Congratulations to the 2015 NC3Rs Prize Winners

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Congratulations to the 2015 NC3Rs Prize Winners

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox


“Three pieces of outstanding published research with 3Rs impacts have been given awards in this year’s 3Rs Prize competition, run by the NC3Rs, and sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline….

Two papers were declared joint winners of the 2015 Prize. The first describes a 3D model of the embryonic human brain created from stem cells. These so-called ‘cerebral organoids’ represent a major scientific breakthrough because for the first time the complexity and structure of the developing brain has been replicated in vitro. This has significant implications not only for studying neurological diseases but also for replacing some animal studies.

The second paper awarded the top prize focuses on the application of a framework to assess the welfare of the laboratory dog based on their behaviour, health and psychological well-being. The framework was used to validate a refined procedure for administering substances to dogs during the testing of new drugs….

A highly commended award was also made for a paper describing the development of ‘personalised’ organoids of colorectal cancer derived from the patients’ own tissue. The collection of organoids represents the main mutations causing cancer and therefore could be used to test drugs, and identify drug combinations suitable for specific patients. Such studies are traditionally carried out in mice where samples of human tumours are implanted under the skin….”

Winning Papers

Lancaster M et al. (2013). Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly. Nature 501(7497): 373-9, doi:10.1038/nature12517

Hall LE, Robinson S, Buchanan-Smith HM (2015). Refining dosing by oral gavage in the dog: A protocol to harmonise welfare. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 72: 35-46, doi:10.1016/j.vascn.2014.12.007

van de Wetering M, Francies HE, Francis JM et al. (2015). Prospective Derivation of a Living Organoid Biobank of Colorectal Cancer Patients. Cell 161(4): 933-45,

The annual NC3Rs Prize

“Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, the international NC3Rs Prize is awarded every year to the authors of an original research paper published within the last three years with outstanding scientific or technological potential to replace, reduce or refine the use of animals in research. Applications are judged by an expert Panel. The prize consists of a grant of £18k, plus a personal award of £2k. Highly-commended entries receive a £4k grant and £1k personal award.”