European Society of Toxicology In Vitro > News > Professor Horst Spielmann, former president and an honorary member of ESTIV celebrates his 80th anniversary
3 April 2022

Professor Horst Spielmann, former president and an honorary member of ESTIV celebrates his 80th anniversary

Prof. Horst Spielmann

This month, professor Horst Spielmann, former president and an honorary member of ESTIV celebrates his 80th anniversary. On behalf of the ESTIV Board and also all our members, we wish Prof. Spielmann Happy Anniversary!

About Prof. Spielmann

Professor Spielmann is internationally known for his contributions to developing and validating alternative methods in regulatory toxicology. From 1989 to 2007, he held the position of Head of Dept. Scientific Services and of ZEBET (National German Centre for the Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Testing in Animals at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Under his leadership, the ZEBET team managed and successfully completed several pre-validation and validation projects that led to the acceptance of the first in vitro toxicity tests for regulatory purposes at the international level (EU, OECD, Japan, USA), e.g. in vitro alternatives to the Draize eye test (1988 – 1995), in vitro phototoxicity tests (1992-1998), in vitro corrosivity tests (1996-1998), and in vitro embryotoxicity test using a mouse embryonic stem cell line (1998-2002) and of the ECVAM skin irritation validation study using human skin models (2005-2007).

For outstanding contribution to the development and acceptance of scientific alternatives to animal testing, he has received many international awards including the LUSH Prize: Andrew Tyler Award 2018. Other awards for his pioneering work include:

  • 2009 “Official Patron of Animal Welfare in the Life Sciences“ awarded at the 7th “World Congresses on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences” in Rome
  • 2007 Honorary member of the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments (JSAAE)
  • 2007 Recognition Award 2007, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT, Johns Hopkins University, USA)
  • 2005 Dermopharmazie Innovation Prize 2005 for introducing human skin models into regulatory safety testing
  • 2001 ETS Award 2001 of the European Teratology Society (ETS) for the “Fundamental contribution to the development and validation of non-animal test in general and developmental toxicology”
  • 2012 Recipient of the Björn Ekwall Memorial Award
  • 2000 Award of the Doerenkamp-Zbinden-Foundation for “Realistic Animal Protection in Biomedical Research” (Chur, CH) for the year 2000
  • 1998 Prize of the Naef Foundation for Alternatives to Animal Testing (Geneva, CH), for successful development and validation of the 3T3 NRU PT in vitro phototoxicity test
  • 1997 Russell & Burch Award of the Humane Society of the USA (HSUS) for a substantial contribution to reduce, refine and replace testing in animals
  • 1997 FISEA Prize, the European Association Against Testing in Animals (Luxembourg), for developing the embryonic stem cell test (EST), an in vitro embryotoxicity test using two permanent mouse cell lines
  • 1997 Bronze Medal of the Charles University Medical School in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, for the contribution to establishing education in physiology without experimental animals 1994 Medal of the Japanese AZABU University Veterinary School in Shagamihara (Tokyo), Japan

Besides his activities and service to the German government, professor Spielmann also shares his valuable knowledge with students at the FU. He was appointed and promoted to an Honorary Professor for Regulatory Toxicology at the Freie Universität Berlin. Professor Spielmann published more than 220 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has been invited as a keynote speaker at various international meetings worldwide. Given his broad expertise and political and administrative efforts in promoting the 3Rs of alternatives, in 2012 professor Spielmann was appointed as Animal Protection Officer of the State of Berlin.

In addition to his work at ZEBET and FU Berlin, Prof. Spielmann served on the advisory boards of numerous alternatives-related organizations and editorial boards of several journals. The many activities and positions he has held during his active scientific career resulted in the following recognitions by his colleagues and successors most noticeable are:

  • Honorary Member of the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments (JSAAE)
  • Honorary Member of the European Society for Toxicology in Vitro (ESTIV), ESTIV Former President
  • Honorary member of Society for Dermopharmacy (GD)

Professor Spielmann is still actively involved in several organisations as adviser and board member including being:

  • Chair of the Advisory Board of the company TissUse
  • Secretary-General of the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EUSAAT), Former president
  • Editorial board of journal Alternatives to Animal Testing ATLA, Former Assoc. Editor Europe

References: Celebrating Professor Horst Spielmann’s 80th Birthday. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals. May 2022. doi:10.1177/02611929221097010

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