Advancing RIFM’s Science at the year’s biggest toxicology conference
Scientists from the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) will participate at the Society of Toxicology’s 61st Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in San Diego, California, March 27–31, 2022. The annual conference typically draws over 6,000 attendees.
RIFM researchers will share their knowledge and experience and advance their science through poster presentations, collaborations, and participation in SOT groups throughout the five-day conference.
Anne Marie Api, PhD, Vice President, will be meeting with numerous collaborators during the meeting. In addition, Dr. Api and her colleagues, Drs. Kaushal Joshi and Dan Selechnik will co-present with collaborators at Procter & Gamble on a case study using isoeugenol and methyl eugenol that explores why structural similarity alone is not sufficient to support read-across for hazard assessment (Abstract 3898). This poster provides an in-depth evaluation of these two chemicals that supports a conclusion that it is not appropriate to group them together for cancer hazard assessment.
Additionally, Dr. Api is a co-author on a poster that evaluates human reference data variability for skin sensitization (Abstract 3387). With her RIFM colleagues Maura Lavelle and Dr. Mihwa Na, and Lhasa Limited scientists, Dr. Api will also present an updated Dermal Sensitization Threshold (DST) using an in silico expert tool Derek Nexus and an expanded LLNA dataset containing 1,160 chemicals (Abstract 4015).
Isabelle Lee, PhD, Scientist, Dermatotoxicology, presents an update on the derivation of the NESIL (short for No Expected Sensitization Induction Level). RIFM’s Skin Team published an update for Skin Sensitization to the Criteria Document in 2021. The paper details how RIFM derives the NESIL using all available data. The NESIL is used to help identify maximum acceptable concentrations of an ingredient in fragranced products, which in turn inform the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Standards (published in Food and Chemical Toxicology) (Abstract 4620).
“The process for deriving the NESIL, like much science, is dynamic and must be refined as new information becomes available,” Dr. Lee explained. “I’m very excited to attend SOT in person for the first time. I’ll be meeting with several collaborators to discuss other research projects now in the works. SOT 2022 is going to be a very fruitful experience.”
Dr. Lee will be available to discuss the NESIL paper at Poster Board P657 from 2:30 pm – 4:15 pm on March 30.
Mihwa Na, PhD, Senior Scientist, Dermatotoxicology, will meet with collaborators of several ongoing skin-related projects to discuss strategies for avoiding animal and human testing, focusing on expanded datasets. In addition, Dr. Na will present a poster on using a weight-of-evidence approach for potency categories for fragrance materials (Abstract 3306).
“Potency refers to the amount of a chemical required to initiate an allergic skin reaction in a previously unsensitized person,” Dr. Na explains. “We refer to that first skin reaction as an ‘induction,’ and our goal is to prevent an induction from ever occurring.”
“For this study, we defined weight of evidence-based potency categories—strong, weak, very weak, and so on—for 106 different fragrance materials. This means that we considered all existing data on each material to provide evidence for their potency categories. It’s important to clearly distinguish between potencies because they are critical to determining safe use levels. The more potent a chemical is, the less is needed to cause a skin sensitization induction. So, the work we did on these 106 materials will help us in the long run by providing a baseline from which to evaluate the appropriateness of new animal-alternative tests as they are developed and proposed for use.”
Dr. Na will be available to discuss the Weight-of-Evidence Potency paper at Poster Board P459 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am on March 28 and said she would be happy to make herself available to meet at other times throughout the conference.
Gretchen Ritacco, Principal Scientist, Dermatotoxicology, will also attend the live event, where she will meet with colleagues and collaborators. Ms. Ritacco echoed Dr. Lee’s excitement about returning to conference in-person, stating that “I am looking forward to meeting collaborators face to face; it really allows for mulling over the projects and what direction to head in next in a way that you don’t quite get over online meeting platforms.”
In addition to Drs. Api, Lee, Na, and Ritacco, several other RIFM scientists will attend SOT virtually.
Nikaeta Sadekar, PhD, Senior Scientist, Respiratory Toxicology, is co-author with RIFM’s Dr. Api and members of the RIFM Respiratory Core and Adjunct Team of a paper that proposes using a pallet of known respiratory sensitizers as a reference for researching New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for predicting respiratory sensitizers. The reference list of known respiratory sensitizers aims to support the development of NAMs by serving as a reliable source of ideal positive controls for method and model development. The results of this comprehensive review are presented in a poster at the SOT annual meeting (Abstract 4523). Dr. Sadekar is available to connect virtually for discussing the publication and its implications in respiratory sensitization research.
Yax Thakkar, Senior Scientist, Genotoxicity, collaborated with scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, the International Fragrance Association, GF3 Consultancy, and Cosmetics Europe on a three-phase project to screen ingredients in personal care products for potentially precancerous activity after exposure to sunlight using the reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay (Abstract 3610).
Additionally, Mr. Thakkar and other members of the Botanical Safety Consortium have developed a strategy to evaluate the suitability of selected assays for use in assessing the genotoxicity of botanicals as complex mixtures (Abstract 4277).
Kaushal Joshi, Senior Scientist, Repeated Dose Toxicology and Reproductive Toxicology, PhD, and Dan Selechnik, Scientist, Repeated Dose Toxicology and Reproductive Toxicology, PhD, co-present with RIFM Vice President Dr. Anne Marie Api and collaborators at Procter & Gamble on a case study using isoeugenol and methyl eugenol that explores why structural similarity alone is not sufficient to support read-across for hazard assessment (Abstract 3898).
Manoj Kumar, PhD, Scientist, Computational Toxicology, will also attend the event virtually. To download any of the posters detailed above, visit the Members section of the RIFM.org website (sign-in required), click on Science Documents, then filter for Presentations.