Young researcher wins PETA International Science Consortium Award

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Gaithersburg, Md. — The PETA International Science Consortium is excited to announce the winner of its second annual Early-Career Scientist Award, which sends a scientist to the prestigious Institute for In Vitro Sciences' Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop. Dr. María Laura Gutiérrez, a researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was chosen from a pool of highly skilled applicants from around the world as the winner of a coveted spot at the annual four-day workshop. Held in January in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the workshop will include lectures by experts in the field of in vitro toxicology as well as opportunities for hands-on laboratory experience using human cells or tissue models in skin and eye irritation, skin allergy, and respiratory toxicity tests.

At the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Dr. Gutiérrez and a team of scientists are working to advance the development and implementation of non-animal methods to test cosmetics, pesticides, and household products. These methods will replace animal tests, including ones in which harmful chemicals are smeared onto rabbits' skin or into their eyes. Dr. Gutiérrez's goal is to establish the first laboratory in Argentina dedicated to the promotion of non-animal test methods.

"The PETA International Science Consortium is thrilled to recognize this trailblazing early-career scientist and support her in her efforts," says Consortium Director Dr. Amy Clippinger. "Dr. Gutiérrez's work to establish a non-animal testing laboratory and train researchers in Argentina will have a far-reaching impact on the reduction of animal tests."

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 in these methods. The Consortium helps to fill this gap by providing awards and free educational materials on non-animal testing strategies, including factsheets, tutorials, webinars, and videos.

The Consortium is dedicated to furthering the education of talented young scientists through award competitions and educational materials with the goal of helping the next generation of scientists advance non-animal test methods.

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. works to accelerate the development, validation, and global implementation of animal-free testing. 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 millions of dollars toward helping to reduce and replace animal use.

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS), 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.

For more information, please visit PISCLtd.org.uk or IIVS.org.

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