Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
September 28, 2021

News and Updates from CAAT

NIH NCATS will support the first three Microphysiological Systems World Summits with $450,000


We are excited that about 40 organizations (and counting) have teamed up to organize two online pre-events and the inaugural summit on May 30 - June 3, 2022 in New Orleans followed by the second and third summits in Europe in 2023 and the US West Coast in 2024. This is a call on the scientific community to join us aiming to create an International MPS Society.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for the first summit. Please click here to fill an sponsorship application and follow the lead of the already committed companies below. This substantial NIH contribution is still only a fraction of the anticipated costs.
Please contact Camila Januario ( if you need more information.

Thank you for our already committed sponsors:
  • Gold sponsor:  Emulate
  • Silver sponsors: AxoSim, Hesperos, InSphero, Obatala
  • Bronze sponsor: Nortis
  • Exhibitors: Aracari, Mimetas, Vitrocel Systems GmbH, TissUse

Join us for our second MPS World Summit Virtual Pre-Event!

Systems engineering of Microphysiological Systems

December 9th 2021, 9 am – 1 pm EST

In preparation of the first MPS World Summit, we are meeting on-line on December 9th to discuss the advances in MPS technology. 

9:00 am - Welcome, Thomas Hartung, JHU
9:05 am - Keynote Address: Donald Ingber, Wyss Institute, Harvard University
9:35 am - "MPS Hardware and Enabling Technologies" (short talks from submitted abstracts)
10:55 am - Break and poster voting
11:00 am - "Cell Models and Applications for MPS" (short talks from submitted abstracts)
12:20 pm - Panel discussion and Q&A

Panel participants:
Adrian Roth, Roche - moderator
Linda Griffith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alysson Moutri, University of California San Diego
Peter Loskill, Tuebingen University
Uwe Marx, TissUse
Hiroshi Kimura, Tokai University

12:50 pm - Young Investigator Travel Award announcement and closing remarks

Registration is open! Click here to register.


Abstracts are invited on the topic of new developments in MPS: new cellular models (from
bio-printing to organoids, etc.) and new approaches in bioengineering of MPS devices. Describe your newest developments: breakthroughs, advantages, challenges and the
field of applications. The top abstracts will be selected for oral presentations in one
of two sessions: (1) MPS hardware and enabling technologies; (2) Cell models and
applications for MPS.

All accepted abstracts will be invited for an electronic poster. There is no submission fee and no conference registration fee. 

Abstract submission guidelines:
• Abstracts must be in English.
• All abstracts will be evaluated and selected by the MPS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).
• Please limit abstracts to 300 words.
• References must be cited in the text as (First author et al., Year).
• Pictures, figures, attachments are not permitted - text only.
• Please submit abstract as Word document.
• Include no more than five references.
• All abstracts accepted will be published in an abstract/poster book (PDF) and distributed
digitally to all registered attendees.
• Young scientists (35 or under) can apply for consideration for the Travel Award (free
registration at the upcoming hybrid meeting in New Orleans), to be held May 30 - June 3,
2022. Please note in the e-mail if you wish to be considered for the Travel Award for young

E-mail abstracts to:

Please note “Abstract” in the subject field. 
Applicants will be informed of acceptance/non-acceptance by November 25, 2021.


SCIENCE included the article "Human microphysiological systems for drug development" on its Sept 16 issue

Authors: Roth A and MPS-WS Berlin 2019 [Marx U, Vilén L, Ewart L, Griffith LG, Hartung T, Ingber DE, Mendrick DL, Steger-Hartmann T and Tagle DA]. Human microphysiological systems for drug development. Science 2021, 373:1304-1306
This perspective article was the direct result of our 2019 workshop:
Biology-inspired microphysiological systems to advance medicines for patient benefit and animal welfare.

Extended deadline: Completed Applications
Due by 11:59pm on October 24, 2021

Next Generation Humane Science Award: Application Period Now Open

The Next Generation Humane Science Award is available annually to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage researchers who focus on replacing the use of animals in experiments. The 2021 award will be a prize of up to $5,000 to recognize the work of one young scientist; this may be shared among two or more young scientists. Please email completed application to

Qualification Criteria

The work must be focused on the replacement of animals used in experimentation. Excellence of research outcome as demonstrated by publications and presentations at scientific meetings. The review committee will also take into account:
  • The significance of the potential to replace animal experiments in the future.
  • Providing an inspiration to others (fellow students, members of the research group) and outreach to wider audiences.
  • The potential for the replacement methodologies to be used in a regulatory context.

