Testing lab wins inaugural award

UK-based testing laboratory XCellR8 has been awarded a first-of-its-kind research grant by animal rights organisation, PETA. The $5,000 award will support the company develop effective methods of testing chemicals without harming animals.

The new award has been created to honour Andrew Wheeler, an Administrator at the US Environmental Agency (EPA) who has worked to spare countless animals from chemical tests. The Pat C. Wheeler Scholarship is a tribute to his late mother, a life-long advocate for the humane treatment of all animals.

XCellR8 Founder and CEO, Dr Carol Treasure commented: “The XCellR8 team works tirelessly to develop and implement animal-free testing strategies, supporting global industry requirements for regulatory toxicity testing. We’re truly honoured to have our hard work recognised with the first ever Pat C. Wheeler Scholarship and the award will be used to fund research to accelerate the world’s transition to 100% animal-free testing.”

Wheeler’s team of scientists at the EPA and PETA scientists have been working to move the EPA towards reliable non-animal testing methods that protect humans and the environment. Under his leadership, the EPA announced that it would end its reliance on toxicity tests on mammals—and have since taken steps to do that.

"In the face of a flawed reliance on unreliable animal tests, Andrew Wheeler took action," says Dr. Amy Clippinger, director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Department. "PETA's grant honours the Administrator and his team for pioneering a shift toward superior non-animal testing approaches—and enables scientists to bring them to fruition."

“My mother was a supporter of the ethical treatment of animals all her life, so this scholarship is special for me and my family,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Scientific advances in cell-based testing and computation methods are now at a point that it’s no longer necessary, or even useful, to use animals in toxicity tests. I’m happy to be in a position to lead EPA in this direction.”

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