Welcome from the Organizing Committee

Dear Colleague,

The 19th International Workshop on (Quantitative) Structure-Activity Relationships in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR2020) will take place on June 8-11, 2020 at the Durham Convention Centre, Durham, NC, U.S.

Since the first meeting in 1983, the workshop has been an important international gathering in the field of Environmental and Health Sciences, bringing together scientists from all sectors to foster discussions on the development and application of (Q)SARs. Over time, the meeting has evolved to incorporate a strong focus on the regulatory use and acceptance of (Q)SARs e.g. for pharmaceutical impurities as well as industrial chemicals under the EU REACH regulation.

In concert with the advent of different regulatory programs worldwide, societal demands for safer and more sustainable chemical products have stimulated changes in the approach toward toxicity testing and assessment. Rather than extensive testing based on phenotypic responses in animals, there has been a growing shift toward exploiting mechanistically based approaches to underpin data-driven decision-making frameworks. With this shift (Q)SARs, read-across, in vitro tests, including high throughput and high content (HT/HC) screening methods, transcriptomic data, coupled with the application of a range of computational methods for data analysis and predictive modelling are more relevant than ever. The QSAR2020 Workshop marks a significant opportunity, as we transition from traditional QSARs underpinned by classical (eco)toxicity data towards New Approach Methodologies (NAM).  To that end, we have partnered with ICCA LRI and ASCCT to not only broaden the scope of the workshop but to ensure its impact and outreach to interested stakeholders.

This workshop aims to bring together scientists from around the world along with developers and users of predictive models and their underlying data (whether that be exposure data, non-targeted screening data, HTS, Httr or classical toxicity data), to foster discussion and debate around the practical implementation of these approaches. QSAR2020 will focus on answering questions such as:

  •     How should we view and account for the assumptions of the classical toxicity approaches?
  •     How should we be applying and interpreting NAM data?
  •     How should we be benchmarking the performance and characterizing both confidence and uncertainty of new predictive models?
  •     What are the short and long-term research and development needs?

The program aims to include diverse presentations from all major stakeholders and provide opportunities to discuss and review the latest scientific advancements. The workshop will also offer lively discussions on current problem topics, poster and networking sessions as well as training sessions on specific tools.

Looking forward to seeing you in Durham, NC!

Grace Patlewicz, Kristie Sullivan & Rick Becker

On behalf the whole organizing committee

Organizing Committee

Grace Patlewicz, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Chair)
Rick Becker, American Chemistry Council (Chair)
Nora Aptula, Unilever
Susan Blaine, ICF
Kristie Sullivan, American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology
Mark Cronin, Liverpool John Moore University
Gina Hilton, PETA International Science Consortium
Amy Clippinger, PETA International Science Consortium
Kate Willett, Humane Society of the United States
Sunil Kulkarni, Health Canada
Nicole Kleinstreuer, National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods
Kamel Mansouri, Integreate Laboratory Systems-NICEATM
Agnes Karmaus, ILS-NICEATM
Alex Tropsha, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Mark Nelms, EPA
Tony Williams, EPA
Ann Richard, EPA
Patricia Ruiz, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry