Conference focus: Alternatives to animal use in research

UW scientist co-chairs gathering; attendees represent diverse global group

Media Contact: Brian Donohue, 206.543.7856,

Nearly a thousand scientists and activists from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia are scheduled to attend the 10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences Aug. 20-24 in Seattle.

Jointly sponsored by the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins schools of public health and the Environmental Protection Agency, the event will draw life-sciences specialists to discuss how to replace, reduce and refine – known as “the three R’s” – animal use in research and safety testing.

Globally, millions of animals are used every year for experimental research. Mice, rats, rabbits, fish and primates have contributed to medical advances such as insulin, antibiotics, asthma inhalers and vaccines. Many people argue, however, that the pain and distress experienced by animals is both unethical and unnecessary.

“This event marks a significant anniversary for progress in the three R’s,” said Elaine Faustman, UW professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. “Recent regulatory and funding opportunities have opened doors to allow science to help us in our commitment to find alternatives.”

The event at the Washington State Convention Center brings together bench scientists, ethicists, risk assessors, regulators, drug and chemical companies as well as funding agencies. Representatives of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, are also scheduled to take part.

The scientific program is diverse, including models of brain disorders and disease, and in vitro techniques to assess genetic variation in response to drugs and chemicals (human and rodent cell models).

Among the plenary speakers are Jonathan Samet, new dean of the Colorado School of Public Health; Jacques Leclaire, scientific director of research and innovation at the L’Oreal Group; and Margaret Landi, a diplomat at the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

The Congress will also feature satellite meetings, product workshops and reporting sessions on the latest developments in the field.  Details at the event website

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Tags:public healthanimal testing

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