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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT
 

Beyond Classical Refinement Program

Kathrin Herrmann

Beyond Classical Refinement

Coordinator: Kathrin Herrmann (kherrma1@jhu.edu)

In 2019, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, the seminal book in which Russell and Burch first described the 3Rs Principles of Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement, turned 60. Russell and Burch’s aspiration was that the use of animals should be replaced wherever possible, and in cases where animals were deemed indispensable, their treatment would be enhanced significantly, for the sake of animal welfare and scientific quality. Thus, Russell and Burch would be delighted to see that the 60th anniversary of their Principles falls in the midst of substantial developments in non-animal methods that have a realistic potential to replace animals in many areas of science. At the same time, deficiencies in scientific rigor of animal experiments have become increasingly apparent, ultimately limiting both the reproducibility and the translatability of animal experiments to human settings.

These reproducibility and translatability crises need to be addressed urgently. Taking into consideration insurmountable interspecies differences, solely refining animal studies will not be sufficient to advance human healthcare. Consequently, CAAT’s Refinement Program has expanded its focus by critically appraising current animal use practices in science and by scrutinizing both animal and non-animal models in regards to their quality and validity with the goal being refinement of science in general.

In its education and outreach efforts the program thus includes not only refinement as originally defined by Russell and Burch but also refinements of planning, conducting and reporting of animal-based as well as animal-free research studies. Furthermore, training on how to conduct comprehensive literature searches for the 3Rs is a major part of the program’s Humane Science course. To help promote the utilization of systematic reviews to reduce and replace animal use in science in the US and beyond, Kathrin Herrmann is an ambassador of SYRCLE, SYstematic Review Center for laboratory Animal Experimentation, Radboud University, The Netherlands. Moreover, the CAAT Refinement and Reduction Awards retrospective assessments of animal models (e.g., systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and citation analyses) as well as other means to reduce animal use in science.


Upcoming Events

8th Annual 3Rs Symposium: Practical Solutions and Success Stories
June 2-4, 2021

In collaboration with  USDA Animal Welfare Information Center, NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, and the Johns Hopkins Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology CAAT’s Beyond Classical Refinement Program organizes and hosts this symposium series focusing not only on Refinement but also on Reduction and Replacement.This year’s virtual Symposium will, among other things, focus on current, pandemic-driven developments in refinement, reduction, and replacement of animal use in science. Together with international experts and practitioners we will aim attention at challenges faced during the pandemic as well as at successes in effectively applying the 3Rs Principles to maximize both biomedical discovery and animal welfare. 

This event has been submitted for 9 RACE credits/hours, and we are awaiting a decision. We offer reduced registration for federal workers, postdocs, and students.

Information and Registration

Teaching at JHU

Other educational activities

Co-organizer and host of the Webinar Series on Animals, Climate Change and Global Health, in collaboration with Charlotte Blattner, University Bern, Switzerland and Eva Meijer, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands (September 2020-January 2021). The six sessions with leading experts from around the world had the aim of inspiring an in-depth conversation at the nexus animals, climate change, and global health. Each of the webinars attracted 200 to 350 listeners from academia and the interested public. We continue to be engaged in this topic and plan to host a large conference in Berlin, Germany in 2022. More information and access to the webinar recordings at: https://animalsclimatehealth.com.

Organizer and host of a webinar featuring four former winners of the CAAT Refinement Award, entitled Contemporary Refinement Research, its Application in Practice, and Future Directions: Becca Franks (New York University), Brianna Gaskill (Novartis), Judith de Haan (Utrecht University) and Cathy Schuppli (University of British Columbia) talked about what they have been up to since they received the CAAT Refinement Award and where their careers have taken them. They gave short presentations about their recent and ongoing research activities, followed by a conversation on the role of contemporary refinement research and on how barriers to its implementation in practice can be overcome. Over 200 people attended the webinar. More information and link to the recording can be found here.

Co-organizer and host of the annual 3Rs Symposium series, in collaboration with the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC), NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), and the Johns Hopkins Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology. The 2021 3Rs Symposium will take place June 3rd and 4th. More information and registration at: https://caat.jhsph.edu/programs/Refinement/3Rssymposium.html

Organizer and host of a new monthly online 3R training series in German and English that started in April 2021. This series provides training to the German competent authorities and animal research committee members as well as anyone working in biomedical research and testing. Kathrin is hosting this series in both her roles as CAAT Refinement Director and as Berlin’s Animal Protection Commissioner. Information on the series can be found here.

