AST2020

Our Provisional Programme for AST2020 is now available below.

You can also download a copy of our At A Glance Programme

Online bookings for workshops and facility tour will commence on 3rd March 2020.

Watch out for email announcements and instructions.

Programme

Please return to book your attendance on our workshops from 3rd February 2020. Watch out for announcements and instructions on how to book your place on workshops.

    • 24 March, 2020
    •  

      LAVA Session

      12:30  -  14:30
      LAVA Session
      Sidlaw Auditorium

      Ethics is the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. It is obvious that the use of animals in medical research, entirely for the benefit of others, should be questioned and governed by sound moral principles. It is  perhaps less obvious that this should also apply to clinical treatment of animals when such treatment is intended to be for their own benefit. The approach to ethical evaluation of proposed treatment of animals under the Animals Scientific Procedures Act (ASPA) and under the Veterinary Surgeons Act (VSA) have both similarities and differences; but both can undoubtedly learn from the other.

      This afternoon session is planned to enable the key ethical issues of treatment of animals under ASPA and the VSA to be aired and to explore how understanding and knowledge of each can benefit the other.

      The session will begin with a practical description of what ethics really is, and how the principles can be applied to difficult decisions on how we treat animals. Use of such ethical principles will then be described by a speaker working and conducting research in each of the two environments, ASPA and VSA. The take home message of what each can learn from the other will then be summarised and the floor thrown open for discussion.


      Speakers:
      12:31  -  12:50
      Research in animals is not all white coats and mice. We can make it better in both the lab and the c
      Sidlaw Auditorium
      Speakers:
      12:51  -  13:15
      Patients or research instruments?
      Sidlaw Auditorium
      Veterinary ethics in the clinic and the lab
      Speakers:
      13:16  -  13:40
      Laboratory animal care & welfare helps us to do better science
      Sidlaw Auditorium
      13:41  -  14:05
      Clinical research: the good the bad and the ugly
      Sidlaw Auditorium
      Speakers:
      14:06  -  14:30
      Panel Discussion
      Sidlaw Auditorium
      Led by Professor Eddie Clutton, Chair of Veterinary Anaesthesiology, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute.
      Speakers:
       

      LASA Session

      13:30  -  15:15
      LASA Session
      Fintry Auditorium

      A Wee Dram of Scottish Science

      Could you inspire and educate a live audience about your work in science… in just fifteen minutes?

      Participants have fifteen minutes to win over the judges and audience with a scientific talk that excels for its content, clarity and charisma. Scientists based in Scotland will showcase their initiatives and projects across the biomedical sector, which help us to continue to better understand disease processes and use the most appropriate animal models – including derived materials such as organs, tissues and cellular components – for medical, veterinary and other scientific purposes.

      Come and not only increase your knowledge but also be entertained by local scientists in their endeavour to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The competition allows for Creativity, Content, Clarity and Charisma (the 4 ‘C’s’), in communicating science and research. Judges will look for and mark on these qualities. The audience (who will also act as judges), should be left inspired and enthused about “A wee dram of Scottish Science!”

      13:30  -  13:35
      Introduction & welcome
      Fintry Auditorium
      Speakers:
      13:36  -  13:50
      Fish in Virtual Reality
      Fintry Auditorium
      How does the brain work? What allows the billions of cells within this three-pound walnut to make us move, feel, and remember? In the past 15 years, rapid technological developments have allowed us to start answering age-old questions about this most fascinating organ. I will explore how these new techniques, including optogenetics and new types of microscopes, are being used to explore the workings of the brain in health and disease. I will focus on what might be a surprising case study: fish larvae in virtual reality
      Speakers:
      13:51  -  14:06
      Tracking Scotland's Sharks
      Fintry Auditorium
      Recent anthropogenic pressures have caused a rapid decline of species abundance in our oceans. This is especially true for strongly K-selective species such as elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays). Due to this, management of remaining populations is crucial to ensure these species conservation, this includes the ~55 species of elasmobranch in Scottish waters. In order to implement effective management, understanding how the animals use the marine environment is imperative. There are many tools available to gain insight into elasmobranch movements, most of these involve the attachment or insertion of a tag to/into the study species. There is always the potential for tags to have an impact; the tagging process itself may be stressful while the physical attachment of a foreign body may cause longer term chronic issues. Individual welfare vs the wider population benefit is a constant balance and decreased individual welfare should not be acceptable due to perceived population benefits. Maximising individual welfare is also of importance to ensure data quality, helping to reduce the overall number of individuals that need tagging. Our tagging work provides movement data to help inform management data while being continually assessed to help refine procedures in order to maximise individual welfare
      Speakers:
      14:06  -  14:20
      Cellular Crosstalk in the Skin
      Fintry Auditorium
      The skin is the largest organ of the body and provides a protective barrier against external assault and internal water loss. Both ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ challenges have consequences on skin health. The epidermis, that forms the tough external barrier is formed of tightly packed and ordered layers of specialised cells, keratinocytes. As such it does not have a blood supply and so relies on a network of interconnecting channels linking the multiple layers to ensure co-ordination of cellular events. These channels are composed of a family of proteins called connexins that permit neighbouring cells to directly ‘talk to one another’ creating specific cellular compartments with unique properties. Mutations in one the these connexins – Connexin 26 result in a diverse array of skin disorders and hearing loss. Some mutations give ‘leaky channels’ and are associated with severe inflammatory skin disease. Other mutations result in thickening of the skin and are not linked with inflammation with the faulty protein trapped inside the cell. Mouse models and in vitro cell-based assays provide an excellent means to dissect the molecular mechanism driving these conditions and provide evidence that targeting connexin proteins could be of therapeutic advantage to improve the quality of the epidermis.
      Speakers:
      14:21  -  14:35
      Are you more intelligent than Rodents?
      Fintry Auditorium
      In this 15 minute rampage through behavioural neuroscience, I will ask why we need to observe and measure behaviour, what types of behavioural tests are available for use with laboratory rodents, why all lab rodents are not made equal, whether popular tests are fit for purpose and how they might translate into the clinic… if only us humans were smart enough! Are you as adept as your animal, as shrewd as your subject, as resourceful as your rodent, as rational as your rat, as canny as your cavy…?!!! (Special prize for anyone who can come up with an “m” word which is a synonym for intelligent!!!)
      Speakers:
      14:36  -  14:50
      Loupin heids and timourous beasties
      Fintry Auditorium
      For this Wee Dram of Scottish Science, Josie is going to discuss her research involving the spontaneously hypertensive stroke prone rat. In the UK, stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability. Stroke risk increases with age and as we are living longer the number of people living with the consequences of stroke increases. Our work looks for novel stroke treatments – one exciting avenue of our research utilises extracellular vesicles (EVs). These tiny particles transport messages around the body in health and disease. We have found that EVs in blood from people with stroke differ from those in people without stroke. The main difference is in the types of microRNA they carry. MicroRNAs are small pieces of a person's genetic make-up which control the expression of proteins. In this study, we’re exploring how these microRNAs differ in people with stroke. We are particularly focused on those with stroke related memory problems. We will then test whether adding 'healthy' microRNA to EVs can aid recovery in our experimental stroke model. If we show that miRNA can lessen the damage from stroke, both physical function but also memory, there may be scope to develop new treatments
      Speakers:
      14:51  -  15:05
      Designing "Seek-an-destroy" nonomedicines for cancer therapy
      Fintry Auditorium
      Traditional anti-cancer medicines have their efficacy limited by their inability to specifically recognize cancer cells, leading to serious secondary effects such as severe weight loss. Recently, new nanomedicines able to “seek and destroy” cancer cells were able to make tumours shrink and even disappear for up to 90% of them, in laboratory settings. Christine, who led this research, will discuss about these highly promising results and how nanomedicines could open doors to new treatments to what is still one of the major causes of death worldwide
      Speakers:
      15:06  -  15:15
      Audience turning point voting time & prize winner announcement
      Fintry Auditorium
      Speakers:
       

