Fellowships awarded to support early career researchers

We are pleased to announce four new NC3Rs Fellowships, a commitment of just over £730,000, awarded to support 3Rs research in a range of disease areas.

The four new Fellows will all be working on projects focused on replacing and reducing the use of animals in research, while at the same time addressing important scientific questions in their respective fields.

The NC3Rs provides two types of Fellowship, supporting early career researchers at different stages in their development. Two Training Fellowships have been awarded, which aim to support junior researchers with the development of new skills and provide opportunities to gain further research experience. Two David Sainsbury Fellowships have also been awarded, supporting talented intermediate stage researchers with their transition to independent research careers.

The latest awards are summarised below, with links providing more detail on our Fellows’ research.

David Sainsbury Fellowships

Dr Olga Baron, King’s College London, Drosophila model for muscular pain

During her fellowship Olga will develop and use a novel model, based on the fruit fly, to study the function of nociceptive sensory neurons in response to muscular wasting and degeneration. This invertebrate model will be compared to currently used mouse models in chronic pain research to determine its potential to replace them.

Dr Anne Herrmann, University of Liverpool, Development of the chick embryo as a replacement for rodent models of tumour metastasis

Anne’s research focus is to understand the molecular basis of tumour progression and metastasis, with an emphasis on how and why cancer cells invade other parts of the body. As an NC3Rs Fellow, Anne aims to establish the chick embryo as a widely used replacement for mice models of cancer.

Training Fellowships

Dr Carola Morell, University of Cambridge, Novel approach to model Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease using human Pluripotent Stem Cells

The main focus of Carola’s Fellowship is to develop a novel in vitro platform to model non-alcoholic fatty liver disease using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs), allowing for potential replacement of animal models while also providing a new platform for drug screening.

Dr Scott Davies, University of Birmingham, Multiphoton imaging in human liver tissues: validation of a new tool for drug discovery

Scott’s Fellowship will allow him to develop multiphoton imaging systems of ex vivo livers – both human and mouse – to investigate T cell interactions with hepatocytes, as well as the effects of potential therapeutic compounds. Imaging mouse liver ex vivo instead of using intravital microscopy on live mice overcomes the need for repeated anaesthesia while reducing the total number of animals used. Using donated human tissue alongside the mouse model will provide more relevant information for how immune cells behave in human disease, building confidence in the use of human tissue instead of animals.

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