Director's Message August

As we embark on a new academic year at Michigan State University, I wanted to reach out and update you on the great work we're undertaking at CRIS.

Director's Message

As we embark on a new academic year at Michigan State University, I wanted to reach out and update you on the great work we're undertaking at CRIS. Especially as students begin to fill the halls again and campus is starting to resume normal activities after these abnormal times.  

While it's been strange not to have our undergraduates on the MSU campus for over a year now, we've continued to research, communicate, and work to fulfill our CRIS mission. We've recently welcomed new CRIS partners, Syngenta and Artemys Foods. We are thrilled to have them on board. 
We are very much looking forward to hosting the 2021 CRIS Annual Meeting and Science Day, November 8-10. Presently, we are planning on an in-person meeting with the Science Day symposium being a hybrid for those that cannot participate in-person. The focus of our symposium will be on packaging ingredients and are excited to have a full slate of speakers. 
As you may recall, we saw the tremendous interest in CBD consumer products and have focused this past year on this up-and-coming ingredient. We've conducted a review of the literature to assess the state-of-the-science on health effects and safety of CBD, to identify critical knowledge gaps for future studies, and to raise the awareness of the current regulations that govern CBD use from a consumer products perspective. Our paper has completed the first stage of peer-review and we are completing requested revisions.  We are looking forward to confirming the publication of our paper and providing a publication date in the near future. 

As part of our CBD-related activities, CRIS has undertaken two research projects that address critical data gaps in the safety of CBD. One project investigates the effects of CBD on the human immune system, specifically the effects of CBD on human peripheral blood monocyte inflammatory responses. This study employed a comprehensive panel of pathogen-associated molecular patterns that activate monocytes through toll-like receptors to initiate an inflammatory response.  The effects of CBD on this important innate immune response has been completed and the final edits to this paper are being completed prior to submission for peer-review. 
Our second research project is evaluating the potential hepatotoxicity of CBD at levels relevant to consumer exposure to investigate the underlying mechanisms. This study utilizes a metabolically active human hepatocyte (HepaRG cells) state-of-the-science organoid model, which is recognized for its similarities to primary liver cells and predictive capabilities. The project is currently underway, and we will keep you updated as it progresses.
CRIS has also undertaken a contractual research project to assist a CRIS member. In this project, we have established a flow cytometry-based micronucleus assay using primary human lymphocytes to evaluate the genotoxic potential of chemical ingredients. We believe adding this high through-put cell-based in vitro assays to the list of CRIS capabilities will be important to CRIS members, especially in light of the growing emphasis by European regulators on genotoxicity.
It's not all research projects. In addition to our weekly blog post, we're innovating on the communication front and stepping into a new, trendy platform, TikTok. We've recently launched a new channel and are already seeing views. Follow along if you're interested in learning how we're engaging with new audiences. 
We’ve also been interviewed for The Insider around expiring food and makeup products. These interviews help raise the awareness of the great work being undertaking by CRIS. 
Last, we are excited to have recently updated the CRIS Strategic Plan, with participation and input from all of our CRIS partners and external committee members. We believe this new strategic plan provides a renewed focus for our center for the next 4-5 years.
We look forward to engaging with you at our upcoming annual meeting in November. 
Best regards, 

Norb Kaminski, Ph.D.
Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Director, Center for Research on Ingredient Safety
Director, Institute for Integrative Toxicology
Michigan State University

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