The Art of Compassion
25th Anniversary Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine


2010 Henry J. Heimlich, M.D. Award for Innovative Medicine Recipient:
Gilman D. Veith, Ph.D.
International QSAR Foundation

Gilman D. Veith, Ph.D., is the founder and president of the nonprofit International QSAR Foundation to Reduce Animal Testing (IQF), an innovative technology organization that develops and promotes the use of computer models to predict toxicity of chemicals without the use of animals.

Dr. Veith is a long-recognized expert in the development and use of QSARs, shorthand for quantitative structure-activity relationships. This scientific field blends computer science, biology, and chemistry to identify correlations between chemical structures and biological effects. QSARs serve as models to predict the side effects of untested chemicals without ever having to test the chemical. IQF develops, implements, and supports new QSAR technologies for use in regulation, research, education, or wherever testing animals with chemicals is now required. Every QSAR model eliminates the need for animal testing for another side effect and class of chemicals.

Dr. Veith believes that the need for reliable alternatives to animal testing is an important moral animal welfare issue, but that the need does not stop there. Government authorities do not have adequate time to evaluate thoroughly animal test data for more than a small fraction of the chemicals being marketed.

At the same time, the rising cost of animal testing for new chemicals is a major economic factor for the chemical industry. Creating nonanimal alternatives to today’s tests is a common ground for progress. IQF’s vision is to reduce reliance on animal tests without loss of public safety.

Dr. Veith and IQF were instrumental in the development of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) QSAR Application Toolbox.

OECD is an international body that coordinates testing policies from various countries. PCRM serves as the elected Secretariat of the International Council for Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO), which encourages OECD to incorporate alternatives to animal use in chemical testing. The QSAR Toolbox, which allows scientists and regulators to easily access information about the potential toxicity of a chemical, is a direct result of ICAPO’s efforts to reduce animal testing.

IQF has trained more than 150 scientists from Europe, Asia, and the United States on OECD’s QSAR Toolbox. The widespread adoption and use of this toolbox will save countless animals around the world, while making chemical toxicity hazards easier and faster to predict.

Dr. Veith received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Prior to founding IQF, he served as the associate director for ecology of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory. Following his retirement from the EPA, Dr. Veith founded IQF and designed the OECD Toolbox. Dr. Veith has published extensively on the use of QSARs in regulatory risk assessment.

In 2007, this award was presented to Randal Charlton of Asterand.

In 2005, this award was presented to Chris Toly of SimuLab Corporation.

Learn more about the award >

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