Current projects

We fund projects that directly impacts the replacement of animals in biomedical research. Find out more about our current animal-free research projects across the UK.

Developing Stem Cell Models to Understand Heart Disease

Professor Chris Denning and his team at the University of Nottingham are working to develop cutting edge human stem cell models, deepening our understanding of cardiac fibrosis – a prevailing cause of heart disease in the UK.

Deciphering the role of sex hormones in ageing

Professor Lorna Harries and Laura Bramwell at the University of Exeter, are investigating the potential for synthetic sex hormones to target and reduce cell ageing. This could provide a springboard for a future generation of preventative treatments for the common, chronic diseases of ageing, enabling clinicians to influence the diseases at their roots, rather than merely attenuating their symptoms.

Developing a blood clot-on-a-chip model to find new ways of treating heart attacks

Professor Nicola Mutch at the University of Aberdeen is developing a human-relevant model to reveal insights into blood clot formation and breakdown and what goes wrong in conditions such as coronary heart disease. This could lead to more effective drugs for a range of conditions and the replacement of animals used in this research.

Understanding the spread of cancer

At our Animal Replacement Centre of Excellence (ARC 1.0) in London, Dr Adrian Biddle and his team are embarking on a project to develop reliable animal free methods to understand how tumour cells spread and invade other organs of the human body (known as metastasis).

Developing a 3D model of bone marrow to test drugs for blood cancer

Professor Matt Dalby and PhD student Lauren Hope at the University of Glasgow are developing a pioneering animal free model of human bone marrow which will offer a unique solution for overcoming blood cancer drug resistance and finding more effective, reliable and safer treatments through drug testing.

3D model of the infant lung to treat RSV bronchiolitis

At the Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Dr Claire Smith and her team are developing a new 3D model of the infant lung to accurately mimic the conditions of RSV bronchiolitis – a life-threatening lung infection.

Developing life-saving drug opioid overdose diagnosis tools

Dr Michael Cook and PhD student Niamh Haslett at the University of Hertfordshire are developing a novel animal-free ‘sensor’ for healthcare professionals to use in the field to rapidly diagnose opioid overdoses. This could lead to faster intervention and more human lives saved as well as ending the suffering of millions of animals.

Developing a non-invasive, animal-free tool for monitoring treatment response in lung cancer

Dr Dania Movia, at Trinity College Dublin, is developing a quicker, more cost-effective lab model to monitor and detect lung cancer drug resistance earlier, which could enable doctors to switch patients to more effective treatments more quickly, vastly improving their outlook. This novel, fully humanised model could pave the way to replacing animals used in lung cancer drug testing, saving many animals’ lives.

An animal-free approach to finding new drugs for patients with multiple brain tumours

Dr Sylwia Ammoun and Kevin Herrera are re-purposing drugs and testing them using lab grown human brain tumour cells, to accelerate treatments for patients with multiple brain tumours.

Developing humanised organ-chip systems to investigate the spread of breast cancer

Professor Valerie Speirs and PhD student Celia Rodriguez at Aberdeen University, are developing a humanised organ-chip system to predict the likelihood of different types of breast cancer spreading. This would provide a window to eliminate the disease early, before it invades other tissues and organs, potentially saving many patients’ lives. 

Developing a unique tissue-on-a-chip device to assess drug absorption into the bloodstream via human skin

Professor Adam Perriman and Dr Asme Boussahel at the University of Bristol are developing a tissue-on-a-chip device that will mimic the composition and function of skin tissue. This could replace animals used for testing injected drugs and lead to more efficient, reliable and safer treatments for people.

Uncovering new approaches to treat diabetic kidney disease

Professor Lorna Harries at the University of Exeter, is using human relevant approaches to study diabetes-related chronic kidney disease. This research could pave the way for the development of a new drug to treat the disease, removing the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation and saving millions of lives.