Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
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CAATwalk        April 28, 2016

News and Updates from CAAT

Pan-American Brings Nearly 150 Attendees to Baltimore from the Americas and Around the Globe

On April 12-14, 2016 the Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods was held at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland. Close to 150 people attended from the Americas and Europe. 

The conference sessions covered all areas of the "6Rs," including:

Replacement (3 sessions): in vitro and in silico including organo-typic cultures and mechanistic toxicology (Tox-21c)

Refinement­: best practices including non-invasive methods

Reduction: approaches including assay integration, minimal change formulations, and green toxicology

Read-across: read-across and related in silica approaches—advances and challenges

Relevance: ethical and economical views, quality aspects such as good cell culture practice, evidence-based toxicology, in vitro/in silico reporting standards

Roadmaps: how to continue progress in the field (communication, conferences, policy programs, stakeholder engagement)

This is the first conference of what will be an ongoing series. The next Pan-American Conference is being planned for Brazil in 2018 or 2019. 

Presenters who agreed to make their talks available will be posted on a password protected website for those who attended the conference. The URL and login information will be emailed to all attendees shortly. 

If you attended this event and have feedback you'd like to share, please email Jamie DeRita at

2016 Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture Conference

May 30th - June 1st, 2016
Barcelona, Spain

Register NOW for discounted rates!
ACTC 2016 Conference will showcase the latest advances in in vitro cell culture and the replacement of animals in research.

Keynote Speakers include:
Ellen Fritsche (EUSAAT)
Thomas Hartung (CAAT)
Thomas Schupe (Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Website and Registration

JUST ADDED: Kirkstall Workshop 

June 2-3, 2016
Levitate Technological Center

Join us after ACTC 2016 for our first ACTC workshop to increase your cell culture competency with our comprehensive training delivered by our team of experts and special guests. Contact Oana at for more information.

Promoting Dialogue Between In Vivo, In Vitro, and In Silico

May 18, 2016
IRCCS Institute for Pharmacological Research
Milan, Italy
Co-Organized by CAAT-Europe

Thomas Hartung will be speaking on CAAT's pioneering min-brain research. 

Details and Registration:


PhD Position at ETH Zurich

The research project involves the development and application of chemistry-based approaches to address problems in Toxicology. Broad research objectives are to define relationships between chemical structures, key molecular events, and resulting cellular responses. An opportunity is available to combine bioanalysis, particularly using mass spectrometry, with mammalian cell culture or the analysis of primary human tissue. A focus will be the characterization of structure—and sequence-specific modification of DNA, requiring the development of new analytical methods. Studies will aim to address cytotoxicity by experimental anticancer drugs and the induction of cellular mutations by chemical carcinogens. The project start date is as soon as possible.
A successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain, an MSc or equivalent in chemistry, toxicology, pharmaceutical sciences or a closely related discipline. Good written and oral communication skills in English are needed. The individual should have leadership qualities, a strong foundation in chemistry and demonstrated interest in biological sciences. Students who excel in analytical chemistry, quantitative aspects of toxicology, or related topics are particularly encouraged to apply.
For further information please contact Prof. Shana Sturla (no application documents) or visit our website.
Please post your online application here. It should include a cover letter that describes research experience, scientific and professional/career goals and indicates an ideal starting date for the applicant. Moreover it should include an academic transcript/list of courses completed or ongoing, including grades/notes and the CV has to include the contact information of three referees. Please do not include letters of recommendation with the application—these may be requested later.

SOT In Vitro and Alternative Methods Specialty Section—Grad Student and Postdoc Webinar

May 18, 2016
11am EDT

Please register for IVAM's first webinar of 2016 to be held at 11am EDT on Wednesday, May 18th. The speakers will be the first place winners of the IVAM Student and Postdoctoral Awards: Shih-Yu (Shirley) Chang of University of Washington and Jenna Currier of the US EPA (more below).

Dr. Jenna Currier, recipient of IVAM's 2016 Postdoctoral award, will present her research in a seminar entitled: “What's in a tipping point? Using systems biology to characterize adaptive and adverse oxidative responses in human lung cells.” 

Shih-Yu (Shirley) Chang, MS, PhC, recipient of IVAM's 2016 Graduate Student award, will present research in a seminar entitled “Proof of Concept Study—Microphysiological Systems (MPS) to Identify Organ-Organ Interactions in Toxicology: Hepatic Metabolism Enhances Nephrotoxicity of Aristolochic Acid.”

Register Here

First Session Begins May 20th: Limited Space, So Apply Now!

We are delighted to announce CAAT Academy, a joint venture of CAAT US (Johns Hopkins University) and CAAT-Europe (University of Konstanz). CAAT Academy employs experts from Europe and the U.S. to provide hands-on-training (HOT) in human-relevant alternative methods and technologies for toxicologists of all levels of experience, from operational to PhD. 

