HESI Insights - February 2021

HESI Programs Included in Brazil Risk Assessment Course and Alternatives Workshop

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Drs. Michelle Embry and Sandrine Deglin, in collaboration with Drs. Shadia Catalano and Marcela Giachini (Corteva Agriscience), conducted a RISK21 module on 26 January 2021 as part of a course on “Risk Assessment for Environmental Health Hazards.” The course was part of the “1st Workshop for Risk Assessment: Successes and Challenges for Safety Assessment,” focused on alternative methods for safety assessment and organized by the Federal University of Paraná, University of São Paulo, and University of Washington.

The 3-hour course highlighted the RISK21 program, featured the importance of problem formulation, and illustrated the use of the approach within industry. A tutorial on the RISK21 web tool as well as introductory hands-on case studies were conducted virtually. The training was attended by 21 participants from academia and various industry sectors. It concluded a 5-day course that included more detailed modules on toxicity evaluation, risk assessment, exposure assessment, toxicity endpoints and organ toxicity, and risk perception and communication.

Dr. Embry also gave a presentation on 29 January 2021 as part of the workshop entitled “Alternative Methods and 3Rs for Ecological Risk Assessment,” which highlighted ongoing work by two of HESI’s committees: the Animal Alternatives in Ecological Risk Assessment Committee and the Bioaccumulation Committee. The lecture was attended by >100 people. For more information on the workshop, please visit https://ws3rra.com.br/.

Environmental Epidemiology Committee Webinar Series

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This year, HESI’s Environmental Epidemiology Committee is launching a webinar series to illustrate the critical role epidemiology can play in the field of quantitative risk assessment. Speakers will provide insight on how to best realize the full potential of human studies in risk assessment and regulatory decision-making and will feature ongoing efforts in this space.

Prof. Harvey Checkoway (University of California, San Diego) will kick off the series with a presentation titled “The Contributions of Environmental Epidemiologic Research to Causal Attribution and Risk Assessment.” Please join us on 18 March 2021 from 1 PM – 2 PM EST for Prof. Checkoway’s presentation, which will be followed by a Q&A session. To register for the first webinar, please click here. To learn more about the Environmental Epidemiology Committee or the webinar series, or to suggest speakers, please contact Dr. Sandrine Deglin (sdeglin@hesiglobal.org).

COMPARE Database 2021
Now Available

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The COMPARE Database is a transparent resource for the identification of protein sequences that are known allergens. The fifth iteration of the database, COMPARE 2021, was released on 29 January 2021 and includes new updates to enhance user experience. Check out the COMPARE Database updates at comparedatabase.org! For more information, please visit the website or email compare@hesiglobal.org.

Welcome to New HESI Staff: Liisa Koski

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Please join us in welcoming our newest staff member, Liisa Koski! Liisa is our new Scientific Project Manager who will be working on the COMPARE Database. Liisa received her BS in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Guelph and her MS in biology from McMaster University (Canada). During graduate school, her research focused on using bioinformatics to identify horizontally transferred genes. Liisa’s career as a bioinformatician has spanned over 17 years in both academic and commercial settings in Germany, Canada, and the United States, involving many international collaborations in the areas of RNAi, functional annotation, and NGS analysis.

HESI Sessions at
SOT 2021


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The HESI Translational Biomarkers of Neurotoxicity (NeuTox) Committee, Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) Committee, and Botanical Safety Consortium (BSC) will present their work at the 2021 Society of Toxicology (SOT) virtual Annual Meeting & ToxExpo on 22-24 March 2021. Additionally, Dr. Syril Pettit, HESI Executive Director, will participate in the SOT/EUROTOX Debate “Individualized Toxicity is the Future of Risk Assessment” as the SOT Debater on 17 March 2021.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021
10 AM – 11:15 AM EST
SOT/EUROTOX Debate – Individual Toxicity is the Future of Risk Assessment

  • SOT Debater: Dr. Syril Pettit, HESI

Monday, 22 March 2021
11:15 AM – 1 PM EST
Poster – CSF Proteome as Fluidic Biomarkers of Neurotoxicity

  • Presenting Author(s): Dr. Syed Imam, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Abstract Number / Poster Number: 2482 / P220

Tuesday, 23 March 2021
1 PM – 2:45 PM EST
Poster – Quantifying the DARTable Genome for Prediction of Teratogenic Doses: A Case Study Using Retinoic Acid Pathway-Induced Developmental Toxicity

  • Presenting Author(s): Dr. Richard Currie, Syngenta, et al.
  • Abstract Number / Poster Number: 2763 / P229

Wednesday, 24 March 2021
11:45 AM – 2:30 PM EST
Symposium Session – Botanical Mixtures: Predictive Approaches to Evaluating Pregnancy, and Reproductive and Developmental Health

Learn more and register here.

Save the Date!
2021 HESI Annual Meeting

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Save the date! The 2021 HESI Annual Meeting will be held virtually on 9-10 June 2021. Don’t miss the chance to hear from health and environmental scientists from around the world.

Stay tuned for program and registration details.

From the Leadership

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As HESI becomes an increasingly global organization, we look forward to participating in the growing emphasis on addressing human and environmental health issues worldwide. HESI is excited to continue producing research that informs applied health protection decision-making around the world. We recognize that we are not alone in our mission to create a safer, more sustainable world and we are progressing our efforts to make HESI a truly global organization through innovative collaborations. Over the past year, the HESI Board of Trustees Global Outreach Strategic Initiative has been working to increase HESI activity in regions with high health and environmental burdens. For example, we are building novel partnerships in Brazil related to COVID-19 testing, in Columbia to address drinking water safety, and in Malawi to study the use and safety of botanical medicines. We will continue to prioritize HESI’s scientific presence and health impact in global areas with developing economies, as we know this support is essential to not only address pressing issues such as COVID-19, but also to reduce health disparities worldwide.

Martin van den Berg, PhD, ERT
HESI Chair

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Fax: +1-202-659-3859

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