EFSA’s 2nd Scientific Conference, October 14-16, can be followed online

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EFSA’s 2nd Scientific Conference, October 14-16, can be followed online

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox

Registration to this conference is now closed, but you can follow the entire conference online: http://www.efsaexpo2015.eu/join-the-conference-online/

Conference Website: http://www.efsaexpo2015.eu/

Here are descriptions of 3 of the conference sessions:

Novel chemical hazard characterization approaches – October 16 from 09:00 to 13:00

Novel tools and testing strategies are revolutionising the way that scientists investigate chemical effects. This session sets out some of the most up-to date advances in assessing hazards in this important field.

Speakers include Thomas Hartung, of John Hopkins University, USA, who will examine the frontiers of predictive toxicology and how novel approaches are beginning to replace or complement traditional animal testing. Horst Spielmann, of Freie Universitat, Berlin, is one of several who will continue this theme as he looks at alternative testing strategies. The contribution of computer simulations in evaluating chemical effects will be covered by Emilio Benfenati, from Italy’s Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri. Raymond Tice, of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), will discuss the Tox21 Program – a multiagency initiative to develop innovative approaches to characterise pathways of toxicity in chemical testing.
More info on the session

Advancing environmental risk assessment – October 16 from 09:00 to 13:00:

Environmental risk assessment (ERA) is an important part of maintaining a healthy environment and conserving biodiversity. ERA evaluates the potential adverse effects of regulated stressors on the environment and has become indispensable to regulatory decision-making. Setting the scene, Alan Gray of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK will discuss significant recent advances and remaining challenges in the field.

Speakers include Lorraine Maltby of the University of Sheffield, UK, on operational environmental protection goals; Steve Wratten of New Zealand’s Lincoln University, on the potentials of agroecology; Joe Smith, an independent advisor from Australia, on the importance of good problem formulation; and Jörg Romeis of the Institute for Sustainability Sciences in Switzerland, on methods to assure high quality studies. The session concludes with a presentation by Jeff Pettis of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, USA, looking at a case study to examine how multiple stressors on bees can be assessed.
More info on the session

Weighing evidence and assessing uncertainty – October 15 from 09:00 to 13:00:

How should risk assessors integrate diverging scientific information? How confident are we as scientists about the results of our assessments? Session 2 on “Weighing evidence and assessing uncertainty” poses these questions… and more.

Dr Lorenz Rhomberg is a leading global expert on risk assessment practice and sets the scene for this session. Next up, the shift from empirical testing in animals to mode of action analysis is under Dr Harvey Clewell’s microscope. Prof Matthias Greiner will be looking at how microbiological risk assessment can support response to complex problems. Then, Dr Glenn Suter provides a U.S. perspective on the challenges of assessing environmental risks and Prof Maurice Whelan gets to grips with uncertainties in toxicology. Dr Andrew Hart wraps up the session with an update on recent international efforts to harmonise how we assess and communicate uncertainties.
More info on the session