Use of laboratory animals in scientific research and education

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Ghent University carefully monitors the use of laboratory animals in research and education. Animal research and testing is only allowed when it is justified and necessary, and it is always conducted in accordance with a rigorous ethical framework. The university also makes an effort to promote active reflection on this theme with an eye to the future.

Watch: animal research at Ghent University

Ghent University considers communication and transparency very important. The videos below take you inside the animal research facilities, and show what research with laboratory animals entails.

What is the animalarium?

In the animalarium on the Ghent University Hospital campus, animal caretakers and scientists work together to ensure research with laboratory animals is done in optimal circumstances. Here, top research is carried out. The facility guarantees maximum professionalism and maximum care for the animals: monitoring animal welfare on a daily basis is self-evident.

A research example is germ-free research, where any presence of unwanted, often pathogenic, micro-organisms is avoided. It contributes to research on immune diseases and cancer, where the challenges in healthcare remain very big even today.

Research into epilepsy

Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population. The condition expresses itself in very different ways, and in some cases epileptic seizures are life-threatening. Several treatments already exist, but unfortunately, in many cases they are still inadequate.

Doctors and other scientists at Ghent University study how to optimise the promising technique of deep-brain stimulation. Because research with patients does not lead to sufficient results, rats are also used. As such, more patients can be helped earlier, and lead a life as normal as possible sooner.