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October 26, 2006

CAAT Celebrates 25 Years and Still Going Strong

For 25 years, the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) has been working to bring about the best, most humane science possible—at Johns Hopkins and around the world.

On Thursday, November 2, the Center will celebrate its first quarter century with an anniversary symposium at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Following the symposium, a gala dinner celebration will take place at the American Visionary Art Museum.

Established in 1981 through a $1 million grant from the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), CAAT is dedicated to improving both animal welfare and the quality of research. Simply put, CAAT strives to use the latest techniques to do the best science in the most humane way.

The Center grew out of an effort to find the best possible ways to test cosmetics and personal care products to assure the safety of the people using them. At the heart of CAAT’s work is a deep appreciation of the role of biomedical research and product safety testing in protecting health and saving human lives. The application of the “three-Rs of alternatives”—replacement, reduction and refinement—can help make this science more predictive and more efficient, as well as more humane.

The three Rs simply ask that animals not be used if a non-animal method can answer the scientific question at hand; that researchers keep the number of animals to the minimum necessary to answer the question; and refine tests so that they do not cause pain or distress to animals.

CAAT is the leading animal alternatives center in the United States, and is recognized internationally for its efforts to promote the development, validation and use of alternatives to animals in research, product safety testing and education.

The Center, whose approach is one of dialogue and collaboration, is well known for bringing people from diverse—and often opposing—groups together to discover common ground and find constructive ways to bring about needed change. CAAT serves as a forum to foster discussion among these diverse groups, and lead the way in facilitating the acceptance and implementation of alternatives.

A number of other events are planned during the week-long anniversary celebration, including a meeting of three-Rs centers from around the world—the first of its kind.

For more information about CAAT’s 25th Anniversary Symposium and gala, please see for details, or contact Betsy Nessen Merrill at or (410)223-1614.

For information about alternatives to animal testing, please visit Altweb, the Alternatives to Animal Testing website at CAAT manages this site on behalf of a 25-member international Project Team.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or