Our Initiatives

Animal models provide valuable information for both human and animal health. They help the advancement of knowledge, development of new medicines, devices, and treatment modalities. However, it is essential for the scientific community to continually improve their use of animal models to increase clinical translation and advance both science and animal welfare. 

Our flagship program is to facilitate collaborative initiatives for 3Rs impact. These groups engage industry professionals, academics, regulators, and other research professionals to work together on implementing evidence-based 3Rs practices. 

The NA3RsC has five initiatives focused on 3Rs impact:

Rodent Health Monitoring
Refinement
Microphysiological Systems
Translational Digital Biomarkers
3Rs Certification Course
Compassion Fatigue

Rodent Health Monitoring

Our Rodent Health Monitoring Initiative helps research professionals consider if reducing/replacing their reliance on dirty bedding sentinels with environmental monitoring is right for their institution. We have a comprehensive resource page & free webinar to help you decide whether to make the switch and how. Our group will also be presenting at ACLAM, MSMR, & AALAS. In April 2021, we also released a 3-year longitudinal survey to benchmark rodent health monitoring strategies at different institutions and evaluate remaining barriers to making the switch. So far, we’ve helped at least 3 major governmental & academic research institutions to switch to full environmental monitoring thereby replacing over 5,500 of sentinel animals. Click below to learn more if environmental monitoring is right for you.

Refinement

Our Refinement initiative works to increase implementation of evidence-based refinement techniques to improve animal welfare and scientific rigor. We’ve created 7 high-level resource pages on common laboratory species. These pages outline recommendations for housing, husbandry, and common procedures. They link out to more extensive resources and videos. In 2021, our refinement group is focusing on increasing implementation of non-aversive handling to pick up mice (i.e., tunnel handling or cupping). We’ve put together an expert panel addressing evidence for the technique & implementation strategies which will present at MSMR, AALAS, & our 3Rs Webinar Series. In May 2021, we are releasing a 3-year longitudinal survey to benchmark mouse handling strategies and remaining barriers. Stay tuned for more resources and click below to learn more about working on our refinement team.

Microphysiological Systems

Our Microphysiological Systems initiative collaborates with technology providers to increase industry adoption and regulatory aceptance of microphysiological systems (MPS). MPS are an emerging technology that holds the potential to increase translation, efficiency, efficacy, and safety. They could serve as a replacement or reduction for some animal models and become an integral part of drug development. Our Initiative is comprised of 57 representatives from 28 providers of commercially-available MPS that are already translated into industry use as well as several end-users. Click below to learn more about these promising technologies.

Translation Digital Biomarkers

Our Translational Digital Biomarkers initiative engages end-users and technology providers to increase industry adoption of translational digital biomarkers. We are particularly interested in scalable technologies that can be applied in the home cage. These technologies have the potential to refine & reduce animals in research. Our goal is to improve understanding of value & facilitate the adoption of these technologies. Stay tuned for their upcoming resource page & publication.

3Rs Certification Course

We’re creating a 3Rs Certification course to improve understanding, recognition, & implementation of the 3Rs. This course will be interactive, virtual, & self-paced. The planned release date is in early 2022. After initial release, we plan to develop it into a credentialing program. Stay tuned for our outputs!

Compassion Fatigue

Our Compassion Fatigue initiative will include bespoke materials to promote compassion fatigue resiliency for our field. This includes a resource page and institutional support by creating an institutional starter pack for promoting compassion fatigue resiliency. This starter pack will be formally evaluated via a 3-year longitudinal survey. 

See Next

The 3Rs:

What are they and how do our initiatives address them?