December 01, 2022

NIH launches Animals in NIH research webpage

NIH launches Animals in NIH research webpage 

By: Sydney Sheffield

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published a new policy resource page, Animals in NIH Research. The webpage provides details on how, why, and when NIH uses animals in biomedical research and the associated benefits. The page provides a number of policy resources that can be utilized to support animal use in biomedical research.

The webpage comes at the heels of the ACD Working Group on Enhancing Rigor, Transparency, and Translatability in Animal Researcher’s final report, which recommended educating the public of the importance on animals in biomedical research.  The working group produced five central themes of the report: 

  1. improving study design and data analysis. 

  2. addressing incomplete reporting and questionable research practices. 

  3. improving selection, design, and relevance of animal models. 

  4. improving methodological documentation and results reporting.  

  5. measuring and evaluating the costs and effectiveness of these efforts.

“Biomedical and behavioral research can involve working with cells in test tubes, computer modeling, animal models, and clinical studies with people,” the title page states. “Each kind of research plays a critical role in advancing our knowledge of health and disease. What we have learned from research with laboratory animals (also referred to as “animal models”), has provided the foundation for many safe and effective life-saving treatments for diseases and conditions affecting the health of humans.”

The publication of this page is a step towards highlighting NIH’s commitment to supporting humane and ethically conducted animal research by discussing the following topics:

  • Why animals are used in research

  • How animals have helped improve public health

  • Why properly designed experiments are critical to animal research and advancing public health

  • How NIH ensures the care of research animals

  • When alternatives to animals are used in research

In the How Animals Have Helped Improve Public Health section, NIH shares important examples of how research with animals has supported advancements in prevention, early detection, and treatment for numerous diseases. Additionally, the page emphasizes how animal research informs the understanding and treatment of animal diseases. 

Check out the website here.