The NA3RsC’s primary program is to coordinate collaborative initiatives for 3Rs (refinement, reduction, replacement) impacts. Each specific 3Rs initiative is chosen after determining strong evidence, big impact, and real-world practicality of the topic at hand. NA3RsC then engages with experts in the evidence, impact, and practicality of applying the technique. These experts come from across science including academia, industry, government, and more. We determine current prevalence and barriers to implementation of the specific practice. Finally, we work to mitigate those barriers through providing targeted education, proof of concept, and useful resources.
The NA3RsC has six initiatives focused on 3Rs impact:
Our Rodent Health Monitoring Initiative helps research professionals replace soiled bedding sentinels with environmental health monitoring strategies. We have a comprehensive resource hub to help you decide whether and how to make the switch. Our group will also be presenting at ACLAM, MSMR, & AALAS. In 2022, NA3RsC plans to publish results from our year 1 benchmarking survey, present to 3 new audiences, and add cost comparison resources to our webpage. So far, we’ve helped at least 5 major governmental & academic research institutions to switch to full environmental monitoring thereby replacing over 8,000 of sentinel animals annually. Click below to learn more about environmental health monitoring.
Our Refinement Initiative works to increase implementation of evidence-based refinement techniques to improve animal welfare and scientific rigor. We’ve created 16 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 2022, our refinement group is working to create a refined mouse handling certificate course, publishing LAS Pro Articles, benchmarking survey results and year 2 of data collection. We are excited to launch a downloadable and editable slide deck + SOP on refined mouse handling as well as have an additional 7 more presentations at NJABR, CALAS, and more. A blood resource hub will be created to have easy access to more information regarding the studies. Stay tuned for more resources and click below to learn more about working on our refinement team.
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 can serve as a replacement for some animals in scientific research. Our Initiative is comprised of 82 representatives from 39 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.
Our Translational Digital Biomarkers initiative engages end-users and technology providers to increase industry adoption of translational digital biomarkers. Translational Digital Biomarkers are objective, quantifiable physiological and behavioral data that are collected and measured by means of digital technologies in the home cage. These technologies have the potential to refine & reduce animals in research. We’ve engaged 23 individuals from 17 institutions to collaborate to advance the field. Our goal in 2022 is to create a user-friendly technology hub of commercially available translational digital biomarkers systems and to overall improve understanding of value and facilitate the adoption of these technologies. Stay tuned for our webinar series and educational webpages on translational biomarkers.
Our Compassion Fatigue Initiative is focused on creating materials to promote compassion fatigue resiliency in our field. This includes a resource hub and institutional starter pack for creating compassion fatigue resiliency. In spring of 2022, we are running a 2-year longitudinal study at 7 independent sites in the US and Canada to evaluate the efficacy of our institutional starter pack. Stay tuned for more information on the results!
Our 3Rs Certification Initiative seeks to improve understanding, recognition, & implementation of the 3Rs. We recognize a gap in specific, standardized, and accessible training that creates difficulty in implementation. The course will be virtual, interactive, and self-paced consisting of 5 one-hour modules on Introduction/History of the 3Rs: Refinement, Reduction, Replacement. The course’s planned release date is in late 2022. After releasing this course, we plan to develop a credentialing program. Stay tuned for updates.