to 4:45 PM: “Regulatory Acceptance of Non-standard Toxicological Methods through Increased use of Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA)” (Abstract #3003/Poster #P143).

Corporate members and partners of HTPC will be presenting at SOT next week, as well.  Scientists from each of the member corporations are coauthors on the following posters:

alternative toxicity testing AOPs CAAT computational toxicology Dow EPA ExxonMobil HTPC members in the news HTPC partners L'Oreal P&G regulatory toxicology Tox21 ToxCast Unilever

Researchers at HTPC partner organization CAAT create stem-cell derived mini-brains

CAAT's stem cell-derived "mini-brain"/image by Thomas Hartung (used with permission)

CAAT’s stem cell-derived “mini-brain”/image by Thomas Hartung (used with permission)


Researchers at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) have developed a process to create “mini-brains” derived from stem cells reprogrammed from human skin cells. The resulting structures exhibit a number of cell types and cell functions of the human brain, and can be produced economically and in sufficient numbers to be especially useful for screening chemicals and drug candidates. The mini-brains will also be used to study Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and autism.

From CAAT’s press release:

“[Principal investigator] Hartung and his colleagues created the brains using what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state and then are stimulated to grow into brain cells. Cells from the skin of several healthy adults were used to create the mini-brains, but Hartung says that cells from people with certain genetic traits or certain diseases can be used to create brains to study various types of pharmaceuticals. He says the brains can be used to study Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and even autism. Projects to study viral infections, trauma and stroke have been started.

Hartung’s mini-brains are very small—at 350 micrometers in diameter, or about the size of the eye of a housefly, they are just visible to the human eye—and hundreds to thousands of exact copies can be produced in each batch. One hundred of them can grow easily in the same petri dish in the lab. After cultivating the mini-brains for about two months, the brains developed four types of neurons and two types of support cells: astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, the latter of which go on to create myelin, which insulates the neuron’s axons and allows them to communicate faster.

The researchers could watch the myelin developing and could see it begin to sheath the axons. The brains even showed spontaneous electrophysiological activity, which could be recorded with electrodes, similar to an electroencephalogram, also known as EEG. To test them, the researchers placed a mini-brain on an array of electrodes and listened to the spontaneous electrical communication of the neurons as test drugs were added.

“We don’t have the first brain model nor are we claiming to have the best one,” says Hartung, who also directs the School’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

“But this is the most standardized one. And when testing drugs, it is imperative that the cells being studied are as similar as possible to ensure the most comparable and accurate results.”

Hartung elaborated on this point to Gizmodo: “There are a handful of such models described over the last two years,” he said. “They show more fancy brain structures, but each and every one looks different, often with cells in the middle dying because of lack of oxygen as they have no blood vessels. We produce hundreds of identical mini-brains, every week. This is critical for testing and comparing substances. They have exactly the same size below a critical diameter.”

Learn more in the video embedded here.

alternative toxicity testing brain organoids CAAT HTPC members in the news stem cells