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Accepting the challenge to advance more humane science


IFER represents a unique opportunity to advance better, more ethical science by relying on the expertise and dedication of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of scientists from academia, industry and government to select the best possible projects to support.

The lifeblood of any organization is the people who consistently support and guide its efforts to ensure that it stays on course with its principles. These scientists who have volunteered their time and expertise inspire and guide the mission of IFER. As professionals in their areas of expertise, they represent the highest principles of science for discovery, knowledge and understanding.

The Scientific Advisory Board of IFER reviews the proposals for the selection and funding of the Graduate Student Fellowship Program. They also agree to mentor select graduate students to ensure that the funding IFER allocates to these projects is properly used. Members of the SAB have also represented IFER at science conferences, authored articles, and promoted the mission of IFER among their colleagues in science.

Eugene Elmore, Ph.D. is a Project Scientist with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California Irvine and serves as the current chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Elmore received his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He became a member of IFER’s SAB in 2000. Dr. Gene Elmore has contributed greatly to the scientific community through his research, as a speaker at national and international conferences, as the author of dozens of publications, and as an active participant and leader in professional organizations.

His research interests are focused on three areas: the development and application of human cell systems for predicting cancer prevention efficacy; the development of normal human cell culture models for predicting organ specific toxicity of cancer preventive agents as well as therapeutic agents; and studying the adaptive response to low dose radiation.

Dr. Elmore is the President-Elect of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) and has over 4 decades of experience with in vitro toxicology using human cells. He has developed numerous human cell assays for predicting preclinical toxicity, cancer, and/or efficacy for cancer prevention agents for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Toxicological Program (NTP). He has participated in multi-laboratory validations for identifying agents that cause birth defects, cancer, and genetic damage. He has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) and the scientific advisory board for the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). He has served as treasurer of the US and International Environmental Mutagen Societies, and the Board of Directors for the Society for In Vitro Biology. And as a Science Advisor to the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), he has served as a judge for the NAVS Humane Science Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Meta Bonner, Ph.D. earned her B.S. at Sacred Heart College; an M.S. at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, an M.S. at Johns Hopkins University; and a Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. Dr. Bonner is a toxicologist in the National Center for Environmental Research within the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and evaluates study reports for health risk assessments and participates on committees for alternative methods in toxicological testing. Dr. Bonner is an experienced health safety reviewer and risk assessor who has reviewed studies submitted for pesticides, food additives and colors registration for EPA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

She was a Brookings Institute Congressional Fellow in 2010 and covered issues on environmental science, natural resources, alternative energy sources, food safety requirements, and chemical testing reform.

For fifteen years she has participated on working group committees for the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) examining guidelines for alternative methods to traditional animal testing.

Rodger D. Curren, Ph.D. is President and co-founder of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS) headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD. Dr. Curren received his B.S. (Biology) from Purdue University in 1968, followed by a M.S. from Ohio University and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University in 1975. Dr. Curren has been the recipient of many honors for his contributions to the in vitro field and serves on numerous national and international committees and science advisory boards focused on alternatives to whole animal testing.

IIVS is spearheading an International Outreach Program (IOP) with support from IFER, companies, animal protection organizations and others to reduce or eliminate the need for animal testing in China, Russia and Brazil and throughout the world.

John W. Harbell, Ph.D. earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Most recently he was the Principal Scientist at Mary Kay, Inc. and was responsible for directing pre-clinical and clinical evaluations and performing final safety clearance on cosmetic ingredients. He served as an internal and external consultant on the use of in vitro methods for preclinical safety and efficacy testing. Dr. Harbell partnered with external collaborators in bringing modern toxicological methods to the regulatory arena in China.

Dr. Harbell was co-founder, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc., where he provided scientific direction for laboratory-based programs, and developed and designed in vitro bioassay programs for corporate clients to evaluate toxicology and efficacy. Dr. Harbell has also served on extramural panels (ECVAM Ocular irritation Task Force, and OECD Test Guideline task forces) supporting the promotion of in vitro methods in regulatory applications. He has been an active member and officer of the Society for In Vitro Biology and their Executive Council since 1994. Dr. Harbell is also a member of the Society of Toxicology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has an impressive list of published articles and research grants from both government and private sources. Dr. Harbell retired from the USAR in 2001 after a distinguished military career, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Rosemarie Osborne, Ph.D. earned her B.A. from Skidmore College and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Harvard University. She is a cell biologist with Procter & Gamble who has been interested in educational programs that teach young people about alternatives to animal testing even before joining the Scientific Advisory Board of IFER.

An article in Science News (March 3, 2007, Vol.171, page 142) highlighted her professional work to develop a technique to grow corneal tissue that included nerve cells as an alternative to test consumer products in lab dishes instead of in animals. It is hoped that this tissue-making technique may also lead to lab-grown corneas that would be suitable for human transplants.

Pamela Osenkowski, Ph.D. is a Science Advisor for the National Anti-Vivisection Society and joined the IFER SAB in 2012. Dr. Osenkowski earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. She conducted her postdoctoral studies in Alzheimer disease at Harvard Medical School and later obtained a faculty position at Michigan State University-College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is currently an Instructor in the Biology Department at Loyola University Chicago, where her teaching efforts are focused in the areas of genetics, biochemistry, cellular biology and molecular biology.

