Another major milestone has been reached in our PROTECTED (Protected Against Endocrine Disruptors) project as this month, we and our expert consortium, travel to Oslo for our mid-term review with the European Commission Research Executive Agency. We are excited to present our work, look forward to receiving key stakeholder feedback and importantly to the second half of this exciting journey to explore more about the impact harmful chemicals may have on human health.

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Early Stage Researcher Chiara Talia Talks About 'Pechakucha' An Innovative Communications Tool For Science

This time I would like to tell you about my first experience with public engagement! As part of a European-funded project, I really wanted to take part to the European Researchers’ Night, an Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun learning with over 300 cities involved taking place every year at the end of September. There were many events going on here in Aberdeen, and I decided to give a presentation at the PechaKucha Night...

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Might diet and exercise alone no longer be the answer to managing weight? Are chemicals making us fat? Could the increasing use of and exposure to environmental chemicals including substances used in our everyday lives such as plastics, pesticides, personal care products, household and other consumer goods be linked to the escalating obesity and diabetes epidemics and potentially costing the NHS billions?

This was the focus of a public talk last summer at QUB’s Institute for Global Food Security by world leading obesogens expert and international speaker Juliette Legler, Professor of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Utrecht University in the Netherlands. We recorded and are now sharing her guest lecture as part of our broader four-year Marie Curie innovative Training Network project PROTECTED (Protected Against Endocrine Disruptors).

Special guest talks are an important part of our study (involving 13 organisations across nine countries) to tell if exposure to certain chemicals and their mixtures can detrimentally affect the hormone system causing adverse health effects such as cancer, obesity, diabetes or infertility.

Through innovative early stage research, we also hope to build a sufficient knowledge base to inform, legislation, improve monitoring and reduced exposure to humans and the environment. To find our more from Professor Legler follow the link here.

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PUBLIC LECTURE: Are chemicals making us fat?

Keep up to date with PROTECTED'S 2nd newsletter

Delve into the continuing progress of the PROTECTED project in our second edition of our newsletter, below.

(You can view the e-newsletter in fullscreen by clicking the fullscreen icon in the bottom right-hand corner).


Find out more about the early months of the PROTECTED project in the first of our newsletters, below.

(You can view the e-newsletter in fullscreen by clicking the fullscreen icon in the bottom right-hand corner).

Dr. Steven Verhaegen (ExpBio; ProdMed) Visits Queen’s University Belfast

Dr. Steven Verhaegen was invited to visit the research group of Dr. Lisa Connolly, Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK, between November 13 and 17th. Dr. Connolly is Project Coordinator for PROTECTED, a European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) ( PROTECTED aims to develop expertise and protective capabilities against Endocrine Disruptors (EDs). EDs and their mixtures are a modern day health concern leading to failing ecological systems, poor agricultural production and health effects such as obesity, cancer and infertility. The ITN provides 15 individual, personalised PhD projects for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs).

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TDU National Food Institute article published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology

A web collection on EDCs was launched on September 4th by Nature Reviews Endocrinology, which included a paper from the National Food Institute of Technical University of Denmark about chemical influences on ovarian development (Johansson et al., 2017).

This web collection on endocrine disruption contains reviews and commentaries written by leading researchers in the field, as well as key advances in EDC research, highlighted by journal editors. The collection covers the biological effects of EDCs and evidence linking EDC exposure to adverse health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, male and female reproductive disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, asthma and cancer, together with emerging technologies that have the potential to characterise current and past EDC exposures, and predict risk of developing EDC-related diseases in the future.

View Collection Here

Primary Health Sciences 2017

Inspiring children to get involved in science is crucial for creating the next generation of scientists. The Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), based at Queen’s University Belfast, was pleased to welcome back the Primary Health Sciences Conference for the third year. 250 primary school pupils were invited to the university and the event was attended by over 300 people.

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9th Copenhagen Workshop on Endocrine Disruptors (COW2017).

PROTECTED Co-ordinator Dr Lisa Connolly attended the 9th Copenhagen Workshop on Endocrine Disruptors (COW2017) which took place on May 2–5, 2017. At COW2017, the scientific programme focused on reproduction and child health, which are both fundamental aspects of human health. Lisa’s poster concentrated on the background, aims and objectives of PROTECTED.

Poster can be downloaded here.

10th Biodetectors Conference

PROTECTED Co-ordinator Dr Lisa Connolly attended the 10th Biodetectors Conference held in Sorrento, Italy on April 6th and 7th, 2017 to promote the PROTECTED project. Lisa’s oral presentation covered the background, aims and objectives of PROTECTED. The meeting brought together scientists involved in the development and application of in vitro effect based bioanalysis technologies. This event was sponsored by PROTECTED consortium member BioDetection Systems.

EuroMix Training Event

PROTECTED Co-ordinator Dr Lisa Connolly and Prof Marie-Louise Scippo attended a training session hosted by EuroMix project. Two sessions were held in Amsterdam, Netherlands on March 15th and 16th, 2017 for stakeholders in universities, non-governmental organisations and industry. The focus was on how Adverse Outcome Pathways and QSAR can contribute to testing and risk assessment of mixtures as well as how the mixtures can be selected based on exposure and hazard information.

More information can be found here

PROTECTED Kick-Off Meeting

The PROTECTED (PROTECTion against Endocrine Disruptors) Innovative Training Network (ITN) held its kick-off meeting on February 6th and 7th, 2017 in the Science Park of the University of Valencia. PROTECTED aims to train a new generation of 15 creative, entrepreneurial and innovative Early Stage Researchers with the expertise to develop protective capabilities against Endocrine Disruptors.

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Primary Food Sciences QUB event 2016

Primary Health Sciences (PHS) supported by Queen’s University Belfast and the Wellcome Trust, is a programme which aims for scientists from the universities and industry to help develop primary teachers’ and pupils’ interest and appreciation of the biological sciences and link their application to everyday life. The scientists act as inspiring role models, and help the pupils identify potential careers in the sciences.

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