The International Comet Assay Working Group (ICAWG) was founded as a specialist interest group of the European Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EEMGS) in 2020.

The group was created by hCOMET COST-Action (CA15132) members and organisers of the International Comet Assay Workshops (ICAW), a series of scientific conferences dealing with practical and theoretical aspects of the comet assay, aimed at both experienced and new users of this popular technique.

ICAWG exists to unit those scientists working in the field of genetic toxicology, DNA damage and DNA repair with interest in the comet assay (a.k.a. single cell gel electrophoresis). It encompasses research into the mode-of-action of genotoxic agents and associations of genome instability markers with disease outcomes, and applications of this knowledge in the field of regulatory toxicology, biomonitoring studies, (nutritional) interventions as well as clinical studies. A topic of growing interest is the genotoxic effects of nanomaterials on humans and the environment. Studies into the impact of genotoxic agents on genome stability in organisms other than man –a field known as ecogenotoxicology– is also gaining attention.

ICAWG aims to foster multi-disciplinary links between academics, industrial partners and regulatory bodies. Such multi-disciplinary collaborations have helped regulation to keep up with the science and to develop new in vitro models and techniques for genotoxicity testing.

ICAWG members include toxicologists, molecular epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, clinicians and others with interest in genetic toxicology and/or the comet assay. Young members are involved in the society as much as possible and given extra opportunities to contribute to ICAWG’s meetings and to broaden their knowledge. We encourage members from all parts of the EEMGS to stand for election to the committee when vacancies arise. Contested elections are a sure way of maintaining the quality of the officers serving the society.