      IAT Session

      13:30  -  15:30
      IAT Session
      Pentland Auditorium
      The IAT celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2020. Join us for the Annual General Meeting followed by inspiration talks from the Andrew Blake Tribute Award Winner followed by the Kevin Dolan Memorial Lecture delivered by Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo.
      13:31  -  14:15
      IAT Annual General Meeting
      Pentland Auditorium
      The Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Animal Technology
      14:16  -  14:40
      Andrew Blake Tribute Award 2020
      Pentland Auditorium

      We all have a responsibility for the welfare of the animals in our care and it is often the little things that make a significant difference.

      The Andrew Blake Tribute Award is awarded by the Institute of Animal Technology and sponsored by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (the ABPI) to an Animal Technologist at any level, judged to have made a significant contribution to improving laboratory animal welfare.

      Nine applications were received and the judges were impressed with all of the refinements presented.

      The 2020 deserving winner is:

      Stuart Mason
      Primate Trainer Lab Manager, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Tinsley Building, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3SR

      For his paper:
      “3Rs Refinement in Non-human Primate Neuroscience Research: A protective cap that supports wound healing after head implant surgery”

      tuart will receive an engraved glass plaque and a cash award of £250.00 following the presentation of his paper.

      14:41  -  15:30
      Kevin Dolan Memorial Guest Lecture
      Pentland Auditorium

      Giant Footsteps

      The Asian elephant is facing a very uncertain future in its natural habitat – rapidly expanding human populations, poaching and habitat fragmentation are putting remaining numbers of Asian elephants under extreme pressure. This once wide-ranging species is now increasingly restricted to pockets of habitat that can only sustain potentially unviable populations of animals.

      This presentation will discuss the role that the modern Zoo can play in the conservation of the world’s largest land mammal. The presentation will describe key aspects of elephant wellness, husbandry, enrichment and facility design that uses modern technology to enhance species specific behaviour, with specific reference to the development of Dublin Zoo’s ground breaking elephant programme. 

      Speakers:
       

      Welcome

      16:00  -  16:09
      Welcome to AST2020
      Pentland Auditorium
      Welcome to the meeting from the organising committee
       

      Trade Time Express

      16:10  -  16:40
      Trade Time Express
      Pentland Auditorium

      "It's Speed Dating for Exhibitors" 60 seconds for each company to tell you a little about themselves or their product.

      Come and enjoy the presentations and then visit the exhibition hall to say hi and congratulate them on their presentation.

       

      Keynote Speaker - Jim Reynolds

      16:40  -  17:30
      KEYNOTE SPEAKER
      Pentland Auditorium

      Tales of an ocean wanderer: Seabirds as sentinels of marine ecosystem function (and dysfunction)

      The world’s most numerous seabird of tropical waters is the sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) with 21-25 million birds occupying the circumequatorial zone of all major oceans. Despite it having a current conservation status of ‘Least Concern’, throughout its range numbers of sooty terns are declining precipitously. Why? Part of the answer must lie in its near-obligate relationship with large pelagic fish and cetaceans that drive small fish to the ocean surface where sooty terns and other tropical seabirds undertake ‘facilitated foraging’. Intense overharvesting of tuna and other large fish from the world’s oceans in recent decades may have exerted unprecedented demographic pressures on seabirds. Also experiencing ocean warming, intense predation from invasive species on their breeding grounds and pollution, seabirds are now some of the world’s most threatened birds.
      Our long-term study since 1990 on Ascension Island of the largest population of sooty terns in the Atlantic Ocean has unlocked many secrets of how colonies of such a long-lived seabird persist and function. However, Ascension’s 350,000-strong population has declined in size by 84% in the last 60 years. The largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Atlantic Ocean (443,000 km2) was designated in August last year and is centered on Ascension Island. Our recent work has focussed on gathering new information on the sooty tern’s diet, foraging movements and population-level responses to shifting predation pressures. All of these findings from studying sooty terns as ocean sentinels will be discussed in terms of ecosystem function and how they might inform the ‘roll out’ of the new MPA.

      Speakers:
    • 25 March, 2020
    •  

      Official Opening of AST2020

      09:30  -  10:30
      Welcome by the Presidents of LAVA, LASA and IAT
      Pentland Auditorium

      presentations focusing on achievements over the last 20 years celebrating the work of technologists, vets and science.

      The Institute of Animal Technology (IAT), the Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) and the Laboratory Animal Veterinary Association (LAVA) have been at the forefront of their respective fields in laboratory animal research for decades, and have increasingly worked closely to set good practice and standards in our important work.

      The IAT was founded in 1950 as the Animal Technicians Association. IAT’s primary purpose remains the delivery of education and training for those who care for laboratory animals, while helping to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare and facilitating the needs of modern science. This has been achieved, in part, by, for example, the move to Ofqual-recognised qualifications, the development of the Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO) role, and the evolution of the IAT Congress.

