Cleveland Scientist to Showcase Cutting-Edge Animal-Free Research at International Conference

For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cleveland – A Cleveland restaurateur and PETA senior science advisor will be among the scientists presenting findings at the virtual conference of the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences this week. Thousands of attendees will hear from Dr. Frances Cheng and other PETA scientists on matters ranging from scientific and ethical concerns regarding inflicting permanent brain damage on primates to toxicity testing on rabbits.

Cheng is a Case Western Reserve University graduate with a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics who currently works in PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department. She also owns the award-winning Cleveland vegan restaurant Foodhisattva.

“PETA has more scientists working on non-animal testing methods than any other animal protection organization, and we’re proud to share our research at the premier conference on modern research,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Superior, cutting-edge tools are the future, and we’re eager to work with the global research community to advance their use.”

PETA scientists are chairing four sessions and will present two oral presentations and 16 posters. Posters by the group’s scientists, including Cheng, will include the following.

  • The Rodent in the Room—Considering Sentience in Research Programs Using Mice and Rats: This poster showcases how the mounting scientific evidence for sentience in animals commonly used in experimentation must be considered in harm/benefit analyses of biomedical research.
  • Global Effort to End Animal Testing for Health Claims of Foods and Beverages: This poster, to be presented by Cheng, highlights PETA’s successful efforts to get food and beverage companies to stop conducting tests on animals in order to make health claims about their products.
  • International Harmonization of Non-Animal Methods for Biomedical Training: This poster, also to be presented by Cheng, shares information about the cost-effective, human-relevant technological advances that can replace the millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals used in biomedical training every year.
  • The Problem of Pain in Animal Experimentation: This poster explores the scientific and ethical ramifications of the high rate of untreated pain in animals used in experiments.
  • In Vitro Approach for Assessing Respiratory Toxicity in Human Lung Cells: This poster describes how human cell-based systems can replace the use of rats and mice in tests to assess how inhaled chemicals affect the lungs.
  • International Approaches to Implementing Alternative Test Methods for Marine Biotoxins in Shellfish: This poster outlines how non-animal methods are superior for detecting toxins in shellfish than tests involving injecting them into the abdomens of mice.
  • Certain Harms and Uncertain Benefits in Animal Models for the Study of Human Depression and Anxiety: This poster critiques several harmful and commonly used animal models of anxiety and depression, including the forced swim test, the tail suspension test, and the elevated plus maze.
  • Ethical and Scientific Concerns Regarding the Continued Use of Experimentally Induced Brain Injuries in Primates: This poster discusses whether inflicting permanent, debilitating brain damage on primates is ethically or scientifically justifiable.

The conference will screen the award-winning film Test Subjects, which profiles Cheng and two other PETA scientists who faced pressure in graduate school to experiment on animals. The group’s scientists will also present details on their Research Modernization Deal, a commonsense plan to phase out the use of ineffective animal tests in the U.S., the EU, and India.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind