Young Researcher Prize

Open to keen young scientists (up to 35 years at the time of application) with a desire to fund the next stage of a career focussed on an animal-test free future.

Because toxicology has for so long been centred on animal testing, many scientists with concerns about the use of animals are deterred from becoming toxicologists. Those who do enter the field can find that access to funding for working on non-animal tests can be a barrier.

We want to change this, and to encourage young scientists to develop a career in toxicology without harming animals by offering bursaries to allow them to advance in this area.

From 2020, at least one of the five young researcher awards will be given for work on computational toxicology. Furthermore, given the previous success of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) in skin and eye sensitisation, Lush Prize is keen to address another urgent unmet need in human relevant toxicity testing, namely the drive for development of new AOPs in systemic or developmental toxicology.

In recent years we have increased our outreach specifically in areas such as South and Central America, and across Asia, where we hope to raise knowledge and support for animal-free science as well as provide encouragement to those researchers using non-animal methods.

Each Young Researcher winner receives £10,000 funding.



Entries for the next prize cycle are due to open in 2025.

Stay up to date about entry dates and other news by signing up for occasional email updates about the Prize:


Previous Winners


2024 Prize

Lauren Dalat de Sousa Coelho (£10,000)
Universidade Federal de Goias, Brazil
Project: Multi-organ-on-chip platform for human teratogenicity screening of cosmetics.

Martina Iulini (£10,000)
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Project: Advancing Immunotoxicity Studies Through Innovative In Vitro Human Models: A Focus on Primary Antibody Production.

Dr Barbara Jozef (£10,000)
Eawag, ETH domain, Switzerland
Project: Exploring Early Neurotoxic Effects: Phenotypic Profiling of Rainbow Trout Brain Cells for Identifying Distinct Modes of Action in Chemicals.
(Permanent – also termed ‘immortalised’ – cell lines have an indefinite lifespan and do not require the use of ‘new’ animals for production, so these meet the strict eligibility criteria for Lush Prize.)

Dr Chao Ma (£10,000)
New York University, USA
Project: Bioengineering Ex Vivo Human Leukemia Bone Marrow Precision Immuno-Oncology Platform: Preclinical Screening for Personalized CAR T-cell Immunotherapy.

Zheng Tan (£10,000)
University of British Columbia, Canada
Project: Establishing a multi-organ co-culture in an organ-on-a-chip setup to emulate the human atopic march.

Also Commended
Dr Maren Schenke
Johns Hopkins University, USA
Project: Addressing sex differences in brain development without animals.


2022 Prize

Dr Arthur de Carvalho e Silva (£10,000)
University of Birmingham, UK
Project: Integrating physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling and ‘omics data to derive health-based guidance values for perfluorinated chemicals.

Dr Sudeep Joshi (£10,000)
The Francis Crick Institute and King’s College London, UK
Project: A robotic process automation system for biomanufacturing animal-free in-vitro 3D tissue and organoid models for drug screening.

Dr Shagun Krishna (£10,000)
National Toxicology Program (DNTP), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), USA
Project: Computational Cardiotoxicology: Building an AI-assisted alternative method-based toxicity screening pipeline.

Prof. Dr. Francesca Grisoni (£10,000)
Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Project: Combining artificial intelligence and human organoids for animal-free drug discovery: towards a paradigm shift.

Mr Artur Silva (£10,000)
Federal University of Goiás, Brazil
Project: Lung-sens-on-a-chip model for mechanistic assessment of chemically-induced pulmonary sensitization: Providing building blocks for the respiratory allergy AOP.


2020 Prize

Edoardo Carnesecchi (£10,000)
Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Project: Early neurodevelopmental disturbances during sensitive periods of stem cell differentiation.

Nadine Dreser (£10,000)
University of Konstanz, Germany
Project: An innovative software platform to assess chemical mixtures toxicity and exposure.

Dr Domenico Gadaleta (£10,000)
Computational Toxicology Unit, Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, IRCCS, Italy
Project: Development of an Integrated Screening Method Based on Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships Predicting Molecular Initiating Events of Neurotoxicity.

Dr Johanna Nyffeler (£10,000)
US Environmental Protection Agency, USA
Project: High-throughput phenotypic profiling of human neural progenitor cells to identify putative modes-of-action of developmental neurotoxicants.

Dr Yuan Pang (£10,000)
Tsinghua University, China
Project: Construction of advanced in vitro tissue models based on 3D bioprinting and their application in drug discovery and toxicity test.


2018 Prize

Dr Vinicius Alves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA (£10,000)
Mr Sasan Jalili Firoozinezhad, Wyss Institute-Harvard University, USA (£10,000)
Ms Lorena Neves, Catholic University of Petrópolis, Brazil (£10,000)
Dr Pilar de la Puente, Sanford Research, USA (£10,000)
Dr Natalia Sizochenko, Dartmouth College, USA (£10,000)

Dr Guan-Yu Chen. Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (£10,000)
Mr Kota Toshimoto, NRIKEN, Japan (£10,000)
Dr Jiangwa Xing, Qinghai University, China (£10,000)

Ms Aline Chary.Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Luxembourg (£10,000)
Ms Alexandra Damerau. Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany (£10,000)
Mr Nikolas Gaio, Technical University of Delft, Netherlands (£10,000)
Dr Alessandro Polini, Università del Salento / CNR Nanotec, Italy (£10,000)
Dr Daniel Urbisch, BASF SE, Germany (£10,000)


2017 Prize

Carolina Catarino, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA (£10,000)
Dr Zhen Ma, Syracuse University, USA (£10,000)
Dr Kamel Mansouri, Scitovation, USA (£10,000)
Dr Renato Ivan de Ávila Marcelino, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil (£10,000)
Dr David Pamies, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, USA (£10,000)

