NMS Position Statements on Animal Research
The NOVA Medical School(NMS) is committed to proving open and transparent information about the research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. NMS|FCM signed the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal, an initiative supported by the Portuguese scientific community in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) to promote a more consistent approach to communicating the scientific, ethical and moral justifications for animal research in Portugal.
The scientific work developed in NMS only uses animal models when there is not a validated alternative method.
NMS respects the Portuguese (Decreto-Lei no. 113/2013) and European laws (Directive 2010/63/EU) that rule the use of animals in research and follows the principles of the 3Rs - replacement, refinement and reduction – to use methods which avoid or replace the use of animals; to look for methods which minimise any suffering and improve animal welfare; and use methods which minimise the number of animals used per experiments.
“The use of animals has been essential to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic diseases. NOVA Medical School is committed to proving open and transparent information about its research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. For us signing the Portuguese Transparency Agreement has helped to demonstrate our engagement in a dialogue with the society to improve the level of understanding the reasons why animals are still needed for biomedical research.”
Ana Isabel Moura Santos
Vice-Dean of NOVA Medical School, President of FELASA, President of the Animal Welfare Body at NMS
Organ Responsible for Animal Welfare - ORBEA
The Organ Responsible for Animal Welfare (Órgão Responsável pelo Bem-Estar dos Animais) - ORBEA, at NOVA Medical School, is an independent body of a deliberative nature, with the purpose of ensuring and promoting the welfare of animals generated and used in research or teaching, according to the legislation in force, namely under the terms of the regulations Artigo 34.º do Decreto-Lei nº 113/2013, de 7 de agosto.
ORBEA's activity at NOVA Medical School is carried out in accordance with the applicable legal principles, establishing a set of rules on internal procedures and guidelines to be observed when using animals for scientific and educational purposes.
ORBEA members have scientific and technical skills in line with current legislation, and act independently, allowing them to carry out the assigned functions.
NOVA Medical School's ORBEA members are:
- President: Ana Isabel Moura Santos
- Responsible for the Rodents Facility: José Belo
- Responsible for the Fish Facility: Susana Lopes
- Responsible for Rodents Welfare: Sara Marques
- Responsible for Fish Welfare: Petra Pintado
- Veterinary Physician Responsible for Rodents: Dolores Bonaparte
- Veterinary Physician Responsible for Fish: Nuno Marques Pereira
- Specialist in Statistics and Experimental Design: Sofia Azeredo Lopes
- Scientific Responsible:
- Researchers using Rodents: Gabriela Silva and Sílvia Conde
- Researchers using Fish: Mónica Roxo Rosa and Carolina Crespo
- Representative of the Civil Society: Mário Rui Silva
Form for online submission of a research project to ORBEA here.
Research Projects using Animals at NMS
At NMS|FCM, when there are no other alternatives, biomedical research of various relevant areas sometimes uses animal models. We are strongly committed with animal welfare best practices and follow the highest regulatory standards and humane principles. Our researchers strive to use the minimum number of animals possible and are actively looking at techniques to refine their experiments procedures. Find below some examples of laboratories and research projects with the five animal models we host:
• Rat: Translational Pharmacology, Neuronal Control of Metabolic Disturbances
• Mouse: Stem Cells and Development, DYSBRAIND: Dysmetabolism in Brain Diseases
• Zebra-Fish: Tissue Repair and Inflammation, Cilia Regulation and Disease
• Drosophila Melanogaster (Fruit Fly): Integrative Biomedicine, Proliferation and Fate Regulation of Stem Cells
• Chicken Embryo: Tissue Repair and Inflammation
Find here the projects at NMS using animal models approved by ORBEA.
CEDOC-NMS Case Study for European Commission Report
"Electronic modulation used in rats to treat diabetes" case study. Find here the video of the case study.
Links of Interest
- Decreto-lei nº 113/2013, de 7 de Agosto (legislação nacional que transpõe a Diretiva Europeia 63/2010/CE