Exceptional Students Receive NAVS Humane Science Award at Intel ISEF
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
NAVS Rewards Initiatives That Exemplify Humane Science
More than 1,500 students gathered in Pittsburgh on May 13-18 for the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), where NAVS awarded the 11th NAVS Humane Science Award to three exceptional students. This year’s winners spanned the categories of Medicine and Health, Engineering (Materials and Bioengineering) and Cellular and Molecular Biology with stellar projects that advance science without harming animals.
NAVS judges reviewed hundreds of projects and interviewed student candidates before selecting three outstanding projects that have the potential to reduce or replace animal use through scientific endeavors that forego an animal model to focus on human-based research to solve human health problems. For eleven years NAVS has been the only animal advocacy organization that has been permitted to award a prize at this prestigious international science fair and our Humane Science Award considers projects that replace the use of animals or that seek to enhance our understanding of animals with noninvasive, observational studies.
The best reward for NAVS and NAVS supporters is that science-bound students are seeing the merit of research without a reliance on an animal model. NAVS is providing an important incentive to the best and brightest young scientists today to pursue careers in science that do not cause harm to animals. In accepting the NAVS first place Humane Science Award, finalist David Liu told NAVS judges, “I would be honored to become a lifetime member because I truly believe that the ideals that the organization stands for are laudable. It is important to explore alternatives to animal experimentation in scientific research.”
Winners receive a cash prize ($5,000 for first prize, $2,000 for second prize, and $1,000 for third prize) and a lifetime membership with NAVS.
The winners of the 11th Intel ISEF Humane Science Award are:
- In Medicine and Health—David Liu, Synthetic Nanoparticle-Based Nanozymes for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy
- In Cellular and Molecular Biology—Raghav Tripathi, Toward the Cure: Abnormal Protein Interactions between Amyloid Beta and Tau as a Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease
- In Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering—Samantha Marquez, A New Frontier in Biomedical Engineering: Ex-situ Bioengineering of Hepato- & Neuro-Celloidosomes
Despite our jubilation over the success of so many young, innovative scientists, it should be noted that there were a number of projects that used animals for invasive experimentation in a laboratory setting. While the vast majority of the projects at the Intel ISEF have little or nothing to do with animal research, NAVS continues to voice our concerns with the science fair organizers, Society for Science & the Public, over the harmful use of animals by high school students. As a result, NAVS has found that more students are using cells and tissue rather than live animals, even when they do rely on an animal model.
Congratulations to all the finalists at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, but especially to those students whose projects achieved a high standard for excellence in the future of humane science.