Siddhesh Joshi

Michael Balls

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Name  Michael Balls

Michael Balls CBE (born 1938) is a British zoologist and professor emeritus of medical cell biology at the University of Nottingham. He is best known for his work on laboratory animal welfare and alternatives to animal testing.


Life and career

Balls was born in 1938 in Norwich, Norfolk, the third son of Nellie Mary (née Dawson) and Charles Edward Dunbar Balls (18 February 1901 – 31 December 1948). He studied zoology at Oxford University, graduating with a second in 1960. He conducted research for a DPhil from Oxford at the University of Geneva Switzerland between 1961 and 1964. After post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, CA, and at Reed College, Portland, OR, from 1964 to 1966, he lectured in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, a job that he had got through his friend Ian Gibson. During that time he taught at Eton for a term

In 1975, he moved to the University of Nottingham Medical School as a senior lecturer in the Department of Human Morphology. Balls became Reader in Medical Cell Biology in 1985 and was promoted to Professor of Medical Cell Biology in 1990. Since 1995, he has been an Emeritus Professor at Nottingham.

Balls became a Trustee of Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) in 1979, and was Chairman of the Trustees from 1981 until his resignation in June 2013. He became Editor of Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) in 1983.

He acted as an adviser to the British government during the drafting and passage of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and, from 1987–1995, was a founder member of the Animal Procedures Committee (which advises the Home Secretary on all matters related to animal experimentation).

In 1993, Balls became the first Head of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods. He retired from this position in 2002.

In 2002, Balls was appointed a CBE.

He is the father of politician Ed Balls.


Balls has won a number of awards related to his work:

  • Marchig Animal Welfare Award – World Society for the Protection of Animals
    1986 (first award)
  • Russell & Burch Award – The Humane Society of the United States
    1994 Contributions to the advancement of alternative methods
  • SmithKline Beecham Laboratory Animal Welfare Prize
    1997 Outstanding contributions to the welfare of laboratory animals
  • Michael Kay Award – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    1999 Recognition of services to European animal welfare
  • References

    Michael Balls Wikipedia

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