Founded in 1982 on the initiative of its namesakes, Hildegard Doerenkamp and the late Gerhard Zbinden (in photograph), the DOERENKAMP-ZBINDEN FOUNDATION was created to promote and reward "exceptional achievements in animal protection in biomedical research." From its inception through the mid-1990s, the foundation focused primarily on reducing the suffering of animals used in experiments, awarding roughly a dozen refinement-oriented grants of up to $50,000 per year for up to two years. Additionally, the foundation has financed the Doerenkamp Chair for Innovations in Animal and Consumer Protection at the University of Erlangen in Germany to enhance the development and use of non-invasive imaging techniques in biomedical research.
More recently, the foundation has been reorganized to focus exclusively on replacement and reduction initiatives and has renamed itself the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation for Animal-Free Research. Under this new mandate, a Foundation Professorship for In Vitro Methods for the Replacement of Animal Experiments has been established at the University of Konstanz in Germany. The foundation also awards an annual prize for outstanding achievement, above and beyond its ongoing grants program.
THOMAS HARTUNG, MD, PhD, is the new director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and the inaugural holder of the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Endowed Chair in Evidence-based Toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In 1991 Dr. Hartung received a doctorate in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Konstanz, Germany, and a medical degree in toxicology in 1992 from the University of Tubingen. He completed his medical internship at the University of Freiburg in surgery at the hospital of Singen, Germany.
Dr. Hartung joined the faculty at University of Konstanz in 1994, where he served as an assistant professor of biochemical pharmacology until 1999, and then as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology until 2002. He has been an honorary full professor of pharmacology at Konstanz since 2003. From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Hartung also served as the chief executive officer of the Steinbeis Technology Transfer Center for In Vitro Pharmacology and Toxicology (InPuT).
In 2002, Dr. Hartung became the head of the European Centre for Alternative Methods (ECVAM) at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Italy. As head of ECVAM, he was integral in accelerating the alternative methods validation process, and in establishing a network of more than 400 experts from all stakeholder groups to facilitate global regulatory harmonization in toxicity testing.
The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is a science-based academic center within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. CAAT has led the way in advancing the field of humane science and has spearheaded the development of alternative methods in research, toxicity testing and education. Recognized internationally for its efforts to promote the development, validation and use of alternatives to animals, it is the leading alternatives center in the U.S. and has an unparalleled record for bringing together and achieving consensus among diverse groups with often divergent interests regarding the use of animals in research and testing. CAAT’s approach is based on the three Rs of alternatives: replacing the use of animals where scientifically possible, reducing the number of animals used to the minimum necessary for research experiment, and refining methods to ensure that pain and distress is minimized or eliminated.