January 14 and 15, 2021 


Dr. Nathalie Alépée has twenty-year experience in leadership of investigative toxicology with proof of accountability for relationship of European bodies on Alternative to Animal Testing having being an ESAC member (ECVAM Scientific Advisory Board) and research partner in EU projects.

She has a deep interest in alternatives to animal testing, including the regulatory community, validating agencies, interested public and academia. Her Research Unit includes the development, the optimization, and the validation of alternative methods (including a test method on skin sensitization), and the strategies for the prediction of the hazardous properties of substances.

Dr. Nathalie Alépée is currently involved in international regulatory acceptance bodies, i.e. OECD Test Guidelines and Guidance on topical activities for test methods and defined approaches for skin sensitization, playing key roles by leading some activities.

She is a frequently asked speaker, author of numerous international publications and reviewer on these topics.

Finally, she is, at the EU level, co-chair of the Cosmetics Europe, The Personal Care Association, skin tolerance task force.  

Eric obtained a master’s degree in Biology and Pharmacology from the University of Paris VI in 2002 and then worked in an academic environment in dermatology and ophthalmology at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Paris.

In 2006, he joined Natura’s group, the number one cosmetic company in Brazil, to set up in vitro toxicology assays but also to participate to European initiatives in the field of animal test replacement.

In 2012, he joined Oroxcell to lead the Life Science department where he managed to set up new in vitro assays in a regulatory context for both the pharmaceutical and the cosmetic industry, and he also developed collaborations with cosmetic leading companies to design and validate innovative sensitization and genotoxicity assays.

From the beginning of his industrial carrier, Eric has been committed in the promotion and dissemination of new in vitro tools for toxicology assessment, focussed on the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) implementation.

Eric is a member of the French Society of Toxicology (SFT), a Eurotox Registered Toxicologist (ERT) and an active member at Adebiotech, the French think tank for biotechnologies promotion.

Prof. Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Research Director at INSERM and Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at Sorbonne University in Paris. Her research interests include the explanation of the etiopathogenesis of allergic and respiratory diseases through an exposomic approach. She has served with various leadership positions numerous international medical societies (ERS, ATS, WAO, EAACI, Union) contributing to their Position Papers. Since 20 years, she has served on the editorial boards of numerous medical journal and book series. She has over 500 publications (papers, book chapters, editorials). She has written two books of respiratory epidemiology. Prof. Annesi-Maesano is a respiratory epidemiologist by training, initially educated in Physics (Rome) and Medicine (Paris).

EPAR (Epidemiology of Allergic and Respiratory DIseases Department), Institute Pierre Louis of Epidemiology and Public Health, UMR-S 1136 INSERM & UPMC Paris6, Sorbonnes Universités, Medical School Saint-Antoine Office n° 803-804-806, 8° étage/Floor 27, rue Chaligny 75571 Paris CEDEX 12 Tel: + 33 1 44738449/665 Fax: +33 1 44738454  

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Nicole COUTRELIS is a lawyer at the Paris Bar since 1985. Before starting her private practice, she was at the French “Office National Interprofessionnel des Céréales” (Cereals Authority) where she was in charge of the European Affairs (1972-1978). She was then nominated at the French Permanent Representation to the EC in Brussels, (“Attaché Agricole” from 1978 to 1982) and joined afterwards the Legal Service of the European Commission (1982-1985).

Nicole COUTRELIS is a partner of COUTRELIS & ASSOICES, a French Law Firm with Offices in Paris and in Brussels, specializing in EU Law, mainly in Antitrust, Agriculture, Food and Drug regulations, Alcoholic Beverages, Free Movement of Goods and all matters related to the Single European Market. She is particularly in charge of the Food Law Practice of the Firm, counseling, lobbying and helping clients place products on the EU market, as well as defending them in inspections and, when needed, litigating, in France and before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Former President and now Vice-President of the European Food Law Association, she is a Member of the Institute of Food technologists and of the Food and Drug Law Institute.  She is the author of many articles and Conferences related to European Food Law.

