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Charité 3R: Our vision

Animals remain an integral part of biomedical research. While they continue to prove indispensable models of human disease in many different areas of research, we will remain firmly committed to maximizing animal welfare, and to developing and promoting alternatives to animal research.

Both of these are imperative and form the central tenets of our vision. We want to make a tangible contribution. We want to develop efficient animal models with reduced reliance on animal use while simultaneously driving the development of alternative approaches.

 

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Objectives of Charité 3R

Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries im Videointerview
Interview mit Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries und Prof. Dr. Britta Siegmund

Charité 3R has the task of visibly implementing the 3R principles in research and teaching at the Charité. This includes:

  • support scientists to develop new or improved alternative methods to animal experiments
  • support the dissemination and application of existing alternative methods
  • improve animal testing for the sake of better animal welfare
  • train young scientists in alternative methods and animal welfare
  • to find new ways for the implementation of the 3R-principle in accordance with politics and the society at large

In what areas does Charité 3R actively engage?

Charité 3R is made up of three pillars:

The first pillar is concerned with research and it provides funding to finance the development of alternative methods over the animal model. This also includes any measure that improves the well-being of test animals.

The second pillar, education, guides future scientists to find a 3R-based model of investigation to pursue their scientific goals.  This will improve the potential transfer of scientific results to the human patient and thus enhance scientific benefit.

Communication as the third pillar aims to initiate a broad debate about animal testing and alternative methods with political stakeholders, scientific institutions, funding agencies and the general public.

Who benefits from Charité 3R?

Innovative alternative methods and improvements in animal experiments produce more replicable results in biomedical science. This is a major contribution to responsible science as part of the Charité strategy 2030. The 3Rs ensure improvements in animal welfare. Transparent science-based communication facilitates an open debate by society at large about the ethics between humans and animals. Charité 3R thus promotes the political goal of making Berlin the capital of alternative methods.  

What has Charité 3R achieved so far?

A wide range of results:

So far, Charité 3R has introduced eight fundinglines funding 35 projects overall. Numerous high-ranked scientific publications confirm the relevance of the research.

The Einstein Centre EC3R as well Organo-Strat are two initiatives whose funding was decisively promoted by Charité 3R.

The Charité 3R Toolbox offers scientists an online introduction to the 3Rs. It comprises links to validated information and tools of renowned 3R institutions from all over the world.

Charité 3R strives for the visibility of 3R-related topics as is proven by the increasing number of visits to its website as well as many well-received events.

Animal experiments: why and wherefore?

Animal experiments help to understand complex diseases better and to develop new therapies. To this day, they cannot be replaced in many areas. This is because alternative methods – such as computer simulations or studies on human tissue material – do not provide comparable comprehensive information. On the other hand, research studies won through animal testing cannot fully reflect the human organism.

In principle, the same is true for alternative methods. But they supplement the range of methods and can generate results that could not have been generated in animal testing, thus potentially leading to scientific breakthroughs.