HESI Insights - April 2020

Selected COVID-19 Information Sources

Read More

HESI is actively exploring new ways to support the global health community in response to COVID-19. If you have specific suggestions as to how HESI can best leverage its expertise and networks, please contact us at hesi@hesiglobal.org with the subject header “COVID-Support.”

HESI has also compiled selected COVID-19 information sources. The resources provided are offered as links to publicly accessible information from public (government, academic, clinical, and NGO) sources. Information is changing daily and we will do our best to update with new resource links as we are made aware of them. Click here to see the full resource page.

Botanical Safety Consortium
Spring 2020 Activities and Updates

Read More
  • Modern Toxicology to Dietary Supplements with Ancient Roots: Botanical Safety in the 21st Century” that highlights the BSC will be held via webinar on 23 April 2020 from 1:00 to 3:45 p.m. (US Eastern). The session is open to anyone and registration is available here. Presentations will include the following:
    • Introduction. Cynthia Rider (NIEHS/NTP, Research Triangle Park, NC)
    • Applying Modern Toxicology to Botanical Dietary Supplements. Michelle Embry (HESI, Washington, DC)
    • Chemical Analysis: The Foundation of Botanical Safety. Joshua Kellog (Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA)
    • Developing and Applying In Vitro Liver Models to Address Potential Hepatotoxicity of Botanical Dietary Supplements. Amy Roe (Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH)
    • Systems Toxicology Approaches to Evaluate Botanical Safety. Joseph Dever (Amway Nutrilite, Grand Rapids, MI)
    • Challenges and Approaches for Using Animal and Human Data to Evaluate In Vitro Systems in Botanical Safety Assessment. Cynthia Rider (NIEHS/NTP, Research Triangle Park, NC)
  • The Botanical Safety Consortium will hold an informational virtual meeting on 29 May 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (US Eastern). The meeting has the following aims:
    • Providing information on the general structure, mission, objectives, and strategy of the Consortium and its technical working groups;
    • Recruit new members; and
    • Solicit input on current scientific challenges and opportunities related to the safety of dietary botanicals.

Information on how to connect to the meeting and the agenda will be available on the website soon. Presentations will be recorded and made available after the meeting.

  • The Consortium was highlighted in the most recent issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor, available here.

For more information about the Botanical Safety Consortium, including how to join this exciting group, please visit botanicalsafetyconsortium.org or email Connie Mitchell (cmitchell@hesiglobal.org) or Michelle Embry (membry@hesiglobal.org).

Cardiac Safety Committee
Publishes Cross-Collaborative
Ion Channel CiPA Study in
Nature Scientific Reports

Read More
HESI is pleased to share a recent publication in Nature Scientific Reports, titled Cross-site and cross-platform variability of automated patch clamp assessments of drug effects on human cardiac currents in recombinant cells” (Kramer et al. 2020).
This publication includes several years’ worth of work on a large, cross-collaborative study involving 17 sites and 5 different automated patch clamp platforms. Sites tested 12 drugs from the CiPA 28 list including drugs from the high, intermediate, and low risk categories.
Results of these studies are presented in this paper, and include four cardiac currents: hERG, peak and late sodium, and calcium. The goal of this paper is to present results and identify potential sources of variability from “real-world” experiences using automated patch clamp platforms, as well as discuss some best practices that may help provide consensus on standardized experimental conditions and protocols.
Additionally, assessment of these four cardiac currents is essential to inform the CiPA in silico model and as such, understanding the variability and working to minimize it is critical to the success of this program. This study represents a key piece of work for the CiPA initiative and HESI continues working with partners to support the collection of ion channel data for CiPA.
The paper is available online ahead of print and open access. Please contact Jennifer Pierson (jpierson@hesiglobal.org), Senior Scientific Program Manager, with any questions related to this paper or the Cardiac Safety Committee portfolio.

2020 HESI Annual Meeting Update

Read More

HESI has been closely monitoring developments pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, coupled with advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we have made the decision to move the 2020 HESI Annual Meeting to a virtual meeting format. Please continue to hold 9-10 June 2020 on your calendars! On those dates, we will host selected, live online presentations and discussion sessions to allow access to some of the content we had planned for our in-person meeting. Updates on timing and content will be posted here as they become available.

From the Leadership

Read More

The last three weeks have been unlike any other – for all of us. In many ways, both bad and good, this time has drawn us closer together as a global community of scientists, citizens, and colleagues. As are all of you, we are actively following the rapidly changing health messaging and research. We have included a page with links to available technical resources on our site. Undoubtedly, the publicly accessible scientific approaches to drug and vaccine safety, risk assessment, epidemiology, and exposure evaluation that HESI has developed and will develop will be critical foundations to addressing this global pandemic in the near to long term. I am actively encouraging all of our partners and programs to consider whether there are new opportunities to leverage our expertise and resources to support global efforts to combat COVID-19. If you have suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish all of you good health and give a special thanks to those who are on the front lines of combating this virus. Take care and stay in touch.

Syril D. Pettit, DrPH, MEM
HESI Executive Director

Contact Us

Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)

Phone: +1-202-659-8404
Fax: +1-202-659-3859

740 15th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005

Stay Informed

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.