ESTIV board 2020-2024

European Society of Toxicology In Vitro > ESTIV board 2020-2024

Helena Kandarova (Slovak republic) – President

Helena Kandárová is a senior scientist at Centre of Experimental Medicine, Slovak Academy of Science and at the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, STU. Her scientific interest is focusing on the development and validation of in vitro methods for topical toxicity testing of chemicals, cosmetics, pesticides and medical devices.

Helena has been a member of ESTIV since 2004. As a Board member, from 2016 through 2020, she has been responsible for communication activities and later on also for membership. Helena took care of the new website development and communication via LinkedIn. She assisted the board in the switch to the professional secretarial services that include, e.g. the improved membership database, or launch of the electronic newsletter.

In the period 2020-2024, she would like to support the ESTIV activities in the position of President and together with the newly established board strengthen the collaboration between the ESTIV members and affiliated societies and expand the ESTIV activities to support the implementation of the in vitro and silico toxicology into the research and education.

João Barroso (Portugal) – Vice-president

João Barroso is a Scientific Officer at the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), where he coordinates the validation of non-animal approaches towards regulatory acceptance and global use, including the identification of promising approaches for regulatory and biomedical applications; the assessment of incoming test submissions; the independent review of non-animal approaches by the EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC); the issuing of EURL ECVAM Recommendations; the engagement with regulatory experts, stakeholders and international partners; and the translation of validated non-animal approaches into EU legislation and internationally recognised standards (e.g., OECD Test Guidelines).

João has been a member of the ESTIV Board since 2014 and the ESTIV Vice-president since 2016. He is the chair of the scientific programme committee of the ESTIV 2020/2022 congress and he is involved in the ESTIV awards and travel grants. In the function of vice-president, he supports and assists the president and the society officers in completing their duties and assists in the technical organisation of regular board meetings and teleconferences

Erwin van Vliet (The Netherlands) – Treasurer and Sponsors

Erwin van Vliet is an in vitro toxicologist with a main background in neuro and dermal toxicity. After research positions at EURL ECVAM, the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and IDIBAPS in Barcelona, Spain, he started his consultancy company Innovitox in 2013. He provides management and scientific writing services to cosmetics, biotech and biopharma industry.

Erwin has been the treasurer of ESTIV since 2016. He takes care of the day-to-day financial and administrative tasks from the Netherlands where ESTIV has its bank account and the chamber of commerce registration. He also supported the process to obtain a VAT exemption status for ESTIV in the Netherlands.

Annemarie Vingaard (Denmark) – Webinars and TIV Special Issues

Anne Marie Vinggaard is a professor in molecular toxicology at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark with expertise within chemicals’ endocrine activity and mechanisms of action, cocktail effects and risk assessment of chemicals. AMV has published 119 publications with, got 5504 citations and an HI of 44 (WoS, May 2020).

At ESTIV board, Anne Marie is responsible for ESTIV/ASCCT webinars activities in 2020-2024 and planning of the Special issue of TIV from the ESTIV Congress in 2022.

Iwona Wilk-Zasadna (Poland) – Newsletter

Iwona Wilk-Zasadna holds MSc in Biotechnology, PhD in Veterinary Science and MSc in Toxicology. As in vitro toxicologist, she has pursued her career to advance the application of alternatives to animal testing for human risk assessment. She completed her post-doc at EURL ECVAM, where she was responsible for validation of in vitro methods in the area of toxicokinetics and endocrine disruptions as well as she was heavily involved in setting up phase-appropriate quality requirements for the development of in vitro methods (GIVIMP). She has also kicked off the projects on the application of in vitro methods in the area of biopharmaceuticals (i.e. cell- and gene-based therapies and antibody production) and served as co-leader of Vac2Vac project focused on the utilisation of in vitro methods for safety and efficacy testing of vaccines. Currently, Iwona works in the biopharmaceutical industry, where she prepares toxicological risk assessments as well as advise researchers on data integrity to ensure regulatory approval of new drug candidates.

