Cleveland Scientist to Showcase Cutting-edge Animal-Free Research at International Conference


For immediate release:
August 24, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cleveland – The Cleveland restaurateur and PETA Senior Scientific Advisor will be among the scientists presenting the results at 11 Virtual Conferenceth World Congress on Alternatives and Uses of Animals in the Life Sciences this week. Thousands of attendees will hear from Dr. Francis Cheng and other PETA scientists on topics ranging from scientific and ethical issues related to irreversible brain damage in primates to toxicity testing in rabbits.

Cheng is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. PhD in Physiology and Biophysics who currently works in PETA’s Laboratory Research Department. She also owns Foodhisattva, an award-winning vegan restaurant in Cleveland.

“More scientists are working on animal-free testing methods than any other animal welfare organization, and we are proud to present our research at the premier conference on modern research,” said PETA Senior Vice President Katy Guillermo. “Superior, cutting-edge tools are the future, and we are committed to working with the global research community to improve their use.”

PETA scholars will chair four sessions and will present two oral presentations and 16 posters. The posters of the group’s scholars, including Cheng, will include the following.

  • Rodent in the room – intelligence in research programs using mice and rats: This poster demonstrates how the growing scientific evidence for the intelligence of animals commonly used in experiments should be factored into the harm / benefit analysis of biomedical research.
  • Global efforts to end animal testing of food and beverage health claims: This poster, which Cheng will debut, highlights PETA’s successful efforts to get food and beverage companies to stop testing on animals to claim the health benefits of their products.
  • International harmonization of animal-free biomedical teaching methods: This poster, which will also feature Cheng, contains information on cost-effective, human-relevant technological advances that could replace the millions of dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals used in biomedical training each year.
  • The problem of pain in animal experiments: This poster explores the scientific and ethical implications of high rates of untreated pain in animals used in experiments.
  • In vitro An approach to assessing the respiratory toxicity of human lung cells: This poster describes how human cell systems could replace the use of rats and mice in tests to assess how inhaled chemicals affect the lungs.
  • International approaches to the application of alternative methods for testing marine biotoxins in molluscs: This poster shows how non-animal methods are better at detecting toxins in molluscs than tests that inject them into the abdomen of mice.
  • Certain harms and uncertain benefits in animal models for studying depression and anxiety in humans: This poster criticizes several harmful and commonly used animal models of anxiety and depression, including the forced swim test, the tail suspension test, and the raised cruciform maze.
  • Ethical and scientific concerns regarding the continued use of experimentally induced brain injury in primates: This poster discusses whether causing irreversible, debilitating brain damage to primates is ethical or scientific justification.

The award-winning film will be screened at the conference. Subjects, which follows Cheng and two other PETA scientists facing pressure in graduate school to conduct animal experiments. The group’s scientists will also provide details on the research modernization deal – a sane plan to phase out ineffective animal tests in the US, EU and India.

PETA, whose motto is in part that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – opposes arrogance, a worldview focused on human excellence. For more information please visit or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

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