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Innovation in therapeutic approaches: the conference

By 11/12/2023December 14th, 2023No Comments

On Tuesday, November 28th, at the Sala Ulisse of Palazzo Poggi in Bologna, took place the dissemination event of the results obtained as part of the research project entitled Development of complex in vitro models for new therapeutic approaches in the preclinical phase [IT: Sviluppo di modelli in vitro complessi per affrontare nuovi approcci terapeutici in ambito preclinico]. The project, financed by the Ministry of Health with funds dedicated to the development of alternative methodologies to animal experimentation, involved four researchers from the University of Bologna.

The event began with greetings from the Pro-rector for Research of the Alma Mater Studiorum – Prof. Alberto Credi, and continued with presentations by three invited speakers: Dr. Francesca Maylander of the Directorate General for Animal Health and Veterinary Drugs, Office 6 of the Ministry of Health – Animal Welfare Protection, Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Urban Hygiene, Dr. Isabella De Angelis of the Italian Platform on Alternative Methods [IT: IPAM] and Dr. Silvia Dotti of the National Reference Centre for Alternative Methods, Welfare and Care of Laboratory Animals [IT: IZSLER]. The second part of the event was dedicated to the beneficiaries of the funding, who were able to present the results of their studies: Dr. Annalisa Astolfi – Dept. of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Prof. Sofia Avnet – Dept. of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Dr. Emanuela Mensà – Dept. of Pharmacy and Biotechnology and Dr. Vito Antonio Baldassarro – Dept. of Veterinary Medical Sciences. In particular, Dr. Baldassarro presented the results of the molecular analysis carried out on a line of embryonic (rat) stem cells as a replacement for the in vivo studies on embryotoxicity and teratogenesis, a study partly conducted within the laboratories of Iret Foundation ETS – the managing body of the Bologna-Ozzano ‘Rita Levi-Montalcini’ Technopole.

Dr. Baldassarro explains the results of the molecular analysis

In the final round of discussion, Prof. Lorenzini, who coordinated this event and the overall funding process for the relevant projects, expressed his satisfaction with the results produced, which demonstrate University of Bologna’s commitment to maintaining an innovative and ethically responsible perspective for the progress of scientific research. Notwithstanding the still incomplete replaceability of the animal model, the scientific community is called upon to adopt a proactive approach in promoting and developing alternative methodologies, while guaranteeing rigorous scientific validation. Commitment to these alternatives not only addresses growing ethical concerns, but also promotes the production of accurate and reliable data. This is why it is crucial that everyone – the government, research institutions and industry – actively work together to accelerate the adoption of alternative models, find resources to fund costly research projects, and commit to making the best use of them. It is an open challenge, but progress is intrinsically linked to our willingness to embrace and drive change towards a more humane and scientifically sound future.

From left: Prof. Avnet, Dr. Astolfi, Dr. Mensà, Prof. Lorenzini, Dr. Baldassarro

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