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History of PETA Science Consortium International Awards

PETA Science Consortium International eV recognizes and rewards scientists who embrace modern, animal-free testing methods. Some of the awards are exclusively for early-career scientists, such as undergraduate and graduate students, because school curricula are often slow to provide comprehensive training in human-relevant, animal-free research methods. The awards cover travel costs, allowing early-career scientists to attend conferences and workshops to deepen their knowledge of animal experimentation methods and participate in networking opportunities that can help them. to advance their careers.

Recent Travel Grant Winners

Congratulations are in order for Tiffany Yanez Zapata (regulatory toxicologist at Diversey) and Elena Chung (a doctoral student in Computational and Integrative Biology at Rutgers University) for winning the Science Consortium Award for attending the Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science.

Taking place at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park, NC from June 7-10, 2022, the summer school will provide Tiffany and Elena with the opportunity to learn more about innovative approaches to experimentation non-animal, including in vitro and computer models. They will also meet PETA scientists who will be present and presenting at the event.

The Scientific Consortium is also pleased to announce the winner Alicia ReyesValenzuela, a Ph.D. student in biological and biomedical engineering at McGill University in Montreal. She will travel to Nice, France, to attend the Lung In Vitro Event for innovative and predictive models on June 13 and 14, 2022. There she will learn more about human cells in vitro lung models and meet PETA scientists who will be presenting at the event.

To date, the Science Consortium has sent early career scientists to conferences and workshops around the world, such as the Institute for In Vitro Sciences Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop, the Society’s International Congress Institute of In Vitro Toxicology, the European Commission’s Joint Research Center Summer School on Non-Animal Science Approaches and the annual conference of the Society of Toxicology, the world’s largest toxicology event, attracts thousands of participants each year.

Equipment and cash prizes for scientists adopting non-animal methods

In addition to early career science awards, the Science Consortium regularly awards awards to researchers to ensure they have the tools they need to replace the use of animals in testing with modern methods and without animals.

The Science Consortium is currently co-arranging grants for scientists to obtain free antibodies to use in their research. These antibodies will replace those obtained by injecting animals with viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances, then repeatedly bleeding them or inserting needles into their abdomens.

In early 2022, the Science Consortium donated equipment worth $20,000 to a contract research organization that exclusively develops and conducts non-animal testing to replace the use of rabbits in testing in which chemicals are applied directly to their eyes.

peta science international consortium awards high-tech equipment to scientists
The Science Consortium previously partnered with biotech company MatTek Life Sciences in 2021 and 2015 and Epithelix in 2018 to provide scientists with free three-dimensional human tissue models of the airways that can be used to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals , industrial chemicals, pesticides and household products – instead of squeezing rats into narrow tubes and forcing them to inhale toxic substances.

Rats squeezed into inhalation tubes.

In 2019, the Science Consortium had sent hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of VITROCELL test equipment to labs in the United States and Europe. These devices can be used, in place of animals, to expose cells to chemicals. In 2021, the Science Consortium, in partnership with MedTec Biolab, awarded a similar device to a lab in Canada.

The Science Consortium also awarded cash prizes to researchers for contributing scientific information to an online database, Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Wiki. AOPs are used to organize existing scientific information and help scientists understand the events that lead to an undesirable outcome when an organism is exposed to a chemical. AOPs can also be used to design non-animal experimentation approaches. Winners of the Science Consortium awards have contributed hundreds of updates to the AOP-Wiki.

Overall, the Science Consortium and its members have donated millions of dollars to improve and implement non-animal testing methods, including funding their development and validation, as well as hosting free workshops, webinars and training opportunities for scientists.