      LASA was founded in 1963 by a consortium of industrial, university, ministry and research council representatives. Its membership is made up of scientists and laboratory animal professionals all of whom have a keen interest in animal research, the application of the 3Rs, animal welfare, education, training, ethics, and the regulation of animal research. Our work is both highly demanding and rewarding, and the sector offers a diversity of roles and responsibilities to suit people at every stage of their career; in many respects getting involved with LASA offers similar opportunities.

      The role of the veterinary surgeon in laboratory animal science is also wide and varied, with vets working in a variety of environments in many roles including as Named Veterinary Surgeons (NVSs), clinicians and researchers. LAVA was established in the 1963 and works to promote the advancement of veterinary knowledge and skills in subjects connected with laboratory animal science, and through this to promote laboratory animal welfare.

       

      Joint Session - Replacement

      11:00  -  13:00
      Joint Session - Replacement
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot
      The challenge of replacing the use of animals in research

      LAVA, LASA and the IAT are pleased to present a joint session highlighting the latest approaches used to replace the use of animals in research.

      Wherever possible, the use of animals under ASPA should be replaced with alternatives, but it can be challenging for both researchers and AWERB members to identify these opportunities.

      This session first aims to provide some insight into the current technologies available, with NC3Rs grant holders providing informative and inspiring talks on how they are using the latest advances to replace the use of animals in science. 

      The second part of the session will focus on the experience of the audience. Discussions will centre on identifying the challenges and successes the audience has experienced when striving to replace the use of animals in research, whether as a researcher, animal facility staff, or as a member of AWERB. The aim is to learn from each other and identify potential solutions to the challenges faced.

      Download our Flyer for this session
      11:01  -  11:20
      Development of a 3D gel model of cancer to replace the use of mice for expansion of patient derived
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot

      Studying cancer requires systems where cause and consequence can be tested without harming humans, known as models. Currently, mouse models are the gold standard for testing cancer treatments before human trials, often using tissue derived directly from patient tumours grown in mice (patient-derived xenografts, PDXs). This requires many mice to generate sufficient cells for an experiment; a 3D laboratory-based system for tumour passage would reduce UK animal use by around 16000 mice/year.

      The cancer model presented is based on a synthetic gel and uses human molecules and supporting cells to expand patient-derived cells. Unlike many existing 3D cancer models, the gel is inert apart from molecules that have been deliberately added or produced by cells within the model, allowing complete customisation for organ- or context-specific modelling.

      Data generated using breast cancer PDXs will be presented to demonstrate how the model has been adapted to improve practical usability for passage and characterisation assays, improve relevance by retaining human cell-cell communication vital to tumour progression and possibly reduce loss of unique tumour cell populations which could be important in treatment resistance.

      With further development, this hydrogel model can be tailored by addition of relevant molecules and cell types. Following further work to confirm retention of cell identities and behaviours across passage, the hydrogel may provide an effective and practical human breast cancer model for passage of PDXs with the added benefits of being relatively cheap, fully-defined and free of animal products, with potential for further development for other cancer types.

      Speakers:
      11:21  -  11:40
      Use of the chick embryo model as a model for cancer research.
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot

      The chick embryo model is an excellent tool to study tumourigenesis and metastasis non–invasively as tumour cells can be easily engrafted onto its chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), an extraembryonic and highly vascularised membrane that is located directly beneath the eggshell and thus easily accessible. Within days, tumourigenesis and invasion occur and in the case of aggressive tumour samples, metastasising cells can disseminate to chick embryo’s organs through haematogenous metastasis. Further advantages over murine models include its cost effectiveness, its simplicity and immunodeficiency, which allows the engraftment of any xenogeneic material. As the experiments are terminated at E14, the proposed model is classified as non-protected under the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986 (amended 2012) and hence it is a valid animal reduction as well as replacement technique. Moreover, the chick embryo has the potential to be readily imaged in vivo using preclinical imaging and longitudinal high-throughput screening. It can also be applied to evaluate the efficacy of novel compounds targeting these processes.

      This presentation will give an overview of the most commonly used methods in cancer research, newly developed protocols as well as provide information about the benefits and limitations of this model.

       

      Speakers:
      11:41  -  12:00
      The application of scaffold-based technology to create 3D models of various human tissue types.
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot
      Human tissues are mostly composed of different cell types, that are often highly organised in relation to each other. In tissues, cells of different types are often arranged in distinct layers that enable signalling and cell-to-cell interactions. Here we describe the application of scaffold-based technology that can be used to create advanced organotypic 3D models of various human tissue types that more closely enable in vivo-like growth conditions and create structures resembling their native counterparts. The scaffold comprises a highly porous polystyrene material, engineered into a 200-micron thick membrane that is presented in various ways including multi-welled plates and well inserts, for use with conventional culture plasticware and medium perfusion systems. This technology has been applied to generate numerous unique types of co-culture model. For example: 1) a full thickness human skin construct comprising dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes, raised to the air-liquid interface to induce cornification of the upper layers (see figure); 2) a neuron-glial co-culture to enable the study of neurite outgrowth interacting with astroglial cells to model and investigate the glial scar found in spinal cord injury; 3) formation of a sub-mucosa consisting of a polarised simple epithelium, layer of ECM proteins simulating the basement membrane, and underlying stromal tissues (e.g. intestinal mucosa). These organotypic models demonstrate the versatility of scaffold membranes and the creation of advanced in vivo-like tissue models. Creating a layered arrangement more closely simulates the true anatomy and organisation of cells within many tissue types. The addition of different cell types in a temporal and spatial fashion can be used to study inter-cellular relationships and create more physiologically relevant in vivo-like cell-based assays. Methods that are relatively straightforward to use and that recreate the organised structure of real tissues will become valuable research tools for use in discovery, drug screening, validation studies, and modelling disease.
      Speakers:
      12:00  -  12:31
      Development of an in vitro model of bone to replace the use of animal models of limb immobilisation.
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot
      A substantial loss of skeletal tissue takes place in several clinical contexts, including osteoporosis, immobilisation and weightlessness in microgravity, all characterised by a rapid loss of mineralised tissue in the load-bearing regions (spine, hip, femurs), particularly in trabecular tissue. While it is acknowledged that bone mass decreases proportionally with reduced loading, the underlying effects on the cells involved in bone formation (osteoblasts), maintenance (osteocytes) and resorption (osteoclasts) are difficult to study in traditional in vivo models. Recent evidence suggests that bone breakdown is increased while bone deposition is decreased, however, this is a complex process that is difficult to study in animal models. Moreover, traditional models where limbs are immobilised or suspended using different interventions do not produce fully translatable results due to differences in metabolism and mechanics between species. In this context, a ‘humanised’ organotypic culture system was developed that allows the formation of bone organoids supported by miniaturised trabecular bone microstructures composed of highly-crystalline hydroxyapatite. These can maintain the survival of individual and mixed human bone cell populations, thus recapitulating the bone remodelling unit while maintaining anatomical features, including the lamellar pattern of bone, the axial alignment and chemistry of the mineral phase. To induce the mechanical effects seen in disuse and osteoporosis, a NASA rotary bioreactor system was used to subject constructs to a constant free-fall state, where the gravitational force is greatly reduced. By culturing with the relevant cells under an optimised supplementation regime, osteoclastic-induced bone loss was achieved in constructs, with those cultured in reduced loading experiencing a more extensive, channelled resorption, while constructs grown in normal conditions show a more localised resorption pattern. Additionally, the highly inaccessible mature bone cells, osteocytes, develop from osteoblasts as early as 7 days and become entrapped in newly produced osteoid, further completing the molecular signalling unit controlling bone resorption. Constructs are further encapsulated into fibrin templates, which temporarily support further development and matrix expansion until the establishment of new bone.
       

