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Swiss university prizes for non-animal methods

Swiss university prizes for non-animal methods

The UZH 3Rs Award, newly introduced by EARA member the University of Zurich, Switzerland, which highlights its researcher's advances in alternative methods to animal research, has announced its first winners.

Looking to avoid the need to carry out surgical training on animals like rats and rabbits, award winner Giuseppe Esposito, of UZH’s CRPP Stroke team, identified that placentas from the Department of Obstetrics, that were not needed, could be used to train surgeons, by simulating conditions in surgery.

Meanwhile Melanie Generali, of the UZH Institute for Regenerative Medicine, used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), that have the ability to turn into any type of cell, to study many different cells of interest in the lab, which is a promising alternative to doing tests on animals.

Talking about the awards, Pauline Jirkof, UZH 3R co-ordinator, said: “We want to highlight the many efforts being made at the University of Zurich to replace, reduce and refine animal experiments.”

Elsewhere in Switzerland, researchers at the University of Basel have used CRISPR gene editing to study multiple genes simultaneously in the muscles of mice. The approach has the potential to greatly reduce the number of mice needed to model muscle diseases.

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