Workshop Report 32


Programme Day 1 – Morning


10:00-10:30 Registration and welcome coffee
10:30-10:40 Welcome and Introduction                                                                            Alan Poole
ECETOC Secretary General
Session 1: Understanding ncRNAs


15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

What are ncRNAs?                                                                                           Tim Gant
                                                                                                                             PHE, UK
- Definitions
- Spectrum of ncRNA (sizes, biogenesis)

15 minutes + 5 min Q&A


15 minutes + 5 min Q&A


15 minutes + 5 min Q&A

What do they do?                                                                                                           

- Mechanism of action, Functional Relevance                               Gunter Meister
- Importance of negative results                            Regensburg University, Germany

- Expression of macroscopic phenotypes for miRNA-guided             Hervé Seitz
regulation at the molecular level                                                         CNRS, France


- Cellular adaptation – relevance for risk assessment              Emma Marczylo
- Physiological interpretation – phenotypic anchoring                            PHE, UK


15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

Stability and transport                                                                         Kenneth Witwer
                                                                                                  Johns Hopkins University
- Cross-kingdom RNA Effect                                                    School of Medicine, USA




Programme Day 1 – Morning (cont’d)




15 minutes + 5 min Q&A

Cause or Consequence?                                                                     Jörg Hackermüller
UFZ, Germany
- What are the links between ncRNA, changes in ncRNA,
expression and pathological phenotype


15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

Exposure effects?                                                                               Nigel Gooderham
                                                                                             Imperial College London, UK
- Relevance of dose level / time / no effect level /
adverse effect level
13:00-14:00 Lunch


Programme Day 1 – Afternoon


Session 2: Understanding possible links between changes
in ncRNA and pathology



15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

ncRNA Therapy                                                                                          Achim Aigner
                                                                                               Leipzig University,Germany
- Upcoming medical applications
- What are the current medical applications of ncRNAs?
- How can this help inform toxicology and risk assessment
- Species differences: do animal models inform about
human pathology?


15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

Biomarkers                                                                                   Mohamed Benahmed
                                                                                                                    UNICE, France
- Technical issues around ncRNAs as biomarkers,
(biomonitoring – fluids, and link to pathology –



Programme Day 1 – Afternoon (cont’d)


Session 3: Technical issues around ncRNA in Risk Assessment



15 minutes +

5 min Q&A

Data analysis                                                                                                Frank Slack
BIDMC Cancer Center
Harvard Medical School, USA
- What are the key analysis methods currently employed?
- Is there a need for harmonisation?
- Contamination: is what you are measuring actually what
you think you are measuring?
15:00-15:30 Coffee




20 minutes discussion +
10 min Q&A

Panel Discussion                                                         Moderator: Saskia van der Vies
VU University Medical Centre, NL

Data Interpretation of ncRNAs as biomarkers                                                     Panel:

- There is an explosion of ncRNA data available,                  Tim Gant, PHE CRCE
how is it currently managed?                                                 Reza Rasoulpour, Dow
- What are the gaps/needs?                                             Kerstin Schmidt, BioMath
- What data are relevant for toxicology and risk
(What data are relevant for regulations?)


15 minutes +
5 min Q&A

Risk Assessment considerations for ncRNA in                                           Jan Verhaert
agricultural products/applications                                                   
Monsanto, Belgium
- Current agricultural applications of ncRNA
16:20-17:00 Conclusions of Day 1                                                                                      Alan Poole
Details for Networking Cocktail and Day 2                                                   
17:00 Close
18:00-19:00 Networking Cocktail



Programme Day 2 – Morning


09:30-09:40 Welcome, Proceedings for Day 2                                                                  Alan Poole
                                                                                                                                                                        ECETOC, Belgium
09:40-10:00 Summary of Day 1                                                                          Saskia van der Vies
VU University Medical Center, NL
10:00-11:00 Breakout Session 1:
Role of ncRNAs in toxicology and risk assessment
Each breakout group brainstorms both these questions.

Sub-questions are a guide to prompt discussion

Moderator: Tim Gant / Rapporteur: Madeleine Laffont

Moderator: Roland Buesen / Rapporteur: Achim Aigner

Moderator: Helmut Greim / Rapporteur: Alan Poole


1.   How to make use of ncRNA technology in toxicology and chemicals risk assessment?

- What is relevant and not relevant?

- What do ncRNAs really tell us?

- How far do ncRNAs really add information to toxicology and risk assessment?

- What role for ncRNAs in toxicology and chemicals risk assessment in the next
5-10 years? (What can they do and what cannot they do?)


2.   In light of what we know about ncRNas – should we re-evaluate current toxicology and chemicals risk assessment?


- What do changes in ncRNA mean regarding the phenotype?

- What is relevant (cross-kingdom RNA effects)?

- What are the implications for industry/regulations?

- Are the changes in the expression of ncRNA helpful in our
understanding of MoA?

11:00-11:30 Coffee


Programme Day 2 – Morning (cont’d)


11:30-12:30 Plenary:

Moderators share findings from breakout sessions, with room for audience discussion

12:30-12:45 Afternoon session explained Madeleine Laffont
12:45-13:00 Cefic LRI Programme explained Bruno Hubesch
13:00-14:00 Lunch  


Programme Day 2 – Afternoon


14:00-15:15 Breakout Session 2:
What don’t we know?
Research Priorities for (i) industry (ii) other funders
Each breakout group brainstorms the same question. Separate Moderators / Rapporteurs for each group.

30 minutes discussion followed by 45 minutes drafting RfP outline(s).

Moderator: Alan Poole / Rapporteur: Nigel Gooderham

Moderator: Jorg Hackermüller / Rapporteur: Madeleine Laffont

Moderator: Reza Rasoulpour / Rapporteur: Saskia van der Vies

- Which answers are still needed? How can we provide the answers?

- What is currently unsatisfactory about the use of ncRNAs?

- What needs to change?

- What are the priorities?

- Complete outline RfP.


Complete RfP template(s)

15:15-15:45 Coffee
15:45-16:30 Plenary:

Moderators share RfP proposals & outcomes from Session 2. Room for audience participation.

16:30 Conclusions and Close                                                                           Helmut Greim
Munich Technical University, Germany