As a member of the ESTIV board, Iwona continues strengthening the application of in vitro methods for safety and efficacy testing of biopharmaceuticals (i.e. large molecules as opposed well defined small molecules). Her main focus is the emerging field of cell- and gene-based therapies.

Erin Hill (USA) – ASCCT liaison

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1990 in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, Ms. Hill joined a tissue engineering company (Advanced Tissue Sciences) and assisted in the business development, marketing and sales of 3- Dimensional human tissue constructs to the personal care and household products market.  Ms. Hill then expanded her interest in in vitro methods during work for a developer of hollow fiber bioreactors for the production of monoclonal antibodies. In 1995 she joined the In Vitro Toxicology Unit at Microbiological Associates (now BioReliance) where she assisted industry toxicologists in the application of a variety of in vitro methods for safety, efficacy and product development.  In 1997 Ms. Hill co-founded the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS) and assumed the role of an officer and member of the board of directors. In 2015 Ms. Hill became President of the Institute where she is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating activities to achieve IIVS’ mission of increasing the use and acceptance of in vitro methods worldwide.  She actively engages with industry, animal protection organizations and regulatory agencies, both domestic and international, to help coordinate efforts for the advancement of non-animal testing methods.  In 2010 Erin cofounded the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) where she currently serves as president and treasurer.  She is a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), and the European Society for Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and the European Society of Toxicology (EuroTox). She also serves as an advisory board member for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Innovations in Food and Chemical Safety Program.

Erin worked with the ESTIV board to create a Memorandum of Understanding between the society and ASCCT. Since that time she has been an Ad Hoc board member helping to organize and participate in the annual meetings. Under the MOU ASCCT and ESTIV joined together to greatly expand the ASCCT webinar program. Society members are given priority to sign up for the webinars and also access to the library of recorded webinars. Erin is fostering more opportunities with its American counterpart, ASCCT.

Hajime Kojima (Japan) – JSAAE liaison

Hajime Kojima, Ph.D., is the secretary-general of Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative methods (JaCVAM) and the section chief of the division of risk assessment, Center for Biological Safety and Research (CBSR) in National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) contributing to the identification and evaluation of in vitro test methods for their potential validation, in the field of genotoxicity and local toxicity (skin & eye irritation and skin sensitisation). He holds several publications in refereed journals dealing with in vitro toxicity assay as well as a validation study. He is the councillor of the Japanese Society of Toxicology, the Japanese Society for Dermato-allergology and Contact Dermatitis, the Japanese Environmental Mutagen Society and the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments.  He is a vice-chair of the Working Group of the National Coordinators for the Test Guidelines Programme and is also an expert of skin & eye irritation, skin sensitisation, validation management group of non-animal for endocrine disruptors in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).  Until now, he has contributed to the approval of more than 20 OECD Test Guidelines and Guidance documents regarding the alternatives to animal testing.

Sofia Batista Leite (Portugal) – Students, communication

Sofia Batista Leite is a technical scientific officer working at ECVAM (Joint Research Centre, JRC Ispra – Italy). She finished her PhD in 2012 on Biochemistry/Biotechnology at IBET/ITQB in Lisbon (Portugal). Sofia continued pursuing a research activity as a PostDoc at the VUB, coordinating studies and supervising students. During both periods Sofia has explored strategies to maintain 3D hepatic cultures including stirred bioreactors and organ-on-chip for toxicological and biomedical applications. At the current position at the Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods Unit of JRC that hosts EURL ECVAM, Sofia’s work evolves around exploring strategies to assess complex in vitro models and of knowledge sharing of non-animal methods and models to promote their use in research and testing. She has been member of ESTIV for 12 years.

As member of the ESTIV board she supports the communication and dissemination of ESTIV work to promote the use of more complex in vitro models such as 3D cultures and organ-on-chip.

