Modernising Medical Research: our 2022 conference
Published on July 19, 2022
“A move towards animal free methodologies is inevitable.”
“We can only go forwards. It’s a quickly evolving landscape and I hope more people will adopt animal free ways of working.”
“Our research needs to be human relevant.”
“We need to be able to develop models which replicate the disease… we are finding alternatives now which work well.”
“Animal free research is very important because I’m an animal lover and I don’t think animals are clinically relevant. We should be using the right models to begin with.”
These are just a few snatches of the heart-warming conversations that took place during our conference in June. The energy was palpable – animal free, human relevant research is inevitable – that was the clearly shared view of the more than 80 participants.
Across two days in Birmingham, we discussed our collective desire to benefit human health by pioneering, perfecting and transitioning to modern animal free medical research. We heard from the best in our field – from veterans and early career scientists alike.
Researchers – including those whose work you help fund – showcased their innovative new approaches and human models for human diseases that will serve us all better. From in silico research which harnesses the power of big data and artificial intelligence, to in vitro research using human cells instead of animals, to engaging with the full complexity of human experience to improve human health.
Last year’s summer students presented their innovative projects via poster and on the big stage, giving them invaluable experience in communicating their work, and setting them up for success as they embark on careers as animal free researchers and advocates.
Attendees had a ringside seat to history – the awarding of our first Animal Free Research UK Pioneer Medal for outstanding contribution to Dr Don Ingber, the founding director of Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Dr Ingber, who in 2010 developed lung-on-a-chip – the first of its kind – wowed us with his powerful presentation of the numerous organ chip models he has developed since that are paving the way to a future of medical research without animals.
Inspiring conversations between our diverse community took place on everything from engaging with decision makers and scientists currently using animals to educating young people and the potential of personalised medicine. To build on these, we launched a community of practice aimed at stimulating collaborations between medical researchers in our bid to accelerate the transition to animal free innovation. This forum will raise awareness, deepen knowledge, drive creativity and spark passion for a science that benefits animals as well as humans.
Bringing researchers together for the first time since the pandemic reignited our collective energy for the new gold standard science. A future where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering is, now, inevitable.
You can take action for animals, by uniting with us now!
Too many animals continue to suffer in laboratories rather than enjoying the comfort and security of a happy home. Our work is funded entirely by your generous support, so please make a donation today to help us free animals from laboratories for good.