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William Stokes Honored

By Eddy Ball
October 2006

William Stokes
Award Winner William Stokes. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

During its 2006 Annual Convention in Honolulu, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) paid one of its highest tributes to Dr. William Stokes of the National Toxicology Program (NTP), headquartered at NIEHS. Stokes received the organization's prestigious Charles River Prize for distinguished contributions to the field of laboratory animal medicine and science. Stokes is a doctor of veterinary medicine and currently serves as director of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM). A Captain in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, he is a 20-year veteran of NIH and Chief Veterinary Officer for the U.S. Public Health Service.

An international authority on the care and use of laboratory animals for biomedical research and testing, Stokes was recognized for establishing procedures to validate and gain regulatory acceptance of new safety testing methods to reduce, refine and replace animal use. As co-chair of the U.S. Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) from 1994 to 2001, he led the review and adoption of new methods that significantly reduced the numbers of animals and the pain and distress involved in testing.

In his current position as a NTP Center Director, Stokes administers and provides scientific support for the ICCVAM, which is composed of scientists from 15 federal agencies, including the conduct of international validation studies on proposed new safety assessment methods. Stokes said upon receiving the award, "This award acknowledges the significant progress that has resulted from the sustained efforts and interagency teamwork of the many dedicated scientists on the ICCVAM and at NICEATM and the contributions of many scientists and stakeholders in industry, academia, animal protection groups and the international community."

His AVMA award is the latest in a series of honors Stokes has received for his work. He is a recipient of the NIH Director's Award, the Society of Toxicology's Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award, the Russell and Burch Certificate of Recognition Award from the Humane Society of the United States, Army and Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Expert Field Medical Badge and the Outstanding Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Stokes' AVMA award is sponsored by the Charles River Laboratories Foundation, whose Humane Care Initiative drives its outreach activities and funding of educational programs on the humane care of laboratory animals. Stokes was one of 15 individuals, including 14 member veterinarians, honored at the Opening Ceremony and President's Installation Luncheon during the annual meeting. Established in 1863, AVMA is a not-for-profit association representing more than 74,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia and uniformed services.



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