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Summer Student 2019: Nilab Haydare

Summer Student 2019: Nilab Haydare

Supervised by Dr Ewelina Hoffman at the University of Hertfordshire, Nilab will develop an animal-free model of the human eye to research inflammation and infection of the eye and help replace experiments on rabbits.

Sadly, animal experiments continue to be widely used to assess the safety of new medicines and chemicals in the eye. However, animal eyes are more sensitive than human eyes and so animal experiments are not very predictive of human eye irritancy. In the controversial Draize experiment, a test substance is forced into the eyes of approximately 30 conscious rabbits, who are then forced to suffer for three days before being killed to have their eyes examined for signs of irritancy.

In her summer research project, Nilab will develop an animal free, 3D model of the human eye, using human cells from the cornea (front of the eye) and immune system (the body’s protection system against infection and disease). She will then test substances on the model that are known to cause irritation and assess the response of the model to determine its accuracy to predict inflammatory responses in the human eye.

Her human cell-based eye model could provide more detailed and predictive information on inflammatory responses in the human eye and help replace cruel eye experiments, including the Draize experiment, on rabbits, pigs, monkeys, dogs and cats. Nilab’s research therefore has the potential to improve the safety prediction of new medicines and chemicals and also help to better understand and improve treatments of inflammatory eye conditions such as eye infection, eye injury, transplant rejection and dry eye syndrome.

Animals are living creatures and should have the right to live and not suffer, thus why this project is important for me. I believe animal testing is unnecessary for medical research when, clearly, there are alternative routes. Undertaking this summer research project will help me advance my research and laboratory skills. In the future I plan to gain a PhD and work in the field of research and drug development, where I can help in minimising animal testing.

Page last modified on February 5, 2020 4:19 pm