Concawe, established in 1963 and located in Brussels Belgium, is the scientific and technical non-profit organisation of the European petroleum refining industry, whose 39 members are all companies operating refineries in the EU.
Concawe is structured into key management groups, such as Health, Air Quality, Fuel Quality and Emissions, and REACH Delivery. For the Health Management Group, industry toxicologists, occupational physicians, analytical chemists, exposure/risk scientists and product stewards from member companies provide their expertise in defining and implementing the petroleum refining research programmes. Therefore, research undertaken by Concawe has utility and impact to the whole European refining industry, its downstream users and the general population that are in daily contact with petroleum substances.
Concawe secretariat and/or member company experts represent Concawe on many expert forums such as the ECHA Partner Expert Groups (e.g., Reproductive Toxicity/Extended One-Generation Reproductive Toxicity Study, Risk Assessment Framework), ECHA Risk Assessment Committee, ECHA CSR/ES Roadmap Coordination Group, ECHA ENES Workshops, OECD task groups (Exposure Assessment, Combined Mixtures), IARC Monograph Meetings as Industry Observers (Air Quality, Bitumen), and WHO Task Force on Health, to name a few.
The Concawe representative and coordinator of the Cat-App project is the Science Executive, Health, Hans Ketelslegers, PhD, ERT.
North Carolina State University (NCSU)
North Carolina State University is one of the two flagship research institutions of the University of North Carolina system, with 9 major colleges and schools and over 31,000 students. The University is widely renowned as a trail-blazing national model for research in the public interest and for university-private-government interactions. Of particular relevance are partnerships with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fostering a dynamic atmosphere for toxicological research and data from high-throughput screening.
The Bioinformatics Research Center (BRC) at NCSU, directed by WP4 investigator Wright, is an interdisciplinary center devoted to research at the interfaces of quantitative and biological sciences, with strengths in statistical methods applied to toxicological problems. BRC computing includes access to campus-wide high-performance computing, as well as a state-of-the-art Linux cluster specific to the BRC, with nearly a 1000-job capacity and several nodes appropriate for computation requiring massive memory. The cluster is maintained by a full-time administrator, is continually expandable, and the software environment includes several packages for chem-informatics and genetic and toxicological computing.
The principal investigator is Fred Wright, Ph.D. Dr. Wright is a statistical geneticist with a decade of experience working with toxicogenomic data, with an emphasis on ‘omics profiling and director of the NCSU Bioinformatics Research Center. His past work in a number of areas, including methodology for expression profiling, genetic association, and gene set analysis, as well as theoretical work in high-dimensional analysis, give Wright a very broad perspective to synthesize and integrate data for WP5. In addition, Wright has extensive experience communicating ideas and practical concepts to risk assessors and various stakeholders, ensuring that the activities in WP4 remain relevant and accessible to the community.
Wright is director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core of the UNC-NCSU Superfund Research Program grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and was past director of a similar core for the University of North Carolina Center for Environmental Health Susceptibility.
Public Health England (PHE)
Public Health England is an executive agency of the UK Department of Health with responsibility for all aspects of public health in England. PHE combines public health and scientific expertise, research and emergency planning within the organisation. PHE remit covers infectious disease, hazardous chemicals and radiation. The Centre for Radiation, Chemical & Environmental Hazards (CRCE) provides all the specialist research and advice on chemical and radiological issues within PHE.
CRCE has expertise in toxicology (applied and basic mechanistic understanding) exposomics, transcriptomics, biomathematics, biostatistics and bioinformatics. This expertise is applied in emergency responses, chemical advice, risk assessment, support for expert government committees and peer reviewed research. In all these undertakings CRCE collaborates closely with a number of national and international institutions. In particular, CRCE has strong links with the European Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), OECD, US EPA, Environment Canada, the Japan Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM), the United Nations Environment and Development Programmes, European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT), American Association of Poison Control Centres (AAPCC) and many others.
