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Medical Faculty
Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf
Moorenstraße 5, Building 17.11
40225 Düsseldorf


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Status Quo

At the Düsseldorf site, the Central Facility for Animal Research and Scientific Animal Welfare (ZETT - Zentrale Einrichtung für Tierforschung und wissenschaftliche Tierschutzaufgaben) accompanies, supervises and advises researchers in their animal experimentation projects. All aspects of animal welfare are taken into account, from species-appropriate husbandry to veterinary care and advice on 3R measures. In addition, ZETT also teaches the competent handling of animals. A particular expertise of the site is in the area of cardiovascular functional and structural small animal imaging. The possibility of using two MR machines, high-resolution ultrasound for small animals, various telemetry techniques allows non- or minimally invasive repetitive measurements to be performed on animals, reducing the number of experimental animals used and at the same time also their stress. In the new research building CARDDIAB the infrastructure for in vivo imaging, integrative metabolic analysis and cardiovascular functional analysis is bundled within the translational research focus on cardiovascular as well as metabolic diseases.

The proven expertise in the field of induced pluripotent stem cell models as well as novel, 3D organoid and tumoride models ask for numerous alternative models for use in preclinical studies and basic research. An automated pipeline has already been established for high-throughput drug testing on cell and organoid/tumoride models. In addition to biobanking expertise, state-of-the-art method platforms for genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are available. Another methodological focus at the Düsseldorf site is on the further development and application of artificial intelligence and data science methods, which are concentrated in HeiCAD, a master's program and the Manchot research group.

Objective / Focus

Animal studies are used to gain new insights into life and diseases. Scientists at the Düsseldorf site conduct research for the benefit of humans in order to better diagnose, treat and cure diseases in the future. Animal research is therefore indispensable for medical, legal and consumer protection reasons. Within the framework of the 3R Competence Network NRW, researchers at the Düsseldorf site are to be trained even more strongly in the sense of the 3R principle.

Existing resources of techniques and methods should be made available to other sites within the network, thus also strengthening cross-site networking. The focus of a future 3R professorship should be in the area of refinement research in coordination with the priority research fields of the medical faculty in Düsseldorf, in order to be able to design the necessary animal experiments in a way that is less stressful for animals.