News | Mar 8, 2024

Remembering Marty L. Stephens

It is with great sadness and respect that ICAPO shares news of the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Martin L. Stephens (January 4, 1956-February 17, 2024). Marty spent his career working toward the goal of replacing the use of animals in research, testing and education through the rapid development of non-animal methods. As those who worked with him understand, however, it wasn’t just a career for him, it was a matter of deep devotion.

Marty served as a vice president of the Humane Society of the United States for more than 25 years and senior research associate at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing for over a decade. We owe Marty a debt of gratitude, as he was a founder of ICAPO, our Secretariat for some years, and the main force behind securing our formal invitation to affiliate with OECD as an expert group. Since 2002, ICAPO has played a significant role in advancing OECD non-animal testing guidelines that extend to numerous countries.

Marty’s role in the creation of ICAPO and in extending its overall influence with OECD and other interested parties was emblematic of his ability to bring together people and institutions with different perspectives, find common ground, and advance good science and policy. And that work will outlast him as it will all of us, as evidenced most dramatically by his pivotal role as a National Research Council committee member and contributor to Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: a vision and a strategy (2007). That report set the stage for numerous US government and international programs focused on replacing animals in toxicity testing.

Marty’s death gives all of us as ICAPO members and supporters a chance to reflect on the value and impact of one of our most congenial colleagues and friends. Beyond his accomplishments, we were fortunate to have a contributor in our midst who was so approachable, kind-natured, and selfless. We send our condolences to his wife, Julie Falconer, and other members of his family, even as we grieve the loss of an esteemed colleague and collaborator.

You can read more about Marty’s life at Martin Stephens Obituary (2024) - Washington, DC - The Washington Post (