The 14th Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Environmental Endocrine Disruptors (EDs) addresses the role of environmental EDs in planetary health, the transdisciplinary field that addresses the impacts of human activity on the health of humans and all life on Earth. Chemical pollution is one of the planetary boundaries transgressed due to high rates of production and release of hazardous chemicals. Chemical pollutants are widely distributed in the environment due to human activities such as plastics manufacturing, pesticides and industrial processes. A significant proportion of chemicals disrupts the action of hormones and are therefore considered EDs. The scientific evidence accumulated since the term endocrine disruption was coined thirty years ago leaves no doubt about their negative impact on human health and wildlife. For the environment, marine and terrestrial exposure has negative effects on animal species affecting biodiversity. In humans, environmental EDs are linked to reproductive disorders, obesity and diabetes, hormone-sensitive cancers in women, and prostate cancer, as well as negative impacts on thyroid, neuroendocrine and neurodevelopmental systems and, more recently, the immune system.
In the GRC 2024 we will focus on four cutting-edge multidisciplinary topics, providing insights into the latest advances in the science of environmental EDs from leading scientists, rising stars and selected trainees. 1) The latest advances on how environmental EDs affect the etiology of human diseases. 2) Current data on how they affect wildlife and biodiversity. 3) Advances in methods for identifying environmental EDs and 4) Solutions from regulation, science and industry.
ERGO and EURION partners will take active roles throughout the conference. To name a few, from the GOLIATH project, Coordinator Juliette Legler (Utrecht University) and Angel Nadal Miguel Hernández University of Elche) are the chairs of the conference; Daniel Zalko (INRAE) will lead the discussion on ‘Mechanisms of Environmental Endocrine Disruptor Action’ and Jorke Kamstra (Utrecht University) will speak during the ‘Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Metabolic Disorders’ session. From the ERGO project, Coordinator Henrik Holbech (University of Southern Denmark) will lead the discussion on ‘Integrating Human and Environmental Health Research’ and Dries Knapen (University of Antwerp) is one of the speakers during this session. From the FREIA project, Coordinator Majorie van Duursen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will speak during the ‘Mediated Effects on Development and Reproduction’ session. From the ENDpoiNTs project, Coordinator Joëlle Rüegg (Uppsala University) will speak during the ‘Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Developmental Neurotoxicity’ session. From the ATHENA project, Olwenn Martin (Brunel University London) will speak during the ‘Keynote Session: Planetary Health: Global Solutions for Global Problems’.
The conference is proceeded by the Environmental Endocrine Disruptors Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on 22-23 June 2024. This is a fun and useful experience especially for early stage researchers in the field of endocrine disruption, so we encourage PhD and postdoctoral researchers to attend.