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Tonsil organoid wins 3Rs prize

A non-animal method to study respiratory infection and immunity has been awarded the International 3Rs Prize by the UK National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs), for the replacement, refinement and reduction of animals used in research.

In an online presentation, Dr Lisa Wagar, of the University of California, Irvine, USA, explained how she used cells from human tissue to develop ‘mini tonsils’ (organoids) that can be used to model respiratory infections, including flu and Covid-19.

Dr Wagar said the organoid system could be used to study the development of immunity in response to vaccination against different infections – reflecting parts of the human immune response that had previously not been possible without the use of animals.

The Prize grant, sponsored by EARA member GSK, will allow early careers researchers in the Wagar lab to present their research at conferences, showcasing the utility of the model and driving its adoption.

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