Additional projects

SCAHT is also involved in other defined areas of research including the following collaborative projects:

​For details on the projects see descriptions below.
 


Evaluation of toxicity pathways in organotypical liver models for fibrosis

Project Lead

Partners

  • Prof. Alexander Odermatt, Universität Basel 
  • Dr. Chris Goldring, University of Liverpool

Rationale for project

Liver fibrosis has been identified as an Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) endpoint, but appropriate in vitro models for the investigation of the underlying mechanisms are lacking. New 3D cell culture systems can be used for the investigation of the involved pathways. The project will focus primarily on the participation of oxidative stress and Nrf-2-response in the stellate cell, as this mechanism is significant for human toxicology.

Objectives

We will establish a 3D co-culture system with several cell types (hepatocytes, Kupffer cells and stellate cells) to study the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in fibrosis after exposure to toxicants (e.g. ethanol, methotrexate). We will elucidate the role of Nrf-2 in the onset and progression of liver fibrosis and identify possible therapeutic interventions to reverse the fibrotic phenotype.

For further information contact

Prof. Laura Suter-Dick
laura.suterdick@fhnw.ch
 


European Drug Emergency Network (Euro-DEN) collecting data on recreational drug use

Project Lead

Partners

  • P. Dargan, King’s College London (UK)
  • K. E. Hovda, Oslo University Hospital (N)
  • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon (P)
  • B. Megarbane, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris (F)
  • Other network members

Rationale for project

The goal of the project is to collect data on recreational drug toxicity in medical emergency departments across Europe. Basel acts as the Swiss center in the EU Euro-DEN project which includes 15 other centers. The objective is to develop and maintain a network of sentinel centers with a specialist clinical and research interest in the adverse consequences of recreational drugs and in particular of new psychoactive substances.

Objectives

Systematic collection of data on adverse consequences of recreational drugs in emergency room admissions, to identify, monitor and respond to new use and adverse outcome patterns. The Basel center also studies the pharmacology and toxicology of novel psychoactive substances in vitro.

For further information contact

Prof. Matthias Liechti
matthias.liechti@usb.ch
 


Toxgram, a knowledge base for compound data

Project Lead 

  • Prof. Karl-Heinz Krause, Université de Genève

Partners 

  • Department of Immunology and Pathology, CMU, Université de Geneve
  • Vital-IT, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Rationale for project

Characterization of toxic effects of chemical compounds is important for the protection of human health. Currently, a number of public repositories store bioactivity data measured with various technologies producing various types of complex data. Without explicit knowledge, much of the data is virtually inaccessible.

Objectives

Toxgram aims to provide a knowledge base for such data by integrating all available measurement information into a single aggregated view across all data types and experimental systems with links to the original public domain data. In the long term, we aim to provide a single entry point for compound-related data research and presentation.

For further information contact

Prof. Karl-Heinz Krause
karl-heinz.krause@unige.ch
 


Set programming using decision diagrams

Project Lead 

  • Prof. Didier Buchs, Université de Genève

Partners 

  • Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Rationale for project

In the frame of the assessment of human exposure to chemical substances, it is desirable to have a universal tool to compute levels of exposure based on given sets of input parameters. Such a tool should be able to deal with multiple models of exposure computation. This approach has been previously studied using Colored Petri Nets as modelling formalism and CPN Tools as computation engine. Promising results have motivated the continuation of the project in the form of an elaborated tool named TREXMO.

Objectives

The goal of TREXMO is to allow translating the inputs of an exposure model to other models, so that the same scenario can be used in multiple exposure models. To achieve this goal, a domain specific language named Yaffel, as well as its data model named DDTL, have been designed. A dedicated interpreter has also been developed in the form of a user-friendly interface, written in HTML/Javascript. The project also includes the development of an online version of TREXMO. 

For further information contact

Dimitri Racordon
dimitri.racordon@unige.ch

Prof. Didier Buchs
didier.buchs@unige.ch
 


Toward a better use of regulatory exposure models including non-national data base

Project Lead 

  • Prof. David Vernez, IST - Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail

Partners 

  • Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
  • BAuA (D)
  • INRS (F)
  • NIOSH (US)
  • KIST (D)
  • TNO (NL)

Rationale for project

A variety of models for occupational exposure estimation has been developed under the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals) for the evaluation of chemicals prior to their marketing. The models vary in structure, applicability domains, required level of user expertise, and output estimations. Moreover, their performance has been tested against limited data. These models therefore contain a certain amount of uncertainty.

Objectives

The goal of this project is focused on the improvement of the use of these models, primarily the most commonly used Advanced REACH Tool (ART), Stoffenmanager and ECETOC TRA 3. It includes the development of TREXMO, a computer-based tool which enables a simpler, less uncertain and more user-friendly use of the models. The between-user variability of Trexmo will be tested against the commonly used models.

For further information contact

Nenad Savic
nenad.savic@chuv.ch
 


Human skin penetration of bisphenol A and substitutes

Project Lead 

  • Nancy B. Hopf, IST - Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail

Partners 

  • Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)

Rationale for project

Bisphenol A (BPA, CAS No. 80-05-7) is a plastic monomer and plasticizer, primarily used in the production of polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins, and in carbonless paper. It is one of the world’s highest production-volume chemicals, with more than 2 million metric tons produced worldwide in 2003. In the general population, skin contact may contribute to the overall exposure of humans to BPA when touching store receipts (thermal paper).

Objectives

The first objective is to assess the skin permeability of BPA in exposure conditions close to real-life situations.  Percutaneous permeation of BPA and its metabolites through viable human skin will be measured using flow-through diffusion cells. The second objective is to assess the permeation of current and future BPA substitutes. The percutaneous permeation of Pergafast 201, bisphenol S or bisphenol F will be investigated using the same method as for BPA.

For further information contact

Nancy Hopf
nancy.hopf@hospvd.ch

Elena Reale
elena.reale@chuv.ch