Oct. 24-25, 2023 | The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City – Arlington, Va.

Innovation is at the heart of the personal care products industry and delivering safe, high-quality cosmetics is the highest priority. Ensure your products meet regulatory, safety and quality requirements by improving your understanding of the latest science and technology promoting the successful development and marketing of personal care products. 

Open to both PCPC members and non-members, join more than 300 scientific and regulatory industry leaders to explore cosmetic science. The forward-thinking, interdisciplinary Symposium offers a chance to engage with colleagues and explore game-changing insights facing the industry in the areas of microbiology, quality assurance, safety and the environment.

The Symposium includes two workshop tracks running concurrently on each day:

Filter By Date:

Oct. 24, 2023

About the Speaker

Alexandra Kowcz
Chief Scientist

Alexandra Kowcz is chief scientist for PCPC, overseeing PCPC’s scientific programs, technical committees and publications, and serves as the industry’s scientific liaison for domestic and international organizations.

She joined PCPC in 2018 after serving as vice president of U.S. Research & Development at Beiersdorf, Inc., which manufactures personal care brands, including Nivea, Eucerin and Aquaphor. Kowcz managed U.S. product development, medical and scientific affairs, clinical testing, product safety testing, analytical testing, microbiology, regulatory, claims substantiation, chemical processing and new technology research.

She has held a number of R&D positions at Procter & Gamble, Bristol Myers International, Richardson-Vicks, Clairol, Inc., Centerchem, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Kowcz is the author and co-author of numerous patents, publications, chapters and scientific poster presentations. She has presented at many national and international meetings on technical subjects dealing with formulation chemistry, skin research, competitive intelligence, technological innovation, claims development and chemical processing.

She holds degrees in biology and chemistry from Fairfield University, completed graduate projects at Boston College and received her M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. She is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and the American Academy of Dermatology.

About the Speaker

Linda M. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R.
Director, Office of Cosmetics and Colors
U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Linda M. Katz, M.D., is the director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC).  Dr. Katz joined FDA in 1989 in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), first as a primary medical officer and later as team leader and acting director of the Pilot Drug Evaluation Staff which reviewed anti-rheumatic drugs, anesthetic agents and drugs of abuse. Her subsequent appointments in CDER included deputy director of the Division of Dermatologic and Dental Drug Products and deputy director of the Division of Over-the-Counter Drug Products. In 2002, Dr. Katz joined CFSAN in her present position and additionally served 10 years as the acting chief medical officer. 

In her current role as OCAC office director, Dr. Katz is responsible for establishing the strategic plans for OCAC and directing regulatory and research activities. She also is responsible for liaising with industry, nongovernmental organizations, consumers, stakeholder groups, and national and international regulators on policy and research related issues. She is recognized nationally and internationally for cosmetic initiatives involving harmonization, safety and legislative activities.  

Dr. Katz received her M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She did her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Rheumatology at the George Washington Medical Center. Dr. Katz is an elected fellow in the American College of Physicians, as well as a fellow in the American College of Rheumatology. In addition, Dr. Katz has taught at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and has numerous publications in the scientific and medical literature.   

Discover a new paradigm in microbiologist training as PCPC leads the way in fostering collaboration between experts and academia. This efficient approach empowers the next generation of microbiologists to ensure high microbial integrity from day one, reducing the risk of product recalls in the industry.

About the Speaker

Michael Loewenstein
Vice President, Scientific Consulting
Q Labs LLC

Michael Loewenstein is the current vice president of Scientific Consulting at Q Labs LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio. Loewenstein earned his B.S. in Microbiology with a research focus in Molecular Genetics and Cellular Physiology from The Ohio State University. After graduation in 2011, Loewenstein obtained a position in corporate R&D Microbiology at Procter & Gamble before joining Q Labs in January 2019.

Throughout the course of his career, Loewenstein has developed a passion for “end-to-end” microbiology from product development and formulation through microbiological control of manufacturing. He has published several articles and given numerous public presentations on this and related subjects. 

Loewenstein currently serves in an active volunteer capacity for several professional associations, including the Microbiology Committee and Manufacturing Hygiene Task Force of PCPC, the AOAC Research Institute as an expert reviewer, the AIMS Legionella advisory panel for AOAC International a founding member and the cooling water subcommittee of the Association of Water Technologies (AWT).

