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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
Infrastructure grant

Multi-user, multi-centre MRI to reduce and refine the use of mice in cancer and trauma research

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At a glance

Award date
November 2013 - November 2017
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Dr John Marshall
Queen Mary University of London


  • Reduction
  • Refinement




This award has provided funding for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to non-invasively monitor tumours in mouse models of cancer, reducing the number of animals used by up to 50%.


Non-invasive imaging techniques, such as MRI, provide detailed scientific information which can be used, for example, to assess tumour size and the impact of potential therapeutics. It also allows researchers to undertake longitudinal imaging studies in mice. This reduces the number of animals used by avoiding culling cohorts of animals for histological analysis at various time points, and by allowing animals to act as their own controls. Imaging can also offer refinement benefits such as the introduction of earlier humane endpoints.

Research details and methods

Funding has been provided for a MRI scanner. This will be used by scientists at Queen Mary University of London and their collaborators to reduce and refine the use of mice primarily in cancer research but also for studies on brain injury and neurotrauma.