NC3Rs e-newsletter - July 2016


Do you have expertise in laboratory animal welfare?

We are seeking an experienced individual to manage our animal welfare activities for a fixed period of one year (maternity cover).

This exciting and varied role includes monitoring of new scientific and technological developments relevant to animal welfare, oversight of refinement awards funded by the NC3Rs, organising expert working groups, workshops and symposia, and other responsibilities.

The closing date for applications is 15 August 2016.



New statistics functionality added to the Experimental Design Assistant

An updated version of our Experimental Design Assistant (EDA) has just been released. The EDA is a free tool built by the NC3Rs to help researchers design robust and reproducible experiments using the minimum number of animals. Researchers build a diagrammatic plan of their proposed experiment within the EDA and the system provides a tailored critique, including suggestions on optimising the design.

The latest release includes advice on which statistical test to use as well as links to the software for running the tests. Improvements have also been made so that the EDA now provides feedback on experimental plans within a few seconds.



Head mask for cancer patients adapted as a refinement for research primates

A new non-invasive head immobilisation system has been designed for macaque monkeys used in neuroscience studies, developed as part of an NC3Rs-funded pilot study grant.

The system, which consists of a customised-to-fit, see-through plastic facemask that can be used separately or combined with a back piece to form a full-head helmet, is an alternative to surgically implanted head posts that are frequently used to immobilise the head in studies that record brain activity.



Online resources for improving the care and use of non-human primates in research

A new paper published in Primate Biology outlines key online resources for training and professional development in the use, care and welfare of non-human primates.



Using computational models to predict fish acute toxicity of pesticide metabolites

A recently published analysis, conducted by the NC3Rs with collaborators from the agrochemical industry, has shown that quantitative structure–activity relationship models can predict whether plant protection product metabolites are acutely toxic to fish.

If applied across the industry, such models could reduce the number of fish used in acute toxicity studies by up to 1,800 per year in Europe.



Workshop report published: Minimising animal use in preclinical oncology research

A report has been published from an NC3Rs workshop which was co-sponsored by Medimmune. The report sets out a number of recommendations focusing on data sharing and better in vitro models.



Launch of our new Training Fellowship scheme

We are now inviting applications to our new Training Fellowship scheme. This scheme will support the development of promising, 3Rs-minded researchers with less than three years’ post-doctoral experience, and focuses on developing new skills and gaining a breadth of research experience relevant to the 3Rs.

Awards are two years in duration and prospective applicants are encouraged to consider the NC3Rs Skills and Experience Framework before applying.

The deadline for submission is 4pm BST on 13 September 2016.



Solution: Comprehensive in vitro human immune response testing - COMPIT

Are you seeking new in vitro platforms for predicting the human immune response to drugs? If so, the UK-based company Immundnz would like to hear from you to help develop and validate their COMPIT system of assays that combines novel cell lines, 3D scaffolds and primary cells to deliver an in vitro human cell-based immune system.

They are especially keen to engage with pharmaceutical partners able to provide access to a range of compounds and molecules that failed due to immunogenicity, or which modulate the immune system, with which to validate the COMPIT platform.



Accelerating the acceptance of mathematical models as evidence in safety and efficacy decision making

14 – 15 September 2016: LONDON
Our two day workshop, organised with the International Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, aims to accelerate the acceptance of mathematically-derived data to reduce the use of animals for the efficacy and safety testing of drugs and chemicals.

Participants are encouraged to submit poster abstracts highlighting specific research problems which would benefit from the input of mathematicians. The deadline for poster abstract submission is 3 August 2016.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 17 August 2016.



NC3Rs/IAT Animal Technicians' Symposium

22 September 2016: LONDON
Register for our one day symposium with the Institute of Animal Technology. Speakers from academia and industry will present the latest refinement opportunities and approaches to improving laboratory animal welfare.

Ten travel bursaries of up to £100 each are available and the application form can be found on the registration page. Participants are also encouraged to submit poster or presentation abstracts on a topic relevant to the 3Rs, with a £200 prize for the best poster. The deadline to submit abstracts is 19 August 2016.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 1 September 2016.



2016 Primate Welfare Meeting – Cumulative severity and lifetime experience of NHPs in research

10 October 2016: LONDON
We are hosting an international event for researchers, veterinarians, animal technologists and others involved with the care and use of non-human primates (NHPs) in research. The meeting will focus on the lifetime experience of NHPs and the methodologies and frameworks for assessing cumulative severity in long-term research programmes.

Attendees are encouraged to present a poster relevant to NHP welfare. The deadline for poster abstract submission is 31 August 2016.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 30 September 2016.


Find all of our most recent posts, along with our back catalogue here.


Seven ways to use the Macaque Website

Our Macaque Website focuses on sharing information on the behaviour, care and use of macaques to improve the welfare of these animals in laboratories worldwide. We have recently added new content, including an interactive quiz on macaque behaviour, and information on housing animals on biocontainment studies.

To help users to get the most from the website, our primatologist Dr Mark Prescott has authored a blog detailing seven ways in which this free resource can be used.