Animal experimentation is defended by arguments that it is reliable, that animals provide sufficiently good models of human biology and diseases, and that consequently its use provides major human health benefits. But a growing body of scientific literature raises important concerns about their reliability and predictive value for human outcomes and for understanding human physiology.

The good news is that a momentum is building that will lead to a revolution in biomedical research that will replace animal testing and benefit humans. This presentation will discuss how we can help this momentum grow faster.

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is a double-board certified neurologist and preventive medicine specialist, with a background in public health, and is a U.S veteran. Previously she served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Army Traumatic Brain Injury Program developing the Army’s brain injury prevention and treatment strategies for soldiers. As a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Akhtar frequently deployed to assist with national public health emergencies.

For a decade, Aysha was a Medical Officer at the Food and Drug Administration, most recently in the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, implementing studies on vaccine effectiveness and safety and using her Top Secret Security Clearance to develop national preparedness strategies for public health threats.  She is published in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet, Pediatrics, Journal of Public Health Policy, and Reviews in the Neurosciences.

Dr. Akhtar is also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She is the author of Our Symphony With Animals: On Health, Empathy and Our Shared Destiniesand Animals and Public Health, which argues for the need for health institutions to include animals as part of the “public” in public health. Aysha is also a TEDx speaker.

More information can be found here