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International 3Rs Prize now open for applications. £30k prize (£2k personal award) for outstanding science with demonstrable 3Rs impacts.

NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Human organoid model to generate mucosal immune cell populations

A cell culture plate containing pink liquid under a microscope. A gloved hand is holding the plate while another is pipetting liquid into it.

At a glance

In progress
Award date
February 2023 - February 2025
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Dr Joana Neves
King's College London


  • Replacement
Read the abstract
View the grant profile on GtR



Why did we fund this project?

This award aims to establish an organoid model to generate human innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in sufficient numbers to replace the use of mice to study ILC function.

Human ILCs exist in small numbers, making it difficult to obtain enough cells to study their role in maintaining health and fighting infection. ILC research is currently carried out using pooled mouse ILCs harvested from a number of animals to provide a large enough number for experiments. Dr Joana Neves has previously developed a protocol to generate large numbers of human ILCs by co-culturing ILC precursors from human blood with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mucosal organoids. Joana will now characterise the organoid-generated ILCs by comparing phenotypes to in vivo cells, building confidence in the model and increasing its adoption by the immunology research community.

This award was made as part of the BBSRC/NC3Rs joint call for the development of next generation non-animal technologies (NATs).