Markéta Dvořáková (Czech Republic) – Newsletter, communication

Marketa Dvorakova works as a Senior Scientific Researcher at the Unit for Alternative Toxicological Methods at National Institute of Public Health, Centre of Toxicology and Health Safety in Prague, Czech Republic. She is focused on implementation of in vitro toxicological methods, particularly on the optimized approaches for hazard evaluation of complex test items like cosmetics, consumer products and medical devices. Marketa has implemented or optimized methods for screening the potential of endocrine disruption or skin sensitization. Her research scope also includes reprotoxicity, genotoxicity and immunotoxicity. Marketa represents the National Reference Laboratory for Experimental Immunotoxicology, one of the EU-NETVAL facilities in the network of nominated EU laboratories which contribute to development of in vitro methods for identification thyroid disruptors, under the supervision of the EURL-ECVAM of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). As one of the experts in the OECD working group for endocrine disruption, she has the chance to contribute to the development of OECD test guidelines. As a member of the ESTIV board, Marketa hopes to represent in vitro methods based on cell lines and more complex test systems, e.g. reconstructed tissues and organ models and promote the applicability of optimized in vitro methods for evaluation of complex mixtures.

Matketa supports the distribution of information on the in in vitro and in silico toxicology by means of hands-on trainings and social media, in order to widely open the current topics for better communication, understanding and raised awareness.

Timothy Allen (United Kingdom) – ESTIV Applied toxicology courses

Tim Allen is a computational toxicologist and post-doctoral researcher at the MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge in the UK. His work involves the construction of in silico models for toxicity prediction, specifically in the area of molecular initiating events and adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). This has involved methods including machine learning deep neural networks, 3D quantitative structure-activity relationships and density functional theory quantum chemistry calculations. He has also been involved in developing in-house computational tools for use by his industrial partners at Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre for use in safety decision making. Tim has also served as a member of ILSI Europe’s expert group on AOPs in food ingredient assessment and presented his research at over 20 national and international conferences.

As a member of the ESTIV board, Tim represents computational toxicology, specifically with the goals of greater understanding and accessibility of current algorithms and approaches. Through education and training courses, scientific workshops, and better communication the idea of the “black box” computational algorithm with unknown workings can be unravelled to make these powerful tools more applicable across toxicology.

Arno Gutleb (Luxembourg) – ESTIV Applied toxicology courses

Dr. Arno Gutleb is Group Leader Environmental Health at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). The group is developing in vitro assays with a focus on the alveolar region of the lung and inflammation and respiratory sensitization as the main endpoints. He graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria and holds a PhD (2006) in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has a habilitation from the University Lorraine, France (2018) and is a European Registered Toxicologist (ERT). He is Distinguished Professor at the University Iuliu Hatieganu, Cluj, Romania and Visiting Professor at the Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago de Chile. He is a member of the Network for Preliminary Assessment of Regulatory Relevance (PARERE) of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (ECVAM). Since 2020 he is Co-chair of the US-EU NanoEHS CoR Human Toxicology.
Arno has a special interest in the transfer of knowledge and is interested to use his experience from chairing the WGA Education of the Nanosafety Cluster to further interest young scientists in areas of interest for ESTIV.

Jochem Louisse (The Netherlands) – ESTIV Applied toxicology courses

Jochem Louisse works as scientific researcher Toxicology at Wageningen Food Safety Research, which is part of Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Jochem is a lecturer of ESTIV’s applied in vitro toxicology course since the start of the course in 2015. Jochem is trained as a biologist and performed his PhD research in Toxicology on the combination of in vitro toxicity data and physiologically based kinetic (PBK) modelling to predict in vivo toxic dose levels. Jochem worked as a postdoctoral researcher at EURL ECVAM of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and as an assistant professor in Toxicology at Wageningen University. Currently, at Wageningen Food Safety Research, he mainly works on the application of in vitro and in silico approaches to identify and prioritize chemical hazards in the food chain. To that end, integrated toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic methods are being developed and applied. As a member of the ESTIV board, Jochem represents the in vitro kinetic field and promotes the application of in vitro kinetic data in chemical safety evaluations.


Audit Committee overseeing ESTIV processes:

Chantra Eskes (Chair, member of the supervisory committee), Switzerland

Philippe Bourrinet (member of the supervisory committee) , France

Corporate Members

mattek in Vitro Life Science Laboratories

Gold Sponsor

Affiliated Societies

Invitrom Celltox IVTS

Memorandum of Understanding