Young scientist wins PETA Science Consortium Award for Commitment to Animal-Free Research

Chapel Hill, N.C. — The results are in for the PETA International Science Consortium's contest to send one early-career scientist to the annual four-day workshop at the prestigious Institute for In Vitro Sciences. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill toxicology doctoral student Brett Winters beat out a spate of highly qualified applicants from around the world to nab the coveted spot. The intensive workshop, held in January in Gaithersburg, Maryland, will include lectures by experts in the field of in vitro (or non-animal) toxicology as well as hands-on laboratory experience using human cells or tissue models in skin and eye irritation and skin allergy tests.

Winters won not only for his commitment to creating and applying humane technology-based testing methods but also for promoting their use among scientists. He is currently working to develop an animal-free inhalation model to test the toxicity of airborne substances, which could replace the current method that involves squeezing rats into tiny tubes and forcing them to inhale toxic chemicals.

"The future of toxicology lies in animal-free testing methods and in pioneering scientists like Mr. Winters," says Science Consortium Director Dr. Amy Clippinger. "The PETA International Science Consortium is delighted to be able to help this innovative young scientist on his path toward advancing in vitro research."

While human-relevant, animal-free research methods are vital to a career in toxicology and are being widely adopted by industry leaders, graduate school programs often lag behind the times in providing a comprehensive background on these methods. This award helps to bridge that gap.

In addition to awards, the Science Consortium offers free educational materials on non-animal test strategies, including factsheets, tutorials, webinars, and videos.

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. works to accelerate the development, validation, and global implementation of animal-free science. It was established in 2012 to coordinate the scientific and regulatory expertise of its members–PETA, PETA U.K., PETA Germany, PETA India, PETA Netherlands, PETA France, PETA Asia, and PETA Australia. The Consortium and its members have donated more than $3 million to help reduce and replace animal use.

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc., is a nonprofit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the advancement of in vitro methods worldwide. Founded in 1997, IIVS has worked with industry and government agencies to implement in vitro testing strategies that limit animal use while supplying key information for product safety and efficacy decisions.

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