      Joint Session - Zebrafish Welfare

      11:00  -  13:00
      Joint Session - Zebrafish Welfare
      Lomond Suite - Tinto
      The session on zebrafish welfare is divided in three topics followed by short presentations on “how to do it in practice” and by plenty of discussion time. First we will hear the latest from the FELASA working group on severity classification in Danio rerio. Then we will see how a database can be used to record mortality and to assess phenotypes’ severity. The second focus will be on welfare assessment with a discussion on how to enrich zebrafish’s environment. Finally, after a review on what we know to date about pain in teleost, we will discuss practical options for the administration of painkillers to zebrafish
       

      Joint Workshop - Welfare

      11:00  -  12:00
      Joint Workshop - Addressing Current Welfare Issues
      Lomond Suite - Kilsyth

      LAVA, LASA and the IAT are pleased to present a joint session which will be repeated.

      This unique session addressing current issues will focus on three areas with some hands on experience and discussion with industry experts:

      • John Waters University of Liverpool
      • Ryan Milne & Simon Moss University of St Andrews
      • Adele Kitching University of Durham
      • Lucy Whitfield University of Sheffield
      • Haley Daniels University of York

      Sign up for a one-hour session and spend 15 minutes at each area.

      Download the full programme here


      Speakers:
      12:00  -  13:00
      Joint Workshop Repeat - Addressing Current Welfare Issues
      Lomond Suite - Kilsyth

      LAVA, LASA and the IAT are pleased to present a joint session which will be repeated.

      This unique session addressing current issues will focus on three areas with some hands on experience and discussion with industry experts:

      • John Waters University of Liverpool
      • Ryan Milne & Simon Moss University of St Andrews
      • Adele Kitching University of Durham
      • Lucy Whitfield University of Sheffield
      • Haley Daniels University of York

      Sign up for a one-hour session and spend 15 minutes at each area.

      Download the full programme here


       

      UAR Session

      11:00  -  13:00
      UAR Session
      Fintry Auditorium
      The Concordat on Openness commits signatories to be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out more about research using animals. Understanding Animal Research have been doing just that for more than 100 years.

      In this session, John Meredith, Head of Education and Outreach and Bella Williams, Head of Engagement, will explore some of the ways that UAR and other Concordat members have been successful in improving outreach to the general public and consider how to construct an effective public communications strategy.
       

      Poster Wednesday

      13:00  -  13:45
      Posters - Meet the Authors
      Strathblane Hall
      Prizes awarded as follows: 1st - £1000 2nd - £700 3rd - £300 Judges will be from each of the 3 organisations, (IAT, LASA, LAVA)
       

      Joint Session - Reproducibility

      14:00  -  16:00
      Joint Session - Reproducibility
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot

      For the first time, the scale of the reproducibility and translatability crisis is widely understood beyond the small number of researchers who have been studying it and the pharmaceutical and biotech companies who have been living it. Thanks to the groundwork laid over the last 15 years by a variety of authors, we not only understand many of the causes of poor reproducibility and translatability, but we also know the features of animal work that lead to reproducible work with a good chance of translation. Not only does improving reproducibility benefits animal welfare through improved Reduction, but animal welfare Refinements can also benefit reproducibility and translation, making a clear case for “good welfare is good science is good business is good public health”. The panel presentations will provide a contemporary overview of these issues, including: Quantifying the crises in terms of success rates, animal welfare, and public health impacts; discussing the crises through the lens of harm-benefit analyses in ethical approval; illustrating key examples of known causes of poor reproducibility and translation, particularly in terms of animal welfare, husbandry practices, and experimental design and analysis; offering proven solutions especially with respect to experimental design and analysis; and discussing the implementation of these new best-practices at all levels of the research enterprise from the animal house, to the investigator, to the institution, to funding and regulatory agencies. The session will emphasize that this is not a time for despair, but a time of intellectual excitement and hope. The audience is invited to engage in a lively and proactive discussion of how we can manifest change in the status quo of how animal research is done for the betterment of animal welfare, human health, and the quality of science.

       

      Joint Workshop - Severity

      14:00  -  16:00
      Joint Workshop - Severity
      Lomond Suite - Kilsyth

      To review the process of assessing and reporting severity and examining the challenges of achieving consensus.

      Classification of procedures according to severity during the application for project licence is required as is an obligation to report the actual severity experienced by each animal used. These provide opportunities to refine the adverse effects of procedures. Consistency of assignment of severity categories is allows accurate and usable information to promote openness and transparency.

      This will be an interactive workshop. You will review a new severe suffering FELASA severity scenario and review possibilities for refinement. You will consider long term moderate suffering and review when a procedure might exceed severe severity

      The session will be designed to be accessible to technicians, vets and scientists, but you will require a basic knowledge of Prospective Severity Classification and Actual Severity Reporting before attendance.

