6th Annual Meeting of the ASCCT

Thursday September 21, 2017 10:00AM through Friday September 22, 2017 12:30PM

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The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) recently held its 6th Annual Meeting at the headquarters of one of its founding organizations, the Institute for In Vitro Sciences. Meeting attendees participated in several oral presentation sessions, a poster session, panel discussion, awards ceremony, and mentoring event, all focused on the development and implementation of alternative, nonanimal toxicology science and policy. As in 2016, the meeting was held at a time and place to coincide with the Science Advisory Committee for Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM), an advisory group for the US-based Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods. This structure fits well with ASCCT’s mission to increase the cooperation and dialog between toxicologists from government, industrial, academic, and non-profit organizations.

The meeting started September 21st with a focus on acute systemic toxicity thanks to a pair of plenaries touching on policy and scientific advances and challenges. Anna Lowit from the US EPA presented EPA-OPP's Initiative to Modernize the Acute "6-Pack” and Dan Wilson from Dow Chemical Company presented a Progress Report on Efforts to Replace Acute Systemic Toxicity Tests with Mechanistic Alternative Approaches. After several talks from submitted abstracts on acute systemic toxicity, updates on FDA CFSAN efforts to modernize regulatory toxicology and the establishment of a new Canadian alternatives center were provided by Suzanne Fitzpatrick from the US Food and Drug Administration and Charu Chandrasekera from the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, respectively.

The day ended with the awarding of the Tox21 Student Award to Wenyi Wang from Rutgers University for her work titled Mechanistic Evaluation of Chemicals that Induce Oral Acute Toxicity by Mitochondrial Membrane Disruption: Big Data Profiling and Analysis; the Edward Carney Award for Predictive Toxicology was given to Ellen Garcia from Virginia Tech for her presentation Characterization of two lung cell lines for use in cell division focused, single-cell toxicity assays.

Under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (LCSA), the EPA is tasked with creating a strategic plan for developing and implementing methods which reduce and replace vertebrate animal testing. The second day of the meeting began with a plenary providing a Progress Report on Development of a Strategic Plan to Reduce, Refine or Replace Use of Vertebrate Animal Testing Under the Lautenberg Act from Gino Scarano of US EPA. Another platform presentation session followed Dr. Scarano’s presentation, and the day was rounded out with an active and engaging closing panelist and audience discussion to provide EPA feedback and advice, and discuss views, roles, and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in Lautenberg Act implementation.

Thanks to all who attended, spoke, and participated in the planning! A full report will be put together for publication in the coming months, and all are welcome to join in the planning for the 7th Annual Meeting in the fall of 2018. Contact Secretary Kristie Sullivan to get involved.

Presentation slides are available to ASCCT members here.