CAAT Academy will begin its 2016 program with 3 sessions during the first semester:

May 20th, 2016

In Silico Modeling and Tools Under REACH 
Hosted by ROCAM in Cluj, Romania
Registration and Information

June 8th, 2016
Animal-free Pyrogenicity and Endotoxin Testing Under the New EU Pharmacopeia Chapter 5.1.10

Hosted by CAAT-Europe in Konstanz, Germany 
Registration and information

June 23-24th, 2016
Hepatotoxicity Testing Based on AOP 

Hosted by Biopredic International in Rennes, France
Registration and Information

The benefits of CAAT Academy training includes:
  • Multi-site sessions across the EU 
  • 1-2 days of hands-on training with 2-3 suppliers 
  • Expert speakers involved in development and production of alternative methods
  • Technology-agnostic training on multiple platforms 
  • Exhaustive coverage of modern alternative methods 
The second semester is slated to cover training in skin toxicity, nephrotoxicity, and one other tbd. Space is limited, so please register now to guarantee your attendance. 

For further information please contact CAAT Academy coordinator Francois Busquet  or the Secretariat, Orsi Sarpataki.

Also, please see François Busquet's LinkedIn post, "Why I Started CAAT Academy."


2017 Science-based Refinement Awards

Deadline for Submissions: November 18th, 2016

Attention veterinarians, lab technicians, animal technicians, and all who work with laboratory animals: The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) now is accepting proposals for the 2017 Science-based Refinement Awards (formerly the Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards).The focus of these awards is to elicit scientific evidence to support the enhancement of the housing, handling and/or experimental situations for laboratory animals. Studies may, for example, examine:
  • how physiological and behavioral stress responses to common husbandry (e.g., capture) and traditional treatment procedures (e.g., gavage, injection, blood collection) can be reduced or eliminated (e.g., by training the subjects to cooperate rather than resist);
  • whether animals caged at different tier levels show different physiological and behavioral stress responses when being approached by personnel, and how these responses can be minimized or avoided;
  • whether the presence of a compatible companion buffers physiological and behavioral stress responses to experimental situations (e.g., enforced restraint);
  • whether animals kept in legally minimum-sized cages benefit from a moderate increase in space that is (a) empty versus (b) structured in species-appropriate ways (e.g., shelter, visual blind, perch, platform, PVC tube).
Any studies to be undertaken must be non-invasive, with the possible exception of obtaining blood for biochemical measurements (animals that have been trained to cooperate during venipuncture should be used, if possible). Objective measures might include behavior, coat appearance, body weight, analysis of feces, urine, or blood as described above. Preference will be given to studies that have broad applicability.Each award will be for $6,000. There are no F&As allowed on this award.These awards are intended for veterinarians and laboratory and animal technicians.

Full Details

CAAT in the Press

Thomas Hartung discusses concerns about e-cigarettes in an article in Chemistry World, Can we wait for e-cigarette trials?

Zeit Online (German), Geboren, um sinnlos zu sterben, features links to a number of CAAT research papers. 

Laboratorio 2000 (Italian) interviews Thomas Hartung on the future of alternatives: Test alternativi all’uso animale: quale futuro?


Best wishes from all of us,

The CAAT Team

hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events

Promoting Dialogue Between In Vivo, In Vitro, and In Silico
May 18, 2016
Milan, Italy

SOT In Vitro and Alternatives Methods Speciality Section Grad Student and Postdoc Webinar
May 18, 2016
11am EDT

Mucosal Immunity and In Vitro Science
May 19, 2016
Milan, Italy

CAAT Academy: In Silico Modeling and Tools Under REACH 
May 20, 2016
Hosted by ROCAM in Cluj, Romania
Registration and Information

ACTC 2016 Conference
May 30-June 1, 2016
Barcelona, Spain

Kirkstall Workshop
June 2-3, 2016
Barcelona, Spain

CAAT Academy: Animal-free Pyrogenicity and Endotoxin Testing Under the New EU Pharmacopeia Chapter 5.1.10
June 8th, 2016
Konstanz, Germany 

17th International Conference on QSAR in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR 2016)
June 13-17, 2016
Miami Beach, Florida

CAAT Academy: Hepatotoxicity Testing Based on AOP 
June 23-24, 2016
Rennes, France

17th Annual Congress of EUSAAT/20th European Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing
August 24-27, 2016
University of Linz, Austria

ESTIV 2016 Congress: In Vitro Toxicology for Human Safety Assessment
October 17-20, 2016
Juan-les-Pins, France

AALAS 67th Annual Meeting
October 30-November 3, 2016
Charlotte, NC

10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
August 20-24, 2017
Seattle, Washington

Full Listing of CAAT Programs
and Activities

Altweb Calendar of Events


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