Deciphering Thyroid Hormone Disruption During Development

November 14, 2018
12:00 pm US Eastern Time

Today, non-infectious disease has largely superseded infectious disease as human health threats: for example, brain-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis) and neurodevelopmental disorders, including ASD and Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), have increased dramatically. Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development where they influence, through specific embryonic and post-natal periods, all the steps of brain development. In adults, thyroid hormones are essential to brain function and to general metabolism (thermogenesis, fat burning, etc.). As the number of compounds produced by chemical industries has increased by 300 fold since the 1970s, and many reports in the scientific literature show that many of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors (EDCs), Dr. Jean-Baptiste Fini and his team questioned the thyroid hormone disrupting effect of common chemicals.

In this webinar, Dr. Jean-Baptiste Fini, Senior Scientific Researcher at the French National Research Centre (CNRS), explained the crucial role of thyroid hormone during development, especially for harmonious brain development. He presented different approaches to testing mixtures of chemicals for their activity on the thyroid axis and their impact on physiology.

Featured Speaker

Jean-Baptiste FiniJean-Baptiste Fini, PhD, is a Senior Scientific Researcher (Assistant Professor equivalent) at the French National Research Centre (CNRS) in the “Living Organism Adaptation” department at the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN). He works within the “Physiological and Molecular Adaptation” team on thyroid hormone disruptors.

Dr. Fini leads a research group at a joint research unit CNRS/MNHN (Paris, France) on thyroid hormone signalling pathway disruptors and studies short- and long-term consequences of early exposure to different classes of chemical substances, either as single molecules or as mixtures. During the previous ten years, he has developed an assay to identify thyroid disruptors and their effects within Dr. Demeneix's team, who was awarded with the medal of innovation by the CNRS in 2014. Dr. Fini currently participates in several expert groups at the OECD (AOP, Thyroid) and is also part of the working group on endocrine disruptors at the French National Food Safety and Environment Agency (ANSES) until 2020.

He recently obtained project funding from the EU H2020 call on thyroid disruption (ATHENA starting in January 2019 and coordinated by A. Kortenkamp, UK) and from the ANSES on the effects of mixtures of endocrine disruptors on the myelination process. He has published 23 papers (PubMed), including four original ones in the last two years and three review chapters on EDCs and their effects.


This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Carol Kwiatkowski and Katie Pelch (TEDX), Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal Program on Endocrine Disruption Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Maria Williams (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page.

This webinar was moderated by Katie Pelch, PhD, Senior Scientist at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.