The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, is being honored by PETA with the creation of the Pat C. Wheeler Scholarship, which aids to prevent the use of animals in chemical tests.
Inspired by Wheeler’s late mother, a lifelong advocate for the humane treatment of all animals, this PETA research grant will support scientists seeking to develop effective methods for testing chemicals without harming animals.
The $5,000 award is being presented to U.K.-based testing laboratory XCellR8, an animal-free facility that conducts tests for companies to meet the requirements of the EPA and other regulatory agencies around the world.
Wheeler's team of scientists at the EPA and PETA scientists have been working to move the EPA toward reliable, non-animal testing methods that protect humans and the environment. Under Wheeler's leadership, the EPA announced that it would end its reliance on toxicity tests on mammals and has since taken steps to do just that.
"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 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."
"In the face of flawed reliance on unreliable animal tests, Andrew Wheeler took action," commented Amy Clippinger, Ph.D., director of PETA's regulatory testing department. "PETA's grant honors the administrator and his team for pioneering a shift toward superior, non-animal testing approaches and enables scientists to bring them to fruition."
"The XCellR8 team works tirelessly to develop and implement animal-free testing strategies, supporting global industry requirements for regulatory toxicity testing," said Carol Treasure, Ph.D., founder and CEO of XCellR8. "We're truly honored to have our hard work recognized with the first ever Pat C. Wheeler Scholarship and the award will be used towards our mission to accelerate the world's transition to 100% animal-free testing."