Meet Our Scientific Advisory Panel

Animal Free Research UK’s Scientific Advisory Panel intend to drive forward our strategic vision of funding novel non-animal medical methodologies that are human-relevant, robust and remove animals from research laboratories for good.  

The panel facilitate the charity funding more innovative, interdisciplinary and translational animal free research by improving the accuracy of application ranking, increasing the consistency of review, ensuring unbiased processes, increasing the speed of decisions, and reducing burden while offering appropriate recognition and incentives for peer reviewers.  

Our Scientific Advisory Panel brings together a diverse range of scientific expertise and knowledge.  

Professor Mike Philpott

Professor Mike Philpott

Queen Mary University London

Mike has over 30 years of research experience in developing human models of disease. During his PhD he created the first method to successfully isolate and grow human hair follicles in the laboratory – now widely known as the ‘Philpott model’. He continues to champion human models of disease as Professor of Cutaneous Biology and Head of the Animal Free Research UK Animal Replacement Centre at Queen Mary University of London.

“As someone who is strongly committed to developing animal free models of human disease, I strongly support the goals of Animal Free Research UK and am delighted to be working with them as Chair of their Scientific Advisory Panel.”

Professor Lorna Harries

University of Exeter

Lorna holds a personal Chair in Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health, and founder and CSO for SENISCA, a spin out company based on her research. She has interests in the regulation of gene expression and how this impacts human diseases such as type 2 diabetes and other age-related disorders.

“I am delighted to work with Animal Free Research UK to ensure that we fund cutting edge research of direct relevance to human diseases, which can be more readily translated to the clinic.”

Dr Ros Hannen

Keratify

Ros is the CEO and founder of Keratify since December 2018, aiming to advance pre-clinical human skin testing. Keratify won an Innovate UK Smart grant to transform in vitro skin testing methods for the skincare and pharmaceutical industry. Keratify’s ‘OneVivo’ technology is now being adopted by some of the largest pharmaceutical, medical aesthetic and cosmetic companies in the world. Their technology is currently being considered to replace animal testing that is still required for longer-term skin testing.

“Now is a unique, transformative time in preclinical testing for drug development. The science and drive for improved human-relevant models never been so strong, especially since the recent implementation of the FDA Modernisation act 2.0. I am honoured to support Animal Free Research UK to find new approaches to advance human medicine. Animal Free Research UK supports exceptional science for the benefit of society.”

Assistant Professor Dania Movia

Trinity College Dublin

Dania is an Assistant Professor at the Discipline of Radiation Therapy (School of Medicine) and Principal Investigator at the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s leading university. She is also associated with the Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute. Dania was awarded an MSc in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at University of Trieste (Italy) in 2007 and a PhD in Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin in 2012. Her current research work focuses on developing non-animal methodologies (NAMs) that can replace animal studies in lung cancer and lung toxicity preclinical research. She has received support and funding from several organisations including Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council, the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing Award, and the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 and Horizon-Europe Framework Programme.

“It is about time we stop curing cancer in animals, and we start finding how to do it in humans. Animal Free Research UK is a charity that supports shaping a world where human-relevant basic research is possible. Being a member of its Scientific Advisory Panel means that now I will be able to facilitate young scientists that would like to pursue animal free research in their career.”

Professor Val Speirs

University of Aberdeen

Val is Chair in Molecular Oncology at the University of Aberdeen, having relocated in 2018 after many years at the University of Leeds. She is one of the founders of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank which collects and makes breast cancer tissue samples available for researcher across the UK and beyond. She uses these in her own work to develop better in vitro models of breast cancer to understand breast cancer biology. She co-directs the Aberdeen Cancer Centre, bringing together a team of scientists and clinicians working collaboratively to deliver patient-centred research, which aims to translate new laboratory findings into the clinic with the goal of directly improving patient outcomes.

“I am delighted to join Animal Free Research UK’s Scientific Advisory Panel. Having worked with human tissues for most of my career there is no better model for studying human disease and I look forward to encouraging early career researchers to adopt these in their research.”

Dr Dharaminder Singh

CN Bio

Dharaminder is Principal Bioengineer at CN Bio having joined the company in 2017. Dharaminder has lead projects at CN Bio, developing microphysiological systems and organs on chip from concept, prototype, assay development and commercialisation. With his multidisciplinary background Dharaminder often acts as the glue between the product development teams, assay development teams and beyond. With wide-ranging biology and engineering skills, he is often uniquely placed to problem solve, innovate and lead.

“Scientific advance is propelling the preclinical toolbox in drug development towards change. I am pleased to support Animal Free Research UK in the push for the adoption of New Approach Methods for drug development. Having worked at CN Bio, in the development of MPS/Organ-on-chip technology for preclinical testing, I will lean on my experiences to provide value as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel.”

Dr Jan Turner

Axol Bioscience

Jan is Product Manager at Axol Bioscience, a supplier of human cells to biotech and pharmacology industries. Jan worked for Amersham Biosciences, subsequently GE Healthcare Life Sciences before being the Director of Safer Medicines Trust for more than 3 years. Jan is passionate about human-focused biomedical research and has a wealth of experience in developing and promoting human-relevant in vitro technologies, including directing validation studies and influencing organisations such as the FDA to introduce such technologies into the early safety testing of drugs.

"As a scientist first and foremost, the use of human relevant models and not animals. to study human diseases and potentially treatments seem logical and appropriate. I welcome the opportunity to support such a progressive organisation as AFRUK in promoting the development and use of animal free science in UK biomedical research.”