      Topics include:

      • identifying the components within the procedures which may cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm
      • defining the adverse effects and mitigation to reduce severity
      • discussing appropriate end points
      • assigning prospective severity classification
      • audience response session (Turning Point) to consider examples of actual severity assessment
      • Discussion of complex and controversial cases



      Speakers:
       

      Joint Session - Bench to Bedside

      14:00  -  16:00
      Joint Session - Bench to Bedside
      Lomond Suite - Tinto

      The term "bench to bedside" or translational medicine describes research that builds on basic scientific knowledge to create new therapies or treatments for disease. Advances in scientific technologies (Genomics, proteomics, CRISPR) as well as new ex vivo models have made significant contributions to progress in this field but in-vivo also work plays a vital part in this important area of research. The University of Edinburgh, along with many other establishments, is investigating a range of diseases that cause significant human suffering but currently have limited treatment options.

      In this session we will review some high profile examples of successes in translational research where animal models have played a pivotal role in recent advances in treatments and therapies.

      Bioresearch & Veterinary Services logo

      14:01  -  14:30
      Preventing Multiple Organ Failure in Acute Pancreatitis
      Lomond Suite - Tinto

      Inhibition of Kynurenine-3-monooxygenase as a Therapeutic Strategy for Preventing Multiple Organ Failure in Acute Pancreatitis.

      Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a devastating inflammatory condition in which local tissue injury in the pancreas triggers a powerful systemic inflammatory response. This surge in the immune response subsequently causes severe injury to extrapancreatic tissue such as the lung, gut and kidney. This is termed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and affects 1 in 4 AP patients. Individuals with AP-associated MODS (AP-MODS) require intensive critical care and have a mortality rate of 21%. Crucially, there are currently no specific therapies available to protect patients against AP-MODS.

      Metabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan occurs via the kynurenine pathway and is regulated by the enzyme kynurenine-3-monooxygenase (KMO). We have shown that flux through KMO is central to the pathogenesis of AP-MODS due to the injurious effects of 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK), the product of this key enzyme. To explore the efficacy of KMO blockade as a therapeutic strategy in AP-MODS, we created a mouse strain which lacks KMO activity in all tissues and showed that these mice are protected from extrapancreatic injury to the lung, liver and kidney when challenged with experimental AP-MODS. This biochemical phenotype was replicated in an experimental rat model of AP whereby rats treated with inhibitors of KMO were also protected against extrapancreatic organ injury.

      Our findings establish KMO inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of AP-MODS and enabled the transition of our novel small molecule KMO inhibitors, developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, into clinical development for translation into humans.

      Speakers:
      14:31  -  15:00
      Experimental models and tools to tackle brain cancer
      Lomond Suite - Tinto

      Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the deadliest human cancers. Despite increasing knowledge of the genetic and epigenetic changes that underlie tumour growth, the prognosis for GBM patients remains dismal. Genome analysis has failed to lead to success in the clinic.  GBMs are inherently extremely challenging as tumour detection occurs too late, and cells infiltrate widely, hiding in quiescent states behind the blood brain barrier. The complexity of the brain tissue also provides varied microenvironments that influence distinct tumour cell fates. Despite this bleak outlook, there are reasons for optimism. A myriad of complementary, and increasingly sophisticated, experimental approaches can now be used across the research pipeline, from simple reductionist models, devised to delineate molecular and cellular mechanisms, to complex animal models required for preclinical testing of new therapeutic approaches.  No single model suffices to cover the breadth of challenges in GBM research. This review therefore aims to guide investigators in choosing the right model for their question. We also discuss the recent convergence of two key technologies: human stem cell/cancer stem cell culture and CRISPR/Cas tools for genome manipulation. This has opened up possibilities for sophisticated functional genetic approaches in patient-derived cells, which can fuel new discoveries, new target identification, and new therapeutic strategies to tackle GBM.

       

      Speakers:
      15:01  -  15:30
      Improving remyelination in multiple sclerosis – why and how
      Lomond Suite - Tinto
      We have made important advances in treating the early stages of multiple sclerosis using immunomodulatory therapies, but we have almost no disease modifying treatments for the later neurodegenerative and progressive phase of multiple sclerosis, or in fact for other neurodegenerative diseases. However, in multiple sclerosis, demyelination occurs, making the underlying axons vulnerable to degeneration, and remyelination can happen, giving us an opportunity to intervene and protect nerves. This talk will explain the logic of this strategy, the progress made, and new advances in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models for testing therapies.
      Speakers:
      15:31  -  16:00
      Developing clinically relevant models of liver injury and regeneration
      Lomond Suite - Tinto
      The normal human liver regenerates well after injury but in severe or chronic damage the regeneration capability begins to fail and cellular senescence develops. Mouse and rat liver regenerates efficiently following injury, but have required further development to efficiently model human liver disease. We have developed genetic tools in mouse models that develop epithelial senescence and therefore better model human disease. This has revealed plasticity between the biliary and hepatocyte population. The epithelial senescence also drives liver pathology such as fibrosis and can be targeted using small molecule approaches. Based upon our studies of liver injury and regeneration we have been developing cell therapies for liver disease including macrophage cell therapy for liver cirrhosis which is now in human phase 2 trials
      Speakers:
       

      NC3Rs Session

      14:00  -  16:00
      NC3Rs Sponsored Session
      Fintry Auditorium

      New Technologies Which Advance Refinement and Science 

      This NC3Rs-sponsored session will focus on exciting new technologies that promote animal welfare and provide powerful tools to facilitate bioscience research. Invited speakers will showcase technologies developed to allow automated collection of big data, without requiring the continuous presence and engagement of researchers and animal care staff. 

      Handling, removal from the familiar home environment, and social isolation for scientific purposes can all adversely affect the welfare of laboratory animals, but also data quality and interpretation. New approaches avoid these issues whilst maximising data sets, leading to more powerful studies and novel scientific discoveries.

      Our grant holders and staff will be available to discuss how you can introduce the new tools into your studies and facilities, collaborate and apply for funding.

