Women We Love 2022: Cindy Buckmaster

Cindy Buckmaster

courtesy Cindy Buckmaster

Dr. Cindy Buckmaster is not an advocate for animal-based research, but she is an advocate “for the strongest science possible and, unfortunately, that still requires research with animals,” she tells GO. “There is no technology in existence that can fully replace animals to help us learn all we need to know to understand and treat disease – not one.” As such, Buckmaster, a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior with over 25 years experience, has used her career to advocate for the ethical treatment of laboratory animals. In addition to serving as the current Strategic Advisor for the genotyping firm, Transynetx, Buckmaster is the Director for Public Outreach with the National Animal Interest Alliance, and works to make standards of excellence and empathy routine in the care of laboratory animals. “Insisting that animals aren’t still necessary when they are may make people feel better about themselves,” she says, “but it changes nothing for our animals.” Instead, she wants to improve the quality of care for animals currently used in research while developing strategies that would require fewer animals in the future. “There is a way forward, but it must be grounded in reality or the research animals we love will be stuck forever in the aftermath of our arguments,” she says. Despite her love for animals, Buckmaster is scared of spiders. “I won’t kill one, but we can’t hang,” she says. “My wife and friends usually have to escort them away from me.” –AB

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