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This event will showcase exciting new technologies developed by scientists funded by the NC3Rs – the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement of Animals in Research. Here they will discuss how their work helps to better model human disease in the lab by advancing the alternative techniques available to scientists.
Waste not, want not: getting the most out of donated liver tissue using multiphoton microscopy
Dr Scott Davies (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Gastrointestinal and Liver Research, University of Birmingham)
Many aspects of liver disease research make use of animals to help further discoveries for human treatments. But, if possible, why not go straight to using human tissue? Scott's research aims to reduce the use of animals, whilst making exciting strides towards drug discovery for diseases of the liver. Scott will discuss how his work is making use of diseased livers from patients undergoing transplants, together with advanced microscopy capabilities, to create novel observations in live human tissue.
From ageing to space travel: understanding bone loss in laboratory models for osteoporosis
Dr Alexandra Iordachescu (NC3Rs Training Fellow and Principal Investigator, University of Birmingham)
A substantial loss of skeletal tissue takes place in several clinical contexts, including disuse osteoporosis, ageing and weightlessness in microgravity, all characterised by a rapid and significant loss in bone mass in the load-bearing regions. This increases the risk of fractures and impairs the healing process. Alexandra’s talk will be focused on her work in developing lab-grown tissue models for studying the molecular and cellular responses to reduced loading conditions.
Animals in vaccine development: can we replace them?
Laura Feather (PhD student, Aston University)
Vaccines are the most successful method of disease prevention to date, but there are still many prevalent diseases in the 21st century, such as TB, HIV and Malaria that desperately need a vaccine to prevent them. However the development of vaccines for licensed human use can take up to 10-15 years. This is predominantly due to the use of animals within the development and screening process. The question then is, is there another way to predict vaccine effectiveness in humans? Can we reduce or even replace the use of animals by making use of the animal data already collected?