PETA Scientists Promote Animal-Free Toxicity Testing Through Awards

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3 min read

Update: June 05, 2019

Patrícia Zoio has completed the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) Summer School program, and her poster on a human skin-on-a-chip model earned an Excellent Poster Award!

PETA International Science Consortium

On winning the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. Early-Career Scientist Award to attend the program and on her experience in it, Zoio had this to say:

“I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the JRC Summer School. It was really amazing to see so many people getting together to actively engage in discussions about alternatives to animal testing! I came back very optimistic about the future of science and with many new ideas about how to improve my current work, which focuses on the development of a fully humanized skin-on-a-chip. It was possible to share valuable knowledge with scientists from many different countries and areas of research—and I really believe that, together, we will make animal-free science a reality.”

Originally posted on April 3, 2019:

This week, the PETA International Science Consortium announced that Patrícia Zoio, a Ph.D. student from the NOVA University of Lisbon, has won its Early-Career Scientist Award to attend a training course on non-animal test methods. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Summer School, taking place in Ispra, Italy, from May 21 to 24, will allow participants to explore some of the most recent advancements in the field of non-animal tests. Patrícia, who is developing a skin-on-a-chip model that could replace the use of animals in long-term skin tests, will attend lectures and interactive sessions and visit a laboratory dedicated to developing alternatives to animal tests.

Patricia Zoio

This award is the latest in a series of awards granted by the Science Consortium, all of which aim to replace the use of animals in toxicity tests for chemicals. Several other Early-Career Scientist Awards, which covered expenses to attend important conferences and workshops such as the Institute for In Vitro Sciences Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop and the 20th International Congress on In Vitro Toxicology, for example, were also given out. These awards are vital to ensuring that the next generation of toxicologists is equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to implement modern animal-free tests.

The Science Consortium has also awarded researchers with free technology. For example, partnering with biotech company Epithelix, it supplied researchers with three-dimensional human tissue models of the respiratory tract that can be used to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and household products without using animals.

It also teamed up with MatTek Corporation to distribute free three-dimensional human tissue models that can replace the use of rabbits in tests in which chemicals are applied directly to their eyes and the use of rats in deadly inhalation tests in which they are squeezed into narrow tubes and forced to inhale toxic substances. Along with free three-dimensional tissues, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of testing equipment from VITROCELL—devices that can be used to expose cells to chemicals instead of using animals—has also been given out.

Overall, the Science Consortium and its members have donated millions of dollars toward improving and implementing non-animal test methods, including funding their development and validation and organizing free workshops, webinars, and training opportunities for scientists.

Are You a Science-Savvy Animal Advocate?

Scientists who share this passion for replacing animal tests with efficient and effective non-animal methods can apply to join the team and be a part of its lifesaving work.

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