Ask a RIFM Scientist

Two people in lab coats having a discussion over a microscope and tablet
Headshot of Anne Marie Api

What role does collaboration play at RIFM?

Anne Marie Api, PhD

Since its founding in 1966, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) has prioritized collaborative research and safety evaluation, drawing on the expertise of scientists worldwide.

While individual scientists have made world-changing discoveries, the overwhelming majority of scientific progress is the product of cooperation, including data sharing and collaboration.

There are many advantages to working directly with other scientists. For instance, collaborative research:

  • Lays the foundation for more open, connected, and engaged partnerships;
  • Allows groups with different expertise to be involved in a project;
  • Ensures no duplication of effort;
  • Opens up new avenues of communication; and
  • Brings people and organizations closer together and we learn from each other.

RIFM’s scientific collaborations extend throughout our work, from the international data and scientific literature RIFM analyzes and compiles in its comprehensive database to the international panel of expert academics without ties to the fragrance industry who review and approve all of RIFM’s work.

In addition to collaborating directly with academic, industry, and governmental agency scientists, RIFM shares its science with the international community at several events throughout the year, one of the most important of which is the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting (SOT).

SOT was founded in 1961, just five years before RIFM’s founding in 1966. RIFM began participating and presenting at SOT in the early 1980s and has continuously sponsored the annual event since the 1990s. RIFM believes in advancing the science of toxicology and SOT is a great place for collaboration, mentoring, and professional development.

In March 2023, several RIFM scientists will attend this critical meeting, presenting recent research that RIFM has performed in collaboration with various fragrance safety stakeholders. Additionally, we’ll be collaborating with IIVS on a special ancillary session that will highlight RIFM’s investigation into new assays to predict fragrance ingredient photoallergens and respiratory collaborative activities with no reliance on animal testing. RIFM scientists will be joined by over 5,000 toxicologists who will participate in more than 70 scientific sessions and offer over 2,000 poster presentations.

Over the last couple of years, RIFM has published 19 collaborative research papers. This research not only refines RIFM’s safety assessment process but also provides valuable guidance for fragrance manufacturers worldwide. We look forward to sharing some of these papers and ongoing research with the larger toxicology community in March.

Anne Marie Api, PhD, is President of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM).

Watch: A video introduction to what RIFM will present at SOT’s 2023 Annual Meeting

Related: SOT produced this introductory video to RIFM’s work for a previous online event