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.


New exposure biomarkers for glycol ethers in humans

Project Lead

  • Nancy Hopf, Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail (IST)

Partners

  • Myriam Borgatta, Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail (IST)
  • Stephan Krähenbühl, Universitätsspital Basel

Rationale for project

Millions of people are chronically exposed to glycol ethers through a wide range of household and professional products. Some glycol ethers are neurotoxic and reprotoxic leading to regulatory restrictions. The toxicity of ethylene glycol derivatives is mainly related to their metabolic transformation products, while metabolic transformation and toxicity of propylene glycol derivatives have not been extensively studied.

Objectives

There are three main objectives in the study: (1) Develop a chemical analytical method to analyse potential metabolites, (2) Determine hepatic metabolism and cytotoxicity in vitro, and (3) Quantify possible metabolites in urines from volunteers (n = 16) exposed to propylene glycol methyl ether (PGME, CAS no. 107-98-2) and the propylene glycol butyl ether (PGBE, CAS no 5131-66-8) under controlled conditions.

For further information contact

Dr. Nancy Hopf
nancy.hopf@hospvd.ch


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

Project Lead

  • Matthias Liechti, Universitätshospital Basel

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


Complementary data integration and network biology investigation to define the best neuroinflammation classifiers from omics data

Project Lead 

  • Jean-Charles Sanchez, Université de Genève

Partners 

  • Serge Rudaz, Université de Genève
  • Luc Stoppini, Hepia
  • Marie-Gabrielle Zurich, Université de Lausanne

Rationale for project

Most toxicology research focuses on a few isolated molecules instead of multiple interacting molecules. Integration of proteomic, transcriptomics and metabolomic data in combination with prior biological knowledge from human health effect associations and pathway databases is crucial. This allows representing the set of measured molecules as a network. This network representation will help us to identify pathways of interest, and therefore relevant biomolecules that could serve as markers for key events in neuroinflammation.

Objectives

The present project aims at evaluating the effect of neurotoxic xenobiotics on the physiology and biochemical pathways of endothelial cells, astrocytes and microglia, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) cells (in vitro 3D), using a network biology strategy from omics data. Positive control xenobiotics are trimethyltin (TMT), paraquat, and morphine, and endogenous molecules (TNF and LPS). The Metacore package from Clarivate Analytics will be used for data integration and to characterise toxicity networks.

For further information contact

Prof. Jean-Charles Sanchez
jean-charles.sanchez@unige.ch


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

Project Lead 

  • David Vernez, Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail (IST)

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 only 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 accuracy and the use of these models, primarily the three most sophisticated, i.e. Advanced REACH Tool, Stoffenmanager, and ECETOC TRA. This includes application of advanced statistical analyses such as Bayesian inference, and the web-development of a user-friendly platform. By combining different measured and modeled values, the accuracy of the exposure predictions is expected to increase. By using more comprehensive and curated data entry methods, uncertainty from this source should be minimized.

For further information contact

Nenad Savic
nenad.savic@chuv.ch