Centrum Medycyny Translacyjnej SGGW na CETEF’22

Central European Technology Forum CETEF’22



From Animal to Human – Importance of Animal Models in Biomedical Research

25th October 2022, Wrocław

General introduction to the session

Advances in medicine over the centuries have largely resulted from the use of animals to understand fundamental physiological processes, to model disease, and to test the safety and efficacy of therapeutic devices and agents. Thanks to animal testing, countless life-saving drugs have been discovered, including insulin being one of the most prominent examples. Although development of alternative methods is gaining momentum and, indeed, some research can successfully be conducted without animal testing, experimental animals remain essential for studies requiring understanding of complex physiological processes or modelling of multi-faceted human and animal diseases.

Various species of animals are experimentally used, ranging from fruit flies through rodents to large animals such as dogs, pigs and non-human primates. While the use of higher mammals is particularly sensitive and controversial, large animals are particularly valuable since they represent typical characteristics of human disease and thus enabling application of devices and protocols that can be directly translated into humans.

In Poland, the number of animals used for scientific purposes is relatively small (approx. 150,000/yr) as compared to Sweden (twice), France (12 times more), and Great Britain (>20 times more). However, constant growth of biomedical research investments in Poland has resulted in the increasing number of experimental animals.

Scientists and clinicians (medical doctors and veterinarians), as well as engineers designing new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, conducting research on animal models are taking part in today’s discussion.