Staff Profile: Extreme Makeover: One Scientist’s Story: Chad B. Sandusky, Ph.D.
The small classified ad in the Washington Post announcing a PCRM job seemed to leap off the page to Chad Sandusky as he glanced through the science jobs one sunny Sunday in August 2002. The respected toxicologist had often felt a vague uneasiness about his work at the Environmental Protection Agency and as a consultant for the chemical industry—which often required ordering animal tests. Here was his chance to do something about it.
After more than 30 years in a discipline based largely on animal tests, the 59-year-old Duke and Emory alumnus has boldly redefined himself as someone who cares deeply about the hundreds of millions of animals used each year in animal experiments. Now the director of toxicology and research for PCRM, Dr. Sandusky is working at the national and international levels to eliminate the use of animals in medical education, toxicity testing, and medical research.
“Once I starting thinking outside the science-as-usual box, I began to see that animal research isn’t just cruel—it’s not good science, nor is it a wise use of resources,” says Dr. Sandusky. “Animals are just not good models for humans. I also have learned that animal tests have never actually been validated; they’ve just evolved over the years, yet our government holds cruelty-free alternative tests to impossible standards.”
Dr. Sandusky looks forward to PCRM expanding its advocacy role into newly developing areas of science. “Years from now, when we look back on this period in our culture, we will wonder why we took so long to change,” he says. “It feels good to be on the right side of history.”