ERGO at the EURION Final Conference 2024

21 Jun 2024

The EURION Final Conference was held from 13-14 June 2024 at the Albert Borschette Congress Center in Brussels, Belgium and was broadcast live online. EURION (European Cluster to Improve Identification of Endocrine Disruptors), is a cluster group of eight research projects, of which ERGO is one. EURION aimed to identify new testing and screening methods to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) and ran for over 5 years up until the end of June 2024.

The Final Conference was an opportunity for the results and achievements of the eight projects and the EURION Cluster as a whole to be presented and discussed. Day one on 13 June was dedicated to EURION and split into three sessions: Session 1: EURION projects on metabolic and female reproduction disruption which included GOLIATH, EDCMET, OBERON and FREIA; Session 2: EURION projects on thyroid disruption and developmental neurotoxicity which included ATHENA, ERGO, SCREENED and ENDpoiNTS; and Session 3: The EURION cluster: successes and challenges which was a panel discussion with EURION project coordinators.

ERGO’s key achievements were presented by ERGO coordinator Henrik Holbech (University of Southern Denmark (SDU)) who was supported by partners Dries Knapen (University of Antwerp (UA)) and Klara Hilscherova (Masaryk University (MU)). In summary, these main achievements are:

  • Investigating, developing, and pre-validating biomarkers and endpoints for thyroid hormone system disruption in fish and bringing them into validation in OECD.
  • Developing Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) to the level of OECD endorsement as supporting tools for the endpoints/biomarker development in fish. Development of AOP networks to facilitate extrapolation of thyroid hormone system disrupting effects across mammals, fish and amphibians.
  • Diminished the gap between approaches to ED research of human health toxicologists and environmental toxicologists through collaboration with fellow EURION Cluster projects on topics like thyroid hormone system disruption and developmental neurotoxicity.

Day two consisted of the EURION Stakeholder Conference and the ENKORE Cluster kick-off. Again, it was divided into three sessions: Session 1: Policy Context; Session 2: EURION Results and Methods; and Session 3: Kick-off of the ENKORE Cluster. Session included talks from the European Commission (EC) DG Research and Innovation’s Head of Unit, Carmen Laplaza Santos, DG Environment’s Policy Officer Jordane Wodli and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)’s Scientific Area Leader for Endocrine Disruption/Human health, Niklas Andersson.

Next, each EURION coordinator presented a summary of their project’s methods, achievements and results to the stakeholders. ERGO was presented by our coordinator Henrik Holbech and a productive panel discussion with the stakeholders, policymakers and EURION International Advisory Panel members ensued. The EURION Policy Brief: ‘Towards safer chemicals – Reliable test methods to identify endocrine disruptors’ was also launched.

After lunch, session 3 was the kick-off of the ENKORE Cluster (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Knowledge on Health-Related Effects), the cluster group of the five research projects newly funded under the call HORIZON-HLTH-2023-ENVHLTH-02-03, formed in January 2024, which will focus on the human health impacts of EDs.

View presentations from the EURION Stakeholder Conference and the ENKORE Cluster Kick-Off.