Our Podcast

A frank, lively exchange of ideas and experiences with leading scientists, policy makers and animal protection ambassadors

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Meet our host...

Hi! I’m Carla Owen, host of the Animal Free Labcast – an upbeat podcast that puts humans, not animals, at the heart of medical research.

Chief Executive of Animal Free Research UK and life-long animal advocate, I’ve had the privilege of working to replace animal testing since 2008.

I love working for the win-win-win: collaborating with others to change the medical research system for the good of science, patients, and animals.

So much progress has been made, but it’s not always easy to understand. So I bring you the personal stories of the scientists, policy makers and animal ambassadors leading the animal free innovation revolution. Together, we make sense of the science and politics of animal free research.

Whether you’re fascinated by cutting-edge science, want better treatments for loved ones, or an end to animal suffering, I hope to bring you reasons to hope and to keep pushing for change.

Episode 21 – Ali Kermanizadeh

Ali Kermanizadeh, a toxicology and clinical biochemistry lecturer at the University of Derby, shares his scientific journey and passion for toxicology. He highlights his work on advanced in vitro models of the liver and gut as well as the moral dilemma he faced when working on experiments that relied on animal testing as a vegetarian and how he transitioned into working with animal-free alternatives.

The conversation explores ethical and scientific reasons for using animal-free approaches. Join us on a journey into the future of animal-free research, where advanced in vitro models are transforming the landscape of drug safety testing and contributing to a brighter, more ethical future.

Episode 20 – Davina Simoes 

In this podcast, Carla interviews Davina Simoes, a Northumbria University assistant professor in cell pathology, focused on advancing animal-free research. Listen and learn about the challenges of studying sarcopenia, a condition marked by muscle loss and its connection to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Davina believes that making the shift to animal-free research should align with society’s goals of carbon neutrality and ethical treatment of animals. This episode highlights the urgency of animal-free research methods, especially in fields where animals are less representative of human conditions.

Episode 19 – Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga

Labcast host Carla, is joined by Animal Free Research 2023 Pioneer Award recipient Dr Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga, celebrated for her work in animal-free innovations. Merel shares her unique insights into the field and talks about the incredible work driving forward a brighter future in the Netherlands.

Tune in and be part of the conversation as Merel and Carla discuss transitioning from traditional animal research to an evidence-based animal-free approach, overcoming challenges in translating research for clinical benefit, and accelerating the shift towards a more ethical and effective future for drug development

Episode 18 – Martyn Day, MP

In this episode, Carla is joined by Martyn Day (MP), a passionate advocate for animals and human progress. They discuss Martyn’s lifelong love for animals and his current role as an MP advocating for animal welfare. Martyn’s dedication to both animal rights and medical research is evident. He highlights the urgent need to transition from animal testing to more effective, human-specific research methods.

Martyn’s insights into the political landscape and his optimism about cross-party support provide hope for a future where science and ethics align – hopefully leading towards a world where medical research benefits all!

Episode 17 – Dr Pandora Pound 

Pandora Pound, author of Rat Trap: The Capture of Medicine by Animal Research and How to Break Free, joins Carla for this episode.

In her new book, Pandora emphasises the need for public awareness and engagement as well as the importance of replacing outdated practices with innovative, human-relevant technologies. She sheds light on the complexities of driving change in research, with a focus on the importance of public awareness and demand for ethical and effective alternatives.

The conversation draws parallels between the animal-free research movement and the transition to renewable energy in addressing climate change, highlighting the importance of gradually phasing out outdated practices.

Episode 16 – Dame Joanna Lumley 

British national treasure, Dame Joanna Lumley kicks off series 3 of the Animal Free Labcast in style! In this exclusive interview, the Animal Free Research UK patron tells Carla how strongly she feels that all living creatures have a right to life without pain – and a life of freedom. Joanna talks about where her love of animals comes from, the leaps and bounds made in animal free research, and what we can all do to make the world a kinder place.

Tune in for an inspiring conversation with the UK’s most loved animal advocate.

Listen to Series 1 & 2

podcast - Professor Mike Philpott

podcast - Dr Malcolm Wilkinson

podcast - Dr Martin Ashby

podcast - Dr Jan turner

podcast - Steph Jones-Giles

podcast - Dr Paul Holloway

podcast - Baroness Sue Hayman

podcast - professor Valerie Spiers

podcast - Carol Royle

podcast - Professor Chris Denning

podcast - Professor Lorna Harries

podcast - Dr Don Ingber

podcast Professor Amanda Ellison

podcast - Dr Jarrod Bailey

podcast - Dr Jarrod Bailey