National Workshop/CME on Alternatives to Animal Experimentation in Medical Science Education
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Owner/Developer: Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC)
24 February 2014
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Medical Council of India (MCI)
With a view to further propagate the concept of alternatives among the scientific community of India utilizing the experience of the department, a national workshop-cum-CME (continuing medical education) on Alternatives to Animal Experimentation was organized at JNMC on February 24-25, 2014. The program was supported with grants from MCI and AMU. Fifty-two participants (postgraduates in the fields of pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, Unani medicine, etc.) received hands-on-training on the latest software available to replace the use of animals in teaching fundamental concepts of medical sciences, especially physiology and pharmacology. The lectures and training were provided by persons from different parts of India.
Hands-on training, Lecture
Optional / Voluntary
Continuing Professional Development, University (Master), University (Doctoral education)
Refinement, Reduction, Replacement
Full coverage (a dedicated course)
|Details on the topic or technology covered:||
In the first keynote address Prof. Krishan Chandra Singhal, a
leading pharmacologist, summarized how animals played crucial
roles in development of not only drugs but also surgical
procedures. He, however, emphasized that these potential benefits
could be attained without subjecting experimental animals
to any form of suffering. While speaking about alternatives to
animal experiments, he advocated that a committee of knowledgeable
scientists and educationists should share a common
platform for discussing the pros and cons of alternatives to animal
experimentation, assessing input required for educational
set-ups and finding funds for the purpose.
In the second keynote address Prof. Mohammad A. Akbarsha,
Director and Chair, MGDC, explained that many animal
experiments are not relevant to humans owing to species differences,
particularly pertaining to phase I and phase II metabolic
enzymes. He elaborated on the evolution of in vitro and in silico
approaches in drug discovery and toxicology and introduced cell culture methods, Integrated discrete Multiple Organ Co-culture
(IdMOC) technology, stem cell applications, tissue engineering,
organ-on-chip, human-on-chip technologies and high-throughput
approaches to screening of potential drug candidates and risk
assessment as well as non-mammalian model organisms such
as Caenorhabditis elegans, zebrafish, drosophila and hydra. He
explained how these alternatives could be equivalent to, or even
better than, animal models. He quoted a passage from the Holy
Quran stating that animals are like human beings and so need
to be respected and treated with kindness. He stressed the need
to work along the current trend of available and upcoming technologies
in order to keep pace with global developments.
In the first lecture titled Historical perspectives of alternatives
to animal experiments, Prof. Mohamed Mobarak Hossein
traced the history of alternative methods, starting from the landmark
book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique
by Russell and Burch in 1959. He explained that alternative
methods have matured from a perceived or fabricated threat
to biomedical research to an obvious opportunity for advancement
without causing pain and distress to animals. Then, Dr
Mohamed T. Salman spoke on The Scope of Alternatives to
Animal Experimentation in Pharmacology. He described the
way in vitro cell and tissue culture methods have reduced the
use of rodents in the initial screening of potential new drugs. He
also focused on examples of human skin equivalent tests (like
EpiDerm, EpiSkin, SkinEthic, etc.) being used as alternatives
to animal-based corrosive and irritation studies and of corneas
from slaughtered cows or chicken eyes used for eye irritation
studies. The final lecture was delivered on The Conception of
Animal Simulators from Idea to Product: A Challenging Journey
by a spokesperson of Elsevier who presented the way alternatives
software is conceptualized and developed.
Hands-on training in alternatives software
The participants were divided into four groups. Parallel onehour
sessions were conducted at four different stations: The
participants received hands-on training on simulators/software
made in India, such as ExPharm, ExPhysio and ExCology, by
the software originators, Prof. Ramaswamy Raveendran (Jawaharlal
Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research
[JIPMER], Pondicherry), Prof. Sandhya T. Avadhany
(St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore), Prof. Mohammad A.
Akbarsha (MGDC), Prof. S. K. Bajaj (Maulana Azad Medical
College, New Delhi) and Prof. Chandragouda R. Patil (R. C.
Patel College of Pharmacy, Dhule), in addition to other experts
working in the same field.
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