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ISS Staff

Emanuela Testai

Research Director
+39 06 4990 2920
299, Viale Regina Elena
00161 - Rome (Italy)

Curriculum vitae

Biographical Notes

Nationality Italian
Date and place of birth 10.09.1957 Viareggio (LU)
Degree: University of Pisa- Laurea summa cum laude in Biological Sciences (bichemical branch)
1979-1981 ungraduated student at Istituto di Mutagenesi e differenziamento CNR- Pisa
1982-1984 Researcher fellow at Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) Roma
1985-today ISS as part of the permanent staff
Type of business or Sector : Research and regulatory activities in the field of Toxicokinetics, Toxicology and Human Health Risk Assessment associated to exposure to natural and synthetic environmental pollutants.
Occupation or position held: Present Position : Senior executive scientist (since 2007) and Head of the Mechanism of Toxicity Unit Department for Environment and Primary Prevention (since 2009).
Previous position : researcher (1994-2007); young researcher (1985-1994); research fellow (1982-1985) - Responsible for the Biochemical Toxicology Unit (Toxicology and Ecotoxicology Lab) (2001-2004)


Responsible for the Biochemical Toxicology Unit (2001-2004)at ISS Comparative toxicology and Ecotoxicology Lab.
Head of the Mechanism of Toxicity Unit Department for Environment and Primary Prevention (since 2009).
Supervisor of graduation thesis (Faculty of famavy, Biological Sciences and Chemistry)
Theacher at the University of Roma 'La sapienza' (Course of Toxicological Analysis) (2004-2007) Teacher at instituional corses, Master and PhD programs in the area fo Toxicology and Risk assessment.

Research Activity

Involvement in both research and regulatory activities in the field of toxicology, mechanisms of toxicity and human health risk assessment associated with exposure to natural and synthetic chemicals including biocides, pesticides, environmental and food contaminants, flavouring substances, industrial products, cyanotoxins in fresh waters.
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of toxicity; biotransformation, toxicokinetics and toxicity of xenobiotics (environmental pollutants, pesticides, natural toxins); enzymology of drug-metabolizing systems in hepatic and extrahepatic tissues; metabolic biomarkers of individual susceptibility to toxic compounds; application of mechanistic and toxicokinetic data to risk assessment; molecular epidemiology (genotyping of populations to identify metabolic biomarkers of individual susceptibility to toxic compounds); risk assessment associated to exposure to cyanotoxins and study of cyanobacterial communities.

Research Projects

Last 6 years:
U.O. ‘ISS’ e Work-Package Leader (WP3: Non animal-based models for in vitro kinetics and human kinetic prediction) EU Project 'Profiling the toxicity of new drugs: a non animal-based approach integrating toxicodynamics and biokinetics’ (Project acronym: Predict-IV- Project leader Prof. W. Dekant - Grant agreement no.: 202222 (2009-2013).
'Studio del possibile ruolo di tossine cianobatteriche nell’eziopatogenesi della Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica’ Convenzione ISS-AISLA (Fascicolo R1L. 4.12.2009-3.12.2010.
COACH Service project for dissemination of knowledge and coordination for the Project consortium Towards the Replacement of in vivo Repeated Dose Systemic Toxicity Testing (EU Project 2011-2012)
Project leader of the EFSA Service contract n° OC/EFSA/SCER/2014/04 ‘Review of literature on cyanobacteria toxins in food’ (December 2014-December 2015)

Incarichi Istituzionali

Member of National and European Committees :
- Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risk (SCHER) EU-DG Sanco (2004-2008; 2009-2012).
-Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risk (SCENIHR) EU-DG Sanco (2013-2015).
-FLAVIS Working Group (EFSA) on Flavouring Risk Evaluation (2001-2007) and external expert for various EFSA WG
-Working Group for the Risk Assessment of Existing Chemicals - EU Reg. 73/93/CE (1998-2008)
-National Committee for Plant Protection Products (2000-2013)
-National Committee for Biocides (2003-2006):
-Italian National Toxicology Committee (1995-1997);
-OECD Test Guidelines Program (since 1998);
-Working Group of the European Commission (DG JRC) for the Revision of the TGD on Risk Assessment (2000-2002).
-GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) Inspector since 1997 (area of expertise: Metabolism and Toxicokinetics; Toxicology). More than 70 inspections carried out.


