Alternative and in vitro models in toxicology

The use of laboratory animals is becoming less and less accepted by society

Juliette Legler
Professor of Toxicology

How great would it be if we could assess the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals without the use of laboratory animals? To be able to test the safety of chemicals solely based on human physiology and biology, including such vulnerable groups as infants, the elderly or the sick?

Utrecht University plays a leading role in the Netherlands concerning the use of alternatives to laboratory animals. According to Juliette Legler, Professor of Toxicology, the current system of assessing the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals based on animal testing is outdated: "It is slow and leaves little room for innovation. Developments in biotechnology are proceeding very rapidly, and our current system of safety assessment is unnecessarily slowing us down if we don’t keep up with the innovations."

Utrecht researchers show that the transition to innovative and societally relevant science and policy is possible without animal testing.

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