The leading PI is Prof. Tim Gant who has extensive experience in transcriptomics and bioinformatics for chemical hazard profiling and mechanistic understanding evidenced by the publication record. He is a European Registered Toxicologist, worked in academia and government and has significant experience in the application of toxicology to advance public health. He brings to the project competence in toxicology, public health, toxicogenomics, bioinformatics, exposure science and chemistry.
SYNCOM Research and Development Consulting GmbH (SYNCOM)
SYNCOM is a consulting firm with the focus on innovation management. Physicists, Chemists, Engineers and Business managers apply management expertise and know-how on implementation of administrative processes to research and development projects.
Founded in 1997 the firm employs 4 consultants with industry experience and is located in Ganderkesee, near to Bremen in northern Germany.
SYNCOM will contribute management and administrative support to the consortium as a whole and assists the coordinator in day to day management tasks of the project. Additionally, it will be responsible for the organisation and steering of the dissemination activities.
Klaus Lenz, PhD has been educated as a solid state physicist with a Ph.D. in surface science from the University of Bonn. He has been working in the management and administration of industrial R&D projects since 1988 and has gained comprehensive experience in project management of collaborative R&D projects over the last 25 years.
Texas A&M University/AgriLife Research (AgriLife)
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University is ranked in the top 25 public universities in the USA and the top 10 public engineering schools by U.S. News & World Report. It is a major research University; in 2013 with $955 million in research expenditures it was ranked in the top 3 universities in the USA behind only MIT and the University of California-Berkeley. Research encompasses a wide range of interdisciplinary research resources that include centers, institutes and laboratories dedicated to addressing a wide variety of scientific challenges and opportunities.
Ivan Rusyn M.D., PhD is the principal investigator for Cat-App who will coordinate activities in work package 1, 2 and 3. His laboratory and staff are well experienced with complex databases and molecular toxicology research. He also worked closely with other principal scientists in this project and has been engaged with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, European Chemicals Agency, US EPA, California EPA, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other regulatory bodies.
University of Ulster (Ulster)
The University of Ulster has an international reputation for excellence and innovation. Its research is characterised by its capacity to shape the future of lives and society through relevant and pioneering research, delivering a range of economic, social or cultural benefit from research of the highest quality. The University plays a major role in the local economy as a linchpin of investment and economic growth. To support its endeavours, Ulster has 15 Research Institutes specialising in areas such as health, environmental sciences, intelligent systems, biomedical sciences, coastal and marine research and art and design. In the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) cycle, Ulster’s research environment was awarded an unprecedented 100% 4* (world-leading); 95% of Ulster research impact was scored world leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) and 81% of research published papers were judged to be world leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3*).
The School of Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University is no. 5 within the UK for Biosciences education. Ulster‘s Biomedical Science Research Institute (BMSRI) undertakes cutting edge research in biomedical sciences and focuses on translating its research for societal benefit. The Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine (NICSM), a partnership between the BMSRI, C-TRIC and the Western Health and Social Care Trust, aims to place Ulster and Northern Ireland at the frontier of pioneering research in personalized medicine. This £11.5 million centre of excellence, launched in October 2013, hosts vibraint teams of researchers with complementary expertise, including biomedical/clinical scientists with different disease specialities, and computational, statistical/bioinformatics experts with extensive experience in big data analytics. The centre provides an excellent environment to enable and accelerate interdisciplinary research that can better identify drugs or treatments that meet the specific needs of individual patients.
Shu-Dong Zhang is a Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics at NICSM, Ulster. His research interest includes the development of computational, statistical, and bioinformatics methods and their applications in biomedical, pharmacological and toxicological studies. His group has built up strong expertise and capacity in high throughput omics data analysis, pushing forward at three fronts in this research filed: algorithm design, novel applications and software development. As an expert in gene expression connectivity mapping, Dr. Zhang and his team will be responsible for carrying out connectivity mapping related parts of Work Package 4 in the current programme.