Award for 3-D Human Tissue Models and Alveolar Macrophages to Assess Toxicity or Drug Efficacy in Respiratory Tract

PETA Science Consortium International and Epithelix invite you to apply to win three-dimensional reconstructed human respiratory tissues from Epithelix. Epithelix’s human cell–based tissue models mimic different regions of the respiratory tract and can be used for testing cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical device extracts, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and household products.

The award winner will be selected based on their proposal’s scientific merit and potential to replace the use of animals in inhalation testing, and will receive a $15,000 (~€15,237) award redeemable for Epithelix tissues (MucilAir™, SmallAir™, or AlveolAir™) and/or primary human alveolar macrophages (at standard commercial prices). Researchers from any sector (e.g. industry, academia, and government) are encouraged to apply, and this opportunity is open to applicants worldwide.

Application Requirements

In addition to a curriculum vitae, please submit a proposal (1,000 words or less) addressing the following:

  • Tissues you are requesting (one or more tissue type representing different regions of the respiratory tract)
  • Whether you are currently using Epithelix tissues and/or other models in your research
  • Scientific advantages and limitations of using Epithelix model(s) for your research
  • Information regarding the test substance and endpoints to be assessed
  • How your work will replace the use of animals in inhalation tests
  • Your plan for disseminating the data generated using the Epithelix tissues

The deadline to submit a proposal is 3 February 2023, and the award winner will be announced in March 2023.

For additional information or to submit a proposal, please contact Monita Sharma at [email protected].


Past Awards

In 2018, PETA Science Consortium International and Epithelix awarded researchers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany free three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructed human respiratory tissue models manufactured by Epithelix. After receiving proposals from all around the world, three researchers were chosen based on their proposals’ scientific merit and potential to use the tissues to replace animals in inhalation testing.

First Place ($5,000 award)

Kristine Nishida, from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will expose the 3-D tissues to cigarette smoke to elucidate the mechanism underlying the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She will also study tissues from human donors with COPD to gain a deeper understanding of the disease pathogenesis and how to reverse the effects.

I am so honored to receive this wonderful award! The MucilAir cells will allow us to elucidate the mechanisms that occur in human cells isolated from several different COPD and non-diseased donors in a fully differentiated air-liquid interface culture. We will be able to expose the tissues at air-liquid interface to whole cigarette smoke and fully detail the changes that occur in the epithelium that we couldn’t otherwise do in an animal model.“— Kristine Nishida


Second Place ($2,500 award each)

Dr Chang Guo, Public Health England, will use the tissues for toxicity testing of carbon nanotubes.

Dr Richard Gminski, University of Freiburg, will use the tissues to evaluate the efficacy of drugs on Klebsiella pneumoniae, an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that poses a health threat to hospital patients worldwide.