Paul Carmichael appointed special professor of Toxicology

Published on
June 16, 2020

The executive board of Wageningen University & Research has appointed dr Paul Carmichael as special professor of Toxicology within the Toxicology chair group headed by prof. dr ir. Ivonne Rietjens. The appointment came into effect on 1 March 2020 and the chair is funded by Unilever. Paul Carmichael has been working Unilever for over 16 years as a senior-toxicologist and research leader.

How can I poison someone without being traced?

"How can I poison someone without being traced?" This scientific, and slightly disconcerting, question prompted a passion for toxicology in young Paul Carmichael. Almost fifty years later, he is a renowned toxicologist. He combines his work for Unilever with international travel to talk about his profession and about eliminating laboratory animals in toxicity testing.

About Prof. dr Paul Carmichael

Paul Caremichael

Prof. dr Paul Carmichael (born in Wimbledon, England, 1963) has over thirty years of experience in the field of toxicology. He has been working for the Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) of Unilever in the United Kingdom (UK) since 2004. There, he is responsible for the development and implementation of novel research methods that safeguard the health of both humans and the environment, without the use of lab animals. Before his career at Unilever, he taught at the medical faculty of the Imperial College of London. His subjects were pharmacology and toxicology.

Carmichael obtained his bachelor's degree in biochemistry/toxicology at Surrey University and went on to earn his PhD at King's College London. He was a post-doc at the Institute of Cancer Research of the Royal Marsden Hospital for seven years. He has strong scientific ties with Peking University in China and is an adjunct associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University in the United States.

Impact without lab animals

Paul Carmichael's passion is to further safety research of ingredients for nutrition and consumer products. One of the industry's major challenges is: What happens when ingredient X enters the body or bloodstream? Is it safe? Carmichael works on an approach using new research methods dubbed Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA). The essence of this is to study the impact of chemicals on the body in vitro (in a laboratory setting) without using laboratory animals. He looks forward to collaborating with WUR PhD candidates to address the current shortcomings of this approach and the new technologies it uses.

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