November 22, 2019, by Charlotte Anscombe
Nottingham academic wins the Nordic Prize for Alternatives to Animal Testing
Dr Alison Gray, from the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVMS) at the University of Nottingham has won a prestigious international award, recognising her commitment to replacing animal use in antibody production.
Dr Gray, who also founded the non-profit organization AFABILITY, has been awarded the Nordic Prize for Alternatives to Animal Experiments, which is given to a researcher or research group who has made a contribution in the field of alternatives to animal experiments.
The annual prize was established in 1996 and is jointly funded by the Swedish Fund for Research Without Animal Experiments, the Danish Alternativfondet, and the Finnish Juliana von Wendts Stiftelse.
Dr Gray has been promoting the use of animal-friendly antibody production techniques using bacteriophage viruses instead of live animals, which has enormous potential for reduced animal use and improved scientific quality.
The global antibody industry is worth 80 billion dollars and relies heavily on animals to produce the antibodies that are used to detect the vast range of molecules indicative of state health, safety or the environment.
Antibody-based tests are used in consumer and environmental safeguarding – from healthcare, over the counter, point of care and laboratory diagnostic testing to food safety, agriculture and household products.
Dr Gray said: “I am honoured to have won this prestigious award. This work would not have achieved such a high level of success if it wasn’t for all the support I have received from so many, especially my group at the SVMS.“The ultimate aim is to replace the use of animals in research and industry, which, due to a lack of awareness about the technology that is available, hasn’t happened before. There is a clear opportunity for replacement here and this award acknowledges the work that has already been done in moving to achieve this.”