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Lush Prize Americas: Young Researcher Award Winners

Rewarding cruelty-free innovation

In 2016, we hosted the first-ever Lush Prize Americas – Young Researcher Award.

The five winners were researchers in the field of toxicology, an area that’s unfortunately been synonymous with animal testing for decades. They’re actively changing the face of the field by developing bold new toxicology methods which not only reduce animal suffering, but also provide superior results when compared to traditional animal testing methods.

The regional Lush Prize Young Researcher Awards help young scientists across the globe develop a career in cruelty-free toxicology by offering bursaries of $15,000 USD to each winner. 2016 marks the first year of the regional prize, and we’re thrilled to offer the prize to these fantastic young scientists from the Americas.

Kimberly Norman, Senior Toxicologist and Study Director at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences

With a focus on identifying skin allergens, Norman develops cell-based methods of modelling disease and damage. Not only do these methods eliminate the need for animals in tests, but they’re quicker and more efficient than animal tests, too.

Lush Prize 2016 | Kimberly Norman | Americas Young Researcher Award from Lush Cosmetics on Vimeo.

Nicole C. Kleinstreuer, Deputy Director of the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods

Kleinstreuer’s goal is to revolutionize toxicology. By building cruelty-free predictive models rather than relying on animal testing, she hopes to make testing smarter, faster and more relevant to humans.

Lush Prize 2016 | Nicole Kleinstreuer | Americas Young Researcher Award from Lush Cosmetics on Vimeo.

Kambez Hajipouran Benam, Harvard University

A bioengineer, Benam has developed “organs-on-chips”, which allow researchers to analyze the effects of disease, external factors like e-cigarette smoke, and drug responses all without the use of animals.

Lush Prize 2016 | Kambez Benam | Americas Young Researcher Award from Lush Cosmetics on Vimeo.

Yu Shrike Zhang, Instructor of Medicine and Associate Bioengineer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School

Zhang’s work focuses on creating artificial organs. These biological tissues can replace animals in testing models, creating results that are more predictive of human situations versus traditional animal testing methods.

Lush Prize 2016 | Yu Shrike Zhang | Americas Young Researcher Award from Lush Cosmetics on Vimeo.

Daria Filonov, Creative Scientist Inc.

Filonov is working to develop a new, exciting cell-based assay that will allow researchers to learn more about cardiovascular diseases. This model will provide better, more human-relevant predictions than traditional animal methods.

Lush Prize 2016 | Daria Filonov | Americas Young Researcher Award from Lush Cosmetics on Vimeo.

The Lush Prize is an annual award fund in partnership with Ethical Consumer. It supports those working towards a future free from animal testing. Visit to learn about past prize winners, how to apply and more.