In this letter, Kapis describes an organization that he and a fellow graduate student founded, called Alternatives to Animals,
which aims "to encourage and promote the use of alternative methods to reduce or replace the use of animals in education,
testing, and research." Kapis asks for Nirenberg's opinion on the use of animals in research.
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1987-01-07 (January 7, 1987)
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Reproduced with permission of Mike Kapis.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
I am writing to you in regards to our lecture on synapse plasticity at the F/81 symposium, Trends in Bioassay Methodology.
Last May, a fellow biology grad student, Kevin Winterfield, and I, Mike Kapis, formed ATA to encourage and promote the use
of alternative methods to reduce or replace the use of animals in education, testing, and research. Would you please comment
on the following questions.
Since the time of the symposium, what is the status of your research in clonal lines of cells? Has the amount of time been
reduced in defining the neural properties of the clonal system?
What is the current situation of monoclonal antibodies in connection with your work?
How does the factors regarding sensitivity and validity of your research match up to similar research on whole animals?
Have you reach any conclusions as to whether your particular research has reduced use of animal research?
Is funding difficult to obtain in your research compared to in vivo?
What were your thoughts on the symposium?
Your insights will be valuable in our research information gathering process! Please keep us updated on your research. Thank