Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
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September 07, 2021

News and Updates from CAAT


CAAT 40th Anniversary Symposium

September 21, 2021
10am - 1pm EST (US and Canada)

Please save the date for the celebration of CAAT's 40th birthday on September 21, 2021. The program will features special guests and friends of CAAT from its 40 year history promoting and shaping the field of alternatives and humane science. You won't want to miss this special event!
Speakers include Alan Goldberg, Andrew Rowan, Tim Shafer, Danielle Wikoff, Sandra Coecke, Joanne Zurlo, Tony Gaspari, Julia Fentem, Deborah Rudacille, Nick Anastas, Bert van Zupthen, Paul Locke and Kristie Sullivan.

More information and registration here.

Johns Hopkins No. 13 in 'TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION' World Rankings

The publication evaluates more than 1,600 universities annually based on teaching, research, citations, knowledge transfer, and international outlook metrics. Hopkins has been ranked 12th or 13th globally in each of the past five rankings cycles.

Join the Team: Positions Available at CAAT

CAAT is growing its team and we are looking for professionals at any level of experience in the following areas:
  • Communications and Social Media Management
  • Event Planning and Logistics 
  • Metabolomics
  • Computational Toxicology

If you, or someone you know, are interested in learning more about those positions, please email Camila Januario at

Free 3Rs Training series: Two Webinars in September
Due to the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC11) we had a little break in August from our 3Rs Training series.  We are starting again tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept 8th at 7 pm CEST / 1 pm EST, with our 5th Webinar in the Series, with a German talk by Dr. Tamara Zietek about organoids and about the NAT database (Non-Animal Technologies), a new database, available in both English and German, that contains information on modern non-animal technologies and methods from various areas of biomedicine and life sciences, based on scientific studies and publications.
More information and free registration here.
And our 6th webinar will take place on Monday, Sept 27th at 7 pm CEST/ 1 pm EST. Dr. Laure-Alix Clerbaux from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, will give a talk in English on the CIAO project which aims at modelling the COVID-19 pathogenesis via the Adverse Outcome Pathway framework. More information and free registration here.

Next Generation Humane Science Award: Application Period Now Open

Completed Applications Due by 11:59pm on September 12, 2021

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

Challenges and Opportunities for Overcoming Dog Use in Agro-chemical Evaluation and Registration

October 25th, 2021
9am-1pm EDT

The 90-day dog study is being conducted for agro-chemical authorization when it is not always needed to adequately address hazard identification and human safety and risk. This virtual workshop will host a series of presentations on the role the dog study has played in regulation of agro-chemicals in both the U.S. and Europe during the past 20 years and what approaches may be employed to substantially reduce its use. The public will have the opportunity to submit comments and questions to be discussed during the following invitation-only workshop.

Details and Registration

EBTC 10th Anniversary Symposium

November 11, 2021

Please save the date for the Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration's 10th anniversary symposium, which will be held online on November 11, 2021. 

Pre-register here.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Paul Locke and Alexandra Maertens received the Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2020-2021 academic year from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Environmental Health and Engineering Department. Their courses "Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Law" and "Analysis for Environmental Genomics and Epigenomics" have been ranking high among students.
Honorees are those instructors who received an average score of 3.6 or above (on a four-point scale) in both the Overall Course and Overall Instructor categories of their student course evaluations with a response rate of 70% or higher.

Congratulations Paul and Alex!

Virtual workshop: “A new toolbox for citizens’ protection: Implementing science into EU policy
Organized by two H2020 projects EU-ToxRisk and PATROLS on September 9, 2021 (2 PM – 6:30 PM CEST).
The workshop’s objectives are:

  • To offer an overview of the current EU strategies for citizens’ health protection and their main aims;
  • Provide feedback and dialogue with two of the most relevant toxicological programs in the EU on how their results can help deliver EU strategies;
  • Identify further key steps for further implementation of the Chemical’s Strategy into future efforts from industry, scientists, regulators and policy makers.

For more information and to register, please visit the Eventbrite event page

Microphysiological Systems World Summit


Virtual Conference: Systems Engineering of Microphysiological Systems

December 9, 2021
Pre-registration open

Hybrid Conference
May 30-June 3, 2022
Hilton New Orleans Riverside

The MPS World Summit will bring together a global audience—including institutions (government, health foundations, charities), the academic research community (universities, research institutes), environmental and human toxicity researchers, the pharmaceutical and other industries (cosmetics, chemical, and food industries), medical centers and practitioners, patient associations, and policy makers and testing centers—in a series of global conferences to create A roadmap for MPS technologies.

Gold sponsor  Emulate

Silver sponsors AxoSim, Hesperos, InSphero, Obatala

Bronze sponsor Nortis
Exhibitor Aracari, Mimetas, Vitrocel Systems GmbH, TissUse


Multiple sponsorship levels are available. Please see our sponsorship flyer (PDF) and visit this link to request sponsorship information.

