Prof. Francesca CALONI (School Director)

Full Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP), Università degli Studi di Milano

  • 2005-2011 Board member of the Italian Association of in vitro Toxicology, Celltox
  • 2008-2016 Board Member of the European Society of in vitro Toxicology, ESTIV
  • 2009- Appointment as EFSA expert in the FEEDAP Panel on Feed Additives and Contaminants (from 06/2009 to 01/2010)
  • 2012-present Associate Editor of Frontiers in Pharmacology, Frontiers in Predictive Toxicology
  • 2012- Expert in Coordinating Group of the Center for Alternative Methods, Laboratory Animal Welfare and Care
  • 2013-present Board Member of IPAM, Italian Platform on Alternative Methods
  • 2013-present Member of the ‘Advisory Board of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing-EU (CAAT-EU)
    2015-2018 President of the Italian Association of in Vitro Toxicology, Celltox
    2016-2017  Member of the Steering Committee for the European Platform for Laboratory Animals Science
  • 2016-present Associate Editor of Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Open access
  • 2015-present Member of the Ethical Commitee University of Milan
  • 2018-present Past President of the Italian Association of in Vitro Toxicology, Celltox

Pubblications:  https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=6603565370


  • PhD in Biological Sciences, specialized in Pharmacology -Toxicology  (University of Pavia, Italy).
  • Coordinator of the Research activities of the Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Toxicology of the Toxicology Unit and Toxicologist for the diagnostic tests of the Laboratory Medicine Service at the Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri S.p.A.-SB, IRCCS Pavia (Italy) (from 1996 to present).
  • Research Senior Fellow in toxicology – University of Pavia, Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Toxicology section (four years).
  • Research Fellow in toxicology – National Research Council (CNR ) (one year).
  • Consultant – Joint Research Centre (JRC) – European Commission, Environmental Chemicals Data and information Network and Research Senior Fellow in toxicology – Salvatore Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Pavia, Italy (two years).
  • Research scientist in toxicology – University of Washington, Department of Environmental Health, Seattle (two years).
    Member of the National Board in Biology.
  • Internal Auditor for quality assurance management in Medical area.
  • Referee and Editorial Board Member for several peer-reviewed Journals.
  • Author of more than 100 publications.
  • Member of the: Italian Society of Toxicology, Italian Society of Nanotoxicology, Italian Scientific Community On Addiction, Italian Association of In Vitro Toxicology (Cell Tox).
  • Research Interest: Environmental and occupational toxicology, Safety assessment of nanomaterial by in vitro and in vivo testing, In vivo and in vitro neurotoxicity studies, Biomarkers of exposure and effect, Neurochemical markers of CNS effects: application to human subjects, Validation of new cellular and molecular tests to be applied in clinical Medicine. Validation of novel screening assays for New Psychoactive substances.

Download the abstract (PDF file): COCCINI


Arno Christian GUTLEB, Distinguished Professor, PhD, ERT

Dr. Arno Gutleb is Group Leader Environmental Health at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). The group is developing in vitro assays with a focus on the alveolar region of the lung and inflammation and respiratory sensitization as the main endpoints.
He graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria and holds a PhD (2006) in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has a habilitation from the University Lorraine, France (2018) and is a European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) (since 2002).
He is Distinguished Professor at the University Iuliu Hatieganu, Cluj, Romania and Visiting Professor at the Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago de Chile. He is a member of the Network for Preliminary Assessment of Regulatory Relevance (PARERE) of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (ECVAM). Since 2020 he is Co-chair of the US-EU NanoEHS CoR.