A discussion will be presented on the topics of different biodegradation test designs such as ‘Ready’ Biodegradability, ‘Inherent’ Biodegradability and ‘Simulation’ Testing. The relevance of these test designs and some of the challenges biodegradation testing may present to the personal care industry will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Sean McLaughlin

Sandy Raimondo

Unlock effective cross-departmental communication using principles from social psychology and managerial training to amplify the importance of microbiology in safeguarding product integrity and consumer safety throughout the development process, spanning from R&D to production.

About the Speaker

Irina Agro

Research into animal alternative methods for application in environmental hazard assessment have resulted in a growing compendium of approaches, many accepted at the OECD level. Scott Belanger will cover those focused on traditional environmental needs in acute and chronic toxicity testing and offer views on what stands in our way to make quicker and more meaningful processes. The personal care industry is a direct beneficiary of this research and will also drive future efforts.

About the Speaker

Scott Belanger
Formerly Procter & Gamble

Discover the vital role of supplier partnerships in the cosmetics business, as Geoff Waby
shares essential insights on how to create successful collaborations. Learn about qualifying
suppliers, measuring performance, and leveraging the interdependence between brand
owners and third-party providers to launch products effectively.

About the Speaker

Geoff Waby
Regulatory Affairs & Vigilance Officer
Obelis USA

Geoff Waby has more than 30 years of experience, firstly with P&G and secondly with Estée Lauder.  He led the Quality Assurance organizations in both Europe and North America.  In this role, he was responsible for quality in suppliers, third party manufacturers and in-house R&D and manufacturing.  He has also worked in a third party testing facility doing both microbiological and analytical tests.  He has been responsible for supplier selection, qualification and performance improvement covering both product launch and ongoing supply and distribution. 

 Waby has been an active member of Cosmetics Europe and now PCPC.  He is currently the co-lead of a PCPC task force which has established a hygienic manufacturing graduate certificate course with the James L Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati.  He is currently an independent consultant and is associated with Obelis USA as regulatory affairs & vigilance officer.  Obelis provides MoCRA support to domestic and international companies. 

Morgan Willming & Heather Summers

Partnering with a skilled Contract Manufacturer can enhance a brand’s innovation pipeline, hasten market entry and drive growth. This session covers crucial aspects, including specialized development, production capabilities, and supply chain factors, aiming to offer practical insights for selecting and collaborating with contract manufacturers to create and deliver innovative products to end consumers.

About the Speaker

Leigh Farris
Elevation Labs

Tim Verslycke

Explores health risks tied to refillable bulk-soap dispensers, highlighting their potential to harbor and transfer pathogenic bacteria, raising infection concerns for users. It also covers a conducted risk assessment focused on eye infections resulting from using contaminated soap dispensers before wearing contact lenses.

About the Speaker

Charles Gerba
University of Arizona

Chuck Gerba is a professor in the Department Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. He has authored more than 700 articles and several textbooks in environmental microbiology and risk assessment. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the USEPA Science Advisory Board and the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Advisory Bord.

Among his current research projects include assessment of novel technologies for the control of pathogens at home and public facilities; use of wastewater-based epidemiology to determine incidence of microbial infections in communities and disease spread by fomites.

His research has appeared in numerous magazines, including Readers Digest, Prevention and AARP Magazine, and TV shows, including Good Morning America, Today Show, 48 hours, The View, Fox and Friends, etc.

Jay West
American Chemistry Council

Discover the latest formats resisting contamination in the cosmetics industry, addressing consumer safety concerns. Explore the market’s preservative-free offerings and the rigorous testing ensuring product integrity.

About the Speaker

Laura Frazier, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist

Laura Frazier earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Akron. Her dissertation was on electrospinning polymer nanofibers. Upon graduation, she worked for over 10 years at a startup focused on scaling up the electrospinning process and developing nanofiber products for a variety of industries, including cosmetics and medical devices. She then spent two years teaching chemistry and physics at her alma mater, Malone University, and is now the chief scientist for TaikiUSA, where she focuses on skincare applications for nanofibers. 

Concerns over the risk sunscreen ingredients may pose to aquatic organisms has triggered distrust among some consumers and isolated legislative bans for certain sunscreen products. Simultaneously, dermatologists recommend consistent sunscreen use as an important tool to reduce the risk of skin cancer. This talk introduces a framework to help quantify expected human and environmental health risks and benefits associated with varying sunscreen use scenarios, including frequency, intensity, and product types, to enable informed and holistic decision-making.