Visit the MPS World Summit website for full information.
OpenTox 2021 Virtual Conference

OpenTox Association is a community  that promotes the use of open knowledge, software, methods, tools, data, reference resources and standards in the scientific activities of predictive toxicology, safety assessment and risk management, including the “3Rs” goal of the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animal Testing. This year, the OpenTox 2021 Virtual Conference for a Safer World will take place on 20 - 24 September 2021 (OpenTox 2021 Virtual Conference).
The OpenTox 2021 Conference activity will take place online taking advantages of tools for poster presentations, webinars, hackathons, and communications. As usual, the qualified scientific committee managed to implement an ambitious program covering many topics to embrace all the new concepts for the toxicology of the 21st century and the next generation of risk assessment.

During the session Session 9 on “Endocrine Disruption: In vitro testing and in silico modeling”, C. Rovida will talk about “Challenges in implementing NAMs (New Approach Methodologies) for Endocrine Disruption characterization of chemicals in the regulatory context” (Costanza Rovida | OpenTox).

8th Annual 3Rs Symposium Video Available!

The 8th Annual 3Rs Symposium, jointly organized by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC), the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), and the Johns Hopkins Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology, took place via Zoom on June 3rd and 4th, 2021.

This year’s virtual Symposium, among other things, focused on current, pandemic-driven developments in refinement, reduction and replacement of animal use in science. Together with international experts and practitioners it aim to increase  attention at the challenges faced during the pandemic as well as at successes in effectively applying the 3Rs Principles to maximize both biomedical discovery and animal welfare.

To watch the authorized presentations, click here.

Support a European Parliament resolution on a coordinated Union-level plan to facilitate animal-free innovation

The European Parliament will discuss during the next couple of weeks a resolution on a coordinated Union-level plan to facilitate animal-free innovation.

Why: The European Commission and the Member States have been promoting the 3Rs and non-animal models through a variety of funding and other initiatives that are allowing new advanced methods based on human biology to show their potential and also identify the needs for further developments. However, these initiatives are not yet integrated into regulatory and research funding frameworks in a manner that effectively reduces and replaces the use of animals in research, testing and education.

What: By requiring the coordinated Union-level plan - like those already implemented for many other policy areas - the European Parliament has the opportunity to ensure that the EU will be equipped with clear means and priorities to achieve the commitments and the ambitions of the Union.
For more information and to sign this initiative click here
ONTOX newsletter now available

ONTOX is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project involving 18 European and US teams working on new approach methodologies to replace animal experimentation for chemical toxicity testing purposes. The $20 million EU project ONTOX started 1 May. CAAT is a proud partner responsible for the A.I. workpackage.

Sign up for the newsletter here.
More information about the project here

New Published Article by CAAT Authors: "Human IPSC-Derived Model to Study Myelin Disruption"

Myelin is of vital importance to the central nervous system and its disruption is related to a large number of both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. The differences observed between human and rodent oligodendrocytes make animals inadequate for modeling these diseases. Although developing human in vitro models for oligodendrocytes and myelinated axons has been a great challenge, 3D cell cultures derived from iPSC are now available and able to partially reproduce the myelination process. 

Published in IJMS as part of the Special Issue Novel In Vitro and In Silico Approaches to Study Developmental Neurotoxicity and is available online.

10th Annual Meeting of ASCCT
Registration now Open!

Thomas Hartung is a keynote speaker and Tom Luechtefeld is presenting A.I. continuing education


Overarching theme: “Practical applications of new tools in toxicology”

Dates of Meeting: October 12-14, 2021 (virtual)
Registration cost: None
Poster abstract submission deadline: September 10th
Registration deadlines: October 8th (attendees) October 1st (presenters)

Berlin's Animal Protection Commissioner Awards

Kathrin Herrmann, CAAT’s Beyond Classical Refinement Program Director, who is also Berlin’s Animal Protection Commissioner, is pleased to announce two awards for the development of NAMs to actively support the shift from tradition-based animal experimentation to human-relevant health research.

The Early Career Scientist Award is for a promising research proposal from an up-and-coming scientist that will advance the development and uptake of NAMs; the second Award is for an already ongoing, auspicious project developing and/or using NAMs that needs additional funding for continuation. Each Award includes prize money of 30.000 €. Deadline: October 17, 2021

More Information and guidelines to apply here.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is Hiring!

Nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to saving and improving human and animal lives through ethical and effective scientific research seeks a scientist with a master’s or doctoral degree in toxicology, pharmacology, cell biology, or a related field and at least two years of experience in a non-governmental organization, government, or industry position related to regulatory testing and/or compliance to promote alternatives to the use of animals in toxicological testing and research.

More information at:

Best wishes from all of us,

The CAAT Team


hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events

Free 3Rs Training series: Two Webinars in September
September 8, 2021
A new toolbox for citizens' protection: Implementing science into EU policy"
September 9, 2021

Online Symposium: Alternatives to Matrigel
September 10, 2021

CAAT 40th Anniversary Symposium
September 21, 2021

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

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