ESTIV course trained young scientists in toxicology

From 29 May to 2 June, the 8th ESTIV Applied Training Course was held at the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM SAV), focusing on innovative approaches to toxicity assessment using in vitro and in silico procedures and practical demonstrations of test methods. The course was attended by 16 young scientists from 8 European countries and Turkey.

The ESTIV Applied Training Course is primarily aimed at experts from academia, regulatory authorities and companies who have started using toxicological methods to predict the effects of substances by in vitro and in silico outcomes (these are the so-called innovative approaches, “New Approach Methodologies”, or NAMs). 

The use of NAMs in toxicology is gaining importance. It reflects European legislative changes that restrict or even prohibit the use of laboratory animals for risk assessment of chemicals, cosmetics, but also, for example, medical devices. Precise implementation of these modern methodologies is crucial. The ESTIV course, therefore, aims to train young professionals according to the latest knowledge in the field of applied in vitro toxicology.

Participants of the ESTIV course were able to apply the knowledge immediately into practice.

“The driving force for creating the course was the urgent need for professionals trained in in vitro and in silico toxicology for risk assessment of chemicals and chemical mixtures. This year we managed to organise the course in Slovakia and attract an interesting range of participants from all over Europe. Among them were scientists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences and representatives from state authorities such as the State Institute for Drug Control and the Centre for Chemical Substances and Preparations of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. The strong cast of speakers also helped the attractiveness of the course. Among them were world-renowned scientists from European universities and companies established in the field of in vitro toxicology. I am very pleased that the course is increasingly being attended by people normally involved in toxicity testing of substances in laboratory animals. This is indisputable proof that scientists are aware of the need to get acquainted with the latest trends and directions in the field of toxicological test methods and regulatory toxicology,” explains Dr.rer.nat., Ing. Helena Kanďárová, ERT Scientific Director of the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology CEM SAS, President of ESTIV and main organiser of the course.

The ESTIV course offered hands-on demonstrations of working with in vitro toxicology techniques.

Ing. Marta Šoltésová Prnová, PhD, participant and scientist from the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology CEM SAS, comments on the course: “I especially appreciate that we could immediately link theory with practice. Not only did we get to try out the methodologies, but we also applied what we learnt during the analysis of real case studies of risk assessment of chemicals. Thanks to the course, I also made new contacts with colleagues working in the field of in vitro toxicology and in silico modelling.”

The European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) has organised the intensive course since 2015. The event was co-organised this year by the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology CEM SAS. The next edition of the ESTIV course will take place in May 2024. Further information will be published on the ESTIV website (

ESTIV course partitipants.