Alternatives Research & Development Foundation recognizes achievements in reducing, refining, and replacing animals in testing
Frank Gerberick, a scientist at the Procter & Gamble Company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, received the William and Eleanor Cave Award last week at a private reception in Bethesda, Maryland.
The Award was presented by the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF) of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, before a gathering of dozens of colleagues at the third Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT).
ARDF President Sue Leary explained, “This recognition is for Frank Gerberick’s impressive career achievements in developing alternative test methods. He has been a real leader in the field.” Dr. Gerberick began his alternatives research in late 1980s, and in January 2014, European authorities accepted the Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay (DPRA), an alternative test method his team developed for skin sensitization. Over the years, he has been an author on over 160 scientific articles, and received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Society of Toxicology’s Animal Welfare Award.
Dr. Gerberick’s unique expertise in the areas of immunology, skin allergy, contact dermatitis, and modeling complex biological processes in vitro, have allowed him to develop rigorous scientific tools that regulators need to move away from traditional animal testing, while improving consumer safety.
Ms. Leary added, “Dr. Gerberick’s list of accomplishments may not capture another important quality that distinguishes his career: his professional collegiality and generosity. He is a model scientist in our view.”
Dr. Gerbrick expressed his appreciation of the Award, commenting, “I am thankful to ARDF for this recognition, and want to acknowledge the many people who have worked with me over the years. As everyone knows, it takes a great team to move this kind of science along and I share this Award with them. I am happy that we have been able to advance the field and benefit animals.”
The Cave Award typically carries an honorarium of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), but Dr. Gerberick made the generous gesture of refusing the honorarium, with the request that the funds be applied to ARDF’s Alternatives Research Grant Program, which funds alternatives research at universities throughout the U.S. and the world. “We are very grateful for this generosity—Dr. Gerberick understands the investment that we need to make in alternatives development to achieve the goal of a new testing paradigm that does not rely on animal sacrifice,” said Ms. Leary.
Past recipients of the Cave Award have been from testing and basic research fields, as well as education, and have included: Dr. Ruy Tchao of Philadelphia’s University of the Sciences, who was part of the team that developed one of the first alternatives for the controversial Draize rabbit eye irritancy test; and Dr. Rodger Curren, President of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences and ASCCT, who has provided leadership in the field, from developing methods and training programs to advising on science policy and practices.
The William and Eleanor Cave Award
The William and Eleanor Cave Award is presented to recognize achievements in developing alternatives to the traditional use of animals in testing, research, or education.
It is presented biannually by the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation and carries a $5,000 prize.
Past recipients (and their affiliations at the time of the Award) have included:
Ruy Tchao, University of the Sciences
George Russell, Adelphi University
John Sheasgreen, MatTek Corporation
Leon Bruner, The Gillette Company
Daniel Smeak, The Ohio State University
Rodger Curren, Institute for In Vitro Sciences
Mel Andersen, The Hamner Institute for Health Sciences
A special Award was presented in 2010 to the journal ATLA (Alternatives To Laboratory Animals), for its invaluable contributions to advancing the science of alternatives.
William and Eleanor Cave were devoted officers of The American Anti-Vivisection Society for decades. They recognized the opportunities in developing new technologies and alternative methods to address the problems of animal experimentation. They dedicated resources to fund research, eventually resulting in the establishment of the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation.
Alternatives Research & Development Foundation
ARDF’s mission is to fund and promote the development, validation, and adoption of non-animal methods in biomedical research, product testing, and education. ARDF has awarded over $2.8 million in grants to researchers developing alternative test methods at major universities across the U.S., and sponsors scientific meetings such as the World Congresses on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Information is available at www.ardf-online.org.