News from the Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration, August 2015.
Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration
EBTC Restructuring

Over the last 18 months, the EBTC has been reorganizing its governance structure.  The primary goals have included consolidating the North American and European Steering Committees into one governance body and moving towards a more formal organizational model for the EBTC itself.  Initiated by the EBTC’s Governance Work Group, the EBTC is in the final stages of establishing a single Board of Directors, with representatives from North America and Europe, which will direct and oversee the activities of the EBTC. The EBTC is seeking to balance representation on the Board among the government, academia, industry and non-governmental organization sectors.  The new Board is in the process of forming a Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), which will advise the Board or the Secretariat (Administration) on potential EBTC projects and other scientific issues that come before the organization.  The Governance Work Group has prepared draft guidance on the operation of the Board, SAC, and the Secretariat, and the relationships among these bodies.  This guidance will serve as the basis for a more formal set of bylaws and policies of the organization, which will facilitate the EBTC’s eventual incorporation as a legally recognized non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  Look for further updates on these developments in the EBTC newsletter and website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds.


New EBTC Director
The EBTC is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Katya Tsaioun as the new EBTC Director.  Katya brings expertise from the non-profit charity sector and the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining the EBTC, she was the US Scientific Director of the Safer Medicines Trust (SMT), a UK patient safety charity with the mission of improving drug safety by advancing new in vitro and in silico tests into regulatory use. She established the SMT's presence in the U.S., formed collaborations with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and built a scientific advisory panel drawing from cross-Atlantic stakeholders consisting of academic groups, regulatory authorities, technology companies, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, and other non-profits.  Prior to that, Katya started and ran a contract research organization, Apredica, which specialized in in vitro pharmacology and early safety assessment for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and cosmetic industries. She led the company as it became a leader in early safety assessment and as it merged successfully with a competitor. Prior to founding Apredica, she managed the ADME and early safety assessment programs for a number of pharmaceutical companies in Boston.
Dr. Tsaioun serves on scientific review boards and study sections of the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. She is a frequently invited speaker on such topics as early toxicity assessment, building productive R&D teams, and entrepreneurship. She has authored numerous articles, book chapters and co-edited the book ADMET for Medicinal Chemists (Wiley & Sons, 2011).
Dr. Tsaioun replaces Dr. Martin Stephens, the Founding Director of the EBTC, who has shifted to a part-time position within the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, which provides administrative services to the EBTC. Marty will continue to serve as a member of the EBTC secretariat in an advisory role.  The EBTC is grateful to Marty for his past leadership within the organization and his commitment to the EBTC in his new capacity. 


Global Evidence Synthesis Summit

[photo caption: The participants in the Global Evidence Synthesis Summit. The EBTC’s Sebastian Hoffmann is third from the left.]

The EBTC, represented by Sebastian Hoffmann, was invited to participate in the Global Evidence Synthesis Summit (GESS), which was held on June 13-14, 2015 in Oslo, Norway. The summit was organized by Jeremy Grimshaw, the director of Cochrane Canada, Gro Jamtvedt, the executive director of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, and John-Arne Røttingen, visiting Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. They convened representatives of organizations dedicated to or interested in the synthesis of evidence to explore the need for a global initiative to promote and advocate for the importance of evidence synthesis for decision-making.
About 25 organizations were represented at the meeting. While most of them were from the medical sector, organizations applying evidence synthesis to pre-clinical, veterinary or environmental health problems were also present.
Motivated by the great potential held in mutual learning and collaboration, the group discussed how to position such global effort to address principles, standards, methods, funding, teaching infrastructure and advocacy of evidence synthesis.  
Capitalizing on the enthusiasm created at the meeting, the next steps will be to draft a position statement, to specify potential areas of work and to identify early projects.

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