Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
December 10, 2021

News and Updates from CAAT


EBTC December Symposium
Tuesday 14 December 2021 9am - 10:30am EST
In here to out there: the counterintuitive and fascinating challenge of standardizing toxicity assays
Toxicological research is often conducted according to highly uneven standards. Difficulties in comparing the methods used by individual studies often seriously limits our ability to draw firm conclusions from even quite large bodies of evidence.
EBTC's December symposium is about new developments in solving this problem, in particular the marrying of novel techniques in semantic technology to traditional but challenging assay ring-testing and development. There will be presentations and a Q&A panel from three highly experienced researchers in this field.
Dr. Anne Thessen (University of Colorado Anschutz) will introduce some of the more surprising issues around assay consistency, including recent research that suggests scientists cannot reliably distinguish between live and dead zebrafish embryos. She will then describe how semantic technology can help improve this situation - not only in terms of data interoperability, but in reliably performing tasks such as scoring images of larvae.
Dr. Sebastian Hoffmann (EBTC) will present an overview of EBTC's recent systematic review of zebrafish embryotoxicity assays. He will show why standardization is becoming such an important issue, particularly in an age where studies are viewed collectively and evidence synthesis is increasingly central to toxicology and chemical risk assessment.
Dr. Kristen Ryan (National Toxicology Program) will discuss how broader uptake of the use of zebrafish in toxicology screening is hampered by lack of harmonization in experimental protocols, data analysis, and reporting of research. The SEAZIT program has been launched to address this; Dr Ryan will present on the goals of the program and how it will achieve them.
Register here.

Registration for the webinar series "Talking3RScience" is now open!

Don't miss the kick-off event on Dec 16, 5-6 pm CET with Peter Loskill (3R Center at Tübingen University) & Marcel Leist (CAAT-Europe at the University of Konstanz).
Free registration & more information à
Teaser on the youtube channel à



MAY 30-JUNE 3, 2022

Contact Camila Januario ( for sponsorship and exhibitors opportunities.
Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence Thriving
The journal launched in 2018 and has published more than 300 articles and started almost 200 Research Topics. Thomas Hartung leads as Field Chief Editor the journal with 12 sections, one of them, i.e., Medicine and Public Health led by him too. The journal received 192 submissions in the last six month (up 85% compared to the previous year) and posted 53 Research Topics in the last six months (up 20% compared to previous year) and is supported by 1,759 chief, associate and review editors. With a healthy rejection rate of more than 40% and an average review time of 116 days since its start, the journal assures quality.
Major achievements this year included indexing in PubMed Central, Emerging Sources Citation Index and Scopus – it is expecting its first Impact Factor in 2022.

Artificial Intelligence - Editors' Pick 2021
We are pleased to introduce the collection Artificial Intelligence – Editor’s Pick 2021. This collection showcases the most well-received spontaneous articles from 2021 and has been specially handpicked by our Specialty Chief Editors Prof. Thomas Hartung, Prof. Elisa Fromont and Dr. Andrea Passerini, Prof. Shlomo Engelson Argamon and Prof. Francisco Chiclana, and Prof. Paolo Giudici and Dr. Jochen Papenbrock, and Prof. Radboud Winkels and Dr. Giovanni Sileno.

The work presented here highlights the broad diversity of research performed across the journal and aims to put a spotlight on the main areas of interest. All research presented here displays strong advances in theory, experiment, and methodology with applications to compelling problems.

This collection aims to further support Frontiers’ strong community by recognizing highly deserving authors.
 These articles are:
  1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  2. Medicine and Public Health
  3. Technology and Law
  4. Artificial Intelligence in Finance
  5. Language and Computation
All of the panel recordings & fireside chats from the Lush Prize Conference can be watched again on our website:…

Career Advice for Young Scientists in Biomedical Research

How to Think Like a Principal Investigator

Béla Z. Schmidt, 2021
  • Includes compelling case study-based evidence to help you shape your academic career
  • A source of inspiration for doctoral students and postdocs alike
  • Offers young principal investigators guidance on how to succeed in their role

