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Why Animal Research

Animals play a vital role in the translation of biomedical research to patient care. Animal models are used to understand disease processes at the molecular and cellular levels, develop and test new therapies and medical devices, and uncover drug toxicities prior to undertaking clinical investigations. Healthy, well cared-for, adequately housed animals are necessary to produce accurate research results. Many advances in Human and Veterinary Medicine are not possible without animal research.

Caring for Animals in Research

SingHealth’s animal care and use programme at SEMC holds paramount the welfare of research animals. Its facilities and care of research animals conform to the National Advisory Committee for Laboratory Animal Research (NACLAR) guidelines. Only upon approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) can research projects be carried out.

While most medical and surgical advances are not yet possible without animal research, SEMC continues to pursue its commitment to animal welfare by applying the 3Rs to its practices:

  • Replacement: encouraging researchers to replace animals with alternative methods, such as computer models;
  • Reduction: cutting the number of animals involved in research to the minimum number necessary to obtain scientifically robust results; and
  • Refinement: minimising any negative impact on animals by using state-of-the-art anaesthetics and bio-imaging equipment.

    Individuals and companies seeking to work with SEMC will find a team of highly skilled personnel supporting the research as well as a comprehensive specialist infrastructure that ensure research projects meet the highest international standards. SEMC also supports training for healthcare professionals to improve patient care quality and provides training in humane care and the use of laboratory animals.

    Its proximity and co-location with medical institutions on Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Campus offer its research partners additional benefits. The centre can tap into the professional expertise of clinical specialists from more than 40 medical fields to design and conduct academic and translational research on the Campus. The high patient throughput on SGH Campus also allows investigational products to move smoothly into early phase clinical trials.