Affiliation Societies and Related Activities
- International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics ISSX Member since 1992; Councillor elect (1998-2001; 2006-2009)
- Società Italiana di Tossicologia SITOX Member since 1984; Member elect of the Executive Board (2009-2011; 2012-2014)
- Italian Association of In Vitro Toxicology CELLTOX Member since 1995; Secretary (1996-1998) and President (1999-2001)
- European Society of in vitro Toxicology ESTIV: Member since 1998; Member of the Executive Board of ESTIV (European Society of Toxicology In Vitro) (2000-2002) and Vice-president (2002-2004)


  1. Gouliarmou V, Lostia AM, Coecke S, Bernasconi C, Bessems J, Dorne JL, Ferguson S, Testai E, Gundert-Remy U, Houston JB, Monshouwer M, Nong A, Pelkonen OR, Morath S, Wetmore BA, Worth AP, Zanelli U, Zorzoli MC, Whelan M. Establishing a systematic framework to characterise in vitro methods for human hepatic metabolic clearance. Toxicology in vitro 2018;53:233-244.
  2. Ingelido AM, Abballe A, Gemma S, Dellatte E, Iacovella N, De Angelis G, Zampaglioni F, Marra V, Miniero R, Valentini S, Russo F, Vazzoler M, Testai E, De Felip E. Biomonitoring of perfluorinated compounds in adults exposed to contaminated drinking water in the Veneto Region, Italy. Environment international 2018;110(1):149-159.
  3. Funari E, Manganelli M, Buratti FM, Testai E. Cyanobacteria blooms in water: Italian guidelines to assess and manage the risk associated to bathing and recreational activities. Science of the total environment 2017;598:867-880.
  4. Mielke H, Di Consiglio E, Kreutz R, Partosch F, Testai E, Gundert-Remy U. The importance of protein binding for the in vitro–in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE)—example of ibuprofen, a highly protein-bound substance. Archives of toxicology 2017;91(4):1663-1670.
  5. Buratti FM, Manganelli M, Vichi S, Stefanelli M, Scardala S, Testai E, Funari E. Cyanotoxins: producing organisms, occurrence, toxicity, mechanism of action, and human health toxicological risk evaluation. Archives of toxicology 2017;91(3):1049–1130.
  6. Testai E, Scardala S, Vichi S, Buratti FM, Funari E. Risk to human health associated with the environmental occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxic alkaloids anatoxins and saxitoxins. Critical reviews in toxicology 2016;46(5):385-419.
  7. Testai E, Hartemann P, Rastogi SC, Bernauer U, Piersma AH, De Jong WH, Gulliksson H, Sharpe RM, Schubert D, Rodríguez-Farre E. The safety of medical devices containing DEHP plasticized PVC or other plasticizers on neonates and other groups possibly at risk (2015 update). Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2016;76:209-210.
  8. Testai E, Hartemann P, Rodríguez-Farre E, Rastogi SC, Bustos J, Gundert-Remy U, Hensten A, Kopperud HM, Olea N, Piersma AH, De Jong WH. The safety of the use of bisphenol A in medical devices. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2016;79:106-107.
  9. Testai E, Buratti FM, Funari E, Manganelli M, Vichi S, Arnich N, Biré R, Fessard V, Sialehaamoa A. Review and analysis of occurrence, exposure and toxicity of cyanobacteria toxins in food. EFSA Supporting publications 2016;13(2):
  10. Manganelli M, Stefanelli M, Vichi S, Andreani P, Nascetti G, Scialanca F, Scardala S, Testai E, Funari E. Cyanobacteria biennial dynamic in a volcanic lake in Central Italy: regional variations and strategies for monitoring activities . Toxicon 2016;115:28-40.
