Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
UK Leads the Way in Socially Responsible Cruelty-Free Testing
Campaigners for the end of animal testing have welcomed news that leading UK humane medical research charity Dr Hadwen Trust (DHT) and Queen Mary, University of London, have joined forces on an initiative dedicated to the research of human-relevant methods and alternatives to animal use in several areas of bio-medical research.
The Dr Hadwen Trust will fund the first Professorial Chair in animal replacement science, thanks to a £1 million (US$1.5 million) legacy left to the DHT specifically for this purpose by lifelong supporter Alan Stross.
The successful applicant will be based at Queen Mary's Blizard Institute, a pioneer in the development of in vitro models using human cells and tissue, and specialized in the development of three-dimensional models in cutaneous, gastroenterology and cancer research. The DHT Professorial Chair at the Blizard Institute will play a pivotal role in leading the UK's response to this legislative change in creating links between scientists in the sector and in identifying areas of best practice in replacement science. It is also intended that educational programs specific to animal replacement science will be developed to inspire more young people to choose a career in the field.
Kailah Eglington, Chief Executive of the Dr Hadwen Trust, said: "Creating the world's first professorial chair in animal replacement science is a major stepping stone towards the development of a global community of scientists working together towards finding cures that replace the use of animals and are more human-relevant. This branch of science is becoming increasingly accepted among the scientific community and it is vital that new and existing scientists and researchers are aware that successful alternatives to animal testing are available today and that more are needed."
A change in UK legislation, directed by the EU, comes into force this month (January 2013) which ensures that alternative, non-animal research techniques are used in medical research if they are available.
"Areas of special focus will include 3D cell culture, 3D modeling and bioinformatics and regenerative medicine with particular emphasis on, but not limited to, diseases of the skin and the digestive tract," added professor Mike Curtis, Director of the Blizard Institute and Deputy Vice Principal for Health at Queen Mary, University of London.
Applications for the DHT Professorial Chair in Animal Replacement Science at the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary will be invited in March 2013.
2013 is a milestone year for animal rights campaigners, since legislation banning animal research for cosmetics and cleaning products across the EU will come into effect in this period. Israel also announced a ban on the import and sale of those products that have been tested on animals, which will be enforced to parallel the EU ban.
Image credit: DHT