Catherine Willett, Ph.D.

Catherine Willett, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs, Research and Toxicology Department

Humane Society International

Kate is Senior Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs in the Research and Toxicology Department at Humane Society International. In this role, Kate oversees the scientific and policy elements of our global campaign to replace animals in chemical testing and research, work that involves coordinating with regulatory agencies, scientists and policy makers around the world to facilitate the development and implementation of new scientific approaches for chemical assessment. Dr. Willett also coordinates the Human Toxicology Project consortium (focused on implementing non-animal approaches to chemical safety assessment) and the education and training aspects of the Non-Animal Cosmetics Safety Assessment collaboration. Finally, she facilitates the BioMed21 Collaboration (with the goal of shifting toward human-biology focused approaches to disease research).

Dr. Willett is a global leader in the science of non-animal methods and collaborates broadly on a number of international initiatives. She works with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Test Guideline and Adverse Outcome Pathway Programs, where she is a member of several OECD expert and management groups. Dr. Willett currently sits on the US Environmental Protection Agency TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals, Shell International’s Animal Testing Review Panel, the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Institute of In Vitro Sciences and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and was previously a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods for NTP’s Interagency Coordinating committee for Alternative Methods (SACATM).

Before coming to the Humane Society, Dr. Willett spent five years as senior science and policy advisor for PETA. Prior to that, she spent seven years as a principle investigator for a start-up contract research laboratory that used zebrafish to develop preclinical tests for drug companies for a wide range of biological activities and potential toxicities. Before joining the start-up, she carried out postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying the immune system of zebrafish. Dr. Willett received her MS and PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis.