In Vivo Pharmacology Course

Experimental research in animals is justified due to its expected predictability of conditions in other species. Within the same species and even within the same strain or substrain of a species, the variation can be large. This phenotypic variation is not only ruled by the genotype but also by environmental factors as simple as housing conditions, feeding and microbiological status. Integration of study results obtained by animal experimentation is generally accepted as valid. However, due to many factors influencing the experimental outcome, contradictory results may be obtained and sometimes great difficulties have been experienced in reproducing results obtained by other investigators.

The uncertainties in animal characteristics and testing conditions so far have not hindered the insight into biological regulatory mechanisms. However, if animal studies should have the highest degree of predictability and reproducibility, only animals of well-defined health status housed under well-defined conditions should be used. In vivo drug testing should be planned in order to eliminate the variation caused by improper standardisation from group to group or over time and the bias caused by erroneous techniques.

This course will highlight the various factors that are critical for variation and thereby for the reproducibility and predictability in experimental research in animals. The factors are many and some are more important than others. The importance may vary with the goal and design of the study. It is the responsibility of the scientists to take these factors into consideration in order to produce data that offer minimal experimental variation and maximal reproducibility. Taking this responsibility seriously will not only improve drug testing, but it will also be in accordance with the ethical obligation to gain as much information as possible whenever using animals for experiments.

Covered topics include:
• In vivo models in pharmacology and toxicology
• Experimental design
• Validity of animal models
• Variation in animal experiments: Factors related to the animal
• Variation in animal experiments: Factors related to the environment
• Variation in animal experiments: Experimental factors
• New tools and clinical perspectives

The course is relevant for student with a veterinary, medical or natural science degree planning to do animal experiments or enrolled in the In Vivo Pharmacology PhD programme. It is an advantage to have passed the Laboratory animal science course or equivalent.

Lectures: 20-24 June 2022
Poster-session: 24 August 2022
Oral exam: 25 August 2022

Registration for the course opens in 2022