Johns Hopkins Gazette | May 26, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 26, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 36
CAAT Director Named to Chair in Evidence-Based Toxicology

By Natalie Wood-Wright
School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named Thomas Hartung, director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, the inaugural Doerenkamp-Zbinden Professor and Chair for Evidence-Based Toxicology. Hartung, a leader in the field of toxicology and an advocate for alternatives to animal testing, was officially installed during a ceremony on May 12 at the Bloomberg School.

The endowed chair was established by the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation in honor of philanthropist Hildegard Doerenkamp and the late Gerhard Zbinden, a renowned toxicologist and professor. Created in 1982 to promote and reward "exceptional achievements in animal protection in biomedical research," the foundation supports research to reduce, replace and refine animal experimentation.

"Thomas Hartung is an outstanding researcher who has made significant contributions to the field of evidence-based toxicology and in addition to leading CAAT will work to establish a laboratory to lead the way in developing alternative methods to animal testing in the U.S.," said Michael J. Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School. "I would like to thank the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation for its commitment to our school and to advancing toxicology research."

Hartung came to the Bloomberg School this year as the director of CAAT. He replaced the center's founding director, Alan Goldberg, who will serve as chair of CAAT's advisory board. Prior to joining the Bloomberg School, Hartung was head of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Italy. He has been recognized as an integral figure in promoting the use of in vitro test methods that focus on human rather than animal biology. At the ECVAM, he assisted in the development of several test strategies that revolutionized the way safety assessments for chemicals are done in Europe. In addition, Hartung established and coordinated international agencies in the shared promotion of the first international validation study, which proved essential in expediting international adoption of new test methods.

Hartung was educated in Germany. A graduate of the University of Konstanz, he received his doctorate in biochemical pharmacology and medical degree in toxicology from the University of Tubingen and completed his internship in surgery at the University of Freiburg. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, served on the editorial boards of Alternatives to Laboratory Animals and Alternativen Zu, Tierexperimenten and received multiple awards, including the 2008 ALTEX Award and the 2006 Society of Toxicology Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award.


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