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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 5, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 24
CAAT Launches New Program in Public Policy, Education, Outreach

By Carol Howard
Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing has received a $1.5 million five-year grant from an anonymous donor to develop a new program in public policy, education and outreach. This program is aimed at educating policy-makers and legislators about the need for alternatives to the use of animals in toxicity and safety testing and in biomedical research.

CAAT, an academic center housed within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, will work with partners in the animal welfare, environmental health and scientific communities to foster a policy and legislative culture that values the lives of animals and promotes the most humane science possible.

The effort will be directed by Paul Locke, an associate professor in Environmental Health Sciences. Locke is a public health scientist and attorney with an extensive background in science policy research and analysis.

"During the past two decades, changes in science and public expectations have led us to rethink the ways in which we approach research and testing," said Alan M. Goldberg, professor of toxicology at the Bloomberg School and director of CAAT. "As science evolves, alternative nonanimal methods are moving to the front of the line as the chosen tools for toxicologists. It is imperative the policy-makers understand these exciting developments."

CAAT follows a philosophy known as the 3Rs of alternatives — replacement, reduction and refinement. This means finding new ways to replace animals with nonanimal methods, reduce the numbers of animals necessary and refine methods to minimize pain or distress for the animals involved.

Michael J. Klag, dean of the School of Public Health, said, "We are excited that CAAT continues to be at the forefront of humane science and testing alternatives. This new program extends its track record as a world leader in humane scientific investigation."


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