NC3Rs e-newsletter - September 2016


Seven project grants awarded

£2.35 million has been awarded in our 2016 project grant competition.

The awards cover a diverse range of topics, from in silico models of human dorsal root ganglion electrophysiology for chronic pain research, to an automated tool for real-time monitoring of the welfare of zebrafish and rainbow trout.



Public engagement awards for NC3Rs researchers

We have awarded four researchers funding to engage with the public about their NC3Rs-funded work.

The awards of up to £1,000 will support a range of hands-on events throughout the coming year, each aiming to educate audiences of different ages on the science behind the 3Rs.



Conference report published on laboratory animal euthanasia

Following our joint workshop with Newcastle University on laboratory animal euthanasia, we have published with co-authors a paper in the journal Animals which makes recommendations on good practice in humane killing methods for mice, rats and zebrafish based on the latest research.



Latest edition of AOP News out now

AOP News is the regular periodical from the NC3Rs on the use of pathways-based approaches in toxicology. The latest edition includes a summary of our recent workshop on the application of AOPs, an agrochemical perspective and Professor Maurice Whelan from the European Commission Joint Research Centre answering AOP questions.



Training Fellowships for researchers with less than three years' post-doc experience

Our new scheme offers promising, 3Rs-minded researchers the opportunity to develop new skills and gain a breadth of research experience relevant to the 3Rs. Awards are two years in duration. Prospective applicants are encouraged to use the NC3Rs Skills and Experience Framework before applying.

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



2016 CRACK IT Challenges announced

Our challenge-led R&D competition opens on 12 September with a total budget of £2.8 million. This year there are four Challenges with Sponsors from the academic, charitable and commercial sectors as well as co-funding from Arthritis Research UK and the EPSRC:

  • Osteo-chip: An in vitro model to recapitulate the human osteoarthritic joint.
  • Retinal 3D: A physiologically-competent human retinal 3D.
  • EASE: Eliminating surgical embryo transfer in mice.
  • Maximise: Reliable predictions for classifying mixtures of chemicals for acute oral toxicity, and skin and eye irritation with a focus on relevance for human safety.

Full details of the CRACK IT Challenges including Sponsors and their in-kind contributions can be found on the CRACK IT website.



Reducing animal use in bipolar affective disorder

A £1 million CRACK IT Challenges contract awarded to an Edinburgh-based team in 2011 has led to the development of iPS cells from patients with bipolar affective disorder which can be used to replace some animal studies of the condition. The cells are now available for academic and commercial research via the new European Bank for induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.



A social amoeba model to reduce late phase attrition in drug development

Work funded through the NC3Rs technology partnering platform CRACK IT Solutions, in collaboration with scientists at GlaxoSmithKline, has demonstrated the potential of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to be used in the testing of the palatability of new drugs instead of rodents for bitter substances.



Solution: non-invasive tissue imaging with functional optical coherence tomography

Are you interested in applying a non-invasive imaging technology in your in vivo research? Do you want to attain microscopic levels of detail while monitoring tissue development and survival longitudinally, in real-time?

Researchers at the University of Dundee are seeking partners to assess (in a variety of applications) the utility of their in vivo functional optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging methodology, which combines structural imaging and tissue characterisation.



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

10 October 2016: LONDON
Our international event will focus on the important topic of the lifetime experience of non-human primates (NHPs) and the methodologies and frameworks for assessing cumulative severity in long-term research programmes. Researchers, veterinarians, animal technologists and others directly involved with the care and use of NHPs are invited to attend the meeting.

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.


Launch of a new NC3Rs collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry

In the latest of our Chief Executive's blogs, Vicky Robinson outlines our new collaborative project with the ABPI to review the use of the second species in regulatory toxicology studies.



Cancer organoids: an important new tool in the armoury of cancer biologists

Dr Hayley Francies from the Sanger Institute was highly commended in our latest 3Rs Prize competition for research focusing on the development of patient-derived organoids with the potential to reduce animal use in oncology research. This blog explores the 3Rs impact as well as implications for patients.



Workshops, networking and boat trips – the NC3Rs Summer School 2016

We recently held our annual summer school in York. NC3Rs-funded PhD students were joined by students from the University of York for three days of 3Rs training. In this blog some of the students describe their experience of the summer school.