PATB Committee Protein Toxins Workshop

Virtual workshop, hosted by the HESI PATB Committee
October 21, 2020 – October 22, 2020
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

HESI & SOT FSSS Image v2

The HESI Protein Allergens, Toxins, and Bioinformatics (PATB) Committee is co-hosting a virtual workshop in collaboration with the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Food Safety Specialty Section titled "From Protein Toxins to Applied Toxicological Testing" in the context of safety assessment of novel foods and feeds. The virtual workshop will take place on 21–22 October 2020 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST each day and is open to all interested participants. It will cover the state of the science in protein toxins biology (structure, activity, MOA, etc.), current bioinformatics approaches used to identify and characterize protein toxins, with the ultimate goal to leverage computational biology and in silico approaches for determining the potential of a protein to present toxic properties.

The Protein Toxins Workshop will serve the dual purpose of learning about the advances in protein toxin research presented by recognized international academic experts in the field and assessing the translation of knowledge to practical applications (e.g., into weight-of-evidence approaches for the safety assessment of biotechnology products; relevance, applicability, and limitations of existing protein toxin databases and tools for risk assessment). The desired outcome of this event is to help inform the development of contemporary and scientifically robust approaches for the identification and classification of potential toxicity risk in novel proteins.



  • Date: Wednesday, 21 October 2020 - Thursday, 22 October 2020
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST
  • Registration: Register here
Protein Toxin Image

Workshop Program


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Session Chairs: Dr. Emir Islamovic (BASF and HESI PATB Committee Co-Chair) and Dr. Ray Matulka (Burdock Group Consultants and SOT member)


Opening Session

9:00 AM - Welcome and Opening Remarks (Dr. Lucilia Mouriès, HESI, and Session Chairs)

9:15 AM - Context and Background Presentations: From Protein Toxins to Biotechnology Products (HESI PATB Committee members and  SOT FSSS speakers)

  • Regulatory Approvals for Biotechnology Products: Dr. Laura Privalle, BASF, HESI PATB Committee Protein Toxins Task Force
  • Allergen and Toxin Databases: Dr. Andre Silvanovich, Bayer, HESI PATB Committee member
  • Essential Components of a Regulatory Safety Assessment for a Protein Based, Novel Food Ingredient: Dr. Ray Matulka, Burdock Group Consultants, SOT member

10:45 AM - Break


Keynote Presentation (11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST)

11:00 AM - Overview of Protein Toxins Biology and the Vibrio MARTX Toxins: Prof. Karla Fullner Satchell, Northwestern University, USA

12:00 PM - Session-wide Q&A and discussion

1:00 PM - Adjourn


Thursday, 22 October 2020

Session 2: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in Protein Toxins Research

Session Chairs: Dr. Colton Kessenich (Bayer and HESI PATB Committee Protein Toxins Task Force) and Dr. Mansi Krishan (BD, Immediate Past President, and SOT Food Safety Specialty Section 2020-2021)


9:00 AM - Opening Remarks (Session Chairs)

9:10 AM - Protein Toxins: Overview of Databases and Other Resources: Dr. Florence Jungo, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics / SwissProt, Switzerland

9:50 AM - Discovery of Novel Bacterial Toxins Through Bioinformatic Data Mining: Prof. Andrew Doxey, University of Waterloo, Canada

10:30 AM - Break

10:45 AM - Insights into the EFSA Protein Risk Assessment: In Silico Tools: Dr. Anna Lanzoni, European Food Safety Agency, Italy

11:15 AM - Protein Toxicity: An Integrated In Silico Pipeline: Dr. Luca Palazzolo, University of Milano, Italy

11:45 AM - Session-wide Q&A and discussion

12:30 PM - Summary of Day 1 and Day 2

1:00 PM - Adjourn


Please see the full, detailed workshop program here as well as suggested reading materials here. For more information, please contact the PATB Committee's Senior Scientific Program Manager, Dr. Lucilia Mouriès at