Americans For Medical Advancement (AFMA) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes biomedical research and the practice of medicine based on critical thinking and our current understanding of evolutionary and developmental biology, complex systems and genomics.
Our primary concern is the advancement of investigative methodologies that lead to effective cures and treatments for human diseases. As such, AFMA is opposed to research modalities that have been shown to be scientifically invalid—specifically, the use of animals as predictive models (also known as causal analogical models) for humans relative to drug and disease response.
While an immense body of empirical evidence has supported this conclusion for decades, new knowledge about genes, gene regulation, gene expression and gene networks—gained in large part as a result of the Human Genome Project—has significantly increased our understanding of why animals cannot be used to predict human response to drugs or the pathophysiology of human diseases.
Despite the development of an all-encompassing theory as to why animals are not predictive, there remains—much to the detriment of human health and medical progress—extraordinary resistance to abandoning the use of animals as predictive models. (For the reasons why, click on OPPOSITION)
The goal of AFMA, therefore, is to educate the scientific community, as well as the general public, of the urgent need for a move away from the ineffective animal model to research modalities that truly reflect the enormous strides we have made in our knowledge of living systems.
Drs Greek, Shanks, and Rice's article "The History and Implications of Testing Thalidomide on Animals" has been published by The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law. It is available here.
Drs Greek and Shanks' article "Complex systems, evolution, and animal models" has been published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. A pre-print version of the article can be accessed here. To view the article in the form it appears in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, click here. It is available for a fee.
Dr Rice's article "The institutional review board is an impediment to human research: the result is more animal-based research," was published in Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. It is available here.
Dario Ringach, PhD published an article titled, "The Use of Nonhuman Animals in Biomedical Research," in The American Journal of Medical Sciences. The pdf is available here. We encourage everyone to read it as it does provide the standard arguments presented by AFMA's critics. Dr Greek wrote a short response to Dr Ringach's article that was published in the same issue. A preprint version can be accessed here. The letter, in journal formatting, can be accessed here for a fee. Also see Dr Greek's blog "Why Debate When You Can Publish Unopposed Nonsense?" where he addresses Dr Ringach's article.
Dr Greek was interviewed by Toronto's Animal Voices. The interview is available from the Animal Voices website.
Dr Greek spoke at the University of Toronto in September 2011. The video is available here.
Drs Shanks, Greek, and Greek article “Are animal models predictive for humans?” in the journal Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine has been downloaded several thousand times and is one of the most “highly accessed” articles. The article can be freely accessed at
Drs Shanks’ and Greek’s books! Click here for more information.
Dr Ray Greek recently appeared as a guest rogue on the podcast The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. The podcast can be downloaded from iTunes where it is dated as 2-5-11 and from the above link where it is labelled episode #290 and dated 1-31-11. Also see Dr Greek’s blog My Appearance on "The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe".