The State Prize for the Promotion of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments 2021 will be awarded to Doris Wilflingseder from the Medical University of Innsbruck and Peter Ertl from the Vienna University of Technology.


The prize recognises outstanding scientific work whose results or objective is to avoid or reduce the use of animals in animal experiments or to improve the conditions for breeding, housing, care and use of animals in animal experiments.
Minister of Science Martin Polaschek congratulates: “With their work, both award winners show how excellent scientific research in the important field of alternative methods to animal experiments can succeed. The prize is intended to encourage the researchers to continue their commitment to replacement method research in the future, and the prize is intended to generate attention so that more researchers devote themselves to this topic.”

from left to right: Austrian Minister of Science Martin Polaschek, Prof. Doris Wilflingseder, Prof. Peter Ertl

Doris Wilflingseder receives the State Prize for Replacement Methods to Animal Experiments for her publication “C5aR inhibition of nonimmune cells suppresses inflammation and maintains epithelial integrity in SARS-CoV-2-infected primary human airway epithelia”. As an alternative to animal models, the award winner uses human three-dimensional tissue models for her research work to elucidate excessive inflammatory processes, especially after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Follow this link to the publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674921005601?via%3Dihub


Peter Ertl receives the State Prize for Alternative Methods to Animal Testing for his publication “A Microfluidic Multisize Spheroid Array for Multiparametric Screening of Anticancer Drugs and Blood-Brain Barrier Transport Properties”. As an alternative to animal experiments, Peter Ertl is developing miniature tissues on biochip systems (“Organ on a chip System”) in order to investigate, for example, the uptake and effect of drugs in cells. Follow this link to the publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188192/


The federal government has set itself the goal of promoting and accelerating the development of alternative methods to animal experiments and has decided, among other things, to award an annual state prize for the promotion of alternative methods to animal experiments.

The State Prize for the Promotion of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments is awarded annually by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research on the recommendation of an expert jury for outstanding scientific work whose results or objective, in the sense of the “3R principle” (replace, reduce, refine) according to Russell and Burch (1959), is to avoid or reduce the use of animals in animal experiments or to improve the conditions for breeding, housing, care and use of animals in animal experiments. The State Prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros.

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