About the Speaker

Jennifer Saxe

Kurt Reynertson

Sabrina Behnke
Tri-K Industries, Inc.

Dennis Neeson
Colgate-Palmolive Company

Oct. 25, 2023

Alexandra Kowcz
Chief Scientist

Prashiela Manga

Moderator: Tom Myers, PCPC

Michael Dourson
Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment

Moderator: Kim Norman, PCPC

About the Speaker

Michael Dourson, Ph.D.
Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment

Michael Dourson has a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is a board-certified toxicologist (i.e., DABT) serving as president/director of the 501c3 nonprofit organization Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). Prior to this, he was senior advisor in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. EPA. Before this, he was a professor in the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and also worked at TERA and U.S. EPA.

Dourson has co-published more than 150 papers on risk assessment methods or chemical-specific analyses, co-authored well over 100 government risk assessment documents, and made over 150 invited presentations to a variety of organizations. He has been elected to multiple officer positions in the American Board of Toxicology (including its president), the Society of Toxicology (including the presidency of 3 specialty sections) and is currently the executive director of the Toxicology Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a vision to help our public understand the essentials of toxicology.  

Kimberle Farver

About the Speaker

Wendelyn Jones, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Science (IAFNS) 

Wendelyn Jones, Ph.D., has a strong scientific background in the food, agricultural and chemical industries and has over 20 years of global experience in industry and government. She works with IAFNS’s multi-sector scientists, trustees and staff to extend the organization’s contribution to and impact with diverse scientific and health communities. IFANS is a catalyst for the creation of scientific knowledge and dialogue, and their work enables solutions that lead to positive change across the entire food and beverage ecosystem. IAFNS supports the replacement, reduction, and refinement of the use of test animals through their scientific programming in food and nutritional sciences, and the Food Packaging Safety & Sustainability Committee expands scientific knowledge on toxicology, exposure and risk assessment related to the safety and sustainability of food packaging. 

Melissa Schneider
Compliance Insights


Theresa Michele

Moderator: AJ Cuevas, Combe

About the Speaker

Alison Ehrlich, M.D.

Alison Ehrlich, M.D., M.H.S., is a board-certified dermatologist currently practicing in the Washington, D.C., area. Following her residency in Dermatology, she completed a fellowship in Clinical Research and master’s in Clinical Research through a combined NIH/Duke program. She is the former founding chair and director of Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at The George Washington University, Medical Faculty Associates. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic contact dermatitis and psoriasis. She has participated as the dermatologist on the Cure JDM joint dermatology/rheumatology clinic and the psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis dermatology/rheumatology clinic while at the MFA.

Ehrlich is a past president of the DC Dermatological Society, past board member and vice president of the American Contact Dermatitis Society and past board member of the Women’s Dermatological Society and past Chair of the Access to Care committee for the American Academy of Dermatology. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for The Asthma and Allergy Foundation and on the Board of Directors. She is currently serving as board member of the Noah Worcester Society and the American Contact Dermatitis Society. She has lectured both within the U.S. and abroad on psoriasis and contact dermatitis and has published extensively on these topics. Her current research projects focus on psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.

Moderator: Anna Benevente, Registrar Corp

Alonza Cruse

Tom Cosgrove
Covington & Burling

About the Speaker

Gavin Maxwell, Ph.D.
Safety Science Advocacy Director

Gavin Maxwell, Ph.D., is Unilever SEAC’s safety science advocacy director and has worked for almost 20 years on developing and applying New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA). Maxwell is an immunologist by training and started his Unilever career working on developing non-animal approaches for Skin Sensitization Risk Assessment. Since 2022, most of his time has been spent accelerating use of NAMs for NGRA externally as industry co-chair for the European Partnership for Alternatives Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) and helping to establish the International Collaboration for Cosmetics Safety (ICCS), where he co-leads the Core Acceptance Team.  

Kim Norman

Kim Norman

Panelists: Stefanie O’Neal, Kao; Kristina Parkanzky, Amway; Rick Kingston, Safety Call; Tom Cosgrove, Covington & Burling; Alona Cruz, FDA; Christopher Hoyte, RMPDS.

