Animals in Research

Huge advances have been made in the development of in vitro models in biomedical research, however, it may still be necessary to use animals to understand basic biology and disease in whole body systems that can be extrapolated to people.

Much of the research in the MRC Toxicology Unit employs in vitro cellular systems to understand stress mechanisms underpinning unwanted toxic actions of drugs and environmental pollutants. To appreciate whole body consequences some of the work can only be undertaken using a complex living organism. The Unit does not undertake traditional or regulatory toxicological studies.

The animals used are flies and mice when no alternative approach is possible and the expected health and scientific benefits for people are considered to outweigh the adverse effects consistent with the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs). All studies are conducted in a dedicated Unit under the management, ethics and regulations of the University of Leicester and the legal requirements of the Home Office legislation.

Further information with regard to the MRC’s policy on the use of animals in research can be found here.

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