News story

New members of Animals in Science Committee to hold first meeting

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The new Animals in Science Committee, which provides advice to the government on animal research, met on Thursday (27 June).

Animal protection campaigners, researchers, academics and medical experts are amongst the members of the new committee that will advise the government on the use of animals in scientific procedures.

The Animals in Science Committee is an independent public body established on 1 January 2013 and replaces the Animal Procedures Committee.

The members will meet for the first time today and will provide impartial and independent advice to the Home Office, the animal research community and animal welfare organisations about the use of animals in research. Their appointments are effective from 27 June 2013 and will be for three years in the first instance.

Animal research

Senior Oxford researcher Dr John Landers was appointed as Chair in March 2013.

The 10 new committee members who have now officially taken up their appointments are -

  • Ken Applebee, Director of Biological Services, Kings College London
  • Prof Gail Davies, Professor in Human Geography, University of Exeter
  • Dr Simon Glendinning, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Dr Huw Golledge, Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
  • Dr Penny Hawkins, Deputy Head, Research Animals Department, RSPCA
  • Prof Malcolm Macleod, Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Matthew Parker, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London
  • Anna Rowland, Assistant Director of Policy for Fitness to Practice at the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • Dr Gerlinda Stoddart, Science Adviser, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • Dr Gavin Woodhall, Reader in Neuropharmacology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University

Lord Taylor of Holbeach said:

I welcome the appointment of the new committee members and the diverse experience, knowledge and skills they will bring to the work of the Animals in Science Committee.

While we recognise the need to use animals in order to help develop potentially life-saving drugs and treatments, we are determined to ensure animal research is carried out humanely and only when necessary. The committee will help us to promote measures that will replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in scientific testing.

Committee member biographies

  • Ken Applebee is a former chair of the Institute of Animal Technology Council and is currently Director of Biological Services at King’s College London. He has over 30 years experience in biomedical science and research. His career includes valuable experience as a professional animal technologist in a number of academic institutions. As a long time and active member of the Council of the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT), serving for a number of years as Chair and currently Chair of the IAT Board of Educational Policy, Ken is taking the lead in advanced discussions to develop a new BSc in Laboratory Animal Science and Technology.

  • Prof Gail Davies is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Exeter. She was previously Senior Lecturer in Geography at University College London. Her academic work explores the global cultures of science and technology, with specific reference to the biotechnological and biomedical sciences, and the place of animals in contemporary societies. She has long-term research interests in facilitating public and critical artistic engagements with science and technology.

  • Dr Simon Glendinning is Reader in European Philosophy at the London School of Economics. He has a longstanding research interest in the idea of the difference between human beings and other animals, and the history of Western conceptions of animal life. He is currently Chair of the British Horseracing Authority Ethics Committee.

  • Dr Huw Golledge, Senior Research Associate, is an animal welfare scientist at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University. Dr Golledge uses neurophysiological and behavioural methods to assess the welfare of laboratory animals, with a particular interest in pain and distress. His current research is focused on assessing whether commonly used techniques used to anesthetise animals are humane and on the development of methods to determine whether animals suffer whilst undergoing euthanasia.

  • Dr Penny Hawkins is Deputy Head of the RSPCA’s Research Animals Department, which works to achieve effective ethical review of animal research and the replacement of animal experiments, reductions in numbers and suffering and improvements in welfare while animal use continues. She has been involved in the revision of European legislation regulating animal experiments and is currently a member of three Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies in the UK.

  • Prof Malcolm Macleod is Professor in Neurology and Translational Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh and Consultant Neurologist at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. His clinical research includes trials of brain cooling for stroke. He has pioneered the use of systematic review and meta-analysis to analyse data from animal experiments in the neurosciences, and is a staunch advocate of improving experimental rigour and of evidence based clinical trial design.

  • Dr Matthew Parker, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London. Dr Parker read psychology at the University of Southampton, receiving his PhD in animal behaviour and welfare in 2009. Since then his research has focused on animal behaviour, first at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire where he studied farm animal welfare, and now at Queen Mary, University of London, where he studies molecular markers of human psychiatric disease using zebra fish as a comparative model. He has published widely on animal behaviour and welfare, and has presented papers at both national and international conferences.

  • Anna Rowland is Assistant Director of Policy for Fitness to Practice at the General Medical Council (GMC). She qualified as a solicitor, leaving practice to specialise in legal policy. She has an extensive background in legal and medical policy having held senior policy positions at the Law Society prior to joining the GMC in 2008.

  • Dr Gerlinda Stoddart, Science Adviser, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) gained her PhD from the Welsh School of Pharmacy in 2002 and has seven years experience working in the R&D industry developing transdermal products. She is now the Science Advisor for an animal protection organisation where she works with regulators, policymakers, industry and other scientists to reduce the use of animals in experiments, improve their welfare and ultimately eliminate animal experimentation altogether.

  • Prof Gavin Woodhall, Reader in Neuropharmacology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University. Prof Woodhall gained his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Southampton in 1991 and this was followed by post-doctoral research at the Universities of Montréal and Bristol. Since 2004 he has been based at Aston University and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, studying mechanisms underlying drug-resistant epilepsy in children and developing 3Rs-based, refined animal models of the epilepsies.