Dr Jiabin Guo, Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, China (£10,000)
Dr Kenry, National University of Singapore, Singapore (£10,000)
Dr Satoshi Koyama, Takasaki University of Health and Welfare, Japan (£10,000)

Dr Nathalie Bock, Queensland University of Technology, Australia (£10,000)
Dr Sandra Heller, Ulm University, Germany (£10,000)
Vanessa Kappings, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (£10,000)
Anna Monzel, University of Luxembourg – Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, Luxembourg (£10,000)
Dr Rebecca Payne, Newcastle University, UK (£10,000)


2016 Prize

Kambez Hajipouran Benam, Harvard University, USA ($15,000)
Nicole Kleinstreuer, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA ($15,000)
Yu Shrike Zhang, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA ($15,000)
Kimberly Norman, Institute for In Vitro Sciences, USA ($15,000)
Daria Filonov, Creative Scientist Inc., USA ($15,000)

Mijoo Kim, Yonsei University, South Korea (£10,000)
Kumiko Tatsumi, Osaka City University, Japan (£10,000)
Yu Chen, The Center for Alternatives Research & Evaluation, China (£10,000)

Giorgia Pallocca, University of Konstanz, Germany (£10,000)
Pranjul Shah, University of Luxembourg (£10,000)
Eleftheria Pervolaraki, University of Leeds, UK (£10,000)
Katherine Chapman, Swansea University, UK (£10,000)
Antje Appelt-Menzel, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany (£10,000)


2015 Prize

Laura Bray (£10,000)
Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research, Germany
A proposed project to provide three key developments to animal replacement in cancer research and patients: a toolbox for medical researchers to study acute myeloid leukemia in vitro; a method for high throughput drug screening to accelerate clinical trials; a model system to test patient blood samples, for the purpose of individualising their treatment program.

Jeremy Caplin (£10,000)
Hashemi Labs, Iowa State University, USA
For work on an alternative to animal testing through the design and use of a “placenta-on-a-chip”. This chip is a 3D microfluidic device that serves as an improved method for drug testing and toxicology.

Elena Kummer (£10,000)
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
For work contributing to understanding the extent and quality of allergic sensitization. The goal is to provide a simple assay based on the use of a commercially available cell lines able to provide potency information, which is required for full replacement of animals in the assessment of the allergenic potential of xenobiotic.

Bianca Marigliani (£10,000)
The Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
For research to replace the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), obtained from bovine fetuses during slaughter of pregnant cows. FBS is the most common animal-derivative used as a medium supplement but has both ethical and technical problems.

Bianca Marigliani explains how the Lush Prize helped her to pursue the research she wanted.

Ilka Maschmeyer (£10,000)
TissUse, Germany
Working on the long-term systemic interconnection of different organs with each other, focusing on the skin tissue, providing the dermal application route for cosmetics and drugs, replacing animal tests.

Dr Lena Smirnova (£10,000)
Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, USA
For research on 3D organotypical human in vitro brain model development in combination with multi-omics technologies for (developmental) neurotoxicity testing (DNT). The research goal is to establish a high-throughput testing platform for in vitro chemical testing.


2014 Prize

Róber Bachinski.
Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
Róber is developing research on 3D cell culture models, models for neuro-toxicology and neuro-pharmacology and alternatives for uses in the scientific education. He was the first student to get a legal recourse of conscious objection in Brazil, and participates in the 1R Net (, providing information to students and professors in Brazil and other Latin-American countries.

Thit Aarøe Mørck.
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Thit is part of the research group of Professor, PhD Lisbeth E. Knudsen at the Department of Public Health, faculty of Health and Medical Science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The main focus of the research is human exposure to environmental chemicals, with special emphasis on the sensitive periods of pregnancy and childhood.

Dr Henrik Johansson.
Lund University, Lund, Sweden
The project for which Dr. Johansson was awarded the Lush Prize Young Researcher Award describes the development and use of the novel test method GARD – Genomic Allergen Rapid Detection, an assay for assessment of chemical sensitizers. GARD utilises an in vitro model of so-called dendritic cells, a central player in the human immune system.

Anne Krug.
University of Konstanz, Germany
Anne’s project measures human neurons, which are treated with different kinds of substances, to assess whether these have a negative impact on neurite growth. Her project combines a high-throughput screening assay with advanced research technologies.

Jonathan Nicolas.
Division of Toxicology/RIKILT Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands
Besides being the Dutch National Reference Laboratory for monitoring residues and contaminants in food and feed, RIKILT is a European Reference Laboratory for specific analytical domains. In addition to method development and validation of tests, RIKILT also advises and participates in panels from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and CODEX.


2013 Prize

Simona Martinotti, Italy (£12,500)
For her research with Dr. Ranzato into wound healing using drug strategies based on natural products and traditional medicines.

Alice Limonciel, Austria (£12,500)
For her research into the improvement of in-vitro models for testing toxicity effects on human kidneys.

Lydia Aschauer, Austria (£12,500)
For her research on improving predictions of human responses to chemicals through understanding molecular mechanisms.

Katja Reinhard, Germany (£12,500)
For her research into visual impairment and blindness using human retinal tissue in vitro.


2012 Prize

Elizabeth Woehrling, UK (£12,500)
For her work on the development of a new in vitro test for neurotoxicity

Felix Rivera-Mariani, USA (£12,500)
For his work on expanding an existing non animal test into new areas.

Chiara Scanarotti, Italy (£12,500)
For her work on skin sensitisation and chemical mixtures.

Line Mathiesen, Denmark (£12,500)
For her work on studying the impact of toxics on placental tissue.