Dr. F.R. (Frans) Stafleu

PhD Candidate
Sustainable Animal Stewardship
Completed Projects
From animal model to translational strategy. On the ethical, scientific and institutional problems related to innovations in bio-medical animal research 01.09.2015 to 01.09.2019
General project description

Experimenting on animals is contested in society. In spite of evidence of results in terms of understanding/ treating human diseases, there is debate concerning the moral justification and trustworthiness of animal research, and on the validity of the used experiments. This already has resulted in many innovative activities towards new animal(free) models. The problem is that implementing innovations appears to be difficult and not always leads to improved human health treatments. 

Therefore, we hypothesize that we need a new approach: from improving individual (animal) experiments to building integrated translational strategies. This entails that innovation starts in the complexity of human patients, who have to benefit from the research results.
The research question is ?How can translational strategies contribute to the effectiveness and ethical acceptability of animal research and to responsible innovations in human health?? Based on two case studies, the consortium investigates the hurdles and elaborates on innovative steps in animal research to build robust translational strategies. The project includes

- Systematic literature research to come to evidence-based translational strategies.
- Exploration of the research chain to trace scientific, ethical and societal obstacles.
- Ethical analysis of uncertainty of outcomes of experiments as an obstacle for ethical assessment of animal research.
- Concrete attempts to improve the translational strategy for the case studies.

The project will result in improved practical and moral understanding of innovation problems, formulating best practices for building translational strategies, and advice to research-chain partners how to deal with scientific, ethical and institutional obstacles on the road to responsible health innovation.

NWO grant
External project members
  • Dr. C.H.C. Leenaars (RUN)
  • Prof. dr. M. Ritskes-Hoitinga (RUN)