Tutorial 1: Systematic Review Approaches in Environmental Health Sciences

Kristina Thayer
Director Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Division National Center for Environmental Assessment, NCEA, United States

Kristina Thayer is the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Division Director, located within the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). IRIS assessments identify the potential for a chemical to cause cancer or non-cancer health effects in people and are considered the top tier source of toxicity information used by EPA and other agencies to inform national standards, clean-up levels at local sites, and set advisory levels. IRIS uses systematic review methods to conduct assessments. Prior to joining EPA, Dr. Thayer was Deputy Division Director of Analysis at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and Director of the NTP Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) located on the campus of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). She is considered an expert on the application of systematic review methods to environmental health topics and the use of specialized software and automation approaches to facilitate conducting reviews.


Adapting a systematic approach on scientific revision of EMF/health related evidence in order to bring more transparency to evaluations has become an important priority as the WHO RF EHC document and ICNIRP new guidelines are being prepared. The proposed speaker would provide an overview of implementation of systematic review methods to environmental health topics, to include the basic tenants of identifying relevant literature, approaches used to assess study quality, use of structured frameworks to convey confidence conclusions for a body of evidence, and approaches to integrate epidemiological, toxicological, and mechanistic evidence.


Tutorial 2: Magnetic Nanoparticles as Therapeutic Agents: Focusing on the Role of a Scientist and Engineer

Theodoros Samaras
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Theodoros Samaras is Professor of Bioelectromagnetics at the Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a trained Medical Physicist specializing in the non-ionizing spectrum. He is working with computational multiphysics/multiscale methods for applied electromagnetics. His research interests include exposure assessment (both numerical and experimental) to electromagnetic fields and radiation; applications of electromagnetic fields in cancer therapy (hyperthermia, thermal ablation techniques); non-invasive brain stimulation with transcranial techniques; patient monitoring with electrical impedance tomography. In recent years, he has been active in the area of biomedical uses of magnetic nanoparticle, where he is attempting to transfer knowledge in dosimetry from other areas of bioelectromagnetics He has been serving as a reviewer for several journals and funding organizations and as the national representative to European research co-ordination actions (BM0704, BM1309, TD1104, EMF-NET) and standardization committees (IEC TC106). He is currently member of the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) and has been elected twice in the Council of the European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA) and in the Board of the European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology.


This tutorial addresses the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) in therapeutic techniques in an emerging research field related to bioelectromagnetics. Besides manufacturing and physical characterization of the MNP, in vitro and in vivo dosimetry needs to be performed. The talk will not only include nanoparticles and magnetic fields in hyperthermia but also a broader perspective. The tutorial will describe the possibilities for senior or junior researchers to get involved in this highly interdisciplinary field of nanomedicine.


Tutorial 3: Evaluation of Animal Cancer Studies (overview)

Chad Blystone
National Toxicology Program (NTP), National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), National Institute of Health (NIH), United States

Dr. Chad Blystone is a Toxicologist with the National Toxicology Program (NTP) located within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). His expertise includes designing and interpreting animal cancer studies. He leads the NTP’s Chronic Toxicity and Carcinogenicity Technical Reports, a program that has evaluated chemicals and other agents in the two-year bioassay for over 30 years. These studies have contributed a significant amount of data for identifying potential human health hazards and NTP’s nearly 600 studies have provided an extensive database for researchers and international risk assessment organizations.


The impact of animal cancer studies is a key element in all evaluations of international agencies. There is often a lack of understanding in how these studies need to be set up, what the use and value of historical controls are, how findings in rare tumors are included in the evaluation etc. This topic requires a speaker with excellent experience not only in animal cancer studies, but also molecular toxicology to present the audience an overview including examples.