  11. Rodríguez-Farre E, Testai E, Bruzell E, De Jong WH, Schmalz G, Thomsen M, Hensten A. The safety of dental amalgam and alternative dental restoration materials for patients and users. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2016;79:108-109.
  12. Benfenati E, Berggren E, Fritsche E, Hartung T, Slikker W, Spielmann H, Testai E, Tice RR, Tiramani M, Villenave R. Novel chemical hazard characterization approaches. EFSA journal 2016;14(S1):s0506.
  13. Mueller SO, Dekant W, Jennings P, Testai E, Bois FY. Comprehensive summary - Predict-IV: a systems toxicology approach to improve pharmaceutical drug safety testing. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):4-6.
  14. Funari E, Manganelli M, Testai E. Ostreospis cf. ovata blooms in coastal water: Italian guidelines to assess and manage the risk associated to bathing waters and recreational activities. Harmful algae 2015;50:45-56.
  15. Bellwon P, Truisi GL, Bois FY, Wilmes A, Schmidt T, Savary CC, Parmentier C, Hewitt PG, Schmal O, Josse R, Richert L, Mueller SO, Jennings P, Testai E, Dekant W. Kinetics and dynamics of cyclosporine A in three hepatic cell culture systems. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):62-78.
  16. Di Consiglio E, Pomponio G, Turco L, Gemma S, Vichi S, Testai E. Come migliorare il valore predittivo degli studi in vitro per la valutazione degli effetti di sostanze chimiche: il progetto europeo PREDICT-IV. Notiziario dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 2015;28(10):3-8.
  17. Kramer NI, Di Consiglio E, Blaauboer BJ, Testai E. Biokinetics in repeated-dosing in vitro drug toxicity studies. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):217-224.
  18. Pomponio G, Zurich MG, Schultz L, Weiss DG, Romanelli L, Gramowski-Voss A, Di Consiglio E, Testai E. Amiodarone biokinetics, the formation of its major oxidative metabolite and neurotoxicity after acute and repeated exposure of brain cell cultures. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):192-202.
  19. Scientific Committee SCHER, Linders J, Janssen C, Testai E, Vighi M, Dekant W, Munth J, Pirrone N, Richardson M. Opinion on environmental risks and indirect health effects of mercury from dental amalgam. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2015;72(1):85-86.
  20. Vichi S, Sandström von Tobel J, Gemma S, Stanzel S, Kopp-Schneider A, Monnet-Tschudi F, Testai E, Zurich MG. Cell type-specific expression and localization of cytochrome P450 isoforms in tridimensional aggregating rat brain cell cultures. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):176-184.
  21. Buratti FM, Testai E. Species- and congener-differences in microcystin-LR and -RR GSH conjugation in human, rat, and mouse hepatic cytosol. Toxicology letters 2015;232:133-140.
  22. Truisi GL, Di Consiglio E, Parmentier C, Savary CC, Pomponio G, Bois FY, Lauer B, Jossé R, Hewitt PG, Mueller SO, Richert L, Guillouzo A, Testai E. Understanding the biokinetics of ibuprofen after single and repeated treatments in rat and human in vitro liver cell systems. Toxicology letters 2015;233(2):172-186.
  23. Bellwon P, Culot M, Wilmes A, Schmidt T, Zurich MG, Schultz L, Schmal O, Gramowski-Voss A, Weiss DG, Jennings P, Bal-Price A, Testai E, Dekant W. Cyclosporine A kinetics in brain cell cultures and its potential of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):166-175.
