Mark Your Calendar: The Utility of Alternative Testing Strategies in Nanotechnology Health and Safety Evaluations- A Webinar Featuring CEIN's Dr. Andre Nel

Wednesday 25 January, 2017, 02:00 PM – 03:00 PM EST Registration to Open Next Week; Check the Nano.gov Public Webinars page for more information and a link to registration

Research over the past 15 years has led to significant progress in understanding the potential environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanomaterials, generating an impressive body of literature and test data. However, keeping pace with the rapid development and diversity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and nanotechnology-enabled products will require considerable advances in risk assessment methodologies.

Many factors impact future directions: enhanced ability to rapidly screen large numbers of chemical substances, reducing the use of animals in toxicity testing; and inventing new approaches and tools that improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying adverse responses. These factors have been key drivers in creating a paradigm shift from conventional descriptive approaches for chemical hazard assessment. Twenty-first century risk assessment is moving toward methods based on an understanding of cellular response pathways that, when triggered by a chemical substance, could initiate key biological events that lead to adverse outcomes at the individual or population level. This new paradigm, relying on non-vertebrate, alternative testing strategies (ATS), utilizes mechanism-based in vitro assays and in silico predictive tools for expedited screening of the hazard potential of chemical substances and ENMs at significantly less cost.  

The National Nanotechnology Initiative is pleased to announce the next event in the NEHI Working Group’s EHS Webinar Series, and welcomes Dr. Andre Nel, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the NSF- and EPA-funded Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. Dr. Nel will describe the recent scientific advancements in developing alternative testing strategies. Dr. Nel, an internationally recognized leader and innovator in nanomedicine, will demonstrate, by way of a few key examples (such as carbon nanotubes), the utility of ATS for mechanism-based high-throughput and high-content screening. This mechanism-based approach relies on adverse outcome pathways for ranking and profiling ENMs. Dr. Nel’s presentation will describe how the connection between a molecular initiating event, tied to ENMs’ physicochemical properties, and key intermediary responses can be linked to apical health outcomes. Dr. Nel will also address how data can be used for dose- and exposure-relevant tiered risk assessment, as well as data acquisition and submission for regulatory consideration.

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