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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Utox research 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

Utox research on the forefront

Photo: Basil Stücheli
Professor Kristin Schirmer (right) and her colleague Melanie Fischer

Award for excellent alternatives for animal trials

Toxicity tests are currently still carried out mainly on livestock. Within the context of environmental risk assessment, this is done most commonly on fish. An alternative method developed by Eawag researchers is currently overcoming crucial hurdles to its widespread use in practice. Thanks in part to the persuasive efforts of the scientists involved.              read more

2020 Europe Award Winners

A pipeline was developed to process extremely heterogenous data sets and assess molecular mechanisms of nanotoxicity

Rifcon Best Publication Award

Michael Burkard is a young researcher working at Eawag on the caLIBRAte-project. The aim of the project was to test a number of tools for the risk assessment of nanomaterials. The focus of Eawag was to evaluate the use of innovative methods, such as the Omics technologies, in order to improve risk assessment. In the rewarded work, a pipeline was developed to homogenize existing data sets and to assess toxicological response patterns from nanomaterials. read more


Latest publications

Carles, L.; Artigas, J. (2020) Interaction between glyphosate and dissolved phosphorus on bacterial and eukaryotic communities from river biofilms, Science of the Total Environment, 719, 137463 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137463, Institutional Repository
Tierbach, A.; Groh, K. J.; Schoenenberger, R.; Schirmer, K.; Suter, M. J. -F. (2020) Characterization of the mercapturic acid pathway, an important phase II biotransformation route, in a zebrafish embryo cell line, Chemical Research in Toxicology, (9 pp.), doi:10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00315, Institutional Repository
Li, R.; Zupanic, A.; Talikka, M.; Belcastro, V.; Madan, S.; Dörpinghaus, J.; vom Berg, C.; Szostak, J.; Martin, F.; Peitsch, M. C.; Hoeng, J. (2020) Systems toxicology approach for testing chemical cardiotoxicity in larval zebrafish, Chemical Research in Toxicology, 33(10), 2550-2564, doi:10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00095, Institutional Repository
Batista, D.; Tlili, A.; Gessner, M. O.; Pascoal, C.; Cássio, F. (2020) Nanosilver impacts on aquatic microbial decomposers and litter decomposition assessed as pollution-induced community tolerance (PICT), Environmental Science: Nano, 7(7), 2130-2139, doi:10.1039/D0EN00375A, Institutional Repository