WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 250 students and early-career scientists from fifteen countries attended a free program on innovative methods to reduce and replace animal tests in toxicology and biomedical science, the first of its kind in North America.
With lectures, interactive sessions, e-poster presentations, and virtual engagement with speakers and attendees, the first Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science program took place as a virtual meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers included experts from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and more.
Jointly hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the program is a response to a growing need for scientists to be conversant in new approaches in toxicology and biomedical sciences. The program, which builds on two past events held at the European Commission Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, highlighted modern alternatives for using animals, including in vitro methods and computational modeling.
“It is crucial to accelerate the adoption of human-relevant research methods, and one way to do this is to connect with scientists about the need for and availability of nonanimal scientific testing methods,” said Kristie Sullivan, MPH, vice president of research policy at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “The feedback from attendees has been incredible; we heard from several participants that they will apply what they’ve learned for years to come.”
More information can be found at InnovativeScience2020.org.