FRAME Life President Professor Michael Balls will this week receive a prestigious award in recognition of his contribution to promoting alternatives to laboratory animals.

He will receive the Björn Ekwall Memorial Award during an international workshop: Mechanisms, markers and models – the 3M strategy in risk assessment, organised in collaboration by the Scandinavian Society for Cell Toxicology (SSCT) and the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Swetox).

The three-day event in Järna, Sweden, will cover topics such as: advanced cell models; adverse effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals; integrated test strategies for risk assessment; toxicokinetics, ADME and in vitro-in vivo extrapolation; neurotoxicity modes of action; adverse effects in the immune system; drug-induced liver toxicity; and toxicity of nano-materials and particles.

Professor Balls is recviing the award “in recognition of his pioneering work in promoting animal welfare and alternatives
to animal testing. Professor Balls has significantly contributed to the field of in vitro toxicology by promoting the use of non-animal tests to replace and reduce animal experiments”.

He became a Trustee of FRAME in 1979 and was a key figure in the charity’s activities until his retirement from the board. He is still actively involved with FRAME publications, incuding its peer-reviewed journal ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals). His career has also included nine years as head of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM). In 2002 he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Michael Balls collaborated with Björn Ekwall over many years, and became a close friend of Björn and his wife, Barbro. During his lifetime the Swedish cell toxicologist made pioneering contributions to the field of in vitro toxicology, including the basal cytotoxicity concept, which provided a basis for estimating acute systemic toxicity of chemicals in humans by use of in vitro tests.

The Björn Ekwall Memorial Award is presented annually to honour his memory. In 2010 FRAME Trustee Dr Richard Clothier received the award at the FRAME Annual lecture.