Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
October 29, 2021

News and Updates from CAAT


EBTC 10th Anniversary Symposium

November 11, 2021 10 am – 12 pm EST

10:00 Introduction 5 min (Marty Stephens, Founding Director of EBTC)

10:05 Keynote: History of EBT movement and application in diverse fields (Thomas Hartung, Professor of Evidence-based Toxicology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Presentations on use cases of Evidence-based Toxicology 

10:20 History of implementation of SR methods at IRIS (Kris Thayer, US )

10:35 Certainty in evidence for environmental health claims (Holger Schunemann)

10:50 Systematic Review at EFSA (Didier Verloo, EFSA)

11:05 Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Bridge the Systematic Method and Environmental Health Data Divide
(Michelle Angrish, US EPA)

11:25 Panel with users of evidence: Moderated by Jack Fowle, President of EBTC Board of Trustees.

Bette Meek, University of Ottawa
Julija Filipovska, Independent
Tala Henry, US EPA
Richard Brown, WHO
Bennard von Ravenzwaay, BASF 

11:45 Looking at the next decade for Evidence-based Toxicology : Katya Tsaioun 

Pre-register here.


Early Career Scientist Award for New Approach Methods (NAMs) Development (30,000)
Application period extended for our Early Career Scientists Award (30,000 €) for the Development of New Approach Methods (NAMs) to further the Application of Human-relevant Replacement Methods in Biomedical Research
The Animal Protection Commissioner of Berlin (and CAAT’s Director of the Beyond Classical Refinement Program) Kathrin Herrmann offers funding for an Early Career Scientists Award 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 Award includes prize money of €30,000.
Deadline: November 1, 2021, 11.59 pm CET.
More information click here.

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: November 7, 2021 
More information here
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.


The Role of Public Awareness in the Replacement of Animals In Safety Testing

November 24-25, 2021 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm UK time)

Dr Kathrin Herrmann, CAAT and Animal Protection Commissioner of Berlin, Germany and Dr Costanza Rovida, CAAT-Europe, will be presenting at the LUSH PRIZE CONFERENCE 2021
More information and free registration here

Join us for our second MPS World Summit Virtual Conference

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  Welcome, Thomas Hartung, JHU
9:05  Keynote Address: Donald Ingber, Wyss Institute, Harvard University
9:35  "MPS Hardware and Enabling Technologies" (short talks from submitted abstracts)
10:55 Break and poster voting
11:00 "Cell Models and Applications for MPS" (short talks from submitted abstracts)
12:20  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 Young Investigator Travel Award announcement and closing remarks

Registration is open! Click here to register.

The MPS World Summit is an effort of many collaborators:
American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT)
Aracari Biosciences
CAPB Brown University
Centre of Excellence in Body-on-Chip Research at Tampere University
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
CN Bio Innovations Limited
Competence Centre TEDD
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
European Medical Agency (EMA)
European Organ-On-Chip Society (EUROoCS)
European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EUSAAT)
European Society of Toxicology (ESTIV)
Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)
Hesperos Inc
Institute for human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT)
Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences (IAFNS)
Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
Lena Biosciences
MB Research Laboratories
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
National Interangency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM)
Obatala Science
Roche Institute for Translational Bioengineering (ITB)
Si-M (The Simulated Human- a joint research building of TU Berlin and Charité)
Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS)
The North American 3Rs Collaborative (NA3RsC)
U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
University of Pittsburgh - Drug Discovery Institute
University of Washington - Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

New article: “Autism in Three Dimensions: Using Brain Organoids to Study Potential Gene–Environment Interactions” for Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)

Lena Smirnova and colleagues compared brain organoids containing a normal version of CHD8, the gene encoding chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 8, with those containing the high-risk ASD mutation CHD8+/−CHD8 is one of more than 50 genes associated with higher risk of ASD. The number of these genes, plus more than 50 well-supported additional genes with lower penetrance (i.e., a lower proportion of people with the mutation develop clinical symptoms), illustrates the genetic heterogeneity of ASD that contributes to its wide symptom variation.

The clinical heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) makes it difficult to match treatments to patients. The unique nature of ASD in humans has also hampered the use of animal models in drug development. Brain organoids, “miniature brains” derived from human cells, have emerged as a promising alternative strategy for understanding ASD. A recently published study in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests these organoids may also be well suited for modeling the gene–environment interactions that have long been suspected of increasing ASD risk.

The article appears in the October 2021 issue of EHP.
A PDF of the final version is available at    


COVID-19 – prime time for microphysiological systems, as illustrated for the brain

Ian Kang, Lena Smirnova, Jens H. Kuhn [...] Thomas Hartung
Vol. 38 No. 4 (2021), pp. 535-549

Continuing animal tests on cosmetic ingredients for REACH in the EU

Jean Knight, Costanza Rovida, Reinhard Kreiling [...] Thomas Hartung
Vol. 38 No. 4 (2021), pp. 653-668

The Humane Research and Testing Act: Advancing science by creating a new Center for Alternatives at the US National Institutes of Health

Paul Locke, Mikalah Singer, Thomas Hartung
Vol. 38 No. 4 (2021), pp. 678-680

Read the complete issue here:

Altertox News

We recently published a new Altertox video about NAMs: episode 2: Replacing rabbits and horseshoe crab in pharmacopeia: the “human pyrogen testing

Find here the last article published in Voxeurope and written by our colleague Jeanne Laperrouze:    

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


Best Wishes,

The CAAT Team


hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events

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

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: November 7, 2021 

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

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

Altertox: Novel In vitro Methods and AOP Approaches in Genetic Toxicology
19-20 May 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
3-4 November 2022
Geneva, Switzerland

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

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