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 27 – Joao Barroso

Join Carla Owen and Joao Barroso, who works for the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre within the ECVAM unit, in an eye-opening podcast episode. From animal-free antibodies to the European Commission’s ground breaking recommendation, this episode provides a comprehensive view of the transition to ethical and reliable scientific practices. Walk through the changing landscape of research as Joao dives into the ethical, scientific and social drivers pushing for change. With a focus on faster, cost-effective and more human-centred methods that not only advance research but also put animal welfare front and centre. Listen in for an inspiring and enlightening exploration of a big change happening in the scientific world.

Episode 26 – Matt Dalby

Join our Labcast host, Carla Owen, as she welcomes Professor Matt Dalby, a leading expert in the field of non-animal, human-relevant technologies.

Matt is at the forefront of ground breaking research; his insights and experiences provide a unique perspective on the future of medical research. Listen in and learn how his research is shedding light on the mysterious world of cancer dormancy in the bone marrow. Matt touches on the challenges and opportunities in transitioning to animal-free research methods and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration between biology and engineering to advance non-animal technologies.

This episode is an encouraging glimpse into the future of science, research and medicine. Discover what you can do, even if you’re not a scientist, to support the shift towards animal-free research and help advocate for transformative change.

Episode 24 – Laura Bramwell & Merlin Davies

Step into the world of animal-free research with two promising young scientists, Laura Bramwell and Merlin Davies, who are revolutionising the way we approach medical research. Carla, Laura and Merlin discuss the importance of finding solutions to combat issues related to aging. They explore the role of drug repurposing and share promising findings about a cancer drug that could enhance the immune response in older people, especially when it comes to fighting viral infections.

Laura and Merlin provide insight into the challenges and exciting possibilities in their work, addressing the barriers that early career researchers face when transitioning to animal-free methods. They are both optimistic about the future of medical research and believe animal-free research methods will ultimately lead to high-quality, consistent and reliable research that is more relevant to human health.

Episode 25 – Sophie O’Kane

Meet the winner of Animal Free Research UK’s Early Career Scientist Award, Sophie O’Kane, and explore the transformative power of personal experiences and human relationships in driving change. Sophie shares her journey of transitioning from defending animal research to becoming an advocate for animal-free alternatives. This transformation was sparked by a conversation with her Aunt, who challenged her perspective and encouraged her to investigate the evidence.

Listen in to a frank and honest conversation that brings different perspectives together. Sophie’s journey serves as an inspiring example of how we can challenge established paradigms and light the fire for change whilst working towards more ethical and effective research methods.

Episode 23 – Holiday Special

This holiday season, unwrap the gift of our special episode featuring a captivating montage of insights and wisdom from some of our incredible guests. Join your host, Carla, as she takes you on a journey through some of the best moments of the Animal Free Labcast where compassion meets cutting-edge science.

Discover the latest in animal-free research, innovative technologies, and the people shaping the future of cruelty-free science.

Tune in for a festive blend of inspiration and education that will leave you informed and uplifted!

Episode 22 – Adrian Biddle

Listen in and join Carla and Dr Adrian Biddle, a passionate cancer researcher at Queen Mary University of London, as they explore cutting-edge cancer research.

Adrian outlines the roadmap from laboratory research to patient applications. While it may take some time, the potential for revolutionary treatments is on the horizon. Discover how Adrian’s work is moving closer towards innovative solutions.

This episode offers insight into the future of cancer research, its impact on patients, cancer breakthroughs and a world free from the disease. Journey through the world of cancer research and discover why Adrian’s work is a beacon of hope for patients and a testament to the remarkable strides being made in the fight against cancer.

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