Nicole COUTRELIS can be reached at n.coutrelis@coutrelis.com

Carine Delayre-Orthez est enseignant-chercheur dans le département Sciences de la Nutrition et Santé à LaSalle Beauvais-Esitpa, établissement d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche. Titulaire d’un doctorat en Toxicologie et Pharmacologie de l’Université Louis Pasteur, ses premiers travaux de recherche ont d’abord porté sur l’impact des endotoxines et le rôle du récepteur PPARa sur l’asthme allergique et sur la régulation de l’inflammation associée. Après un an en tant qu’Attachée Temporaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche à la Faculté de Pharmacie de Strasbourg, elle a rejoint LaSalle Beauvais-Esitpa en 2005. Elle y assure des enseignements d’Immunologie et de Pharmacotoxicologie pour des étudiants de niveau L1 à M2. Elle coordonne des projets de recherche académique et industrielle. Ses activités de recherche portent sur l’incidence de l’alimentation et des contaminants alimentaires sur le développement des allergies, et plus particulièrement sur la modulation de la réponse immunitaire et de l’homéostasie intestinale par les composés néoformés.

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Mrs. Anne Gourmelon works for the Test Guidelines Programme at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She graduated as an engineer in France and studied environmental toxicology in the Netherlands (Wageningen University). For a couple of years she worked at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome in the area of pesticides management for the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention. In 2002, she started working for the OECD in the Test Guidelines Programme, and coordinated the validation studies of several assays aimed at detection endocrine disrupting chemicals in environmental species (fish, frog,…). She has been managing the OECD Test Guidelines Programme since 2012. The Programme addresses the 3Rs through the development of alternatives to animal testing. The development and standardisation of novel in vitro methods, their use stand-alone or in comination with oter sources of information, and their acceptance by regulators are areas where much of the Programme resources are spent. The Programme also strongly support the development of a knowledge base on Adverse Outcome Pathways with the view to acquire mechanistic data to justify and support the development of alternative mechanistic methods that can be used in combinations for predicting complex toxicities.

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Geert Houben is Principal Scientist Food Allergy and Immunotoxicology at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, a public law-regulated research and technology organization in the Netherlands. Additionally, he is Professor Food-borne Risk Factors for Allergic and Inflammatory Diseases at the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Faculty of Medicine of the Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Prior to his current positions, he has had various research and management positions at TNO and various research positions at the University of Utrecht and the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. Geert has had the managerial and scientific responsibility for the TNO Food Safety research and services for many years prior to choosing to focus on his scientific career since 2014. Geert was trained as a Biologist and Toxicologist and did his PhD in food immunotoxicology.

His major scientific specializations are food allergy, food and feed toxicology and immunotoxicology, and particularly risk assessment in these areas. In the early years of this century, he was the first to pioneer in the development and application of probabilistic risk assessment principles in food allergy and his team has been world leading in this area since then. His team hosts the world-wide most complete database with over 3500 threshold datapoints from individual food allergy patients (database jointly owned with the Food Allergy Research and Resources Program (FARRP) of the University of Nebraska, USA) and has been developing and validating food intake databases specifically attuned to the application to food allergy risk assessment. TNO also led the risk assessment and risk management work package of the EU iFAAM project. Another research topic is on the assessment of allergenicity of (novel) food proteins. TNO initiated and chaired the EU Cost Action ImpARAS on this topic and developed a strategy and a machine learning algorithm to predict the allergenicity of (novel) food proteins. A last focus area is on the role of the exposome in inflammatory processes, in particular the development and application of approaches to identify and characterize food-borne risk factors for allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Geert Houben is or was a member of tens of expert groups, advisory boards and committees in the area of toxicology, food safety, immunotoxicology and food allergy. Among others, he was a member of the WHO IPCS Expert Group for the harmonized guidance development for Immunotoxicity Risk Assessment, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland. Geert Houben is dedicated to further support the development, application and international harmonization of quantitative approaches in food allergy risk assessment and management and the development of diet as (adjunctive) intervention in inflammatory diseases.

