Last updated on: 12/9/2013 | Author: ProCon.org

Laurie Pycroft Biography

Title:
Founder of Pro-Test (UK)
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?"
Reasoning:

“Without the ability to use animals in their research, scientists’ efforts would be massively hampered, not only in the direct development of new treatments, but also in the fundamental research which underpins all biomedical knowledge. For example, it was Alan Lloyd Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley’s work on the nerves of squid that elucidated the basis of nervous transmission; and it was John C Eccles’ work on cats’ spinal cords that first incontrovertibly demonstrated the nature of the synapse, earning him a share of the 1963 Nobel in Physiology, along with Hodgkin and Huxley. Without their work on animals, we would know far less about the workings of our own nervous systems and how to treat them…

[R]esearchers have devised many routes of minimizing inter-species variation, such as the use of transgenic animals – genetically altered to replicate human physiology more closely. This has additional benefits, including shorter generation-span, allowing scientists to perform experiments which simply would not be possible using humans (even ignoring ethical concerns)…

Claiming that microfluidics and microdosing can analyze drug effects on a full living system is absurd. How can a fluid-based chip replicate the most basic heart, let alone a human one? Microdosing can be useful for studying uptake mechanisms of a drug, but gives extremely limited information on its efficacy at treating a condition. ‘Alternatives’ are already widely used in research, but expecting them to replace animal tests in the near future is hugely naïve.”

“Is Animal Testing Necessary to Advance Medical Research?” (debate with Helen Marston), New Internationalist website, June 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and organizer, Pro-Test (UK), Feb. 2006-2011
  • Former member, National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, Warwick University (UK)
Education:
  • MSc candidate, Neuroscience, University of Oxford
  • Graduated, Physiological Sciences, Balliol College, University of Oxford (UK), 2013
Other:
  • Born Aug. 10, 1989 in Haarlem, Holland
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?