Recent Speaking Engagements at International Conferences

  • Herrmann, K. (2021). On the way to Replecement, how far have we come?. Berlin-Brandenburg Research Platform (BB3R) Spring School, Berlin, Germany, March 2021.
  • Herrmann, K. (2020). Science in the 21st Century: Is There Still a Place for Animal Experimentation?. PCRM/JHU Virtual Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science, Baltimore, USA, June 2020.
  • Herrmann, K. (2020). 60 Jahre 3R-Prinzip: Sind wir auf dem Weg zu einem Paradigmenwechsel? (60 years of the 3Rs: Are we moving towards a paradigm change?). Bad Boll Annual Animal Welfare Conference – Animal Experimentation and Animal Welfare. Bad Boll, Germany, March 2020.
  • Herrmann, K. (2020). The 3Rs in Practice: Are we doing what we can?. XIV International Seminar on the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, University of Barcelona, Spain, February 2020.
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Presentation at the Launch of the Book Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Brill open access), European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, December 2019.
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Refinement on the way towards Replacement: Are we doing what we can?. 60 Years of the 3Rs - Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA, November 2019.
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Education and Training to Fully Implement Refinement Methods in Practice. 70th American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) National Meeting, Denver, Colorado, USA, October 2019.
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Education towards non-animal approaches in basic and applied biomedical research. European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing EUSAAT 2019 Congress, Linz, Austria, October 2019. In: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation Proceedings, 8(1), p. 72. http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_Linz2019_full.pdf
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Full implementation of refinement methods in practice through education and training. European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing EUSAAT 2019 Congress, Linz, Austria, October 2019. In: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation Proceedings, 8(1), p. 71. http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_Linz2019_full.pdf
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Refinement on the way towards replacement: Are we doing what we can?. European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing EUSAAT 2019 Congress, Linz, Austria, October 2019. In: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation Proceedings, 8(1), p. 70. http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_Linz2019_full.pdf
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Refinement on the way towards replacement: Are we doing what we can?. European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing EUSAAT 2019 Congress, Linz, Austria, October 2019. In: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation Proceedings, 8(1), p. 70. http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_Linz2019_full.pdf
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change. FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) 50th Anniversary Symposium, University of Nottingham, UK, July 2019. In: Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, 47(2), p. 95. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0261192919869383
  • Herrmann, K. (2019). Tierversuche: Auf dem Weg zu einem Paradigmenwechsel (Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change). 12. Tierversuchstagung „3R und Ersatzmethoden - bessere Forschung, weniger Tierleid“ (3Rs and Replacement Methods –
  • Better Research, Less Animal Harm), Olten, Switzerland, June 2019. http://www.tierschutz.com/tierversuche/tagungen/pdf/conference2019_presentations.pdf

book cover
Book: Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Brill Open Access), Published April 2019

In the book, Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Open access available at: https://brill.com/view/title/35072), 51 international experts critically appraise current animal use in science and discuss innovative, human-relevant approaches to advance the life sciences and to accelerate the shift towards the replacement of animals in research, testing, and education. Kathrin Herrmann is the initiator of this large book project that she co-edited with Kimberley Jayne. Thomas Hartung contributed the concluding chapter.

  • December 4th, 2019: Book Launch event in the European Parliament with several of the authors presenting some of the chapters of this collective work. The event covered why and how to shift away from animal use in science, the politics and legislation of animal experimentation, the importance of human-focused research to improve drug safety, as well as recent developments in alternatives to animal testing. The book launch closed with a facilitated discussion on how to achieve the final goal of full replacement of animal experimentation. https://animalfreescience.org/?event=book-launch-animal-experimentation-working-towards-a-paradigm-change
  • October 12th, 2019: Session on the book at European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing EUSAAT 2019 Congress, Linz, Austria, October 2019. http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_Linz2019_full.pdf
  • June 14th and 15th, 2019: Successful book launch and symposium at Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany with 50 participants – mostly veterinarians and laboratory animal scientists. We were able to discuss the 3Rs and ways to accelerate their application, especially how to reach the political goal of replacing animals in science.

Recent Publications

Busquet, F., Kleensang, A., Rovida, C., Herrmann, K., Leist, M. and Hartung, T. (2020). New European Union statistics on laboratory animal use – what really counts!, ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 37(2), pp. 167-186. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1755

Ormandy, E.H., Weary, D.M., Cvek, K., Fisher, M., Herrmann, K., Hobson-West, P., McDonald, M., Milsom, W., Rose, M., Rowan, A. and Zurlo, J. (2019). Animal Research, Accountability, Openness and Public Engagement: Report from an International Expert Forum. Animals, 9(9), p. 622. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/9/622

Herrmann, K., Pistollato, F. and Stephens, M. (2019). Food For Thought...Beyond the 3Rs: Expanding the use of human-relevant replacement methods in biomedical research, ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 36(3), pp. 343-352. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1301

Herrmann, K. and Jayne, K., eds. (2019): Animal Experimentation: Working towards a Paradigm Change. Vol. 22, Leiden: Brill. Available at: https://brill.com/view/title/35072

Herrmann, K. (2019). Refinement on the way towards replacement: Are we doing what we can?. In: K. Herrmann and K. Jayne, eds. Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change, Vol. 22, Leiden: Brill, pp. 3-64. Available at: https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789004391192/BP000002.xml

Herrmann, K. and Flecknell, P.A. (2019). Retrospective review of anesthetic and analgesic regimens used in animal research proposals. Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 36(1), pp. 65-80. Available at: https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.1804011

Recent Events

Summer School on Innovative Approaches in Science
June 22-26, 2020
Online

Visit the Summer School portal for links to presentation slides and recordings. 

This first US Summer School on innovative, animal-free approaches in science was co-hosted by CAAT, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, building on two past summer schools held at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. The program was designed to offer students a chance to learn more about cutting-edge science from experts from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and more.

Over 600 people attended, and the program was given very high marks by many of the participants. 

Jamie DeRita Memorial Animal Protection Symposium
July 9, 2020
Watch Online

The Jamie Derita Memorial Animal Protection Symposium was held online (via Zoom) on July 9th, 2020. We apologize for the technical difficulties during Stacy M. Lopresti-Goodman's presentation.

This symposium honored the life of Jamie DeRita, who passed away in June 2020. Jamie was CAAT's event coordinator from 2012-2018, and was known to many of our friends and colleagues for her tireless work on our many meetings, conferences and symposia over the years.

Jamie was famous throughout the Maryland shelter and animal welfare communities as someone who could not say no to helping any animal that needed a home. She was known to regularly pick up animals she saw in her daily travels, and to work non-stop to find them perfect homes. Her CAAT family will honor her with a series of presentations about our deep relationship with animals and adoption of lab animals, with brief testimonials from family and friends interspersed throughout the event. Her family has also started a fundraiser to secure the future of her four children.