Our Symphony with Animals

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Meet The Expert

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is a neurologist and public health specialist and is on a mission to show that what’s good for animals is also good for humans!

Dr. Akhtar is the author of the new book, Our Symphony With Animals. On Health, Empathy and Our Shared Destinies. Combining medicine, social sciences, and stories, her book explores how deeply the well-being of humans and animals are entwined. The book shows how humanity’s compassion for animals is the next step in our species’ moral evolution and a vital component of our own health.

She is the President and CEO of the Center for Contemporary Sciences, which is pioneering the transition to replace the use of animals in experimentation with effective human-based technologies.

Previously she served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Army Traumatic Brain Injury Program developing the Army’s Brain Injury prevention and treatment strategies for soldiers. As a Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Akhtar frequently deployed to assist with national public health emergencies.

For a decade, Aysha was a Medical Officer at the Food and Drug Administration, most recently in the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, implementing studies on vaccine effectiveness and safety and using her Top Secret Security Clearance to develop national preparedness strategies for public health threats. She is published in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet, Pediatrics, Journal of Public Health Policy, and Reviews in the Neurosciences.

Aysha is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Aysha is a TEDx speaker.