  24. Pomponio G, Savary CC, Parmentier C, Bois FY, Guillouzo A, Romanelli L, Richert L, Di Consiglio E, Testai E. In vitro kinetics of amiodarone and its major metabolite in two human liver cell models after acute and repeated treatments. Toxicology in vitro 2015;30(1 Pt A):36-51.
  25. Funari E, Manganelli M, Testai E, ed. Cianobatteri: linee guida per la gestione delle fioriture nelle acque di balneazione. Roma: Istituto Superiore di Sanità; 2014. (Rapporti ISTISAN 14/20).
  26. Funari E, Manganelli M, Testai E, ed. Ostreopsis cf. ovata: linee guida per la gestione delle fioriture negli ambienti marino-costieri in relazione a balneazione e altre attività ricreative. Roma: Istituto Superiore di Sanità; 2014. (Rapporti ISTISAN 14/19).
  27. Bessems JGM, Loizou G, Krishnan K, Clewell HJ, Bernasconi C, Bois FY, Coecke S, Collnot E, Diembeck W, Farcal LR, Geraets L, Gundert-Remy U, Kramer N, Küsters G, Leite SB, Pelkonen OR, Schröder K, Testai E, Wilk-Zasadna I, Zaldívar-Comenges J. PBTK modelling platforms and parameter estimation tools to enable animal-free risk assessment. Recommendations from a joint EPAA - EURL ECVAM ADME workshop. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2014;68(1):119-139.
  28. Stefanelli M, Vichi S, Stipa G, Funari E, Testai E, Scardala S, Manganelli M. Survival, growth and toxicity of Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 in experimental conditions mimicking some features of the human gastro-intestinal environment. Chemico-biological interactions 2014;215:54-61.
  29. Marinovich M, Boraso MS, Testai E, Galli CL. Metals in cosmetics: an a posteriori safety evaluation. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2014;69(3):416-424.
  30. Wilmes A, Limonciel A, Aschauer L, Moenks K, Bielow C, Leonard MO, Hamon J, Carpi D, Ruzek S, Handler A, Schmal O, Herrgen K, Bellwon P, Burek C, Truisi GL, Hewitt P, Di Consiglio E, Testai E, Blaauboer B, Guillou C, Huber CG, Lukas A, Pfaller W, Mueller SO, Bois FY, Dekant W, Jennings P. Application of integrated transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling for the delineation of mechanisms of drug induced cell stress. Journal of proteomics 2013;79:180-194.
  31. Buratti FM, Scardala S, Funari E, Testai E. The conjugation of microcystin-RR by human recombinant GSTs and hepatic cytosol. Toxicology letters 2013;219(3):231-238.
  32. Coecke S, Pelkonen O, Leite SB, Bernauer U, Bessems JGM, Bois FY, Gundert-Remy U, Loizou G, Testai E, Zaldívar J. Toxicokinetics as a key to the integrated toxicity risk assessment based primarily on non-animal approaches. Toxicology in vitro 2013;27(5):1570–1577.
  33. Testai E, Galli CL, Dekant W, Marinovich M, Piersma AH, Sharpe RM. A plea for risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Toxicology 2013;314(1):51-59.
  34. Del Favero G, Beltramo D, Sciancalepore M, Lorenzon P, Coslovich T, Poli M, Testai E, Sosa S, Tubaro A. Toxicity of palytoxin after repeated oral exposure in mice and in vitro effects on cardiomyocytes. Toxicon 2013;75(Special Issue):3-15.
  35. Vichi S, Medda E, Ingelido AM, Ferro A, Resta S, Porpora MG, Abballe A, Nisticò L, De Felip E, Gemma S, Testai E. Glutathione transferase polymorphisms and risk of endometriosis associated with Polychlorinated biphenyls exposure in Italian women: a gene-environment interaction. Fertility and sterility 2012;97(5):1143-1151.e3.