      Please download the session Flyer

      A1_NC3Rs_brandmark_ultramarine_cmyk


      14:01  -  14:30
      Home cage monitoring to measure voluntary behaviours in longitudinal studies
      Fintry Auditorium
      The prolific use of genome editing in the mouse has allowed the development of refined and sophisticated new mouse strains, as well as accelerating the generation of knock out alleles. The utility of these new alleles will only truly be realised if progress in phenotyping keeps pace. Continuous automated home cage assessment over several light:dark cycles has been shown to be a robust method to assess multiple biologically relevant phenotypes. Where variability due to factors such as experimenter intervention, time of experiment and testing order can be almost completely overcome. In this presentation I will show how this approach is particularly relevant to investigating progressive conditions where the phenotypes are subtle or their onset is hard to reliably observe through traditional out of cage phenotyping methods. The MRC Harwell institute specialises in the generation and phenotyping of genetically altered (GA) mouse models to study the relationship between genetics and disease. Many of the models studied are completely novel, whilst others model progressive conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and diseases of aging. Therefore, much effort is directed at refining methods for detecting subtle phenotypes collecting scientifically relevant data at earlier time points. The Home Cage Analysis (HCA) system we discuss here was developed in collaboration with Actual Analytics, Edinburgh, as part of the CRACK-IT initiative funded by the NC3Rs. The HCA system, in addition to continuous assessment of multiple biologically-relevant phenotypes also enables automatic annotation of climbing behaviour with in a group housed environment. Subtle changes in voluntary behaviours and shifts in circadian entrainment with age within the same cohort of mice could reliably extract biologically meaningful differences in GA mouse models of neurodegenerative conditions much earlier than traditional out of cage tests.
      Speakers:
      14:31  -  15:00
      AVERT - Acoustic Vocalisation Early Response Technologies
      Fintry Auditorium
      The advancement of many aspects of medical science relies heavily on the generation of genetically altered mouse models. These models are used to elucidate the function of genes that cause human disease, to understand the cause and progression of disease and to enable work towards potential treatments. There has been significant progress in the technologies used to create and study mouse models. However, the use of novel models to study human disease poses serious challenges for the scientific community: (1) Novel strains can have distinct, unknown, unpredictable welfare needs that must be addressed. Welfare checks typically consist of short, daily assessments of visual cues like hunching and grimacing. Whilst important, these checks only provide a snapshot of mouse welfare and may delay welfare interventions. Indeed, issues can arise between checks and mice may hide signs of vulnerability, as they are a prey species. (2) Limitations in current phenotyping techniques can cause relevant phenotypic effects to be missed, especially if they are subtle and/or novel. Further, the early stages of disease can be difficult to study as disease onset is unpredictable. Recent advancements, like the home cage analysis system developed at MRC Harwell, enable longer recording periods and the identification of subtle, previously unknown phenotypes. Such technological advancements have enabled scientists to begin to address these issues. However, further development of novel methods is necessary to overcome these challenges, especially given the limitations with using behavioural data in isolation of other cues. Mice use ultrasonic vocalisations (USVs) in multiple social contexts. Recent evidence has shown that vocalisations are important in social communication and that models of neurodegenerative diseases show changes in USVs that may correspond to communicative deficits in human patients. Vocal cues may also precede visual indicators of welfare concerns and disease onset. As such, USVs could potentially be used to develop an early-response system that could continuously monitor mice and alert users when welfare issues and/or disease phenotypes first arise.
      Speakers:
      15:01  -  15:30
      Moshers: Using video-cameras and Artificial Intelligence to quantify behaviours
      Fintry Auditorium
      MOSHERS: Using video-cameras and Artificial Intelligence to quantify behaviours (e.g., food intake) of individual mice housed socially in their home cages, in a scalable and automated manner In pursuit of knowledge and treatments for human diseases, it’s estimated that nearly 100 million mice are studied in biomedical research worldwide each year. Because assessments of mouse behaviours are largely not automated, only a tiny fraction of each mouse's life is studied. There is a worldwide need for a system which can provide biomedical researchers with big data about their laboratory mice automatically, day and night, all-year-round. This may help identify the onset or existence of abnormalities that otherwise are missed (e.g., when phenotyping new genetically modified mice or in wildtype mice after surgery). The ability to monitor changes in food consumption and intervene before weight loss occurs could provide welfare benefits to thousands of mice used in research by allowing earlier intervention before significant suffering. In 2019, the NC3Rs ran a “CRACK-IT” challenge sponsored by MRC Harwell to develop a system which could monitor food intake in socially housed rodents. The brief of the “MOSHERS” challenge was to develop an affordable, scalable system that would allow tens or hundreds of cages of mice to be monitored in parallel so that food intake could be quantified automatically. Research Devices won this competition: our solution involves retrofitting racks of cages with cost-effective video-cameras that stream video-data to the cloud. Rodents are tracked using artificial neural network algorithms; implanted wireless (radiofrequency identification) tags are not needed. Our system will provide users with information about their rodents 24/7 (for example, relating to food intake and drinking) on a per-animal and per-cage basis. Our web-based application also enables users to train neural networks to recognise additional rodent behaviours (e.g., climbing, rearing, resting). Data will be streamed back to user computers; users will be able to opt-in to alerts (e.g., concerning welfare) to their smart phones by text message or email. By the end of April 2020 our system will be monitoring 40 cages of wildtype and mutant mice at our partner’s Institution (the Mary Lyon Centre, MRC Harwell; https://mrc.ukri.org/research/facilities-and-resources-for-researchers/mary-lyon-centre/).
      Speakers:
      15:30  -  15:59
      Mymou, a low-cost, home cage training system for non-human primates
      Fintry Auditorium
      Traditional laboratory-based training of non-human primates (NHPs) on cognitive tasks is a slow, inefficient process that can cause stress to the animals. To overcome these limitations, we developed the Mymou system; a fully automated, cheap, open source, home-room training system. The wireless device runs continuously all-day including weekends, allowing NHPs to perform tasks in their home-room at their own leisure. The system uses facial recognition to accurately identify each NHP on a trial-by-trial basis, eliminating the need to separate NHPs from their social group while enabling automated individually-tailored training. With the support of the NC3Rs, Mymou has now been installed in multiple labs across the UK (in Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, and Newcastle Universities) and at the UK NHP breeding colony. I will describe how the Mymou system works, its benefits and refinements for NHP research, and demonstrate how Mymou expedites training of NHPs performing complicated cognitive tasks entirely in their home-room
      Speakers:
       

      Keynote Speaker - Steven Tsui

      16:30  -  17:30
      KEYNOTE SPEAKER
      Pentland Auditorium

      Translational Research In Heart Transplantation

      Click here for full abstract 

       

      Speakers:
       

      Facility Tour

      17:45  -  18:45
      Edinburgh University Facility Tour - CANCELLED
      UPDATE Unfortunately this tour has been cancelled
    • 26 March, 2020
    •  

      Joint Workshop - Ageing

      09:00  -  10:45
      Joint Workshop - Welfare of mice on ageing studies
      Lomond Suite - Kilsyth

      Introduction

      Human lifespan is increasing globally whereas healthspan - the period of life free from age-related diseases - is not increasing at the same rate. One consequence of this is that we are witnessing a concerted research effort into the causes of ageing and the control of its consequences, and this effort has resulted in an increase in the number of research groups that use ageing rodents – particularly mice – in their scientific studies.