Prof. dr. Geert F. Houben:

Email: geert.houben@tno.nl or g.f.houben-2@umcutrecht.nl

LinkedIn profile: http://nl.linkedin.com/in/gfhouben

Scopus author profile: http://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.url?authorId=7006199383

Saadia Kerdine-Römer, PhD in Toxicology 1996 (University Paris-Sud) post-doctoral fellow 1996-1998 (Prof. E. Rüde, Institut of Immunology, Germany), assistant professor 1998 (Department of Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University Paris Sud). In 2011, Saadia KerdineRömer was hired full Professor in the Department of Toxicology (School of Pharmacy, University of Paris-Sud. Since 2013, she is principal investigator in the INSERM laboratory UMR-S 996. Since 2004, she has been the PhD advisor of 10 students. She is also a scientific expert for ANSM (Agence nationale de la santé pour le médicament), ANSES (Agence nationale de sécurité Sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail) and INRS (Institut National de Recherche et de santé). She is a toxicologist, a specialist in immunotoxicology, in Paris-Sud University, Paris Saclay, INSERM UMR-996. She has addressed how sensitizers, chemicals and TLR agonists activate dendritic cells. Currently, she is focusing her work on studying the role of Nrf2, as a biomarker, in the activation of DC in vitro and, as an important mediator in skin allergy in response to chemicals. She is also involved in many cosmetic groups for her expertise in skin allergy (Pierre Fabre, THOR). Saadia Kerdine-Römer (Team 1) will coordinate the project.

Léon Knippels studied biology and graduated at the University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands with a M.Sc. in immunology and immunotoxicology. In1998 he received a Ph.D. in immunology/allergy from the same University on the development of a Brown Norway rat model to study sensitization to food proteins and mechanisms associated with immunological sensitization and clinical reactions in food allergy. He continued his research as a postdoc at TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, Zeist, in the Netherlands and became Senior Scientist/Study Director and later Product Manager. There he supervised research projects as well as contract research for both Food and Pharma companies, in the field of immunotoxicology, immunology with a specialism in (food) allergy. In 2006 he joined Danone/Nutricia Research as a Senior Scientist Immunology and became Group Leader Immunology & Allergy. He was responsible for several research projects in which food ingredients are characterized for their immunomodulating properties, with a focus on allergy. Léon is currently Allergy & Immunology Director at Nutricia Research in the Netherlands and affiliate Associate Professor at the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Research within his team focuses on the immunomodulating properties of food ingredients in both pre-clinical and clinical studies. He is (co)author on several patents, has published 94 peer reviewed publications and several book chapters in the field of food allergy and immunotoxicology.

Thomas LEOPOLD is ATOUT REACH manager, a French expertise and training provider in European chemical regulations. As a toxicologist, Thomas is in charge of regulatory dossiers, aiming to assess risks under REACH and Biocides products Regulations, but also for Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals (environmental risk assessment), etc.

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Åsa Marknell DeWitt has worked at Thermo Fisher Scientific (ImmunoDiagnostics) more than 25 years. Starting at R&D, she was part of the team that established the Molecular Allergology program and instrumental in projects bringing over 80 in vitro diagnostic tests to market. Her PhD thesis focused on development and utilization of recombinant allergens for component resolved diagnosis. Today she works in Business Development as Special Product Service Manager and is responsible for the allergy research products and customized products. As part of the customized products segment, her team develops and manufactures immunoassays for surveillance of sensitization to enzymes in manufacturing industry.

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Dr Georgios Stamatas is currently part of the Skin Health Upstream Innovation team at Johnson & Johnson. He has over 20 years of industry and academic experience as Biomedical Engineer in upstream research. His areas of interest focus on understanding skin physiology and topical product effects. He also develops in silico, in vitro and clinical methods and models with applications in dermatology. His research on the differences between pediatric and adult skin and has transformed our understanding of newborn and baby skin maturation.  Dr. Stamatas holds a PhD in Chemical/Biomedical Engineering and has more than 80 scientific publications and seven patents to his credit.

Pauline Titchener studied Food Technology at the University of Glasgow. Following graduation she worked in the food industry in both quality assurance and new product development roles. For the last 13 years, she has been working for NEOGEN, a leading manufacturer of food safety diagnostic tests. She is currently senior product manager of the allergen, hygiene and speciation diagnostic ranges across Europe.