12. Januar 2018

Publication on ‘Stage-specific metabolic features of differentiating neurons: Implications for toxicant sensitivity’ in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (TAAP)

This collaborative work brought together specialists in metabolomics, systems toxicology and metabolic flux analysis. It may at present be the most comprehensive description of a metabolic flux model in human neurons.

It also provides the first evidence for the dependence of toxicant sensitivities of neurons at different developmental stages. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29278688

9. Januar 2018

 Participation of Prof. M. Leist as founding member of the Bf3R committee in Berlin. This commission gives advice to the new center for animal protection (Bf3R) at the Federal institute of Risk assessment (BfR).


10. Dezember 2017

Publication on ‘An adverse outcome pathway for parkinsonian motor deficits associated with mitochondrial complex I inhibition’ out in Arch Toxicol.

The large review (42 pages), together with EFSA, Danish EPA and EURL-ECVAM specialists relates toxicants affecting mitochondrial function to the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Here a new approach was pioneered to use structure-activity relationships to identify toxicant mode-of-action:

7. Dezember 2017

Talk of Marcel Leist at the ethics platform of the BOKU University Vienna on alternatives to animal experimentation: state of the art (available on YouTube)


1. Dezember 2017

Publication on ‘A structure-activity relationship linking non-planar PCBs to functional deficits of neural crest cells: new roles for connexins’ out in Arch Toxicol.

Here a new approach was pioneered to use structure-activity relationships to identify toxicant mode-of-action: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29164306

21.-23. November 2017

Invited talk of Johannes Delp at OpenTox workshop "Collaboration and integration: Toxicology and risk assessment in the time of dynamic data". The conference is to be held in Basel November 21-23


21. November 2017

Generation shift: PhD exam of Johanna Prüfung (now post-doc at the environmental protection agency of the USA (EPA), and start of the new students Ilinca Suciu, Christopher Scholz and Anna-Katharina Ückert: welcome!

6. November 2017

Today, one year ago, the prestigious LUSH prize was awarded for research in our group. See a video informing on the scientific concept of model developoment and systems toxicology:


21. October 2017

Marcel Leist receives the 2017 world-wide recognition award of the aaalac international


15. October 2017

Leist et al. (2017) Adverse outcome pathways: opportunities, limitations and open questions. Arch Toxicol, in press


Collaborative work with > 30 co-authors on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept promoted by the OECD.

31. September 2017

Results of the first evaluation round for research clusters of the excellence initiative: The ChemLife project proposal was selected for the second round. Our projects and systems toxicology play an important role.

21. - 25. September 2017

Tanja Waldmann and Johanna Nyffeler are invited to a workshop of the US national toxicology program (NTP) to present data generated from the University of Konstanz (UKN) test methods for developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). Twenty researchers from around the world were assembled by personal invitation to work out new test strategies.

Background on NTP: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/index.html

1. September 2017

Our alumni Johanna Nyffeler joins the US environmental protection agency (EPA) to work on new systems toxicology approaches of toxicity assessment within the Tox21 program.

Info on the program: www.epa.gov/chemical-research/toxicology-testing-21st-century-tox21

11. August 2017

Production of a document on good in vitro practices in collaboration with the European Commission and the OECD.
The document went into the second public consultation round:



Background information: There is a scientific policy and regulatory desire for validated and internationally accepted in vitro methods (e.g. OECD test guidelines or ISO standards). To accommodate the needs of regulatory authorities, a number of in vitro methods, often based on the use of human cells and tissues, have been submitted to international validation bodies during the last two decennia. However, the experience gained during these validations revealed that many in vitro methods need significant improvements in design, robustness and reliability before they can be successfully implemented in a routine laboratory environment to generate data sets, which can be used to support regulatory decisions. GIVIMP specifies these improvements.

15. May 2017

Workshop on ‘developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) test methods’

The workshop was held in collaboration with BASF and CAAT-Europe in the historical concilium building. International experts worked on a roadmap for improved DART testing to support development of new compounds, reduce the use of animals, and increase safety of the population

5. May 2017

Publication of our first screening paper to identify unknown toxicants together with the National Toxicology Program, USA (NTP) and the Computational Toxicology unit at University of Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). We define strategies for ‘hit’ (= positive screen result) confirmation and hit follow-up in the field of toxicology.



Nyffeler J, Dolde X, Krebs A, Pinto-Gil K, Pastor M, Behl M, Waldmann T, Leist M. (2017) Combination of multiple neural crest migration assay to identify environmental toxicants from a proof-of-concept chemical library. Arch Toxicol, 10.1007/s00204-017-1977-y

29. April 2017

Publication of a large systems toxicology-oriented review on the MPTP Parkinson’s disease model, together with leading experts involved in the initial discovery of the underlying toxicant (D. DiMonte, DZNE, Bonn), and  in contemporary landmark discoveries concerning new mechanisms (K. Tieu, Miami).


 Schildknecht S, Di Monte DA, Pape R, Tieu K, Leist M (2017) Tipping points and endogenous determinants of nigrostriatal degeneration by MPTP. Trends Pharmacol Sci, in press doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2017.03.010

27. April 2017

Workshop on ‘Data management and data processing in large European projects’ with 28 international participants in the Concilium location in Konstanz. Co-Organised by CAAT-Europe (M. Daneshian), Douglas Connect (Basel) and the European Bioinfomatics Institute (EBI, Cambridge)

5. April 2017

Our new paper on interferon developmental hazard is out 


Pallocca G, Nyffeler J, Dolde X, Grinberg M, Gstraunthaler G, Waldmann T, Rahnenführer J, Sachinidis A, Leist M. Impairment of human neural crest cell migration by prolonged exposure to interferon-beta. Arch Toxicol. 2017

16. March 2017

 The EFSA opinion ‘A new path to toxicity assessment’ is officially published


We worked hard on this, and on the embedded adverse outcome pathway (AOP) examining a relevant link of pesticides and Parkinson’s disease (link)


7.March 2017

M. Leist receives the ‘GT-toxicology award’ at the German Toxicology Summit in Heidelberg for excellent publications in the previous year