The Global 3Rs Awards Printed from on October 17, 2018

IQ Consortium and AAALAC International 
2015 Global 3Rs Awards Program

2017 Award Winners

The Global 3Rs Awards program, a collaboration between AAALAC International and the IQ Consortium, recognizes the following individuals for their significant innovative contributions toward the 3Rs of animal research to advance ethical science in academia or industry in any area of biology. The 2017 winners are:


Dr. Marcel Leist

Dr. Marcel Leist is Chair for In Vitro Toxicology and Biomedicine at the University of Konstanz in Germany. He is receiving a Global 3Rs Award for the article, "Stem Cell-Derived Immature Human Dorsal Root Ganglia Neurons to Identify Peripheral Neurotoxicants," Stem Cells Translational Medicine (2016). The authors note that because of the toxic effects of many chemicals on the peripheral nervous system, rather than the central nervous system, there is a large need in toxicology to test for peripheral neuropathies, most of which rely on animal experimentation using pluripotent stem cells. The authors generated human peripheral neurons to establish, validate and apply a test for peripheral neurotoxicants. About three dozen compounds were tested to establish a prediction model for the assay. This PeriTox test reacted correctly (sensitivity of 87%) to many known human peripheral nervous system toxicants, and it discriminated (specificity of 100%) between peripheral neurotoxicants and chemicals not expected to cause peripheral neurotoxicity. This establishes a solid and complete test method to screen large numbers of compounds and identify neurotoxic 'hits' based on a tested prediction model. Animal testing for general organ toxicity will continue until alternative assays are available that reliably cover toxicity to all major organ systems. The PeriTox test closes a large gap in alternatives to animal use. This Global 3Rs Award will be used to validate the test for different applications to further close the gap between the initial setup of this test method and its widespread use.


Dr. Mark E. Smith

Dr. Mark E. Smith is Chief Scientific Officer at American Preclinical Services (APS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is receiving a Global 3Rs Award for the article, "Thrombogenicity Testing of Medical Devices in a Minimally Heparinized Ovine Blood-Loop," Journal of Medical Devices (2017). This work addresses the initial validation and continuing development of a novel test for screening medical devices that are placed in the bloodstream of patients to assess thrombogenicity, their potential to form blood clots. This new test has the potential to replace the commonly used in vivo test -- the Non-Anticoagulated Venous Implant (NAVI) thrombogenicity test. The NAVI uses, at a minimum, two animals -- typically dogs, sheep or pigs -- and is required by the FDA for final approval of nearly all medical devices that contact blood. The replacement test uses blood from donor sheep which is pumped through a closed loop, simulating blood circulation in the animal. After a few hours in this system, the devices are evaluated for the presence of blood clots in a manner similar to that for the live animal model. The authors report a high confidence of similarity for the benchtop circulating blood-loop model and are continuing to collect data to support its validation. If approved, this test has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of animals used to test medical devices. This Global 3R Award prize will be used to monitor the flow rates of the circulating blood in the test configuration.


2016 Winners


Dr. Olivier Frey

Dr. Frey is Product Manager for Microphysiological Systems, InSphero AG, in Switzerland. He is receiving a Global 3R Award for the article, "3D Spherical Microtissues and Microfluidic Technology for Multi-Tissue Experiments and Analysis," Journal of Biotechnology, 2015. The paper is one of the outcomes of the European project "Body on a Chip," aimed at developing a next- generation multi-tissue assay platform based on 3-D spheroids from human cells in a microfluidic setup. The concept is highly versatile, robust and simple to use. It has set the basis for a follow up project with the goal to translate the system to a marketable product with the potential to generate more predictive data on the impact of compounds on the human body and ultimately reduce or even replace animal tests. This Global 3R Award prize will be used to develop a first prototype on a larger scale. The award will also be used to conduct the published cancer therapeutic prodrug cyclophosphamide experiment with human-derived liver spheroids and compare its predictive strength to the in vivo scenario, a first step towards completely replacing the use of animal cells.


Dr. Madhav Paranjpe

Dr. Paranjpe is Director of Pathology at BioReliance in Rockville, Maryland, USA. He is receiving a Global 3R Award for "Retrospective Evaluation of Doses in the 26-week Tg.rasH2 Mice Carcinogenicity Studies: Re-commendation to Eliminate High Doses at Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) in Future Studies," Toxicologic Pathology, 2015. Although significant advances have been made in carcinogenicity testing the general experimental design for these studies has remained virtually unchanged. Dr. Paranjpe thoroughly and systematically evaluated 29 carcinogenicity studies using Tg.rasH2 mice at the three federally mandated dose levels and recommended that the requirement for the high-dose group be reduced from the MTD, concluding that the low- and mid-dose groups detected carcinogenic effects in the test articles, whereas the high-dose (MTD) groups did not. The key recommendation to reduce the high-dose group and use only two test-article dose groups in each sex will result in a 25% reduction in the total number of mice evaluated per test article; provide similar test results without losing data; improve test predictability; improve ethical science; and improve the human relevance of these studies. The award will provide financial support to qualified graduate students.


