April 12, 2010

University of Konstanz and SPH establish CAAT-Europe

The University of Konstanz in Germany and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have jointly established the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing–Europe in an effort to promote better coordination in toxicity testing. The new center, modeled after the Bloomberg School’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, will conduct scientific research to find new methods to replace the use of laboratory animals in studies, reduce the number of animals needed for research and refine necessary tests to eliminate the pain and distress of animals in research. CAAT-EU held an inauguration ceremony on March 30 in Konstanz.

Marcel Leist, a professor at the University of Konstanz, will lead CAAT-EU along with Thomas Hartung, the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Professor and Chair for Evidence-based Toxicology, and director of CAAT, at the Bloomberg School. Hartung also holds an appointment at the University of Konstanz.
“As a transatlantic cooperation center, CAAT-EU will unite its activities in the field of alternatives and toxicology at the University of Konstanz and combine them strategically with the activities of the Bloomberg School’s CAAT in the U.S.,” Leist said.

The CAAT-EU board of directors includes members of EuroGroup for Animals, an umbrella organization of more than 30 animal protection organizations, and ECOPA, the European consensus platform for alternative methods, made up of representatives of universities, industry, animal protection organizations and governments.

CAAT was founded at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1981 as an academic, science-based center to provide a better, safer, more humane future for people and animals. The University of Konstanz has more than 20 years of experience in studying alternatives to animal research. CAAT-EU will collaborate with CAAT to develop a worldwide standard for chemical testing.