Workshop structure and aims
Approximately 20 experts attended the two-day workshop representing academia (Harvard Medical School (USA), Imperial College London (UK), John Hopkins University School of Medicine (USA), Leipzig University (DE), Regensburg University (DE), Technical University Munich (DE), VU University Medical Centre (NL), University of Surrey (UK)), authorities (European Food Safety Authority, Public Health England), research institutions (National Centre of Scientific Research - CNRS (F), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (DE)), industry (BASF, Dow, Monsanto, Sumitomo Chemical Europe), independent consultants (BioMath GmbH (DE), Scientific Consultancy – Animal Welfare (DE)), and the hosts of the workshop (ECETOC and Cefic LRI). The full list of workshop participants is provided in Appendix B.
Day 1 consisted of a series of talks and case studies with room for discussions, focusing on (Sessions 1 and 2) understanding ncRNAs, i.e. their physiology and mechanisms of action as well as their functional relevance and possible role in human pathology; and (Session 3) understanding the relevance of (including technical issues) ncRNA in toxicology and the RA of chemicals.
Day 2 consisted of brainstorming activity in which participants were divided into 3 breakout groups to (1) obtain clarity on data analysis and interpretation (what is relevant for regulatory toxicology and RA?); (2) assess whether current regulatory toxicity testing should be re-evaluated in light of current knowledge of ncRNA; and (3) develop a prioritised research agenda to further the use of ncRNAs (e.g. as biomarkers) in the regulatory toxicity testing of chemicals (cf. Appendix A for detailed workshop programme).