Sunday, 28 August 2011 21:13

Berlin: Research prize awarded for alternatives to animal experiments Featured

The first Berlin research prize for alternatives to animal experiments has been awarded to Dr. med. Andreas Hocke from the Medical Clinic of Charité Berlin. The jury selected his work on the “Establishment and development of a human lung tissue infection model for reducing and replacing animal experiments in mouse pneumonia models” from ten submissions.

The research aims to replace experiments on mice in lung infection research using human tissue. Instead of using mice, human lung tissue obtained from surgery patients suffering lung disease is used. Several Berlin hospitals have teamed up to provide human lung tissue for research purposes, amongst them the DRK Kliniken in Berlin-Mitte, HELIOS Klinikum Emil von Behring and the Charité Clinic for Thoracic Surgery in Berlin-Mitte.

The model serves the investigation of inflammation reactions caused by severe pneumonia pathogens (e. g. Streptococcus pneumoniae, influenza). The project is a central component of the collaborative research project “Congenital Immunity of the Lung”, funded by the German Research Foundation.

The research prize for alternatives to animal experiments was jointly awarded by the Senate Administration for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection, together with the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (LaGeSo) and the association of the research-based pharmaceutical companies in Germany (vfa). The vfa donated the € 15,000 prize money.

A special prize was awarded to the Lise-Meitner School for the research paper “Umsetzung eines 3T3 Phototoxizitätstests mit Hypericin unter Schulbedingungen zur Ergänzung der Fachpraxis in der Ausbildung zum biologisch-technischen Assistenten” (“Implementation of a 3T3 phototoxicity test with hypericin under training conditions to complete practical experience in the vocational training of biological technical assistants”). The paper was submitted by Jennifer Weigt, Nils Dommershausen und Florian Butke. The special prize acknowledges the specific examination of alternatives to animal experiments in education.

In the future the € 15,000 prize will be awarded annually for outstanding scientific work on the prevention and reduction of experiments on animals.