Last updated on: 12/9/2013 | Author:

William T. Talman, MD Biography

Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Iowa
Pro to the question "Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?"

“[C]onsider that over the past 40 years only one Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine did not depend on animal research for the fundamental discoveries that led to the prize… A quick look at the list of Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine will give you an idea not only of the vital role played by animals in biomedical research, but also the impact that research has had on humankind…

Sometimes those who seek to outlaw use of animals in research argue that testing new treatments should be done on humans, not animals. Really! Are they ready to volunteer? Even if they were, or even if some were coerced to do so (say prisoners or terminally ill patients), would we really want to move our society in that direction?…

Do not think that the only value coming from studies utilizing animals is development of cures or testing of potential cures. In fact, studying living creatures gives the scientist an opportunity to learn how living systems work. The new knowledge often expands our understanding of human physiology…

It is important to realize that studies in animals are not just done for, and do not just lead to, treatments in humans. Indeed, treatments for other animals also arise from such studies. Consider, for example, that paralyzed dogs have regained their ability to walk as a result of research conducted in rodents and dogs.”

“Don’t Have the Wool Pulled over Your Eyes,”, Dec. 7, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, University of Iowa
  • Physician, University of Iowa Hospital
  • Chief of Neurology Service, Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital
  • Associate Editor, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • Writer, Huffington Post
  • Reviewer, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Sections, VA Merit Review Boards, National Science Foundation, and American Heart Association
  • President, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), 2010-2011
  • Former President, International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience
  • Former Chair, Public Affairs Committee of the American Physiological Society
  • MD, University of Virginia
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?