2021 Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States working at a US-based institution.
  • The candidate should not have received a PhD or similar degree earlier than 2012.
  • Current and former employees (or their family members) of the Center of Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University cannot apply.
Full Details and Application

2-day Early Career Scientists Online Workshop on NAMs in Biomedical Research 
November 22-23, 2021, 9am-12pm EST/ 3-6pm CET Online Workshop (via Zoom)
Deadline for applications: 7 November 2021 
More information:
CAAT and the Animal Protection Commissioner of Berlin are inviting early career scientists for a two-day Online Workshop focusing on animal-free New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in biomedical research. The program will include presentations and interactive sessions. Following the call for abstracts, up to ten early career scientists will be selected to present their own research involving NAMs. The program will also include a session with established scientists from academia, industry, government, and NGOs who will answer the participants’ questions and share advice and guidance on future careers in the field of non-animal methods. In another session, we will discuss topics such as how to tackle the ‘publish or perish’ trap, and where to find funding as well as ongoing training opportunities in NAMs.

The Workshop is free of charge. Please use the form on the website to apply and to submit your abstract (if you would like to present your research) via email to Dr. Kathrin Herrmann at . Deadline is November 7th, 2021.

CAAT receives close to $300,000 FDA project on neurotoxicity

An FDA research project titled "Leveraging human brain organoids for mixture neurotoxity and the understanding of individual susceptibilities”(PI Thomas Hartung) was awarded to CAAT.
The project is part of Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI).
The project leverages CAAT’s brain organoid technology (aka mini-brains).  
Thomas Hartung commented “We are thrilled that for the second time we receive one of the rare FDA research grants. It shows the relevance of our work on microphysiological systems for FDA”.


The EPAA Annual Conference 2021
 “How can EPAA help the successful implementation of the EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability”
It will be held on 27 October 2021 – 14:00-17:00 CEST on-line

At this event EPAA will
1. give participants insight into EPAA's achievements in 2021,
2. announce the EPAA Refinement Prize winner, and
3. discuss the role of EPAA in the EU chemical strategy for sustainability.

Where and when 
The conference will take place online from 14.00 - 17.00 (CEST) on Wednesday, 27 October 2021. 
Who should attend 
Members of European and international 3Rs institutions, academics, NGOs, national regulatory authorities and the general public interested in progress achieved in implementing the 3Rs in Europe during the past year.
Registration will be open until 22 October. You can register online.  
Registration is mandatory, but participation is free of charge.

Thomas Hartung receives the EUROTOX Merit Award 2021

EUROTOX is the Federation of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology, which together groups approximately 6,000 members across Europe and more than 200 individual members from around the world. The EUROTOX Merit Award aims at recognizing a distinguished career in European toxicology.

The EUROTOX Merit Award is presented annually at the EUROTOX Congress to a European toxicologist with a long and outstanding career in the discipline. Achievements in academia, public service or industry may be recognized. Emphasis should be put on individual contributions strengthening the science of toxicology.


Evidence Matters '21 on October 19 for a one-day, virtual summit for the literature review community 

Evidence Matters '21 is a free, inclusive event open to all the literature review community including (but not limited to!): literature review software users, medical writers, epidemiologists, health economic and outcome researchers, librarians, scientists and data scientists, and regulatory, clinical affairs, pharmacovigilance and drug safety professionals. In short, if you collect, triage and manage scientific literature, this event is for you. Register here:
This event supports the 2021 World Evidence-based Healthcare Day.

Best Wishes,

The CAAT Team


hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events

September 26-October 1

ASCCT Annual Meeting
October 12-14

Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture 2021 Virtual Conference
Part 2: November 3, 2021

EU-ToxRisk Final Symposium
November 3-4, 2021
Brussels, Belgium

EBTC 10th Anniversary Symposium
November 11, 2021

Altertox: Skin Sensitization
25-26 November 2021
Hamburg, Germany

MPS World Summit Virtual Conference
Systems Engineering of Microphysiological Systems
December 9, 2021

Microphysiological Systems World Summit
May 30-June 3, 2022
New Orleans

June 13-14, 2022
Nice, France 

ICT 2022
September 18-22, 2022
Maastricht, The Netherlands

21st International Congress of the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV2020)
November 21-25, 2022

Copyright © 2021 Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, All rights reserved.

US Office: 615 N. Wolfe St. W7032 • Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: 410-614-4990 • Fax: 410-614-2871

European Office: University of Konstanz
POB 600 78457 Konstanz, Germany
Phone: +49-531-882233 • Fax: +49-7531-884156