‘Modernising Medical Research’ Conference 

Lush Prize was pleased to participate in the Animal Free Research (AFR) conference held in Birmingham, UK, on 28th and 29th June.

The theme of the conference was ‘Modernising Medical Research’, with day one including a number of sessions on advances in in-vitro methods, new approach methodologies (NAMs) and the latest developments in in-silico (computational) research.

Expert speakers (including previous Lush Prize winners) presented the latest developments in their animal-free research. Just a few examples include human-based genetic models for the investigation of brain tumours; cutting edge skin function models; 3D human bone marrow models for drug screening to treat leukaemia; advances in human ‘organ-on-a-chip’ models; and replacing the use of animals in lung injury (fibrosis) research using adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). 

Presentations also included ongoing work to improve human relevance in in-vitro models by replacing animal derived materials such as foetal calf serum (FCS), Matrigel and rat tail collagen.

There was also an ‘Early Career Researchers’ session allowing young scientists to showcase their work. The final keynote presentation of day one was by Dr Don Ingber of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, providing an update on the Institute’s advanced research into organ-on-a-chip (microphysiological) systems over the last decade, following the creation of the first ‘Lung-on-Chip’ model by Dr Ingber.

Day two of the event was an open roundtable discussion to align with the launch of the Animal Free Research ‘Community of Practice’. Discussions were held on how to accelerate the transition to animal-free, human-relevant science across stakeholders from academia, industry, campaigns and political lobbying with breakout sessions on themes such as ‘increasing regulatory recognition of NAMs’, ‘ raising awareness in the scientific community’ and ‘how to engage with policy makers’. 

For more information on the event visit the Animal Free Research UK website.

26 July 2022