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INA-17 scientific background of the meeting

During the last decade the growing knowledge about structural and functional networks within the brain further fosters the understanding of how the brain achieves its astonishing functionality. Moreover, the knowledge about the dynamics of the maturation of these networks during brain development as well as their degradation during aging or diseases facilitates the understanding of functional impairments (e. g. neurobehavioral phenotype of toxic exposures) related to these processes. In parallel, the “omics-technics” provided enormous insights about the neurobiological processes underlying brain functions such as attention, memory and learning across the lifespan. All of these areas benefit from the huge progress in hard- and software development allowing data analyses that were unimaginable a couple of years ago. This scientific boost in neuroscience also affected the research topics and methodology in neurotoxicology. During the last decade, there was also another turning point related to toxicological risk assessment. Since the 2007 report by the National Academy of Sciences about toxicity testing in the 21st century many researchers in neurotoxicology developed toxicity testing strategies carried out in vitro in human cells or cell lines. These assays are thought to represent key events of brain development and functioning.

Against this background, the 17th biannual meeting of the International Neurotoxicology Association will discuss what could be achieved so far with respect to the overall theme of “Translational Neurotoxicology”. The scientific program will especially focus on research related to the translation of recent neuroscience knowledge into neurotoxicity research as well as on ways, how recent development in neurotoxicity testing can be translated and included in human risk assessment procedures.

A good scientific meeting needs an excellent venue and according to the INA tradition INA-17 will be held in a secluded place close to the historical Neanderthal and the vibrant Rhein-Ruhr metropole area around Düsseldorf. The Land Gut Höhne is a modern conference and wellness hotel (see picture on the right) with more than 130 rooms and two restaurants. Full congress packages will be available and the traditional INA excursion on Wednesday will bring us to the Neanderthal museum and later to the oldtown of Düsseldorf with its famous bars and breweries.