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H-ECoTox (High-Throughput Experimental and Computational Approaches for Toxicity Assessment)

H-ECoTox (High-Throughput Experimental and Computational Approaches for Toxicity Assessment)

A laboratory for the analysis and prediction of toxicity of organic compounds and their metabolites in humans. The activities will make it possible to strengthen collaborations with companies and access funding from both private and European projects. The FASST and H-ECoTox laboratories will work in close connection with each other and with TheoEn and MPC, as well as with other biological research.

The H-ECoTox laboratory is fully equipped to investigate the fate of a chemical entity in humans through a high-througput platform, without reliance on animal studies. The platform combines information about the metabolic biotransformation occurring in several matrices, the effect on lipid metabolism (biomarker search) and the high-content imaging outcomes. This complex information is interpreted and modelled by using specifically designed cheminformatic tools.

In particular, we can either predict metabolism and toxicity of organic compounds prior to synthesis (to design safer compounds) or perform high-throughput in vitro campaigns, to define structure-property relationships and to convert information to knowledge.

In addition, targeted, semi-targeted and untargeted lipidomics analysis represent a valuable and flexible tool to monitor early toxicity events in cells, cell fractions, tissues, microtissues and biofluids.

Main Instrumental Facilities

The H-ECoTox laboratory is composed of three facilities:
– The Cheminformatics and Molecular modelling facility: where algorithms and models for metabolism and toxicity prediction are developed;
– The Organic synthesis facility: where organic compounds needed to strengthen the robustness of the models and to validate them;
– The High-throughput assays laboratory to experimentally evaluate toxicity, based on high-resolution LC-MS/MS analysis and high-content imaging.

Thanks to the AMIS project, our High-throughput assays facility is now equipped with an Operetta instrument for high-content imaging, to investigate toxicity at subcellular level.


Gabriele Cruciani (PI)
Laura Goracci
Paolo Benedetti
Alessandra di Veroli
Jenny Desantis
Nicolò Milani
Stefano di Bona