PETA Science Group Awards Boost Animal-Free Research


Published June 21, 2024 by .

2 min read

Two awards in the bag! Dr. Jens Kurreck, a professor of applied biochemistry at Technische Universität Berlin and an expert in bioprinting technology, received free equipment from PETA Science Consortium International e.V. that can help replace the use of animals to test what happens when humans inhale a substance.

Dr. Jens Kurreck (right), winner of awards from PETA Science Consortium International e.V.

“We are happy that we won this award,” Dr. Kurreck said. “The … equipment is of key importance for the further development of our bioprinted lung models, which we use for infection studies.”

Dr. Kurreck also received a cash award from the Science Consortium to run a laboratory that doesn’t use animal “ingredients.”

Inhalation toxicity tests kill an estimated 1 million animals each year.

One of the many ways the Science Consortium helps end the use of animals in toxicity tests is by ensuring that researchers have the tools they need to replace animal testing with modern, animal-free methods. The Science Consortium awards researchers with free three-dimensional, human cell–based tissue models and equipment.

Dr. Kurreck was the most recent winner of one of these awards. His laboratory was one of three that received free equipment used in a common test to predict whether a chemical can compromise the lung barrier and enter the bloodstream. Thanks to awards from the Science Consortium, these laboratories now have the latest version of this lifesaving technology to use in their research.

Every year, up to 1.8 million unborn calves are killed worldwide to produce fetal bovine serum.

Testing on cells in petri dishes is one way to assess the toxicity of chemicals without testing on animals. However, growing and testing those cells in laboratories require solutions that often contain animal-derived ingredients.

Fetal bovine serum is obtained from the blood of fetal calves after their mothers are slaughtered for meat. The Science Consortium works to replace its use with animal-free components that will improve research and rid laboratories of animal parts.

Funding from the Science Consortium will help Dr. Kurreck run a laboratory where students can practice using cells that aren’t reliant on fetal bovine serum or other animal-derived ingredients.

With Every Donation, PETA Scientists Help Prevent Animals From Being Used in Chemical Tests

For more than 10 years, the Science Consortium has collaborated with government agencies, academia, contract research organizations, and companies to replace tests on animals with human-relevant, non-animal methods.



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