      Workshop context

      As ageing is universally associated with a general and progressive decline in organ systems, there are some clinical/pathological manifestations that can be considered more or less typical in a given species or strain. As mice age many conditions develop slowly over extended periods of time and the body adapts to them. However, a moment comes when an animal shows clinical signs resulting from a decline in function that can no longer be compensated. In this workshop we will explore what these signs might be, how best to "grade" them and how best to tackle them. Another aspect we will explore is the interface between ageing and experimental aims. For example, how can we gauge the cumulative harm in mice that are being used to study the effects of age in the development of arthritis or of certain forms of cancer?

      Workshop format

      Following an introduction and explanation of the background, context and aims, a breakout session into small focused groups will explore the more common clinical signs of ageing and identify husbandry and care measures and humane endpoints. Groups will also look into ways of assessing welfare and cumulative severity of mice that are aged for scientific purposes.

      Recapping and Summary

      Delegates will come back together and share outputs and ideas from the breakout session.

       

      Multi-Species Session

      09:00  -  10:45
      It's not all about Mice!
      Fintry Auditorium

      Historically, mice and rats have been the most popular in vivo research model because they have a short breeding cycle, are easy to handle, cheap to house and have a well-defined genetic background. Although rodents are still the most popular animal model of choice for most researchers there are advantages to using other species.

      In this session we will explore the use of non-rodent species in laboratory research, their contribution to advances in medicine, veterinary medicine and basic research and the challenges involved in working with non-rodent species. Presentations will include speakers who specialise in Large Animals, Seals and Poultry.

       

      Bioresearch & Veterinary Services logo

      09:01  -  09:20
      Understanding and improving resistance to infectious diseases in aquaculture species
      Fintry Auditorium

      Aquaculture has a rapidly growing role in providing adequate fish and shellfish for human diets, and is particularly important for food security in developing countries. Infectious disease is a major constraint for all species produced via aquaculture. Since disease resistance is almost universally heritable, there is huge potential to select for improved resistance to key diseases, including via genomic selection. The high fecundity of aquaculture species, together with the plausibility of early-life in-vivo disease challenges provides an opportunity for powerful genetic studies to understand the functional basis of disease resistance. This includes the potential of genome editing tools for mapping causative variation underlying disease resistance traits. This presentation will give an overview of research targeting understanding and improvement of genetic resistance to disease in aquaculture at the University of Edinburgh. This will include the availability of new research facilities, and collaborative opportunities. The application of such research in the aquaculture industry to improve health and welfare of farmed fish and shellfish will also be discussed.

       

      Speakers:
      09:21  -  09:40
      Why are large animal models of neurodegenerative conditions necessary?
      Fintry Auditorium
      Neurodegenerative conditions, especially those caused by mutations in a ubiquitously expressed protein result in complex multi systemic disorders. Our ability to model the complexity of such conditions in terms of both anatomy and regional disease progression will ultimately dictate the likelihood of successful therapeutic development. Here we will discuss the requirement for large animal model systems to bridge the translational gap between rodent derived therapeutics and successful human intervention, with a focus on a recently developed model for Batten disease.
      Speakers:
      09:41  -  10:00
      Modelling Human diseases in Large Animals
      Fintry Auditorium

      Laboratory experiments with rodents have furthered our understanding of the structural and molecular effects of human diseases caused by genetic alterations in a living system. However, there is limited overlap between mouse models and the human disease due to significant differences in size, anatomy and physiology. Accurate large animal models could serve to bridge this translational gap between rodent modelling and human disease progression.

      Recent advances in genome engineering have produced a range of tools that allow the precise modification of livestock genomes. Microinjected directly into the newly fertilised zygote, genome editor reagents are proving to be a very effective methodology for inducing changes in the DNA sequence at their target sites, opening up a multitude of options for genome manipulation. This significantly increased efficiency in ability to modify the genome now offers the opportunity to generate large animal models of human disease.

      Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing we have introduced mutations, known to cause disease in humans, into the sheep PPT1 and CFTR genes. We postulate that further characterization of these lines will provide much-needed large animal models for biomarker discovery, translational imaging, and pre-clinical therapeutic assessment. Studies are currently underway to confirm the physiological relevance of these models
      Speakers:
      10:01  -  10:20
      The Biology and Ecology of UK seals
      Fintry Auditorium
      Seals are transient animals, most often observed hauled out on distant sandy beaches or rocky outcrops. But what happens when they really disappear out of sight? Until relatively recently seals’ behaviour at sea and physiological adaptations were poorly understood and we still have a lot to learn. The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) is a world-leading academic and applied research group whose expertise and research interests span a wide range of subject areas. Over 40 years SMRU has expertise and a suite of tools to provide us with a far greater insight and understanding of the biology and ecology of UK seals. I will discuss the challenges faced when studying seals, the benefits of combining captive and wild studies and how technological advances in a changing marine environment are improving our ability to understand these unique animals.
      Speakers:
      10:21  -  10:40
      Working at the sharp end of Venom Research
      Fintry Auditorium
      This presentation will cover the unique challenges of maintaining a collection of venomous snakes for the purpose of medical research. Very brief personal history and that of our Research Centre. Venomous snake husbandry, handling techniques, venom extraction, veterinary, snakebite and antivenom.
      Speakers:
       

      Animal Research Nexus Sponsored Session

      09:00  -  10:45
      Animal Research Nexus Sponsored Session
      Lomond Suite - Tinto

      The role of the public in animal research: Is the aim for understanding, engagement or involvement?

      Scientists, animal technicians, veterinary surgeons, and others are increasingly engaging with the public around animal research. This includes taking part in school visits, hosting facility tours, giving media interviews, and participating in art events, citizen science programmes, ethics committees, or patient conferences. Indeed, research engagement is now a key part of many scientific funding programmes. This is supported by a growing openness agenda, with many organisations having dedicated officers working on public initiatives, and via more formal lay involvement in research and ethical review. However, there are still many questions about what public involvement and engagement with animal research is expected to achieve, how it is carried out, whom it involves, and how it is evaluated.

