Animal Research

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

Transparency Agreement on Animal Research


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

ORBEA' regulations.

Non-technical Abstracts of the Authorized Projects using Animal Models:

- Avaliação terapêutica de formulações de fármacos anticancerígenos e biomoléculas em modelos animais de cancro
- Desenvolvimento e avaliação de um surfactante sob a forma de Hidrogel na prevenção de infeções transmitidas por contacto direto
-Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia: exploring the underlying mechanisms and new putative targets for the treatment of hypertension and other comorbidities associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Desenvolvimento de estratégias terapêuticas para patologias da retina
- Doenças metabólicas: estudos mecanísticos e de biomarcadores
- Efeito do ciclo alimentar e desequilíbrio metabólico sobre a composição proteica e lipídica das membranas celulares em neurónios cerebrais – implicações fisiológicas e patofisiológicas
- Estabelecimento do eixo direita-esquerda no organismo modelo peixe-zebra
- Estudo dos processos fisiopatológicos do desenvolvimento de dor crónica e do potencial analgésico de novos compostos em culturas primárias de neurónios sensoriais e em modelos animais de dor neuropática e inflamatória
- Estudos genéticos e celulares da doença cardíaca congenita, e do estabelecimento do eixo embrionário Esquerdo-Direito
- Explorando novos biomarcadores para o desenvolvimento de melhor diagnóstico e terapia anti-cancro
- Mecanismos moleculares de migração e invasão celular: desenvolvimento de uma nova estratégia para impedir a progressão tumoral
- Reprogramação e plasticidade celular durante a regeneração óssea em peixe-zebra (Danio rerio)

- Reprogramação metabólica e função do gene Yap durante a regeneração da retina do peixe-zebra (Danio rerio)
- Esquecer o medo: Impacto do stress agudo na plasticidade sináptica da amígdala
- Identificação da etiologia molecular da aterogénese
- LIMBo - Zooming the LInk between diet and brain health: how phenolic Metabolites modulate Brain inflammation
- Repensar a dinâmica das memórias: o papel da cooperação e competição sináptica na manutenção das memórias de medo

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


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.

EU complete report "2019 report on the statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes in the Member States of the European Union in 2015-2017"

Experiências em laboratório. Portugal usou mais de 40 mil animais num ano


Links of Interest

- Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências em Animais de Laboratório

- European Animal Research Association

- Decreto-lei nº 113/2013, de 7 de Agosto (legislação nacional que transpõe a Diretiva Europeia 63/2010/CE

- Felasa | Federation for Laboratory Animal Science Associations

- National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

- EARA and EARA PT Twitter