Department Environmental Toxicology

How do aquatic organisms respond to stress?

We investigate how freshwater organisms respond to chemical exposure and other stressors in their environment. In particular, we explore adaptive and toxicological response pathways and develop conceptual and computational models to support knowledge-based risk assessment.

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Eawag test with fish cells replaces animal experiments

Photo: Eawag

June 24, 2021,
The OECD gives the green light to the fish cell line assay developed at Eawag. This paves the way for companies and authorities around the world to determine the environmental toxicology of chemicals without having to resort to animal testing. read more

Article with video on TELETOP  (only in German available).

Ksenia Groh discusses her research goals

Photo: Eawag
Ksenia Groh

Ksenia Groh, the new leader of the Bionalytics group at Utox, explains in internal interview with Annette Ryser, how her research could contribute to further development of non-animal toxicity testing methods.

Utox research 2 times on cover of Chemical Research in Toxicology

Characterization of the Mercapturic Acid Pathway, an Important Phase II Biotransformation Route, in a Zebrafish Embryo Cell Line

In her PhD thesis, Alena Tierbach could show that the zebrafish embryo-derived PAC2 cell line expresses a fully functional mercapturic acid pathway. Using the model electrophile CDNB she could follow its transformation to the mercapturate using LC-MS. The data provides an important contribution towards using zebrafish cell lines for animal-free high-throughput screening in toxicology and chemical hazard assessment. read more

Computable networks are valuable tools in toxicology as they provide insights into molecular mechanisms, offer high predictive power, and allow reduction in animals used for testing. Roman Li and colleagues leveraged these principles for ecotoxicological research by developing a computable network describing zebrafish cardiotoxicity. Used together with transcriptomic datasets, their systems toxicology method accurately predicted cardiac phenotypes in silico and should, therefore, be a useful tool in studying cardiac toxicity. read more

Latest publications

Zoppo, M.; Okoniewski, N.; Pantelyushin, S.; vom Berg, J.; Schirmer, K. (2021) A ribonucleoprotein transfection strategy for CRISPR/Cas9‐mediated gene editing and single cell cloning in rainbow trout cells, Cell and Bioscience, 11(1), 103 (15 pp.), doi:10.1186/s13578-021-00618-0, Institutional Repository
Carles, L.; Donnadieu, F.; Wawrzyniak, I.; Besse-Hoggan, P.; Batisson, I. (2021) Genomic analysis of the Bacillus megaterium Mes11: new insights into nitroreductase genes associated with the degradation of mesotrione, International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 162, 105254 (7 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.ibiod.2021.105254, Institutional Repository
Kirla, K. T.; Erhart, C.; Groh, K. J.; Stadnicka-Michalak, J.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Schirmer, K.; Kraemer, T. (2021) Zebrafish early life stages as alternative model to study 'designer drugs': concordance with mammals in response to opioids, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 419, 115483 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.taap.2021.115483, Institutional Repository
Stadnicka-Michalak, J.; Bramaz, N.; Schönenberger, R.; Schirmer, K. (2021) Predicting exposure concentrations of chemicals with a wide range of volatility and hydrophobicity in different multi-well plate set-ups, Scientific Reports, 11, 4860 (14 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41598-021-84109-9, Institutional Repository
Carles, L.; Martin-Laurent, F.; Devers, M.; Spor, A.; Rouard, N.; Beguet, J.; Besse-Hoggan, P.; Batisson, I. (2021) Potential of preventive bioremediation to reduce environmental contamination by pesticides in an agricultural context: a case study with the herbicide 2,4-D, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 416, 125740 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125740, Institutional Repository