Session Overview

In 2016, nearly 4 million animals were used in research in the UK. Not only is animal research considered unethical and inhumane but it is also ineffective. Currently, about 90% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in clinical trials, mainly due to unpredicted side-effects or because they are ineffective in humans. There is a huge incentive to develop alternatives to animal testing. In vitro models have the potential to provide an ethical solution with improved scientific accuracy which is preferable from both an animal welfare and scientific perspective.

Session Chair: Gerry Kenna

Drug Safety Consultant and Pharmaceutical Director (Safer Medicines Trust)

Gerry's role is to innovate and forge a route to improved safety of medicines, through human-relevant methods that are accepted and used by scientists in academia and industry, and by regulatory agencies. He provides expert advice on the design, generation and interpretation of drug safety studies to biotechs, SMEs, large and small pharma and pre-competitive consortia. This aids effective discovery and development of safer drugs, and development of new safety testing strategies. It utilizes the extensive preclinical and clinical expertise in drug safety sciences (especially drug induced liver injury) he acquired whilst working in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries and in academia. He has actively supported drug discovery projects in CNS, infection, oncology and metabolic diseases therapy areas.





The Presenters


Dr Nirmal Perera

Field Application Specialist


New advanced in-vitro models developed by ATCC for toxicology and translational cancer research

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Dr Marieke Hoonakker


Utrecht University

Development of the cAMP reporter assay to replace the in vivo safety test for acellular pertussis vaccines

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Taleen Shakouri

Research Assistant

University of Hertfordshire

Computational models to predict the binding of small molecules to Cytochrome P450 2D6 to replace the use of animals

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Dr Martin Clift

Senior Lecturer

Swansea University Medical School

Advanced in vitro testing strategies to understand the lung cell-(nano)particle interaction at the air-blood barrier

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Jan van der Valk

Project Manager

3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences, Utrecht University

Serum-free media contribute to better reproducibility in in vitro research

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Caroline Taylor

KTP Research Assistant

Manchester Metropolitan University

Developing a 3D tri-culture cardiovascular in vitro model for assessing drug cardiotoxicity

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Anna Maria Bassi


University of Genova

Towards implementation of the 3Rs in basic research and teaching in Italy: Centro 3R

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To be confirmed



To be confirmed




Dr David Chau

Senior Lecturer

University of Hertfordshire

Pasta la vista: a vegetarian approach to cell culture

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Dr Diane Lee

Research Fellow

University of Surrey

The use of an immortalised bovine alveolar type II (BATII) cell line in the construction of a bilayer model of the alveolus

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Dr Liku Tezera

Senior Research Fellow

University of Southampton

Dissection of the host-pathogen interaction in human tuberculosis using a bioengineered 3-dimensional model

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Dr Jamie Patient

DMPK Scientist

Sygnature Discovery

Discovery Toxicology: Can we predict the previously unpredictable for early phase drug discovery?

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To be confirmed



To be confirmed



Interested in presenting?

What papers are we looking for?

We are looking for a wide variety of papers on this topic to provide an academic and industry perspective.

Suggested topics include:

  • Human-relevant in vitro toxicity models
  • In vitro/in vivo exposure scaling
  • Data interpretation and integration
  • Qualification of in vitro models for use in human risk assessment


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