Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education, Episki, Episkin Academy, SkinEthic Academy

An Indian educational initiative to promote the use of alternatives to animal testing

In 2013, the Mahatma Gandhi Doerenkamp Center (MGDC) and SkinEthic Academy signed a partnership to organize a yearly national workshop on alternative methods to animal testing. The aim of this workshop is to increase awareness to 3R by illustrating how in vitro alternative methods have revolutionized modern toxicology and to train people to handle human reconstructed epidermis in the context of validated in vitro method for skin corrosion/irritation.

The workshop is an outcome of the effort of MGDC in propagating modern tools for risk assessment to the Indian community and the commitment of SkinEthic Academy to promote 3R and the use of alternative methods based on 3D reconstructed human tissues. The workshop is organized in a phased manner. The first leg of workshop is held for faculties and scientists from universities and research institutes. The second leg is for scientists from cosmetic, pharma and CROs. The workshop schedule is aptly distributed between lectures, hands-on and interactive sessions.

The first edition of the workshop in June 2013, was timely conducted, as Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), New Delhi, announced that animal testing for cosmetic and their ingredients is going to be banned in harmonization with the EU cosmetics regulation. This evolution of regulation reinforces the importance of such workshop to participate to the constitution in India of a community of scientists and toxicologist able to implement current alternative to animal tests and to develop new alternative strategies.