N°5 – Vrije Universiteit Brussel / FAFY (VUB)

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FAFY has great expertise in regulatory aspects and risk assessment of cosmetics and their ingredients. FAFY is also specialised in organotypic long-term functional culture models of both primary and adult stem cell-derived hepatocytes for pharmaco-toxicological purposes. Research topics include epigenetic modifiers (i) to stabilise the phenotype of primary hepatocytes in culture and (ii) to differentiate adult stem cells of various origins into mature hepatocytes (WO2006/045331, WO2007/144341 and WO2008/145736). Within the project, FAFY gives scientific advice on the integration of the different successful projects and the way they contribute to the final goal of repeated dose toxicity testing. Furthermore, advice on the selection of final biomarkers (WP15) and taking care of the dissemination activities under WP5 are done.


  • Key staff involved in the project (For more detailed information see the  Who-is-Who-Book)


Vera Rogiers, head of the Department of In Vitro Toxicology, and Dermato-Cosmetology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is full-time professor in toxicology and organises on a regular basis postgraduate courses on risk assessment of cosmetics in the EU. She is European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) since 2010. She is Research activities concern the development of in vitro models for pharmaco-toxicological purposes. She is author of more than 320 publications in peerreviewed journals and she obtained several international scientific awards in particular for her pioneer role in in vitro experimental toxicology. The last one dates from 2014 and was the award from the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture "33e Forschungpreise zur Förderung methodischer Arbeiten mit dem Ziel der Einschränkung und des Ersatzes von Tierversuchen".  She was co-chair of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), now invited expert and previous member of Scientific Advisory Committee of ECVAM, the European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ESAC). She is member of the epaa mirror group and member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).


Tamara Vanhaecke, is professor of toxicology at the research unit In vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetlogy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and coordinates the research unit in Experimental in vitro toxicology. She is European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) since 2010. Research concerns epigenetic mechanisms in the maintenance of the differentiated state of hepatocytes in culture and in vitro differentiation of adult stem cells into functional hepatocytes. She has more than 100 scientific publications dealing with (in vitro) toxicology in peer-reviewed journals and is reviewer for several scientific journals in the field of pharmaco-toxicology, (in vitro) toxicology and hepatology. She has been involved as research partner in several finished FP6 (LIINTOP, Predictomics, carcinoGENOMICS) and FP7 (ESNATS) projects. She was also member of the ECVAM Validation Management Group in the field of toxicokinetics and metabolism: Human HepaRG and cryopreserved hepatocytes CYP induction test methods. She is invited member of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).




Mathieu Vinken, has a background in pharmaceutical sciences and holds a PhD in in vitro toxicology. He is a tenure track professor and a visiting professor affiliated to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel-Belgium and the University of São Paulo-Brazil, respectively. He is European Registered Toxicologist and a trained chemical risk assessor. His research interests are situated in the field of mechanistic toxicology and experimental hepatology. His main research project, financially supported by a Starting Grant of the European Research Council and a São Paulo Excellence Chair Grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation, is focused on the use of connexin and pannexin channels as drug targets and biomarkers for the clinical therapy and diagnosis of liver disease. He is author of more than 100 publications and has edited 2 books. He is a regularly invited speaker on international conferences and acts as reviewer for several scientific journals. Mathieu is member of 5 scientific societies in the field of toxicology, Vice-President of the European Society of Toxicology in Vitro and associate editor of the journal Toxicology In Vitro. He is a regularly consulted toxicologist by European agencies (e.g. European Food Safety Authority), industry (e.g. Cosmetics Europe) and peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. Science). He received 5 scientific awards for his work, among which the ‘Dr. Karel-Lodewijk Verleysen Award’ of the Royal Academy of Medicine Belgium. ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5115-8893 – Researcher ID: H-7513-2013.



Manon Vivier, is scientific collaborator and part of the dissemination workpackage. Bachelor in Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences since 2004. She was assistant in a Pharmacy for 1,5 year and is now employed by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel at the Department of Toxicology since 2005 as scientific administrative collaborator. She organises several scientific congresses and she is involved in several FP6 and FP7 EU-projects. She got the epaa poster award of 2009 with regard to dissemination of 3Rs information.




Further information : http://ivtd-fafy.be