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New York Academy of Sciences and GMEC host forum on value of animal models in drug discovery

September 15 - 16, 2011, The New York Academy of Sciences and the Global Medical Excellence Cluster (GMEC), in collaboration with Imperial College London and King's College London, will host a two-day scientific conference, "Animal Models and Their Value in Predicting Drug Efficacy and Toxicity," that will provide a forum to critically examine the role of pre-clinical animal models in drug discovery. Areas of focus include: how do animal models most effectively contribute to translational medicine and drug discovery? What changes are needed to increase the predictive power of various models for drug efficacy in humans? and what can be done to further refine, reduce, and replace animal models in biomedical research?

By convening multi-disciplinary clinical and basic science investigators, the Academy and GMEC hope to aid in identifying common hurdles to improving model systems for the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy and toxicity in the areas of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and pain as well as ways of moving forward. "The long-standing practice of using small and large animals to predict drug safety and efficacy in humans is costly, time-consuming, and not always reliable. By bringing together leading scientists from multiple sectors and regions to share their innovations that possess the potential to improve the prediction of drug safety and toxicity before use in patients, we are fostering the development of more reliable models and assays that may allow us to significantly reduce or eliminate the need for animal model assessment of new drugs, and ultimately more effectively translate new scientific discoveries into safe and effective treatments" commented the Academy's Scientific Director, Dr. Brooke Grindlinger. "Progress in this challenging area is essential if we are to improve our ability to move from discoveries in basic science to clinical application and meet the healthcare challenges of the 21st Century" commented Dr. Jim Hagan, CEO of GMEC.

Workshop and joint sessions topics will include: "New Technologies such as Bioimaging, Biosimulation, and Bioinformatics," "Alternatives to Rodent Models of Disease," "Cell and Organ Replacement in Humanized Animal Models of Disease," "Recent Advances in Generating Genetically Modified Animals for Therapeutic Discovery," "Regulations and Best Practices in Disease Modeling in Animals," and many more. Dr. Ann Jacqueline Hunter, OI Pharma Partners, Ltd., will provide the keynote address. The British Pharmacological Society will award poster presentation prizes to outstanding investigators, and Dr. Kent C. Lloyd, University of California, Davis, will present The Charles River Lecture, which recognizes innovative research towards accelerating drug development. Two poster viewing sessions, sponsored by Taconic, will provide a forum for junior investigators to showcase their research. Other speakers include scientists and researchers hailing from across disciplines and the globe.

For a full list of speakers visit


A Professional Forum: Animal Models and Their Value in Predicting Drug Efficacy and Toxicity

WHO: Keynote Speaker: Ann Jacqueline Hunter CBE, BSc, PhD OI Pharma Partners, Ltd

For a full list of organizers and speakers visit


Thursday-Friday, September 15-16, 2011


The New York Academy of Sciences 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., 40th floor, New York City

The conference is supported by GlaxoSmith Kline, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, The Global Medical Excellence Cluster, Wellcome Trust, Bristol-Myers Squibb, British Pharmacological Society, Charles River, Centre for Integrative Mammalian Physiology and Pharmacology at Imperial College London, King's College London, National Swine Research and Resource Center, Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE Labs), Taconic, The Jackson Laboratory, and The Physiological Society.

Funding for this conference was also made possible by the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and grant number R13RR032638 from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Media must RSVP.


Contact: Brooke Grindlinger
New York Academy of Sciences

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