Bernard E. Rollin, Ph.D. (B.A. City College of New York; Ph.D. Columbia University) is a Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Animal Sciences, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University Bioethicist and University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He is widely published (more than 500 articles and seventeen books) and has lectured extensively on animal ethics, genetic engineering, animal pain, animal research, animal agriculture and veterinary ethics. Among his many other activities, he currently serves as a Science Advisor to NAVS. His recent book, Science and Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2006), addresses issues concerning animal research, xenotransplantation, and biotechnology and how ethical considerations have finally found their way into empirical science. His memoir, Putting the Horse before Descartes (Temple University Press, 2011) recounts many of his efforts to encourage more thoughtful and humane treatment of animals.

Sherry L. Ward, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University, and M.B.A. and Executive M.S. in Technology Management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) predoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University (MSU), an American Red Cross postdoctoral fellowship at the Holland Laboratory, and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Her areas of research experience include vascular cell biology, prostaglandin enzymology, antibody and protein chemistry, molecular immunology, human ocular cell biology, and in vitro toxicology.

Dr. Ward currently works as a consultant in the area of in vitro toxicology, as the Contributing Editor for, and as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Management and Technology at UMUC. Over the past five years, she has taught classes in microbiology, biotechnology entrepreneurship, and project management. She has many years of experience as a scientific grant reviewer for various private and Federal grant programs.

As a Staff Scientist at the Gillette Company in the 1990’s, Dr. Ward developed and characterized the first human conjunctival epithelial cell lines, developed an extensive program of industry-academic research collaborations to research human models and mechanisms of eye irritation, and managed an interlaboratory validation study for an assay to assess eye irritation using a stratified human corneal epithelial cell model.

Dr. Ward has served on various government panels, including ICCVAM peer review panels for ocular irritation and endocrine disruptor test methods, and an EPA panel on nanoscale materials. She was a member of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI-HESI) Animal Alternatives Task Force from 1993 to 2000, and worked on their projects focusing on replacing the Draize rabbit eye test. She has organized and participated in a number of ocular research symposia, and presented and published in this area. She has also published numerous online articles related to non-animal methods for toxicity testing.


In Memoriam

IFER has also had the honor of working with many scientists who generously shared their time and expertise to advance the development and implementation of alternatives to the use of animals in science. Two who served as chairpersons of IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board and who contributed greatly to IFER’s successes are June Bradlaw, Ph.D. and Grover Hutchins, Ph.D.

June Bradlaw, Ph.D. was an accomplished woman of science, a patient teacher bridging the communities of animal advocacy and science, and a cherished friend. Dr. June Bradlaw was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of IFER since its founding in 1985 and served as its chairperson for many years until her death in 2008. She was also a Science Advisor to the National Anti-Vivisection Society, helping to guide NAVS in presenting credible arguments for the advancement of scientifically valid and humane alternatives to the use of animals in science.

Dr. Bradlaw retired from the FDA as Acting Chief of the In Vitro Toxicology Branch in 1999 after 41 years of service. She had authored over 50 articles on cell culture methods, in vitro toxicology, and genetic toxicology. Dr. Bradlaw had also served on advisory and review panels for the ICCVAM. She served as a member of SACATM.

In addition to sharing her time and expertise with IFER and NAVS, Dr. Bradlaw served on the Science Advisory Panel of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) and reviewed grant proposals to the Alternatives Research and Development Fund.

Over the years Dr. Bradlaw received many awards relating to her work. In 2001 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for In Vitro Biology as “…the highest honor given by the Society to scientists who are considered pioneers or highly influential researchers in the science and art of cell culture.” She also received several FDA Group Recognition Awards and the FDA Commendable Service Award. She was the recipient of the Favorite Norwich Native Daughter Award in 2007 and, most recently, was honored as a science scholar by the DNA Epicenter, New England’s pre-eminent bioscience educational facility.

In addition to her many accomplishments in science, Dr. Bradlaw authored a children’s book, “Tree Bear’s Adventures in Learning” to accompany illustrations created by her uncle.

Asked to comment on Dr. Bradlaw’s contributions to science, her friend and colleague, Dr. Eugene Elmore who also serves on IFER’s and NAVS’ scientific advisory boards, wrote:

For many decades, June gave freely of her time and energy to promote the development and application of in vitro models to not only replace animals but to provide better science to benefit human health. She believed that education in the in vitro sciences was the key to long term success. She saw herself as a facilitator and was instrumental in encouraging young scientists to apply their skills to this important field. To me, June did more than just facilitate, she was a true champion of the field of in vitro alternatives.

Grover M. Hutchins, M.D. was a world-renowned pathologist who practiced at Johns Hopkins Medicine for more than 50 years. He had served as the first chairman of IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board and is credited with drafting additional scientists to contribute to the efforts of IFER. Dr. Hutchins had been director of autopsy services at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was a world-renowned pathologist in the field of cardiac and pediatric pathology. He also published more than 500 papers covering practically every topic in his field. Dr. Hutchins served on the editorial boards or as a reviewer for more than two dozen of the most prominent peer-reviewed journals in medicine and pathology.
Before his death, the College of American Pathologists had paid tribute to Hutchins, naming him among their Lifetime Achievement Award winners. He also received numerous teaching awards at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a professor in both the departments of Pathology and Art as Applied to Medicine.

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