Symposium Next level non-animal testing

Are there animal-free methods to test the potential harmful effects of chemical substances on our health? A consortium of research organizations and companies developed new methods in the past four years. And with success! 

Therefore, we would like to invite you to the symposium ‘Next level non-animal testing’ on December 2, 2022 in Utrecht with keynote from Professor Marcel Levi, President Executive Board of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Discover what has been done, what we can offer en how we can continue this innovative research together with you. The interactive conference is open for all stakeholders, researchers, companies, regulatory agencies, policy makers and NGOs. Will you attend our event?


Within the 3R TOXFLOW project, funded by EFRO (Kansen voor West), small organisms (nematodes, fish and cells) are standardized to be used to assess hazards of substances while reducing the need for mammalian toxicity studies. The new methodologies are time and cost effective and as such highly suitable to assess even complex substances. The 3R TOXFLOW testing strategy supports companies in rapid assessment of their products and makes an important contribution to the transition to animal-free research in and outside the Netherlands.


Within the DARTpaths project, funded by the UK’s national organization for the 3Rs (NC3Rs), an in silico platform has been developed that allows integration of chemical, in vitro and in vivo toxicity data, based on molecular mechanisms of action. This allows translation of 3R TOXFLOW data and mammalian testing data into one shared prediction model. Mechanisms of action can consequently be confirmed using the 3R TOXFLOW testing strategy. 

Acceptance of animal-free and novel test strategies requires bridging of all different study data. The 3R TOXFLOW testing strategy and the DARTpaths tools are key in this approach! 


 09.30h Registration
 10.00h Words of welcome - Diederik Jekel and Cyrille Krul
 10:10h Keynote: The Netherlands, in the lead for non-animal testing - Professor Marcel Levi
 10.45h 3R TOXFLOW (video)
 10.50h  Next level non-animal testing: 3R TOXFLOW & DARTpaths results at a glance - Marjolein Wildwater
 11.10h Break
 11.40h Successful public-private partnership - Marjolein Wildwater (Vivaltes), Raymond Pieters (HU), Chantal Smulders (Shell) Catherine Vickers (NC3Rs) and Deb Milligan (team CRACK IT NC3Rs)
 12.15h Lunch
 13.00h Welcome back  - Diederik Jekel
 13.10h 3R TOXFLOW: the results presented in more detail - Jochem Louisse (Wageningen Food Safety Research), Chiel Jonker (IRAS), Henrie Korthout (Fytagoras) and Marc Teunis (HU)
 14:00h DARTpaths data science: a live demo of the application - Vera van Noort (KU Leuven) and Marvin Steijaert (OpenAnalytics)
 14:30h Break
 15:00h Interactive discussion with audience on the future of non-animal testing
 15.45h Closing words - Diederik Jekel and Cyrille Krul
 16.00h Drinks & connect
 17.00h End of programme


In the Netherlands animal testing is carried out to protect our health, develop medication and gain new scientific knowledge. But is it the most reliable method of testing? And is it possible to replace animal testing with non-animal methods? The Dutch government has expressed its ambition to be a international frontrunner in the transition to non-animal testing innovations. Professor Marcel Levi, President Executive Board of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), shares his insight on the state of the art of non-animal testing.

Marjolein Wildwater gives a concise presentation on the results of the 3R TOXFLOW and DARTpaths projects. 3R TOXFLOW compares C. elegans, zebrafish and cell line research in toxicity testing. She will also shed her light on the challenges on bringing products to market without animal testing.

In the past four years a consortium of research organizations and companies worked together on the research and development of non-animal testing methods. Diederik Jekel talks with representatives from the consortium about the urge, needs and aims for non-animal testing and the steps that they followed in the past years. And look forward to the possibilities and opportunities for the future.

After a brief introduction to 3R TOXFLOW in the morning, Jochem Louisse, Chiel Jonker and Marc Teunis will take the attendees more in-depth into the research. What can the results of the research mean for the industry?

Using a concrete business case, Vera van Noort and Marvin Steijaert will show how the DARTpaths application works and what it can do for the industry.

Led by conference chair Diederik Jekel, we will engage in a conversation, discussing various perspectives such as: what is still needed, how can it be realized, what are regulatory issues, what are the technological opportunities, and how do we deal with uncertainty?


Diederik Jekel

Science Communicator

Chiel Jonker

Assistant Professor Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University

Cyrille Krul

Director Research Center Healthy and Sustainable Living and Professor Innovative Testing in Life Sciences & Chemistry at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Professor Marcel Levi

President Executive Board, Dutch Research Council (NOW)

Jochem Louisse

Scientific Researcher Toxicology at Wageningen Food Safety Research

Vera van Noort

Professor Centre for Microbial and Plant Genetics at KU Leuven

Raymond Pieters

Professor Innovative Testing in Life Sciences & Chemistry at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and Associate Professor at IRAS, Utrecht University

Chantal Smulders

Global Head Product Safety Science and Regulatory Advocacy, Shell

Marvin Steijaert

Managing Consultant at OpenAnalytics

Marc Teunis

Senior Scientist Innovative Testing in Life Sciences & Chemistry at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Catherine Vickers

Head of Innovation NC3Rs

Marjolein Wildwater

CEO Vivaltes, Researcher Innovative Testing in Life Sciences & Chemistry at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Practical information

 Date December 2, 2022
 Time 10.00-16.00h - registration from 9.30h and reception till 17.00h
 Fee Free of charge

Media Plaza, Jaarbeursplein 6, 3503 RM Utrecht, The Netherlands

 Accessibility Click here

Hotel accommodation

The following hotels are within a short walking distance of the venue Media Plaza:

1. NH Utrecht ****

2. Crowne Plaza - Central Station ****

3. Inntel Hotel Utrecht ****


Please register here.

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