What We Do

HESI Mission

At HESI, it is our mission to collaboratively identify and help to resolve global health and environmental challenges through the engagement of scientists from academia, government, industry, clinical practice, research institutes, and NGOs. We achieve that in a variety of ways:

Create a collaborative environment where scientists from academia, government, industry, and NGOs come together to find solutions that improve health and environmental safety.

Encourage the development of meaningful studies that ask the right questions, structure the right framework, and develop solutions that inform decision-making by both private- and public-sector scientists.

Create a knowledge base that can be easily transferred from the laboratory or journal page to real life.

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HESI Vision

At HESI, it is vision to create science-based solutions for a sustainable, healthier world.

Core Values

HESI’s core values are the foundation of our organization and they are the principles that guide the decisions and actions of our staff to support our overall vision and mission.

  • We create opportunities to collaborate.
  • We are driven by solutions.
  • We are transparent.
  • We are independent.
  • We are committed to excellence.


Read more about HESI's transparency and commitment to standards.

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Key Scientific Focus Areas

Our scientific program focus areas span from basic research and discovery to applied decision-frameworks.  All of our initiatives provide fit for purpose science to address contemporary health and safety challenges.

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Food Safety   

Safe Medicines

Risk Assessment

Environmental Quality and Sustainability

HESI Philosophy

Everyone benefits when scientists come together to find a consensus on the most pressing issues facing humans and the environment. HESI provides an open, collaborative environment where scientists from the public and private sectors work together to find solutions to global challenges. We strive to make solving complex scientific problems more efficient by providing our members with access to the best minds around the world and encouraging them to come together to solve problems. We conduct the hard, understated work of testing processes and frameworks that allow scientific data to be translated into actions that protect the environment and human health. By using HESI’s framework, other parties can ensure their research resources are being used efficiently to produce results that benefit the greater good and can be applied to practical situations. HESI serves as the moderator and facilitator for conversations between regulators and industry to help build consensus surrounding technology platforms and scientific frameworks that can be used in risk and safety assessments. We have formal partnerships with key governmental and non-governmental bodies in shared support for quality safety science.

Quick History

HESI was established in 1989 under the scientific leadership of its inaugural Chair, Dr. Louis Lasagna, often referred to as the “Father of Clinical Pharmacology”. HESI’s first workshop on rodent liver tumors, in 1989, engaged fourteen scientific participants and was supported by a single staffer. As the organization grew in participation and scope, it opted to establish its own governance and programming. In 2002, HESI was recognized by the US Government as an independently-chartered and publicly-supported 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and has continued to grow and flourish in scientific scope and rigor. Today, HESI’s team of 10 scientific staff provide leadership to more than fifty scientific projects and programs that benefit human and environmental health. In its 30 years, HESI has produced scientific research that informs applied health protection decision-making around the globe. HESI’s scientific committees have published over 300 peer reviewed scientific papers that have been cited more than 20,000 times by scientists and public health officials from around the world.

Read HESI's Fact Sheet