What is the aim of the Einstein Center 3R?

Academic biomedical science in Berlin is a focal point of animal-based research in Germany. According to the current state of science, animal experiments will be necessary in general and thus also in Berlin in the foreseeable future. Overarching aim of animal experiments is the transfer of the results to gain knowledge about the target species, in most cases: about humans. Consequently, the qualification of methods and the comparison of data generated by testing in human cell-based models, animals and human in vivo are essential steps towards the transferability of results.

For this reason, it is essential that science in Berlin works energetically, verifiably and visibly to improve unavoidable animal experiments and to develop robust alternative methods that can be applied by a wide range of users to create trust in the related scientific activities.

The further development and consistent implementation of the 3R principle (Replace, Reduce, Refine, 3Rs) is an integral task of academic biomedical research. In order to promote 3Rs research, 3Rs methods must gain acceptance within the scientific community itself. In public, animal experiments are critically debated, and the challenges of alternative methods are often underestimated. The goal of the Einstein Center 3R (EC3R) is therefore to promote the trustworthiness of 3R research in science and the public. As a strong biomedical research location with its proximity to key stakeholders, Berlin offers ideal conditions for comprehensively pursuing the objective of implementing the 3Rs.

Which concept is to be implemented to achieve this goal?

Collaborative Research Network

The EC3R aims to boost alternative methods with the long-term goal of Reduction and Replacement. For this purpose, it implements a Collaborative Research Network that is focusing on the joint development of 3D tissue culture models. The network provides a platform for crosscutting topics like the agreement on standards and comparative validation of models. 

 

Cross-sectional Projects

Two Cross-sectional Projects will spark the Collaborative Research Network by innovative artificial intelligence applications and an extended quality management, leading to the increase of 3R research quality.

 

Education and Training

The EC3R will provide a comprehensive Education and Training program. Consistent training in the 3Rs with all its facets lays the foundation for trust and dissemination in science. Therefore, the integration and Berlin-wide opening of the broad spectrum of existing measures and addition of complementary activities will improve the awareness, knowledge and application of 3R methods.

 

Communication and Outreach

The EC3R will foster Communication and Outreach on 3R research. Comprehensive, honest and fact-based communication is a necessity to inform scientists and the public about the great opportunities and challenges of implementing the 3Rs. The EC3R will highlight the visibility of the strong Berlin 3R activities and communicate transparently and scientifically sound. Citizens will retrieve comprehensible information and are invited to enter into a dialogue with the scientists.

Steering Committee

  • Michael Beekes (RKI)
  • Michael Brecht (HU Berlin)
  • Ulrich Dirnagl (BIH)
  • Michael Gotthardt (MDC)
  • Stefan Hippenstiel (Charité)
  • Andreas Hocke (Charité)
  • Jens Kurreck (TU Berlin)
  • Tanja Schwerdtle (BfR)
  • Christa Thöne-Reineke (FU Berlin)

Coordinators and speakers

Elections for the Steering Committee, spokesperson and coordinator were held in August. Three coordinators were appointed to specifically develop the activities of the research network (Stefan Hippenstiel), education and training (Christa Thöne-Reineke) and communication and public relations (Jens Kurreck).

Hippenstiel has been appointed as spokesperson, Thöne-Reineke and Kurreck as co-spokespersons for the external representation of the Center and the management of the Steering Committee.