  36. Leoni C, Balduzzi M, Buratti FM, Testai E. The contribution of human small intestine to chlorpyrifos biotransformation. Toxicology letters 2012;215(1):42-48.
  37. Vichi S, Lavorini P, Funari E, Scardala S, Testai E. Contamination by Microcystis and microcystins of blue-green algae food supplements (BGAS) on the Italian market and possible risk for the exposed population. Food and chemical toxicology 2012;50:4493-4499.
  38. Blaauboer B, Boekelheide K, Clewell HJ, Daneshian M, Dingemans MML, Goldberg AM, Heneweer M, Jaworska JS, Kramer NI, Leist M, Seibert H, Testai E, Vandebriel RJ, Yager JD, Zurlo J. The use of biomarkers of toxicity for integrating in vitro hazard estimates into risk assessment for humans. ALTEX 2012;29(4):411-425.
  39. Belloni V, Dessì-Fulgheri F, Zaccaroni M, Di Consiglio E, De Angelis G, Testai E, Santochirico M, Alleva E, Santucci D. Early exposure to low doses of atrazine affects behavior in juvenile and adult CD1 mice. Toxicology 2011;279(1-3):19-26.
  40. Buratti FM, De Angelis G, Ricceri L, Venerosi A, Calamandrei G, Testai E. Foetal and neonatal exposure to Chlorpyrifos: biochemical and metabolic alterations in the mouse liver at different developmental stages. Toxicology 2011;289(3):98–108.
  41. Turco L, Catone T, Caloni F, Di Consiglio E, Testai E, Stammati AL. Caco-2/TC7 cell line characterization for intestinal absorption: how reliable is this in vitro model for the prediction of the oral dose fraction absorbed in human? Toxicology in vitro 2011;25(1):13-20.
  42. Adler S, Basketter D, Creton S, Pelkonen O, van Benthem J, Zuang V, Andersen KE, Angers-Loustau A, Aptula A, Bal-Price A, Benfenati E, Bernauer U, Bessems J, Bois FY, Boobis AR, Brandon E, Bremer S, Broschard T, Casati C, Coecke S, Corvi R, Cronin MTD, Daston G, Dekant W, Felter S, Grignard E, Gundert-Remy U, Heinonen T, Kimber I, kleinjans J, Komulainen H, Kreiling R, Kreysa J, Leite SB, Loizou G, Maxwell G, Mazzatorta P, Munn S, Pfuhler S, Phrakonkham P, Piersma A, Poth A, Prieto P, Repetto G, Rogiers V, Schoeters G, Schwarz M, Serafimova R, Tähti H, Testai E, van Delft J, van Loveren H, Vinken M, Worth AP, Zaldivar J. Alternative (non-animal) methods for cosmetic testing: current status and future prospects - 2010. Archives of toxicology 2011;85(5):367-485.
  43. Buratti FM, Scardala S, Funari E, Testai E. Human glutathione transferases catalyzing the conjugation of the hepatoxin microcystin-LR. Chemical research in toxicology 2011;24(6):926-933.
  44. Maranghi F, Tassinari R, Marcoccia D, Altieri I, Catone T, De Angelis G, Testai E, Mastrangelo S, Evandri MG, Bolle P, Lorenzetti S. The food contaminant semicarbazide acts as an endocrine disrupter: evidence from an integrated in vivo/in vitro approach. Chemico-biological interactions 2010;183(1):40-48.
  45. Manganelli M, Scardala S, Stefanelli M, Vichi S, Mattei D, Bogialli S, Ceccarelli P, Corradetti E, Petrucci I, Gemma S, Testai E, Funari E. Health risk evaluation associated to Planktothrix rubescens: an integrated approach to design tailored monitoring programs for human exposure to cyanotoxins. Water research 2010;44(5):1297-1306.
