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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

2002 Recognition Awards

Paul Flecknell

Paul Flecknell, the world's leading expert on identifying and managing pain in laboratory animals, received the CAAT Recognition Award for 2002. The award was presented at the Fourth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in New Orleans.

The award, presented at every World Congress, honors an individual (or organization) who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of alternative methods or the field of in vitro science. Flecknell was chosen from a list of international nominees for his "unceasing dedication to the identification and elimination of pain in laboratory animal experiments."

For more than 25 years, Paul Flecknell has attempted to make life less painful for laboratory animals by bringing them better analgesia and anesthesia. Today, his work is cited in nearly every paper that discusses pain in laboratory animals.

Currently director of the Comparative Biology Centre at the University of Newcastle, he qualified from Cambridge Veterinary School in 1976 and worked for a year at the University of Bristol as a F.A.B. Scholar. He then joined the Medical Research Council's Clinical Research Centre at Harrow, where he was responsible for animal health and welfare in the research animal facility. During this period he completed his doctorate in neonatal physiology and developed his major interest in animal anesthesia and analgesia. He holds the Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is also a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. He was appointed to a personal professorship in Laboratory Animal Science in 1997.

Today he is president of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists, vice-chairman of the editorial board of "Laboratory Animals," and a member of the editorial board of the "Veterinary Journal" and "Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia." He is a member of the board of both the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation and the Doerenkamp and Zbinden Foundation. He is a member of the UK Home Office Animal Procedures Committee.

Flecknell was awarded the Livesey Medal by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1986 for work on anaesthesia and analgesia of laboratory animals, the GV-SOLAS Prize for Laboratory Animal Science and the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation for Realistic Animal Protection in Scientific Research award in 1991, the Research Defence Society--SmithKline Beecham Laboratory Animal Welfare Prize in 1993 and the WARDS Refinement Project Award in 1996. In 1992 he visited Guelph as a Canadian Commonwealth Fellow, and in 1997 was elected an Honorary Associate of the British Laboratory Animal Veterinary Association.

In his remarks at the awards ceremony, CAAT director Alan M. Goldberg said that "no one had done more" to eliminate pain in laboratory animals.

"Through his sustained commitment to understanding the complex nature of pain in laboratory animals, and his unceasing efforts to find appropriate pain management, Paul Flecknell has made a major and lasting contribution to laboratory science," Goldberg said at the awards ceremony. "We must eliminate pain in animals if we seek to be humane; we must be humane if we expect to achieve excellence in our research. As Russell and Burch said, humane science is the best science."

Previous recipients of CAAT Recognition Awards include: Robert A. Scala, Herman B.W.M. Koeter, Andrew N. Rowan; Gerhard Zbinden, Per Ottar Seglen, Procter & Gamble Co., Avon Products Inc., Zeneca, and Michael F.W. Festing.

Since 1981, CAAT has supported the development of alternatives that refine methods to make them less painful or stressful, reduce the number of animals necessary for a particular experiment, or replace them with a non-whole animal method. In 2001, CAAT launched a new Refinement Program Project focused on the identification, assessment, and elimination of pain and distress in laboratory animals.