£2.7m awarded to nine new project grants

The latest project grant funding from the NC3Rs includes two awards focusing on applying the 3Rs to poultry research. The first award to Dr Andrew Broadbent at the Pirbright Institute aims to establish a chicken primary B cell culture model to study the pathogenesis of immunosuppressive B cell-tropic viruses replacing the use of infection studies in live birds. The second award to Dr Alasdair Nisbet, Moredun Research Institute, focuses on reducing the number of hens used in the efficacy testing of vaccines against poultry red mites.

Other awards made include a grant to reduce the numbers of mice used with the new genome editing tools that are being rapidly adopted by many research groups. Following CRISPR/Cas9 microinjection into mouse zygotes, the founders generated are often genetically mosaic, requiring extensive breeding to ensure transmission of the desired allele, and precluding the phenotyping of the founder generation. The award to Dr Benjamin Davies at the University of Oxford aims to eliminate mosaicism by confining the Cas9 nuclease activity to the one-cell stage.

Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of the NC3Rs, said: "As always we are funding a diverse range of great projects which will impact on the 3Rs. Some of the projects focus on relatively niche areas of research such as studies in wild wood mice whilst others, such as identifying clinically effective analgesic regimens for lab rodents, will have wide applicability. In either case, we will work with the scientists we fund to ensure the 3Rs potential of their science is maximised to benefit as many animals as possible.”

Project grants awarded in the 2017 competition:



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