In the latest episode of Lady Freethinker’s (LFT) Activists in Action interview series, LFT founder Nina Jackel sits down with Dr. Aysha Akhtar, a double board-certified neurologist, to discuss the future of scientific testing without animals.

As a U.S. veteran, Akhtar served as a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps prior to working for over a decade as a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of Counterterrorism and Emergency Threats. She took a position as the deputy director of the U.S. Army Traumatic Brain Injury Program, but stepped down in May to start a nonprofit promoting human-based biomedical research to end animal testing and experimentation in the sciences.

After her adorable cat steals the show in the beginning of the interview, Akhtar explains why hurting animals also hurts people.

“When you look at the data, when you look at the public health information, it becomes absolutely clear that what’s good for animals is what’s good for humans,” she tells Jackel. “Our health and wellbeing is so intricately tied to the health and wellbeing of other animals.”

For the next few years, Akhtar is devoted to the Center for Contemporary Sciences, where she will work to replace the use of animals in biomedical science with humane, effective testing methods.

Follow Akhtar through the Center for Contemporary Sciences or at her personal website