New York Academy of Sciences
12 December 2011
PhD student Ian Harrison (Medicine) reports on a conference he attended earlier this term held at the New York Academy of Sciences on Animal Models and their Value in Predicting Drug Efficacy and Toxicity.
“Held just days after the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks in New York City, 15–16 September saw animal scientists from all over the globe travel to the big apple to take part in the event. Despite the sombre setting of the event on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Centre, overlooking Ground Zero, the enthusiasm and passion of more than 200 scientists shone through, making for a lively couple of days of science.
A number of speakers from Imperial’s Centre of Integrative Mammalian Physiology and Pharmacology (CIMPP) – joint organisers of the conference – attended the meeting. CIMPP’s chairman, Professor Julia Buckingham, welcomed everyone and Professors Jimmy Bell, Maria Belvisi, Felicity Gavins and Kevin Murphy were among those who presented recent findings from their research involving animals. A number of fellow CIMPP students and I also had the opportunity to present our findings in the form of posters.
The conclusion of the conference saw academics and members of the pharmaceutical industry alike, take part in an exciting debate of the value of animal models in predicting drug efficacy. The main take-home messages of the event were to encourage, as always, reduction, refinement and replacement (the 3Rs) in our own animal research, and to encourage the publication and sharing of negative, as well as positive, data amongst the scientific community. The consensus being that by improving our own use of the 3Rs and by sharing our data, we can all improve the quality and worth of our own in vivo data.”