      This session is organised by the Animal Research Nexus programme (www.animalresearchnexus.org), an interdisciplinary team funded by the Wellcome Trust. We will draw on our collaborative work to contextualise the rise of public engagement and demonstrate how using different methods creates the conditions for different kinds of conversations around animal research. We will do this by showcasing a range of experimental practices in our research, including, for example, the use of immersive theatre, work in the Mass Observation Archive, engagement around material objects, lay roles within ethics committees, and patient involvement with animal research. The session will both provide practical information on these different methods and encourage more critical reflection on the how, when and why of public engagement, considering whether and when the aim is to share expertise, develop empathy, or to cultivate understanding.

      AnNex_Logo_RGB

       

      UFAW Sponsored Session

      09:00  -  10:45
      UFAW Sponsored Session
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot
      Measuring and Refining Animal Welfare – is the Evidence Good Enough?

      In this interactive session we will review a number of recent developments in animal welfare science which promise to improve the welfare of laboratory animals either by offering better ways to assess welfare or to refine the use of laboratory animals. Most importantly, we will examine how good the evidence for these various animal welfare measures and refinements is and whether it is adequate to adopt them into routine practice. If not, what might we need to do to gather the evidence to support or reject their adoption? What might be the consequences of adopting a poorly validated measure or refinement? If the evidence is inadequate how should we go about improving the evidence?

      The audience will have an opportunity to participate by deciding at various points whether they consider the evidence for various measures or refinements is acceptable.
       

      European Perspective Session

      11:15  -  13:15
      EU-Directive 10 years on, what is next?
      Lomond Suite - Moorfoot

      IAT, LASA & LASA are delighted to bring you this joint session with experts from within the Industry in the European field. The session will be led by Jan-Bas Prins, Director of the Biological Research Facility, The Francis Crick Institute.

      The session will start with a series of short talks:

      • Dr Susanna Louhimies, Policy Co-ordinator at the EC
        EU policy on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes: the current status and challenges ahead.
      • Dr David Anderson, Pentlands Management Systems
        Challenges and opportunities to achieve consistency in severity assessment and reporting.
      • Prof Ana de Santos, FELASA President
        FELASA’s role in harmonisation in general and more specifically with regard E&T
      • Dr Nikki Osborne, Responsible Research in Practise
        Animal use for scientific purposes: cultural challenges and opportunities for change

      Followed by a panel discussion session including areas such as:

      • Policy topics: NL- Transition to animal free innovations, harmonisation across Europe (and UK).
      • Research hot topics: collaborations and animal research moving outside of Europe
      • Publication hot topics: Coalition S and Plan S
       

      Joint Workshop - GA Breeding

      11:15  -  13:15
      Joint Workshop - GA Breeding
      Lomond Suite - Kilsyth

      Best practice in the basics of GA mice and breeding

      This will be an interactive workshop for experienced (1 year+) junior technicians covering the basics of mouse reproduction, inbreds, outbred and GA strains. Looking at how to select the best mice for breeding, which breeding systems to use and troubleshooting examples of strains and breeders that aren’t producing litters. There will also be a brief session on breeding calculations. You’ll come away from this with some pointers on best practice to take forward and feeling more confident in your ability to manage your colonies or make suggestions on how scientists could improve theirs.

       

      AAALAC Sponsored Session

      11:15  -  13:15
      AAALAC Sponsored Session

      From Quality Animal Care and Use Programs to Quality Animal Research

      Much is being said about the problems on reproducibility and translatability of animal research. Among the multiple factors potentially impacting the outcome of animal research, animal care and use aspects are essential, as they define the framework for the research being conducted. Different quality level of institutional assigned program responsibilities, ethical review and oversight processes, training and competence of personnel, animal environment and husbandry practices, veterinary care programs, and animal facility operations may significantly impact the quality of animal research. In this session, several perspectives and initiatives to link quality of animal programs and quality of research will be presented, including an Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) project; the importance of communication between key program individuals/groups; and the implementation of quality and accreditation programs in a UK research institute.

      Thomas Steckler (Janssen). EQIPD: a pan-european project linking quality in animal care and use with quality of non-regulated preclinical research

      Javier Guillen (AAALAC International). The importance of internal communication for the efficiency of the animal care and use programme

      Mark Gardiner (Mary Lyon Centre). Towards quality animal research in a UK research institution


       

      RSPCA Sponsored Session

      11:15  -  13:15
      RSPCA Sponsored Session
      Fintry Auditorium

      Working together to make your AWERB … superb

      The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) plays a vital role in helping to ensure a good Culture of Care that reflects, and shapes, the establishment’s local values and perspectives. The AWERB’s tasks are well defined, and there is good guidance on how to implement these. The AWERB is now well established in its 8th year of operation, the Animals in Science Committee Hub Network is operating more effectively, and membership of the online Knowledge Hub is increasing.

      However, there is still room for improvement with respect to a number of issues, such as communication and liaison between the AWERB and relevant bodies (and individuals) within the establishment. Other areas that require further development include achieving support from senior management, securing adequate resources to address all of the AWERB’s tasks, and implementing induction and training for both members and chairs.

      This RSPCA session will bring animal technologists, scientists, managers, named persons, veterinarians and others together to discuss how they can combine efforts and help the AWERB to work more effectively and gain more support and resources. This should provide benefits for animal welfare, the science, the establishment’s culture, and public accountability.

      Participants will identify new liaisons and ways of working with a range of colleagues to further support and empower their AWERBs. The session will include presentations and interactive discussion, and participants will be encouraged to draw up action plans to take back to their establishments.

      Download Session Programme

       

       

      Home Office Session

      14:00  -  15:00
      Home Office Session
      Pentland Auditorium
      Updates from the Home Office
       

      Keynote Speaker - Eddie Clutton & Paul Flecknell

      15:30  -  16:45
      KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
      Pentland Auditorium

      A Horrible History of Anaesthetics and Analgesics in Animal Experimentation

      For full abstract Click Here

       

      Poster Thursday

      15:00  -  15:30
      Posters - Meet the Authors
      Strathblane Hall
      Prizes awarded as follows: 1st - £1000 2nd - £700 3rd - £300 Judges will be from each of the 3 organisations, (IAT, LASA, LAVA)
       

      Close of AST2020

      16:45  -  17:15
      Official Closing of AST2020
      Pentland Auditorium
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