FRAME appoints senior scientist to board of trustees

Dr Kate Firth

FRAME, a medical research charity committed to reducing the number of animals used in scientific testing, has made an important addition to its board of trustees.

The charity has appointed Dr Kate Firth, a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Lincoln within the Diabetes Research Group.

Dr Firth first heard of FRAME when she was doing post-doctoral research at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham in the early 1990s.

Dr Firth said: "Having had first hand experience of animal research during my first degree, I moved towards alternative methods of research during my PhD and post-doctoral tenures."

"Becoming a trustee of FRAME will enable me to further that contribution towards the ultimate aim of the replacement of animals in medical experiments."

The Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments was founded in London in 1969 by Dorothy Hegarty. Its main aim has always been to promote the three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) as a way forward for reducing animal experimentation.

This approach focuses on minimising the number of animals used in biomedical research, replacing experimentation using animals with scientifically proven alternatives that do not and refining existing practices to reduce suffering.

FRAME’s ultimate aim is the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals in any kind of medical or scientific procedures.

Firth added: "I would like to contribute towards an increased public profile of the work of FRAME and it’s influence on national policy making."

"FRAME’s work is important to me because I believe that the routine use of animals in medical experiments does not always give the best outcome or relevance. Opening the minds of scientists to alternative methods and ways of approaching the questions they are asking can only benefit us, as well as animals, in the long run."

Firth gained a BSc in Pharmacology followed by a PhD in Pathology. She went on to do seven years of post-doctoral research into second messenger signaling at the University of Nottingham where she developed an expertise in primary human cell culture.

She later moved into industry with Mars UK, heading up two research areas in animal nutrition.

Dr Anna Cadogan, chair of trustees at FRAME, said: “I am delighted to welcome Kate on board. She has a clear understanding of the benefits of non-animal medical research which fits well with FRAME's dedication to developing relevant and reliable alternatives to animal testing in medical experiments."

FRAME promotes the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals through various activities including campaigning, publication of a scientific journal (ATLA), office-based and laboratory research and through its educational work.

The charity works closely with its corporate sponsors and hopes to attract new ones to help them with their CSR responsibilities and to keep developing new techniques in collaboration with them.

Dr Cadogan added: “We collaborate with industry and academia to allow us to share and access new knowledge and expertise. This sharing is crucial for discovering, developing and refining alternatives – and for promoting scientific excellence.”

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