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Chemical Watch's 'Big Interview' with ATHENA coordinator Professor Andreas Kortenkamp

Andreas Kortenkamp on the urgency of new test validation for endocrine disruptors.

Despite tremendous advances in new tests for endocrine disruptors, a slow validation process, low regulatory adoption rates, and a lack of tests for important effects may hamper action under the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, Professor Andreas Kortenkamp tells Chemical Watch’s Emma Davies.

Professor Kortenkamp coordinates the EU-funded project ATHENA, which aims to close critical gaps in test methods for chemicals that disrupt the thyroid hormone axis. The project is one of eight forming EURION: European Cluster to Improve Identification of Endocrine Disruptors, the largest funding of endocrine disrupting chemical research in Europe. “Downstream consequences of under- or over-supply of thyroid hormones on brain development is the most serious gap. We are working feverishly to improve this situation in ATHENA,” he says. ATHENA partners are also working on improved test methods for capturing the inhibition of thyroid hormone transport across the placenta and the blood-brain barrier.

As well as highlighting the work of the EURION Cluster, Professor Kortenkamp also refers to PEPPER, a public-private platform designed to develop research on the identification of endocrine disruptors. As the first platform of its kind, PEPPER aims to provide the missing link between research and speedier validation of endocrine disruptor test methods.

Read the full interview here