Researchers are being encouraged to make a breakthrough with their toxicology research, to help replacem animals in lab testing.
The prize, dubbed the “Black Box” award is being offered by cosmetics and soap company Lush. The company hopes the offer will further stimulate alternative research.
Through its scheme, Lush is hoping to reinvigorate research into human toxicology pathway descriptions. It is also hoping that new assays will be developed, which can better be used in modern laminar flow cabinets, helping to recognise adverse effects more easily.
Doctor Kelly BéruBé, who will be acting as one of the judges for the Lush competition is dedicated to seeing greater use of human tissue in laboratory experiments.
Talking about her advocacy of the cause, Dr. BéruBéthe, who is the director of the Cardiff University School of Bioscience Lung & Particle Research Group, said:
-I’m particularly interested in understanding how pollutants compromise lung biochemistry and alter gene and protein expression to drive disease mechanisms.
-It was only through using human tissue that I started to get the answers that had been eluding me.”
BéruBé continued to explain how she had been able to extract stem cells from human lung donations to reconstruct bronchial epithelial cultures. In essence, she explained, this created pea-sized three-dimensional lung cell cultures
In just a few years, BéruBé says, her research has accelerated exponentially.
The second year that the £250k Lush prize has been offered, it will be awarded to the team fully describing human toxicity pathways in a clear way.
Findings must be fully backed by evidence collated within the last three years.