Thomas Hartung reaches h-index of 100

Our own Thomas Hartung, director of CAAT, according to Google Scholar, just achieved a rare publication milestone.
The h-index, aka Hirsch index, is a measure of productivity and citation impact of the publications for an individual scientist. The h-index is determined from the number of publications by a scientist and the number of times those publications have been cited. 100 means that 100 articles have been cited 100 times or more. The ranking web of universities ( listed in March 2021 less than 12,000 researchers world-wide (3,211 in the US) in all disciplines with such score. The number of researchers world-wide for comparison is estimated at 8.8 million.
The metric is provided by Google Scholar, which lists more than 38 thousand citations of Thomas’ more than 600 articles.
Many of his most cited work relates to pyrogens, especially lipoteichoic acids. His most cited paper with nobel laureate Bruce Beutler has 998 citations:
Hoebe K, Georgel P, Rutschmann S, Du X, Mudd S, Crozat K, Sovath S, Shamel L, Hartung T, Zahringer U and Beutler B. CD36 is a sensor of diacylglycerols. Nature 2005, 433:523-527.
His most cited toxicology work with 530 citations at number 6 is:
Hartung T. Toxicology for the twenty-first century. Nature 2009, 460:208-212.
The 2005 guidance on Good Cell Culture Practice is at number 10 with 383 citations.
Coecke S, Balls M, Bowe G, Davis J, Gstraunthaler G, Hartung T, Hay R, Merten O-W, Price A, Schechtman L, Stacey G and Stokes W. Guidance on Good Cell Culture Practice. ATLA – Altern. Lab. Anim. 2005, 33: 261-287.
He published so far 163 articles in CAAT’s official journal ALTEX. The first article in ALTEX appears at number 25 with 250 citations.
Marx U, Akabane T, Andersson TB, Baker E, Beilmann M, Beken S, Brendler-Schwaab S, Cirit M, David R, Dehne E-M, Durieux I, Ewart L, Fitzpatrick SC, Frey O, Fuchs F, Griffith LG,  Hamilton GA, Hartung T, Hoeng J, Hogberg H, Hughes DJ, Ingber DE, Iskandar A, Kanamori T, Kojima H, Kuehnl J, Leist M, Li B, Loskill P, Mendrick DL, Neumann T, Pallocca G, Rusyn I, Smirnova L, Steger-Hartmann T, Tagle DA, Tonevitsky A, Tsyb S, Trapecar M, van de Water B, van den Eijnden-van Raaij J, Vulto P, Watanabe K, Wolf A, Zhou X and Roth A. Biology-inspired microphysiological systems to advance medicines for patient benefit and animal welfare. ALTEX 2020, 37:364-394.
Noteworthy, the article, which made him cross the 100 citation bar, laid out in 2014 the vision for the standardized human brain organoid, aka mini-brain:
Pamies D, Hartung T and Hogberg HT. Biological and medical applications of a brain-on-a-chip. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2014 Jun 9. pii: 1535370214537738.
Congratulations Thomas for this remarkable achievement! 

Deadline: January 15, 2022

Application criteria

The applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The application should focus on the innovative development and / or application of animal-free antibodies for research or medical purposes
  • The application can be for ongoing or completed projects
  • The project must not contain any animal experiments or animal-derived products such as fetal calf serum (FCS), bovine serum albumin (BSA), milk powder, etc.
  • The applicants must be based on the continent of Europe. Applicants from EU and non-EU member states in Europe are welcome to apply
  • The applicants must be prepared to accept the prize at an event in Brussels in spring of 2022, and give a short presentation. Travel expenses will be covered

Prize amount and award ceremony

The prize amounts to €10.000 and can be awarded to an individual researcher or a researcher consortium, a university department, an industrial company or other type of research facility. The prize will be awarded at an event in Brussels in March/April 2022.

Application documents

Please submit the following application documents in English:

  1. A project description containing title, abstract, short background, research aims, methodological procedures, time plan and project milestones (for ongoing projects) or outcomes of the project (for completed projects). The project description should be focused on the development or application of animal-free antibodies and it should include a declaration that no animal experiments were performed and no animal-derived materials were used, including in buffers, cell media, blotting reagents, etc. (up to 6 pages).
  2. A description of the applicant’s motivation to develop and / or use animal-free antibodies (1 page).
  3. A tabular curriculum vitae of the applicant with a publication list.
Call for tender as PDF 

Contact person: Dr. Dilyana Filipova E-mail:


1. EU Science Hub - European Commission: Better antibodies without using animals. 11.5.2020

2. Viegas Barroso JF et al. EURL ECVAM recommendation on non-animal-derived antibodies, Publications Office of the European Union, 2020

Calling all students and early-career researchers interested in innovative approaches in toxicology and biomedical sciences  


IUTOX XVIth ICT 2022 – Online registration and abstract submission open
IUTOX XVIth International Congress of Toxicology (ICT) 2022 is now available on the website  The IUTOX XVIth ICT 2022 will take place in Maastricht, Netherlands from September 18 to 21, 2022.
Under the congress theme “Uniting in Toxicology”, ICT 2022 aims to set up a diverse congress program that makes the various disciplines the subject of joint discussions.
Working together, these disciplines with their diverse perspectives contribute to promoting and encouraging the use of new and innovative techniques and strategies, that will continue to reduce the risks to human health and the environment.
Seven Continuing Education Courses (CECs), 28 top-notch scientific sessions as well as keynote lectures from renowned scientists and platforms for young scientists will cover these aspects with more than 1,500 participants and more than 60 exhibitors on four eventful days in MECC Maastricht, located in one of the most European cities. The scientific program can be found here.
The IUTOX XVIth ICT 2022 Organizing Committees cordially invite you to join us on this occasion and warmly welcome all novel contributions for poster and short oral communications.
Do not miss out on one of the largest and most significant toxicology congresses and register online now!
Deadline for Abstract Submission: March 31, 2022          
Deadline for Registration at the Early Bird Fee: May 15, 2022

Please note: For abstract submission, online registration for the congress is required first.
In case of any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at Updated information about the congress is always available online:

Best Wishes,

The CAAT Team


hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events

EBTC December Symposium
Tuesday 14 December 2021 


December 16, 2021

Altertox: Skin Sensitization
March 10-11, 2022
Hamburg, Germany

Altertox: Novel In vitro Methods and AOP Approaches in Genetic Toxicology
May 19-20, 2022
Oegstgeest, The Netherlands

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

Altertox: In vitro Lung Models
November 3-4, 2022
Geneva, Switzerland

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

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