Dr Sandra Coecke, senior scientist at European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy, is the recipient of the Björn Ekwall Memorial Award for the year 2020 in recognition of her work on the development and validation of new in vitro cell- and tissue-based methods for in vitro toxicity testing for the replacement of animal experiments. Sandra Coecke is also highly recognized for her leading role in the development of the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s guidance document on Good Cell Culture Practice (GCCP) and the OECD’s guidance document on Good In Vitro Method Practices (GIVIMP). The Scandinavian Society for Cell Toxicology (SSCT) established the Björn Ekwall Memorial Foundation in 2001. The main goal of the BEMF is to honour the memory of Dr. Björn Ekwall by giving a reward to the scientists who have substanctially contributed to the field of cell toxicology, e.g. by developing new in vitro tests or via mechanistic or validation studies.