Dr. Benjamin Quah

Dr. Quah is a Research Fellow at The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University. He is receiving a Global 3R Award for "Use of an In Vivo FTA Assay to Assess the Magnitude, Functional Avidity and Epitope Variant Cross-Reactivity of T Cell Responses Following HIV-1 Recombinant Poxvirus Vaccination," PLoS ONE, 2014. Through superb experimental design and the application of advanced flow cytometry technology, a method for the pre-clinical multi-parameter screening of T and B lymphocytes post-vaccination (specifically, in the pre-clinical assessment of HIV vaccines using mouse models) was developed. These experiments address the clinical question of an HIV vaccine that mimics immune responses found in naturally HIV-resistant patients. A 140-fold reduction in the required number of mice was achieved. Notably, data generated from a total of 6,426 animals using a traditional 2-parameter assay can be now generated from only 45 animals. The award will support publishing the full pre-clinical reduction method in the 3Rs journal ALTEX, and reagents to support upcoming experiments on pre-clinical testing of cancer vaccines.


2015 Winners


Dr. Paulin Jirkof

Dr. Jirkof is a post doc at the University Hospital Zurich, Division of Surgical Research, University of Zurich, and is also affiliated with the Neuroscience Center Zurich in Switzerland. She is receiving a Global 3R Award for the article, "Buprenorphine for pain relief in mice: repeated injections vs sustained-release depot formulation" published in Laboratory Animals, December 2014. The study aimed at clarifying the efficacy of the most widely used pain killer in mice, buprenorphine. In mice, buprenorphine is mostly injected 2-3 times a day; however, repeated injections which require restraining have been criticized as potentially stressful. A less stressful application, a single injection of long-acting sustained-release formulations, was proposed. The study showed a single injection provided long-lasting, constant pain alleviation with limited side-effects. This Global 3R Award prize will be used for further research on pain alleviation in mice and to establish and publish evidence-based protocols for pain treatment in mice, which are easy to use, reliable and efficient.


Dr. Aleksander Skardal

Dr. Skardal is an assistant professor at the Wake Forest Institute of Regeneration (WFIRM), and an affiliate faculty member in Biomedical Engineering for the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, USA. He is receiving a Global 3R Award for the article, "Liver-tumor hybrid organoids for modeling tumor growth and drug response in vitro," published in Annals of Biomedical Engineering, March 2015. Current in vitro models for tumor growth and metastasis are poor facsimiles of in vivo cancer physiology and thus, are not optimal for anti-cancer drug development. Three dimensional (3D) tissue organoid systems, which utilize human cells in a tailored microenvironment, have the potential to recapitulate in vivo conditions. The study shows the potential of in vitro 3D liver-tumor organoids to serve as a model for metastasis growth and for testing the drug response of tumor cells, thus reducing the need for in vivo animal studies. This Global 3R Award prize will be used to attend scientific conferences in order to present this in vitro tissue organoid model work.


Dr. Nancy Oguiura

Dr. Nancy Oguiura is with the Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Butantan Institute, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is receiving a Global 3R Award for the article, "An alternative micromethod to access the procoagulant activity of Bothrops jararaca venom and the efficacy of antivenom," Toxicon 90, 2014. The immediate impact of this research is the availability of a sensitive ex-vivo method to test the coagulant activity of poisons and toxins as well as the neutralizing capacity of specific antivenoms. This method can reduce the number of animals because instead of using mice for the determination of effective neutralizing dose using the dose lethal 50% (DL50), it promotes an ex-vivo method that uses plasma obtained by processing blood collected from chicken wing veins. This makes it possible to substitute at least 100 mice per assay, decrease the experimental time from days to hours and the amount of venom and antivenom used per assay, and avoid animal suffering. The award will be used to purchase reagents and equipment used in the methodology in order to increase the possibility of using the proposed protocol with other poisons.


Global 3Rs Awards Disclaimer
The selection of the awardees represents the opinion of the reviewers. These reviewers regard these publications as innovations and promising advances worthy of recognition and reinforcement of exposure to the greater biomedical community. Award selection is not an endorsement or expectation that these specific 3Rs methods/procedures must be used by IQ Companies and/or AAALAC International accredited institutions. Ultimate adoption of a specific 3Rs strategy into a specific program is often complex and may include acceptance by regulatory bodies. Moreover, the committee recognizes that significant scientific corroboration and experience with the application of the new techniques may be required before a specific method or procedure warrants or achieves widespread adoption.

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