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Outstanding research on improving animal welfare in science
Date:3/13/2014

ngs and methods have already been taken up by the pharmaceutical industry. "The prize awarded to Thomas Korff acknowledges not only successful individual developments but also his overall contribution to animal welfare in biomedical research," said Professor Gerhard Heldmaier, Chair of the DFG Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation, following the jury's decision.

One focus of Thomas Korff's research is to explain the mechanisms which lead to pathological changes in the vascular system. These include angiogenesis (new formations of blood vessels triggered by tumour growth) and the development of arteriosclerotic plaques and varicose veins. By characterising proteins which control the so-called "smooth" muscle cells in the walls of the blood vessels, he is helping to explain conditions such as high blood pressure. These findings can point towards new ways to prevent vascular disease and to deliberately stimulate desirable growth in the blood vessels.

Korff uses systematically developed cell culture systems to investigate reactions in individual cells in vascular change. This alternative method enables very distressing animal experiments to be avoided, thereby contributing significantly to the replacement and reduction aspects of the 3Rs. More complex changes in the wall of a blood vessel can only be studied on a living organism. Korff has developed new methods in this area as well which allow the formation of blood vessels to be observed on the ear of a mouse and which replace the previously necessary animal experiments which involved interrupting the blood flow to larger organs (an application of the refinement principle).

The DFG promotes open and unprejudiced dialogue between the research community, the public and policy-makers. It is therefore inviting researchers, the media, members of parliament and other representatives from the political sphere to a workshop that will accompany the presentation of the Ursula M. H
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Contact: Marco Finetti
marco.finetti@dfg.de
49-228-885-2230
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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