BTS COMMITTEE

DNA

Dr Carol Courage

I completed my Pharmacology Honours degree in University College Dublin in 1986 and my PhD ‘Development of In Vitro Screening Systems for Anticonvulsant-Induced Teratogenesis’ in UCD in 1991. I did two post docs, the first in Aston University in Birmingham (1991 to 1993) investigating Protein Kinase C Inhibitors as potential chemotherapeutic agents and the second one in the MRC Unit in Leicester (1993 to 1996) targeting potential areas of the signal transduction pathways for the development of anticancer drugs.
I then worked as Senior toxicologist, in the Toxicology and Risk Assessment group at the MRC Institute for Environment and Health, University of Leicester (1996-2003). Alternating between projects as project leader and team member, I conducted critical reviews and risk assessments on projects relating to chemicals in our environment and the potential risk to human health. I was also the Scientific Secretariat and liaison to the Interdepartmental Group on Health Risks to Chemicals, who were looking to harmonise risk assessment approaches across the government departments.
This was followed by my position with Unilever as Senior toxicologist, in the Toxicology and Risk Assessment group at the Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (1996-Feb 2018). Alternating between projects as project leader and team member, I conduct critical reviews and risk assessments on projects relating to chemicals in our environment via food and personal care products and the potential risk to human health. My role in SEAC was varied. As well as conducting risk assessments, of which I did the more complex assessments, I also mentored junior toxicologists. I was also involved in the research end looking for new methodologies for risk assessment to overcome the difficulties presented by the inability to use animal data now and in the future.
My current position is with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) (March 2018 to date) as a Senior Toxicologist and Product Safety Manager within the Safety, Regulatory and Compliance team. This involves conducting safety assessments to support the entire personal care portfolio worldwide. As part of the management team I am involved in: building our strategy both internally and externally, representing WBA on external committees such as the Preservatives Protection Project run by Cosmetics Europe, further developing our Cosmetovigilance database globally, extending our network of dermatologists to more fully understand the effects of chemicals on different populations, age groups and supporting and developing our young toxicologists.
I have been a member of the BTS for over 20 years. I helped Mazin Derzi set up the Risk Assessment Speciality Group as Secretary and then took over the Chair and have been chair for over 12 years. We have had a symposium in every annual conference since the group was in place. To my delight I was awarded the FBTS in 2018.
I served as a Committee member for the Royal Society of Chemistry for several years and was Chair for 3 years.
I was a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Toxicology for 3 years..