Download the abstract (PDF file): GUTLIEB

VitroScreen, Leading innovation in pre-clinical testing

Marisa  Meloni, has obtained a PhD in Drug Delivery and Cutaneous Biophysicfrom  Renée Descartes University, Paris V. She has been contract professor of safety assessment of cosmetic products at Milano, Salerno and Padova Universities. She is VitroScreen founder, aresearchlaboratory committed toin vitro science on advanced 3D tissues models within cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Download the abstract (PDF file): MELONI

Dr.rer.nat., Ing. Helena KANDAROVA, ERT
In Vitro Toxicologist

Dr. Kandarova is a Senior Scientist at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Centre of Experimental Medicine, Bratislava. She also holds a position at the Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology (FCHPT) in Bratislava.The scientific foci of Dr. Kandarova are: (I) In vitro toxicology with a focus on topical toxicity testing (II), 3D tissue models and tissue engineering technologies, and (III) Regulatory toxicology and validation studies. Helena has been involved in many international projects aiming at the validation of 3D reconstructed human tissue models for topical toxicity testing of chemicals, cosmetics, pesticides and medical devices.Dr. Kandarova held from 2007-2018 position of Senior Scientist and General Acting Manager for EU at MatTek Corporation, USA. She established MatTek In Vitro Life Science Laboratories in Europe and led the company in the position of Executive Director between 2009 – 2018.She received her PhD in 2006 at FU-Berlin and in ERT title (Europen Registered Toxicologist) in 2017. Dr. Kandarova is an executive board member in several European toxicology oriented organisations and member of the international expert pannels. She published over 50 papers and book chapters.

Download the abstract (PDF file): KANDAROVA


Hassan Rashidi is a Senior Research Associate at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. His academic career has been driven by a strong interest in stem cell biology and development of new technologies to harness their tremendous potentials for clinical applications. At the moment, his work focuses specifically on the development of novel xeno-free approaches to generate functional hepatic and retinal derivatives from human pluripotent stem cells and to develop innovative strategies to facilitate their clinical translation. He is also part of a large cohort aiming to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells from a range of inherited rare disorders, funded by the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre.

Download the abstract (PDF file): RASHIDI

Yula SAMBUY  (PhD)

Retired in Feb 2021 from position as Senior researcher at the Research Centre for Food & Nutrition of the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-AN) in Rome, Italy

She holds a B.Sc. in Human Biology and a PhD in Biochemistry from London University and a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.
For many years her research work  was focused on the development and optimization of human intestinal and hepatic cell culture models for absorption, metabolism and toxicity of drugs, nutrients and food contaminants, as alternative methods to the use of animals in basic and toxicological research. She has also been interested in the mechanisms involved in the alteration of epithelial tight junctions as early indicators of the toxic effects of micronutrients (in particular Fe, Cu and Zn) in the diet. More recently she has been involved in projects investigating the effects of bioactive molecules, polyphenols and peptides, from plant-derived foods and their protective role in dysmetabolic and inflammatory conditions.

Download the abstract (PDF file): SAMBUY

Sonja von Aulock 

She is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal ALTEX – Alternatives to Animal Experiments (www.altex.org) and its sister journal ALTEX Proceedings (https://proceedings.altex.org/) since 2011 as well as CEO of the Swiss not-for-profit society ALTEX Edition, which publishes both journals, since 2018. She studied biology at the University of Konstanz, obtained her PhD in biochemical pharmacology, and led a junior research group on microbial profiling before joining ALTEX Edition as a professional editor. She is on the board of Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)-Europe and on the steering committee for the Microphysiological Systems (MPS) World Summit. Under her leadership, ALTEX received a commendation by the Lush Prize in the category “Public Awareness” in 2016.

Download the abstract (PDF file): AULOCK

Doris Wilflingseder (DW)

Studied zoology at the Leopold-Franzens-University in Innsbruck, Austria. During her thesis at the Institute of Physiology, and her first postdoc years at the Institute of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, DW focused on cell biology and immunology and worked on signal mechanisms in human primary cell models upon stimulation with fungal or viral pathogens. Studies were continued at the University College London for a year, before habilitating in Immunology at the Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI). After fulfilling her tenure track position, DW was in 2020 assigned Professor in Infection Biology at the MUI. She is interested in designing animal-free 3D infection models.

Download the abstract (PDF file): WILFLINGSEDER