Building a Better Epithelium

Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing

March 10, 2018 | San Antonio, Texas



Epithelial cells lining the airway, skin, and digestive tract are the interface between the body and the environment and serve both as physical barrier and key player in the toxicological response to chemical and environmental exposures. The three epithelial barriers are target organs of toxicity, modulate the absorption of chemicals from the environment, mediate local and systemic immunological responses, and participate to xenobiotic biotransformation. The epithelium functions in the context of a microenvironment, which is regulated by interactions between epithelial cells, stromal cells, and the extracellular matrix; however, most in vitro and high-throughput models of the epithelium utilize monocultures grown under standard “cells on plastic” conditions. As a result, these traditional in vitro epithelial models may not accurately recapitulate the topological organization, morphological hallmarks, and cell-cell communication that would normally be present in vivo. These limitations can be overcome through the development and application of three-dimensional, multi-cell type organotypic in vitro models, which more accurately represent the in vivo epithelial microenvironment, in pharmacology and toxicology studies. The development of organotypic epithelial models has advanced considerably in recent years and the application of these models has the potential to transform the use of in vitro models in the field of toxicology.

About the Meeting

This meeting will provide opportunities for toxicologists that are interested in, or currently using, organotypic models and technology developers to meet face-to-face to foster collaborations that will move the field forward. In addition to presenting the state of the science, this conference will include moderated discussion sessions for attendees and speakers to discuss advances, future needs and data gaps, and applications of these models in the investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity. The presentations will focus around developments in in vitro organotypic airway, skin, and intestinal epithelial models that may inform mechanistic understanding by toxicologists across academia, government, and industry. Further, presentations will discuss practical considerations when incorporating these tools into next generation in vitro research and safety evaluation.

Hosted by: The Society of Toxicology, In Vitro and Alternative Methods, Molecular and Systems Biology, Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Sections, and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

Preliminary Agenda


Abstracts should relate to the topics and themes for this CCT meeting, as conveyed in the Background section of this page. Accepted abstracts will be displayed for the duration of the CCT meeting with poster presentations occurring during the luncheon portion of the agenda.

Abstract submission is open to all attendees, and there is no fee associated with submission. The submission deadline is February 2, 2018.

Abstract acceptance notifications will occur in February 2018. If your abstract is accepted, please consult and follow the CCT meeting’s poster preparation and display instructions for preparing and displaying your poster.



Henry B. González
Convention Center

San Antonio, Texas

more info

For hotel arrangements, attendees should visit and make their reservations through the SOT 2018 Annual Meeting Housing System.


Fees include all CCT meeting sessions, program materials, and refreshments throughout the course of the CCT meeting.

If you need special assistance for this meeting, please contact SOT Headquarters at 703.438.3115.

Through February 9, 2018
SOT Member
SOT Student/Postdoc Member
Student/Postdoc Nonmember

After February 9, 2018
SOT Member
SOT Student/Postdoc Member
Student/Postdoc Nonmember

Mail-In Registration

Download Form

When using the mail-in registration form, payment must be submitted in one of the following ways:

  • Check (please list all registrants on the check stub)
  • Money Order
  • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Diner’s Club, or American Express)
  • US Government Purchase Order (check must be drawn from the US Department of the Treasury)
  • Wire Transfer (include an additional $40 processing fee)

Submit your completed registration via:

  • Mail:
    Building a Better Epithelium CCT
    Society of Toxicology
    11190 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
    Reston, VA 20191-4375
  • Fax: 703.438.3113
  • NOTE: To prevent double-billing, if you are registering by fax, DO NOT mail your original registration form. SOT needs only one copy for processing.

Registration Terms and Conditions

Registration Cancellation Refund Policy: All requests for cancellations and/or refunds must be received in writing to SOT Headquarters by February 10, 2018. These refunds will be processed, less a $30 fee, following the CCT meeting.

SOT reserves the right to review all registrations and to determine that individuals or organizations meet the Society’s criteria for participation.

For non-SOT members, participation in this CCT meeting is reserved for bona fide individuals who are engaged in or promote the field of toxicology or biotechnology research and support the growth and development of the toxicology field. In addition, participation in this CCT meeting is reserved for bona fide organizations with public policy positions and business practices that are generally consistent with SOT’s mission, goals, reputation, and its policies and principles as determined by the Society. SOT reserves the right to review registration applications for this CCT meeting to confirm that the applicant meets these criteria and may, at the Society’s sole discretion, reject a registration by an individual or business or withdraw registration privileges at any time if any individual or organization is found to be inconsistent with SOT’s principles and interests.

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Organizing Committee

Shaun D. McCullough, PhD

US Environmental Protection Agency, Chapel Hill, NC, US

Marie Fortin, PhD, DABT

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, US

David Allen, PhD

Integrated Laboratory Systems, Research Triangle Park, NC, US

Warren Casey, PhD

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, US

Alison Harrill, PhD

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, US

Thomas Hartung, MD, PhD

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, US

Erin Hill, BA

Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Gaithersburg, MD, US

Ronald N. Hines, PhD

US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, US

Jens Kelm, PhD

Insphero, Inc., Zürich, Switzerland

Carl Westmoreland, PhD

Unilever, Bedfordshire, UK


Become a Sponsor

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Learn about opportunities and benefits.

request info


11190 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300, Reston, VA 20191-4375