(PRWEB) September 25, 2010
The second international Lhasa Limited Symposium, entitled New Horizons in Toxicity Prediction, was hosted on September 15th and 16th with media support from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and attended by over 120 delegates.
First up was Dr. Thomas Hartung, who talked about revolution - not the kind involving arms but of a “real revolution in regulatory toxicity”. He spoke passionately about the contrasting approaches in Europe versus the USA towards the development of new toxicological tools. In the former, he characterised the approach as ‘bottom up’ with a strong focus on the 3R’s principles (to replace animal testing), while in the US, he spoke of the ‘top down’ approach characterised by the “Tox-21c” vision, where programmed research is carried out and commissioned. For Dr. Hartung, the two approaches are two sides of the same coin, and more importantly, he believes, if brought together can result in a Human Toxicology Project and a revolution in the regulation of toxicology.
Contrary to the theme of “fighting” evident throughout the Armouries, the Symposium’s audience were subject to a barrage of first hand accounts describing the intense collaboration that characterises the direction in which the toxicity community is moving. Dr. Antony Williams spoke about ChemSpider (http://www.chemspider.com), a collaborative effort within the chemistry community to create, clean and grow an online platform of chemical data. Professor Jim Bridges focused on hazard assessment and again saw a requirement for close collaboration across user sectors and legislative regimes in order to bring further success in this field.
During the breaks in the programme, delegates were welcome to wander around the Armouries where a remarkable diversity of tools for killing was on display. However back in the auditorium; the focus was on tools for supporting life. Dr. Sabacho Dimitrov talked of animal welfare saying it is important to limit the number of tests where this is scientifically justifiable. One approach he described considers similar chemicals in categories, rather than individually. While Dr. James Trosko demanded toxicity studies of stem cells; given the role of stem cells in many chronic diseases such as cancer and birth defects. Dr. Melvin Andersen focused on the ancillary computational tools necessary to move in vitro assays to centre stage in human health safety assessments.
By the end of the two day event, the fourteen speakers had armed their audience with all that was needed to ride off towards new horizons in toxicity prediction.
“We were delighted to receive over 120 delegates to the second Lhasa Limited Symposium. The positive feedback we’ve received shows us that there is certainly demand for a 2012 event which we will be happy to deliver as part of our commitment to following developments in toxicity prediction.” David Watson, CEO, Lhasa Limited.
The 2010 Lhasa Limited Symposium follows the inaugural event which was held in 2008 in Cmabridge, UK and organisers are already planning the 2012 event. More information and this year’s speaker slides are online at http://www.lhasasymposium.org.
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