Panelists: Stefanie O’Neal, Kao; Kristina Parkanzky, Amway; Rick Kingston, SafetyCall; Christopher Hoyte, RMPDS; Tom Cosgrove, Covington & Burling


Sponsorship Options and Exhibitor Info




Registrar Corp offers regulatory services and SaaS solutions to help cosmetics companies source suppliers, streamline workflow, and navigate requirements to better comply with FDA regulations. For more information, visit www.registrarcorp.com.



Q Labs is an independently owned and operated contract testing laboratory with deep expertise in Personal Care Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry and Stability testing services.





Delphic HSE is a leading provider of product safety and regulatory compliance services to the global consumer and industrial chemical markets. Visit www.delphichse.com.


Ecolab Life Sciences provides comprehensive solutions and technical expertise in cleaning, sanitization, and contamination control for pharmaceutical and personal care manufacturers. For more information, visit www.ecolab.com/lifesciences.

IIVS is a GLP-compliant Contract Research Organization focused on non-animal alternatives to toxicology and product safety testing.  We work with industry (including chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care companies) as well as academic and government organizations, performing testing services in non-animal models. In addition, IIVS assists in the validation of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) to traditional assays. As a non-profit entity, our laboratory activities and contributions fund our Education and Outreach programs, providing extensive training and active involvement in the advocacy and promotion of non-animal methods worldwide. For more information, visit www.iivs.org.

It’s 2023 and MoCRA is everyone’s top focus, for which our company can provide all the services you need. Of course, we are still providing OTC Drug registrations and EU services, but the window of time for U.S. cosmetics requirements is of critical importance. ICRS can help satisfy your MoCRA needs along with your existing EU|UK technical requirements. After 25 years, regulatory compliance for us is easy. Let us take care of MoCRA, so that you can do what you do best. We are the “Service you don’t think you need…Until you do!” International Cosmetics & Regulatory Specialists, LLC (intlcosmetics.com)


As the world’s leading experts in infectious disease products and services, Microbiologics is focused on protecting the health and safety of people around the world. We offer the largest collection of reference strains delivered in convenient, test-ready formats for simple, reliable microbiological QC. We’re also a trusted CRO partner providing a wide range of antimicrobial drug testing and consulting services.


Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Safety, a division of Denver Health, provides specialized services for consumer products to public health, government agencies, and the pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. Our company employs educated experts, delivering 24/7/365 contact center communication, exposure management, product stewardship and regulatory compliance support, including MoCRA, to numerous consumer grade big brand companies in the industry. Clients partner with us for our experience, technical knowledge, and professionalism. Web: www.rmpds.org / Email: mario.vigil@rmpds.org.

SafetyCall International operates the world’s largest 24/7 human and animal adverse event call center, providing clients and their customers with immediate, around-the-clock access to trusted health, safety and medical information. Its structure as a multidisciplinary health care practice provides manufacturers with adverse event management, regulatory reporting, post-market surveillance and consulting services. As nationally recognized experts in the collection and interpretation of spontaneously reported incident data, the professional staff has managed more than 2 million product incident cases in the past 30 years, significantly impacting product safety worldwide. SafetyCall® also operates Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control service for pet owners and veterinary professionals. For more information, visit http://safetycall.com.


The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City
1250 S Hayes St.
Arlington, VA 22202

Please use this link to book your hotel room. Hotel Room Cut-Off Date is Oct. 2, 2023. Discounted room rates and availability cannot be guaranteed after the cut-off date.

Other area hotels within one mile radius of The Ritz Carlton include Crystal City Marriott, Westin Crystal City and Crystal Gateway Marriott.



For other questions, please email events@personalcarecouncil.org.

All cancellations and refund requests must be in writing. Registrants may cancel and receive a full refund (minus $250 cancellation fee) until Aug. 25, 2023. Cancellations received from August 26 – September 25 will be refunded 50% of the registration fee. Cancellations after September 25 are nonrefundable.

Transfers of registration(s) are permitted to another person within your organization.


Register Now


Full Meeting Price  

Member: $1,345
Nonmember: $2,045
Government: $445*

One Day Price  

Member: $1,095  
Nonmember: $1,545
Government: $345*


* Please contact Shirley Gibbs to register at the government rate (gibbss@personalcarecouncil.org; (202) 454-0345). Government registration is not available online.