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The aim of this funding line is to accompany the research of the so-called "wildling mouse model" at Charité with regard to the external validity of this animal model. External validity examines whether the findings of a study can be generalized to other contexts. To this end, Charité 3R funds a consortium of at least three experimental projects that conduct research on different disease models and evaluate the external validity of the disease models in a quality-oriented approach. The consortium will provide insights into the potential of the wildling mouse model for translational medicine.
External validity of the wildling mouse model
Animal experiments with laboratory mice are still unavoidable in research: they serve to discover new biological mechanisms and to obtain a detailed understanding of disease mechanisms in order to develop targeted therapies. However, laboratory mice are usually kept in very clean conditions, while humans are colonized by a variety of microscopic organisms. This so-called microbiome plays an important role for health and the development of diseases. We hypothesize that laboratory mice with a natural microbiome ("wildling mice") are better suited for the investigation of disease mechanisms and for the development of new therapies compared to conventional laboratory mice. To this end, we will investigate a wide range of relevant diseases such as viral infections, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and stroke. We expect that research with wildling mice will effectively lead to new therapies and therefore to a reduction in animal testing in the long term.
The experimental research projects will be accompanied by a support project conducted by Responsible PrecliniX of the BIH QUEST Center. Responsible PrecliniX supports the funded projects on the one hand with regard to a robust experimental design and on the other hand with regard to data analysis and interpretation of the results.