Science Prize

For individuals, research teams or institutions for work conducted on relevant toxicity pathways. Outstanding research producing an effective non-animal safety test based on an approach other than toxicity pathways, where none existed before, may also be considered.

There is a £50,000 prize fund shared between all the winners of the Science Prize.

21st Century Toxicology is a new approach to safety testing which is exciting regulators, toxicologists, campaigners and companies around the world. It has become possible because of advances in biology, genetics, computer science and robotics.

It offers better relevance to humans (rather than using mice, rats and rabbits), and will explain the underlying causes of toxicity. Unlike animal methods, the new tests will help predict human variability and differential effects on embryos, children and adults. And as the superior scientific basis of the new approach is recognised, outdated animal tests will be replaced.


Background Papers and Materials

Background Paper for the Lush Prize 2015

Humane Society International (video)

National Academy of Sciences Introduction (3pp pdf)

Human Toxicology Project Document (2pp pdf)

US National Academy of Sciences (Book 196pp)


Entering and Nominating

Nominations for the 2016 Prize are now closed.


Previous Winners


2015 Prize

Oncotheis, Switzerland (£25,000)
Oncotheis have engineered an innovative human lung cancer tissue culture model to test in vitro both the effectiveness and the toxicity of investigational therapeutics while sparing the lives of animals.

Prof Michael L. Shuler & Team, USA (£25,000)
Professor Michael L. Shuler, Cornell University & Hesperos
Asst. Professor Mandy B. Esch, Syracuse University
Asst. Professor Gretchen J. Mahler, SUNY Binghampton University
Professor Tracy Stokol, Cornell University
Dr James Hickman, University of Central Florida & Hesperos
Since 1989 they have developed in vitro systems to predict human response to drugs by using physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to guide the development of experimental systems that mimic human response to drugs. These systems have been called “Body-on-a-Chip” systems.


2014 Prize

Professor Roland Grafström and Dr. Pekka Kohonen, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

The Grafström laboratory has developed a cancer biology work and Tox21 Century Toxicology-inspired approach for replacing toxicity testing in animals with informatics-driven data analysis of human cell cultures exposed to toxic agents.

Combining in vitro and in silico analyses has been the focus of the Grafström laboratory for decades. This work was recently expanded together with Dr Pekka Kohonen within the pan-European SEURAT-1 project (‘Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing’), aiming ultimately to replace repeated dose toxicity testing with data-rich analyses of sophisticated cell culture models.

The role of the Kohonen/Grafström team has been to guide the application, analysis, interpretation and storage of so called “omics” technology-derived data within the service-oriented subproject “ToxBank”.


2013 Prize

QSAR and Molecular Modelling Group, Liverpool John Moores University, UK (£25,000)
For their work developing computational alternatives to animal testing to predict the effects of chemicals.

The Lung & Particles Research Group, Cardiff University, UK (£25,000)
For their work developing non-animal replacement models of the human respiratory system for inhalation toxicology applications.


2012 Prize

The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy (£50,000)
For its work on toxicity pathways in heptatoxicology and developmental toxicology.