NC3Rs e-newsletter - January 2016


The importance of neonate assessment


We have published the latest article in our series from Dr Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, on genetically modified mice.


The article argues the importance of assessing the welfare of neonatal mice in breeding programmes and provides tips on how to do this with minimal disruption to the litters.




Launch of welfare assessment resource


A new e-learning resource has been launched to help researchers and animal care staff to identify signs of good and poor welfare in laboratory animals.


Created by Professor Paul Flecknell and his team at Newcastle University, with funding from the NC3Rs, it is the second scenario-based training module to be added to the FLAIRE Learning site. Featuring videos and questionnaires, the module places the user in situations they may encounter in the laboratory in order to improve and test their understanding of how to recognise and prevent pain, suffering and distress in research animals.


This free resource aims to meet the learning objectives of EU Module 5. The UK accrediting bodies support use of the resource in training courses for personal licence holders.




Nature study highlights alternative toxicity tests


A study recently published in Nature Communications highlights a new screening technique which has the potential to test thousands of chemicals using cells and isolated molecular targets instead of laboratory animals.


The improved in vitro models are a result of the Tox21 (Toxicology in the 21st Century) programme, a collaboration between the National Institute of Health, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Tox21 10K chemical library has been screened against a panel of nuclear receptor and stress response pathway assays, producing the largest set of high quality in vitro toxicity data to date, a step towards the long-term goal of reducing reliance on animal in regulatory toxicity testing.




Programme Manager – Research Funding


We are seeking an experienced individual to manage our research funding schemes, including our project grants, which are critical to the development of new 3Rs research models, tools and approaches. The role also involves monitoring the progress of grants and working collaboratively with award holders to maximise dissemination and uptake of 3Rs advances.


Application deadline: Thursday 4 February 2016.




Programme Manager - Drug Development


We are seeking an experienced individual to lead specific 3Rs programmes relating to the use of animals in drug development. The role will involve extensive collaboration with companies and regulatory bodies and includes, leading expert working groups; organising workshops and other events; collating and analysing data; and preparing papers for publication.


Application deadline: Friday 12 February 2016.




Open call for CRACK IT Challenges


We are inviting submissions from Sponsors for new CRACK IT Challenges for the 2016 competition.


CRACK IT Challenges is a two-phase competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve problems related to the 3Rs, leading to new products or improved business processes. To date, we have supported 21 CRACK IT Challenges and committed more than £14 million to the competition.


As Sponsor of a Challenge you will be able to gain early end-user access to new technologies that will have 3Rs impacts and deliver scientific benefits to your business.


The deadline for new Challenge submissions is Tuesday 1 March 2016.




CRACK IT awards £1 million in Challenge funding


We have awarded £1 million Phase 2 funding to MIMETAS BV, an organ-on-a-chip company based in the Netherlands for the CRACK IT Challenge Neuratect.


The aim of the Challenge is to generate a physiologically-relevant platform from human induced pluripotent stem cells for assessing neurotoxicity in vitro, replacing some of the current animal studies.