HESI Insights - March 2020

FDA-NIEHS-HESI Led Botanical Safety Consortium
Announces Call for Participants & 2020 Activities

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The Botanical Safety Consortium (BSC) was officially convened in November 2019, as the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the non-profit Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI). The mission of the BSC is to provide a forum for global scientists from government, academia, consumer health groups, industry, and non-profit organizations to work collaboratively to generate a sound scientific basis for integrating existing safety data and the latest toxicology tools to evaluate safety in botanical dietary supplements.

Click here to read the full announcement. For additional information about the Botanical Safety Consortium, including how to join, visit www.botanicalsafetyconsortium.org or contact botanicalsafety@hesiglobal.org.

Congratulations to HESI Board of Trustees Member, José Manautou!

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HESI congratulates Dr. José Manautou, HESI Board of Trustees Member, for being appointed as the School of Pharmacy Department Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Manautou joined the School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in 1995, became an associate professor in 2001, and was promoted to full professor in 2011. He has been serving as assistant dean for research and graduate education since 2013 and interim department head since 2016. Click here to read the full announcement via UConn Today.

CT-TRACS Committee Session at ISCT 2020 Annual Meeting

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The HESI CT-TRACS Committee is pleased to present a session titled “Imaging Cellular Therapeutics” at the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting on 29 May 2020 from 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM in Paris, France. Guest speakers will provide insights into how non-invasive in vivo cell tracking technologies and methods can aid in the assessment and management of eventual toxicities, provide opportunities to optimize the safety and efficacy of cell-based therapies, and, ultimately, benefit their clinical translation.

The full ISCT Annual Meeting will take place 27–30 May 2020 and through its theme, “Accelerating CGT Adoption – Proof of Concept to Standard of Care,” will showcase advancements in both the understanding and clinical translation of many biological systems including mesenchymal stem cells, immune effector cells, and extracellular vesicles, as well as recent progress in mastering such biotechnologies as tissue and cell engineering, organoids, gene editing, and induced pluripotent stem cells. Additionally, ISCT 2020 represents a unique opportunity to gather with interested stakeholders from around the world who share the vision of a future in human medicine in which cell and gene therapies add to the portfolio of potentially curative therapies.

Click here to learn more about the CT-TRACS Committee Session at the ISCT Annual Meeting.

Registration Now Open!
2020 HESI Annual Meeting

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Register now for the 2020 HESI Annual Meeting! Join us for an opportunity to connect with human and environmental health scientists from around the world while learning about HESI’s ever-evolving portfolio of programs and new science on the horizon.

This year’s agenda features exciting speakers on topics such as implementing artificial intelligence approaches to improve human and environmental health protection, innovating toxicology and safety assessment, and more, as well as the opportunity to network with leading scientists from around the globe. Featured speakers include Dr. Janny van den Eijnden-van Raaij (Institute for Human Organ and Disease Model Technologies), Dr. Bob Diderich (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), and more. Click here to register.

COVID-19 Update: We’ve recently received several inquiries regarding the potential impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on this meeting. At this time, we are optimistic that the meeting will take place as planned in June. However, we are monitoring the situation closely. HESI’s goal is to convene an impactful event with a robust group of attendees, and also to ensure that attendees are able to travel safely and with minimal disruptions. We will provide updates as they become available.

From the Leadership

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As this issue of Insights goes to press, HESI staff have initiated activities supporting a new effort focused on botanical safety. The Botanical Safety Consortium (BSC) was established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US FDA and NIEHS to leverage the tripartite approach of HESI programs in the safety assessment of botanical ingredients and products. The MOU underscores the mission of the BSC to provide a forum for scientists from government, academia, consumer health groups, industry, and nonprofit organizations to work collaboratively to generate a sound scientific basis for integrating existing safety data and the latest toxicology tools to evaluate botanical safety in dietary supplements. HESI will facilitate the work of the BSC, which is intended to provide a global approach to bringing the best science to bear on a rigorous evaluation of botanicals. This new initiative recognizes the global reach of HESI and the strength of the broad perspectives that are brought together through academic, government, and industry experts.

Lois Lehman-McKeeman, PhD
HESI Chair

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