  46. Palli D, Polidoro S, D'Errico MR, Saieva C, Guarrera S, Calcagnile AS, Sera F, Allione A, Gemma S, Zanna I, Filomena A, Testai E, Caini S, Moretti R, Gomez Miguel MJ, Nesi G, Luzzi I, Ottini L, Masala G, Matullo G, Dogliotti E. Polymorphic DNA repair and metabolic genes: a multigenic study on gastric cancer. Mutagenesis 2010;25(6):569-575.
  47. Di Consiglio E, De Angelis G, Traina ME, Urbani E, Testai E. Effect of lindane on CYP-mediated steroid hormone metabolism in male mice following in utero exposure. Journal of applied toxicology 2009;29(8):648-655.
  48. Funari E, Testai E. Human health risk assessment related to cyanotoxin exposure. Critical reviews in toxicology 2008;38(2):97-125.
  49. Leoni C, Buratti FM, Testai E. The participation of human hepatic P450 isoforms, flavin-containing monooxygenases and aldehyde oxidase in the biotransformation of the insecticide fenthion. Toxicology and applied pharmacology 2008;233(2):343-352.
  50. Gemma S, Vichi S, Testai E. Metabolic and genetic factors contributing to alcohol induced effects and fetal alcohol syndrome. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 2007;31(2):221-229.
  51. Tirelli V, Catone T, Turco L, Di Consiglio E, Testai E, De Angelis I. Effects of the pesticide chlorpyriphos on an in vitro model of intestinal barrier. Toxicology in vitro 2007;21:308-313.
  52. Cometa MF, Buratti FM, Fortuna S, Lorenzini P, Volpe MT, Parisi L, Testai E, Meneguz A. Cholinesterase inhibition and alterations of hepatic metabolism by oral acute and repeated chlorpyrifos administration to mice. Toxicology 2007;234(1-2):90-102.
  53. Maranghi F, Rescia M, Macrì C, Di Consiglio E, De Angelis G, Testai E, Farini D, De Felici M, Lorenzetti S, Mantovani A. Lindane may modulate the female reproductive development through the interaction with ER-ß: an in vivo-in vitro approach. Chemico-biological interactions 2007;169(1):1-14.
  54. Buratti FM, Testai E. Evidences for CYP3A4 autoactivation in the desulfuration of dimethoate by human liver. Toxicology 2007;241:33-46.
  55. Buratti FM, Leoni C, Testai E. Foetal and adult human CYP3A isoforms in the bioactivation of organophoshorothionate insecticides. Toxicology letters 2006;167(3):245-255.
  56. Di Consiglio E, Meneguz A, Testai E. Organophosphorothionate pesticides inhibit the bioactivation of imipramine by human hepatic cytochrome P450s. Toxicology and applied pharmacology 2005;205(3):237-246.
  57. Buratti FM, D'Aniello A, Volpe MT, Meneguz A, Testai E. Malathion bioactivation in the human liver: the contribution of different cytochrome P450 isoforms. Drug metabolism and disposition 2005;33(3):295-302.
  58. Palli D, Saieva C, Gemma S, Masala G, Gomez Miguel MJ, Luzzi I, D'Errico MR, Matullo G, Ozzola G, Manetti R, Nesi G, Sera F, Zanna I, Dogliotti E, Testai E. GSTT1 and GSTM1 gene polymorphisms and gastric cancer in a high-risk italian population. International journal of cancer 2005;115(2):284-289.
  59. Palli D, Saieva C, Luzzi I, Masala G, Topa S, Sera F, Gemma S, Zanna I, D'Errico MR, Zini E, Guidotti S, Valeri A, Fabbrucci P, Moretti R, Testai E, Del Giudici G, Ottini L, Matullo G, Dogliotti E, Gomez Miguel MJ. Interleukin-1 gene polymorphisms and gastric cancer risk in a high-risk Italian population. American journal of gastroenterology 2005;100(9):1941-1948.
  60. Gemma S, Vittozzi L, Testai E. Metabolism of chloroform in the human liver and identification of the competent P450s. Drug metabolism and disposition 2003;31(3):266-274.

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