NC3Rs e-newsletter - October 2018


Apply now for our £30k International 3Rs Prize


Have you published a paper describing outstanding and original work that has or could have major impacts on the 3Rs? If so, you should apply for our 2018 International 3Rs Prize, sponsored by GSK. This prestigious annual award, worth a total of £30k, recognises a paper published in the last three years with demonstrable 3Rs impacts.


The deadline for submissions is 4pm (GMT) on Wednesday 5 December 2018.




Self-organising ‘gastruloids’ mimic early development of mouse embryos


Researchers have developed a 3D embryonic stem cell culture system capable of self-organising into the three major axes of the body. This work was partially funded by a David Sainsbury Fellowship awarded to Dr David Turner at the University of Cambridge. Watch our video interviews with Dr Turner, who discusses the research and its potential to replace the use of mice in studies of mammalian embryo development.




Culturing human cells to study fungal lung colonisation


Work at the University of Manchester, funded partly by an NC3Rs Training Fellowship, has shown that human cell lines can be used to study lung colonisation by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. This new model allows scientists to avoid the use of animals altogether when studying the genetic mutations associated with aspergillosis.




Listen to the 3 Minute 3Rs podcast


Every month, 3 Minute 3Rs features three recent research papers covering a breadth of 3Rs topics, from the latest refinement techniques to non-mammalian models and in vitro approaches. The podcast is a collaboration between LabAnimal, the North American 3Rs Collaborative and the NC3Rs. Listen or subscribe by searching “LabAnimal” in your favourite podcatcher.




2018 CRACK IT Challenges competition closes soon


Don’t miss out on entering this year’s CRACK IT Challenges competition, which funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to deliver 3Rs impacts through developing new technologies. This year’s Challenges are:

  • Challenge 29 – “ImmuLiver”: An immunologically-competent liver model to assess attenuation of yellow fever vaccines. (Two Phase Challenge, closing date 12pm on 7 November 2018).

  • Challenge 30 – “RaTS”: Raman Transmission Spectroscopy for objective monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression in rodent models. (Two Phase Challenge, closing date 12pm on 7 November 2018).

  • Challenge 31 – “Moshers”: Mouse Smart Hoppers. (Single Phase Challenge, closing date 12pm on 14 November 2018).



New Solution: Assessing aquatic organism health status non-invasively


Are you interested in reducing the number of sentinels required to assess and monitor the health of your aquatic animals?


Researchers at the University of Naples Federico II are establishing metabarcoding in combination with environmental DNA and RNA as a new tool to evaluate the presence of pathogens in aquatic facilities. Collaborators are sought to assess and validate this approach against current practice.




New opportunities to join our Funding Panels


We are now inviting applications from talented researchers to join our Grant Assessment Panel, Studentship Assessment Panel or Training Fellowship Assessment Panel for a three-year term starting from January 2019. We particularly welcome applications from researchers with industry or interdisciplinary experience, as well as applications from currently under-represented groups.




Webinar: Skills and Knowledge Transfer scheme


Thinking of applying for funding through this year’s Skill and Knowledge Transfer scheme? Sign up for our webinar on 8 November at 2.30pm (GMT), which will provide prospective applicants with further information on the scheme, including our new joint awards with Cancer Research UK, as well as how to submit a competitive application.




Last chance to register for our 2018 Primate Welfare Meeting


15 November 2018 (Central London)


Our annual Primate Welfare Meeting keeps those working with non-human primates in research informed about the latest advances and best practices in their care and use. This year’s event will feature talks on a range of topics, flash poster presentations, a keynote lecture and plenty of networking opportunities.


Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 26 October 2018.




Workshop: Animal, in vitro and computational models for preclinical analysis of cell-based cancer therapies


19 November 2018 (Central London)


The NC3Rs and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult are hosting a one-day workshop to explore preclinical testing of cell-based therapies for cancer. Topics will include the current best practice in developing cell-based therapies and the benefits and limitations of using animal and non-animal models. Funding opportunities in preclinical modelling of cell-based therapies will also be highlighted.


Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 5 November 2018. Poster and exhibitor abstract submission forms must be received by 4pm on 26 October 2018.




Mouse handling workshop: support for trainers, NTCOs and other named persons


26 November 2018 (Central London)


This free workshop will give attendees the tools and knowledge they need to implement refined mouse handling methods in their establishments. There will be opportunities to ask questions, explore potential barriers to uptake, consider solutions to these barriers, and partner with labs already implementing best practices.


Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 4pm on 12 November.




Workshop: Application of non-animal approaches for decision-making in chemical safety assessment


10-11 December 2018 (Central London)


In collaboration with Unilever, we are hosting a two-day workshop exploring how in vitro and in silico approaches can inform safety and efficacy decision-making in product development programmes. Discussions will focus on what is needed to increase confidence in these new approaches.


Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 12 November 2018 and the closing date to submit a poster abstract is 2 November 2018.




"Focus on 3Rs" Symposium at Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2019


8-11 April 2019 (Belfast)


The Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference is the UK’s largest annual gathering of microbiologists. The 2019 event will feature a range of symposia, workshops and forums, as well as an exhibition and social programme. On 10 April, Prof Robin Williams (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Pip Beard (Pirbright Institute, Surrey) will be running a symposium entitled Focus on 3Rs – the growing role of organoids and microbial models to understand human and animal diseases.